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Students + startups: When failing becomes a good thing

While the German start-up scene is gaining in importance, the flow of capital often stagnates in the very early stages of founding a business. Especially students have a hard time implementing their ideas as investors often prefer to wait for the later stages. Business Insider Deutschland, together with the student venture capital fund First Momentum Ventures, has given founders such an early stage a chance. At the end of last year, startups could be nominated who in your opinion deserve an investment deal.

Three start-up teams have now received a deal of up to € 100,000 each. The winners will be presented to you in succession. Here is the second part with the startup Keeet.

“Fail Fast, Fail often”

“Fail Fast, Fail often”  is a formula commonly used in Silicon Valley to make the difference between a useless product and the million-dollar idea. Only those who make many mistakes and quickly learn from them create innovation – as far as the theory goes.

In reality, it is not that easy to admit mistakes. In order to eliminate the weaknesses of new apps or products already in the development phase, companies usually get feedback from the outside. Advertisers from the subway are well-known: “We are looking for test persons for XY with a lucrative expense allowance”. In some cases, recruitment agencies collect more than 160 euros per tester per hour – and dozens of test subjects need a meaningful test.

“Many startups make the mistake of not checking their assumptions”

The costs and the effort for the tests would shy especially young companies, says Mika Hally Berlin student startup Keeet. “Many startups make a mistake in the beginning that they do not check their assumptions. You put in three months of work and then realize too late that the product does not solve any problem”.

Together with its co-founders Yilmaz Köknar and Henrik Engelbrink, Hally has developed a software that is supposed to handle user tests more cheaply and quickly. From conversations with Flixbus, Visa, Zalando and 21 other companies one knows: Also established enterprises have problems to get qualified feedback from test persons, since it often costs simply too much time.

Keeet switches automated advertising to find test persons

With Keeet, companies can automatically recruit test subjects via social media and create tester pools. The principle is similar to a job platform: As a product manager, you create a company profile at Keeet, enter the details of the place and topic of the test and fill out which test persons (age, gender, interests, etc.) you are looking for.

The software then generates tailored advertising and plays it automatically through the company’s social media channels.

For the service Keeet reserves a monthly fee of 195 euros – compared to agencies that is relatively cheap. The disadvantage, however, is that companies can only switch the advertising on their own Facebook page, the Instagram or Twitter channel. Young companies that have few followers there, that brings little. In addition, the representativeness suffers. After all, the opinion of users who do not follow them or are not in social media is interesting. It is therefore planned to switch advertising in the future on Google.

Idea came from a failed business model

The idea for Keeet came to the three during her studies at the Berlin Founders Forge Code University. The founders originally wanted to develop a language assistant for the restaurant under the name “Serve Up”. Similar to Amazon Alexa, he should take orders at the table. After two months of work turned out at the first reality check in the restaurant: The voice assistant is completely useless, because it is too loud there.

“Often you get into an idea and do not realize it’s going in the wrong direction,” says Hally. Had they done early testing with restaurateurs, they probably would not have.

The founders have learned from the mistake: During Keeet’s development, they held talks with more than 24 product designers and company managers – they probably will not have to worry about potential customers this time around.

Published inStartups

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