Question and answer: what is a start-up?

Patricia Schlenter, what is your definition of a start-up?


The key attribute of a start-up is its ability to grow. It is a company designed to scale quickly. It is also a state of mind: they are individuals willing to give up stability, they join a start-up to make decisions for the promise of drastic growth and for the excitement of making an immediate impact.

What do you need to establish a start-up?

You need a good team and an idea that is scalable, you need to know what your customer wants and you need to know how to bring it to market.

Is there something a start-up should never do?

You can’t give into the hype, you don’t give away equity without getting something in return, you can’t be a perfectionist, but you must always be willing to learn.

When is a start-up no longer a start-up?

It stops being a start-up when people don’t feel as though what they are doing has impact.

Can you tell me at what point a start-up is no longer a start-up, but a “real” company?

There is no specific point in time when a start-up is no longer a start-up. For some, it may be when metrics like profitability or market share targets are achieved, for others it may be the moment when they are acquired by a different company.

What were the characteristics of the start-ups you chose for Kickstart Accelerator?

We chose early-stage start-ups with a minimum viable product, a great team and potential/traction.

What did the start-ups receive from Kickstart Accelerator?

The start-ups received monthly stipends of 1’500 CHF, they got the chance to win equity-free prize money of up to 25’000 CHF, along with the chance of securing a potential proof of concept together with corporate partners. Besides weekly masterclasses, the start-ups had access to mentors, experts and investors, allowing them to leverage their networks and share relevant learnings.

Can you give me an example of a typical start-up, maybe one from Kickstart Accelerator?

Check out Veezoo. This start-up does research with your data, they give you the answers you seek and present it to you in a visual format.

kickstart accelerator

Patricia Schlenter:

Is responsible for defining the structure of the accelerator program and she is in charge of the program as it progresses, culminating in demo day for all participating start-ups. Additionally, she managed multiple stakeholders of 45+ corporations and 30 start-ups, as well as acting as the lead for PR/Marketing and investor relationships.


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