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Startupinformatik

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A successful university startup needs: A team with the right skills and a good, inspiring, product idea. In this talk, I report about six years of experience of creating student startups from our computer science Master's program. This structured program is dubbed Startupinformatik. I talk about (a) necessary skills, (b) an appropriate curriculum, (c) processes of team formation, and (d) http://uni1.de, our current attempt to bring Startupinformatik to other universities.

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Startupinformatik

  1. 1. Startupinformatik - FAU Erlang en © 2017 Dirk Riehle - All Rights Reserved 1 Startupinformatik Prof. Dr. Dirk Riehle Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nürnberg IT-Gipfel – Universität Göttingen – 2017-02-28
  2. 2. Startupinformatik - FAU Erlangen © 2017 Dirk Riehle - All Rights Reserved 2 Professorship of Open Source Software ● Professor of Computer Science ● For software engineering and open source software ● At computer science department engineering faculty ● Previously held research positions at ... ● SAP Labs (Silicon Valley) leading the open source research group ● UBS (Swiss Bank, Zurich) leading the software engineering group ● Previously worked in development at ... ● Skyva Inc. (supply chain software startup, Boston) as software architect ● Bayave GmbH (on-demand business software, Berlin) as CTO ● Ph.D. computer science, ETH Zurich ● M.B.A. Stanford University
  3. 3. Startupinformatik - FAU Erlangen © 2017 Dirk Riehle - All Rights Reserved 3 Personal Motivation Based on excellent research and teaching, produce as many startups as is possible Duty Free style
  4. 4. Startupinformatik - FAU Erlangen © 2017 Dirk Riehle - All Rights Reserved 4 Software is eating the world WSJ, 2011-08-20
  5. 5. Startupinformatik - FAU Erlangen © 2017 Dirk Riehle - All Rights Reserved 5 Two Models (Sources) of Startups 1. Student Project Model (with Master students) 2. Research Project Model (with Mitarbeiter)
  6. 6. Startupinformatik - FAU Erlangen © 2017 Dirk Riehle - All Rights Reserved 6 Student Project Model ● Out of Master program ● Short runway ● Good idea, fast execution ● Lightweight IP
  7. 7. Startupinformatik - FAU Erlangen © 2017 Dirk Riehle - All Rights Reserved 7 Research Project Model ● Out of university research projects ● Multi-year runway ● Deep research ● Possibly significant IP
  8. 8. Startupinformatik - FAU Erlangen © 2017 Dirk Riehle - All Rights Reserved 8 Two Approaches to Furthering Startups ● Ecosystem (people-independent support) ● Broad-spectrum measures – Courses, e.g. 5-Euro-Business – Support measures, e.g. Student Mixer – Student activities, e.g. START (entrepreneurial student club) ● Individual and team coaching (people-focused) ● Works with the individual entrepreneur and team ● Are orthogonal to each other, combine well
  9. 9. Startupinformatik - FAU Erlangen © 2017 Dirk Riehle - All Rights Reserved 9 Need for Focused Coaching ● Both students and Mitarbeiter have ● Little or no entrepreneurial experience ● Wrong ideas or role models ● Limited understanding about local context ● Limited network (can be built though)
  10. 10. Startupinformatik - FAU Erlangen © 2017 Dirk Riehle - All Rights Reserved 10
  11. 11. Startupinformatik - FAU Erlangen © 2017 Dirk Riehle - All Rights Reserved 11 Startupinformatik ● Label for my activities to help found software startups ● Ideally this would be an incubator, but still far away ● Currently a guided process, more on this later
  12. 12. Startupinformatik - FAU Erlangen © 2017 Dirk Riehle - All Rights Reserved 12 Dilbert on What Is a Startup?
  13. 13. Startupinformatik - FAU Erlangen © 2017 Dirk Riehle - All Rights Reserved 13 The Two Main Ingredients 1. Team 2. Product Idea
  14. 14. Startupinformatik - FAU Erlangen © 2017 Dirk Riehle - All Rights Reserved 14 TeamProduct Idea Main Ingredients in Proportion
  15. 15. Startupinformatik - FAU Erlangen © 2017 Dirk Riehle - All Rights Reserved 15 Founding Team (Student Project Model) ● Roles ● Business person (sales focused) (“hustler”) ● Product manager (“designer”) ● Developer (“coder”) ● Roles-to-person mapping ● 1 to 1 ● Product manger may also be developer
  16. 16. Startupinformatik - FAU Erlangen © 2017 Dirk Riehle - All Rights Reserved 16 Time-line for Student Projects to Startup While studying 1 2 3 At Profes- sorship Firm Inde- pendence
  17. 17. Startupinformatik - FAU Erlangen © 2017 Dirk Riehle - All Rights Reserved 17 Idealized Time-line and Milestones Stable core team Initial vision Minimum-viable product Full team Clear vision Product / market fit traction time coaching effort
  18. 18. Startupinformatik - FAU Erlangen © 2017 Dirk Riehle - All Rights Reserved 18 Stage 1: While Studying (Years 1-2) ● Stage goals ● Finding and founding of a team ● Finding and defining a product idea ● Creation of a minimum viable product ● Creation of a business plan (EXIST submission) ● Successful completion of degree program ● Time-frame ● The last 2-3 semesters of degree program
  19. 19. Startupinformatik - FAU Erlangen © 2017 Dirk Riehle - All Rights Reserved 19 Our Curriculum With help from our business angel friends, e.g. SALES workshop
  20. 20. Startupinformatik - FAU Erlangen © 2017 Dirk Riehle - All Rights Reserved 20 TEAM (High-performance Teamwork) ● Learning goals ● Sensitize students to challenges of teamwork ● Provide instruments for handling conflict ● Enable high-performance teamwork ● Not-so-hidden (long-term) agenda ● Course-based student mixer for startup teams ● Current state ● Not fully realized ● A one-day pre-AMOS workshop (should be a 5 ECTS course)
  21. 21. Startupinformatik - FAU Erlangen © 2017 Dirk Riehle - All Rights Reserved 21 PROD (Software Product Management) ● Learning goals ● Teach students about the software industry ● Teach various aspects of product management ● Perform market research and product specification ● Not-so-hidden agenda ● Determine suitable startup product managers ● Current state ● Established, running well ● Uses case-based teaching [1] [1] We write these cases ourselves as there are few such cases available, and also because there are no free cases available
  22. 22. Startupinformatik - FAU Erlangen © 2017 Dirk Riehle - All Rights Reserved 22 AMOS (Agile Methods Software Project) ● Learning goals ● Teach students agile methods teamwork ● Not-so-hidden agenda ● Form team ● Match with product idea ● Ignite spark ● Current state ● Established, running smoothly ● A bit off track, because it has become a non-trivial source of income
  23. 23. Startupinformatik - FAU Erlangen © 2017 Dirk Riehle - All Rights Reserved 23 Stage 2: At Professorship (Years 2-4) ● Stage goals ● Possibly extended team ● Clear company (product) vision ● Company decisions, incorporation ● Achievement of product/market fit ● Follow-on commercial funding ● Time-frame ● One year of EXIST funding ● Possibly other public funding
  24. 24. Startupinformatik - FAU Erlangen © 2017 Dirk Riehle - All Rights Reserved 24 Stage 3: Independence (Years 3-open) ● Stage goals ● Finished business model search, entering growth stage ● Time-frame ● Open-ended, but we will continue to mentor
  25. 25. Startupinformatik - FAU Erlangen © 2017 Dirk Riehle - All Rights Reserved 25 Netdosis (Mydosis)
  26. 26. Startupinformatik - FAU Erlangen © 2017 Dirk Riehle - All Rights Reserved 26 Introdoyou (MyFirstDay)
  27. 27. Startupinformatik - FAU Erlangen © 2017 Dirk Riehle - All Rights Reserved 27 Uni1
  28. 28. Startupinformatik - FAU Erlangen © 2017 Dirk Riehle - All Rights Reserved 28 The Value of “The AMOS Project” ● Team formation ● Team formation process ● Engaging and motivating industry partner ● Competencies ● Professional software development ● Dealing with customers ● Product / startup ● Paying customer implies a potential product ● Customer may want to continue sponsorship
  29. 29. Startupinformatik - FAU Erlangen © 2017 Dirk Riehle - All Rights Reserved 29 AMOS Tooling and Uni1 Codification
  30. 30. Startupinformatik - FAU Erlangen © 2017 Dirk Riehle - All Rights Reserved 30 Student Passion vs. Market Potential dud winner unlikely to get funding unlikely to be sustainable low high market potential of product idea lowhigh passionofstudentsforidea
  31. 31. Startupinformatik - FAU Erlangen © 2017 Dirk Riehle - All Rights Reserved 31 Three Non-Startupinformatik Examples ● Social dining app ● Grocery intermediary (“Meta-Plattform für OLH”) ● Event recommender
  32. 32. Startupinformatik - FAU Erlangen © 2017 Dirk Riehle - All Rights Reserved 32 ZD.B Innovationslabore ● State of Bavaria recognizes value of model ● Bayern Digital effort created Zentrum Digitalisierung Bayern (ZD.B) ● ZD.B’s purpose is to sponsor various digitization efforts ● ZD.B initiative “Innovationslabore” ● Modeled after Bernd Brügge’s iPraktikum and The AMOS Project ● Ironically, both iPraktikum and AMOS grant proposals got rejected
  33. 33. Startupinformatik - FAU Erlangen © 2017 Dirk Riehle - All Rights Reserved 33 Startupinformatik Statistics
  34. 34. Startupinformatik - FAU Erlangen © 2017 Dirk Riehle - All Rights Reserved 34 1st Prize Hochsprung Award 2015 “Mit dem HOCHSPRUNG-Award 2015 wurden [...] ausgezeichnet: Der 1. Platz mit einem Preis- geld in Höhe von 2.500 Euro ging an das Konzept „Startupinformatik" von Prof. Dr. Dirk Riehle, Friedrich-Alexander Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg - eine Initiative, mit der möglichst zahlreiche und nachhaltige Ausgründungen im Bereich Software-Produkte generiert werden sollen. Die potenziellen Gründer werden umfassend begleitet – von der Bewertung der Idee bis zum Pro- dukt einschließlich der Finanzierung unter Einbindung von Wirtschaftspartnern. [...]” [1] [1] Siehe http://hoch-sprung.de/index.php?page=rueckblick-2015
  35. 35. Startupinformatik - FAU Erlangen © 2017 Dirk Riehle - All Rights Reserved 35 Current Challenges and Next Steps ● Students ● Increase awareness of program ● Help foster entrepreneurial spirit ● Establish TEAM project course ● Add more focused workshops ● Products ● Motivate and involve University colleagues ● Acquire startup ideas more effectively ● Startups ● Prepare financing runway (incubator) ● Extend private coaching network
  36. 36. Startupinformatik - FAU Erlangen © 2017 Dirk Riehle - All Rights Reserved 36 More Information ● The AMOS Project ● https://osr.cs.fau.de/category/teaching/specific/amos/ ● Uni1 codification ● https://osr.cs.fau.de/2016/06/13/das-uni1-projektkonzept-2016/ ● Offer to TechFak colleagues ● http://osr.cs.fau.de/2014/07/12/email-an-fau-techfak-kolleginnen-und-kollegen/ ● Startupinformatik ● http://startupinformatik.de
  37. 37. Startupinformatik - FAU Erlangen © 2017 Dirk Riehle - All Rights Reserved 37 Founding Team (Research Project Model) ● Roles ● Business person (sales focused) ● Product manager ● 1-3 Developers ● Role-to-person mapping ● One developer also often plays product and/or engineering manager
  38. 38. Startupinformatik - FAU Erlangen © 2017 Dirk Riehle - All Rights Reserved 38 Three Examples (in the Making) ● Sweble ● QDAcity ● JValue ODS
  39. 39. Startupinformatik - FAU Erlang en © 2017 Dirk Riehle - All Rights Reserved 39 Thank you! Questions? DR dirk.riehle@fau.de – http://osr.cs.fau.de dirk@riehle.org – http://dirkriehle.com – @dirkriehle

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