Interview with mentor Prof. Dr. Marc Jansen


Why have you committed yourself as mentor? From your perspective, what makes STARBUZZ special?

Being born in the Ruhr region, I always felt very comfortable living here. Unfortunately, our region is not yet prominently known for IT and startup businesses, although very interesting things are happening here. Therefore, I am very happy that the region now has a new accelerator that especially focuses on those topics.

What impresses me about STARBUZZ is the powerful mentor network that it managed to establish. There is a lot of experience in different directions, ranging from entrepreneurs over investors to research, making this accelerator something special.

Bringing more successful startups to the region, while at the same time developing successful startups out of the region, will be a nice and demanding effort. I am really looking forward to being a part of it.

How can you support startups in your role as mentor? How will Hochschule Ruhr West University of Applied Sciences (HRW) support startups as partnering company of STARBUZZ?

Well, I think I can provide input stemming from two directions: On one hand, I have been a startup entrepreneur for quite a while already, starting two successful companies that I accompanied from the very start to the exit. On the other hand, I have a strong background in IT research. This allows me to use the research perspective for the evaluation of startups and their ideas, and/or for supporting the IT development of startups.

In addition, at HRW startups can access prototyping and testing laboratories (e.g. FabLab, IoT-Lab, VR-Lab) for their products/solutions. Core aspects of HRW research are among others: cloud, app/mobile, block chain and crypto currencies, measurement and sensor technologies.  

In terms of “building the team” HRW offers a new ecommerce study program which is unique, and offers several other relevant study programs. STARBUZZ and HRW are also well-connected to other universities in the region.

Why would you advise startups to apply for STARBUZZ?

As a startup entrepreneur myself, I was in contact with a couple of accelerators. Never before, I have seen an accelerator that had such a broad variety of experience on board. To me, this is crucial! Whatever question a startup might come upon, it will find a suitable counterpart at STARBUZZ to discuss those questions.

What do you expect from startups that apply to STARBUZZ?

That is simple: dedication, dedication and perhaps a bit more dedication. Building a startup has to be more than a usual profession. Startup entrepreneurs have to be passionate, both, about their idea and about the company they are building. Therefore, dedication is by far the most important aspect when it comes to building a successful startup.


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