Interview with mentor Sabine Bednarzik


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

One of my friends mentioned the opportunity to be a mentor at STARBUZZ and asked me if I would be interested. Having reviewed information on STARBUZZ and my task as a mentor, I was excited to have the opportunity to help young, courageous startups to succeed in the business world.

STARRBUZZ is a unique - independent and branch-focused - accelerator, located in a region with a lot of renowned ecommerce and logistics companies.

How can you support startups in your role as mentor? How will T-Systems support startups as partnering company of STARBUZZ?

I want to share my passion for customer-oriented activities, my strong IT and technology knowledge and my deep understanding of the e-business sector with startups. I look forward to evaluating promising startups and to provide the best coaching and methodology in order to concretize their ideas further into a validated business model.

For T-Systems new ideas and solutions are essential for growth and securing the future. Nowhere does this apply more than in the dynamic area of information and communication technology. I will give the startups an opportunity to connect to other people and groups at T-Systems. Specific business ideas incorporating state-of-the-art technological capabilities are evaluated with regard to their application readiness in a creative and agile innovation process, and using realistic use cases. An open dialog allows us to contribute our expertise in innovation management as well as in the areas of ICT, product development, process management and change management. With this approach we develop ideas into real solutions together with our customers and partners. From finding ideas to early prototypes and initial tests in a real environment, to setting up an innovative standard portfolio – our innovation process focuses on a lively and agile exchange with customers and partners.

Why would you advise startups to apply for STARBUZZ?

STARBUZZ is an independent accelerator. This is a big advantage for startups, as STARBUZZ offers a wide mix of mentors and companies, so that the teams are prepared by the accelerator program perfectly for bringing their startup to the next level. In addition, taking part in the accelerator program gives startups a special image and quality seal, which can be particularly interesting for potential follow-up investors.

One more advantage of STARBUZZ is that in NRW we have a very important ingredient of an ecosystem that other locations do not have: Established industrial companies, which together with customers, cooperation partners and investors, inspire startup innovation.

What do you expect from startups that apply to STARBUZZ?

The startups have to solve a relevant problem - of as many customers as possible - with a digital offer better, faster and more favorably than existing solutions. 

Startups should concentrate not only on big companies, but also on small and medium sized companies. Investing in startups and cooperating with young companies can be a door opener for small and medium sized businesses to the development of digitalization, offering innovative products, sales channels and business models, as well as helping the founders of startups to develop in the areas of reputation and market access.


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