Interview with mentor Markus Ungemach


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

Being a child of the Ruhr area, it is a pleasure to be a mentor at STARBUZZ.

The region – with its industrial tradition – has always been a place of technological innovation and growth. In recent decades, the Ruhr region as a multi-city metropolis with an extraordinarily high density of universities, research institutions and technology centers, has developed into an agglomeration of innovation and new technologies. From my perspective, the region is best suited for young, innovative companies.

As a startup ecosystem, the region has made tremendous progress over the last years, but its potential is far from being fully utilized. The region will gain a lot more attention in the future, becoming an important startup hot spot in Europe.

How can you support startups in your role as mentor? How will Ernst & Young (EY) support startups as partnering company of STARBUZZ?

As mentor, I will advise and support startups to the best of my knowledge from a tax law perspective, covering all development phases – company formation, growth stages, exit scenarios or strategic pivots. To do this, I prefer a pragmatic hands-on advisory approach.

The main aspect of mentoring is listening and understanding the needs and requirements of the startups. Together, we will then create individualized structures that are best suited from an operational perspective and that – at the same time – provide flexibility for necessary adjustments in the future.

EY is one of the market leaders in tax advisory, accounting, transaction advisory and management consulting. EY and its startup initiative support startups from the very beginning and during all stages with advisory services in corporate strategy, taxation, business administration, law and corporate finance. Highly motivated and qualified experts support startups with advice and assistance. With its excellent network, EY can help in building bridges to investors and other strategic partners.

Why would you advise startups to apply for STARBUZZ?

Due to the diligent selection of partnering companies and competent mentors, STARBUZZ covers not only a broad range of topics, but also provides expertise to reach a great depth in all topics that are relevant for startups. In other words, the accelerator provides the right mentors for each startup!

With its independence, STARBUZZ ensures that the startups will have the time they need to test and validate their business models, and to develop the underlying strategies.

The Ruhr region, with its high density of universities, research institutions and technology centers, provides optimal conditions for startups in terms of knowledge transfer and recruiting of highly qualified talent.

What do you expect from startups that apply to STARBUZZ?

It is important that startups are open to critical feedback. Commitment and a strong determination for advancing their business model are absolute necessities for startups. In the process of advancing their startup, entrepreneurs and their team should always take time to reflect on their latest business development. It is important to continuously measure the degree of reaching the overall business goal and to re-adjust or even pivot at the right point in time.


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