My colleague Ralf Lippold in Dresden is seeking social media partners around the world. He writes:
I am a passionate social media / network enabler working on bringing together art, science, and technology in my beautiful city of Dresden News (City of Dresden), and at the meanwhile globally connect with passionate global citizens around, just like Sheridan, making the impossible a soon reality.
I am a passionate blogger about ballet, and opera, and following Singularity University’s, and Peter H. Diamandis activities to spread the use of information technology within rising fields, and create a state of Abundance (of opportunities to create economic wealth).
More on my actions on http://about.me/RalfLippold
Thanks a lot for your support, and connecting with Dresden
Ralf asked on Facebook: “What is the MVA (Minimal Viable Action) that can be done without waiting for the big money to flow in? What is currently holding back DREWAG – Stadtwerke Dresden GmbHand Dresden News (City of Dresden) to act?”
The Silicon Valley process is fairly straightforward: Need/Opportunity -> Minimum Viable Product (MVP) –> User testing (customer validation) –> Refine MVP –> Keep testing to acquire evangelists (early adopters who love your produce/service and create “user buzz”) –> Investors show up when they hear “user buzz” (not vendor marketing hype) –> seed funding –> keep building fast before competitors pass you by. This process can be done in weeks, but can take over 12 months for more complex, scientifically-based systems.
I hear about Dresden incubators, but investors want to hear “user buzz” about hot Dresden startups. Are there any? Which ones are hot? Who are the smartest entrepreneurs in Dresden? What are they doing that is novel or interesting? Spend your time finding them. Many will be 19 to 30-year old college students dropping out to work on their interesting ideas. Also, laid-off corporate people trying to create something new. Develop a list of Hot Dresden Startups and write about them.How about posting these names and startups on a Hot Dresden Startups group on Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter? Everyone knows Germany has great engineers and wants to know about its great entrepreneurs.
“Market pull” startups funded by startups are better than “tech-push” startups funded by government (e.g. Skolkovo, Russia). Focus on building hot startups that solve big problems or needs. Don’t waste your time chasing government or VC funding. If the startup is hot, angel investors and VCs will show up. Example: Draper “found” the former Kazaam founders, who left the U.S. after their music piracy service was shut down by lawyers, in Luxembourg and Stockholm, then invested $2M into their new Skype service.
In summary, regions and startups should be focused on markets and customers, not government subsidies for technology development, which is very common in Europe. The best startups are very lean and capital efficient. Their lack of money forces them to work with customers early and provide real benefits to them. In the early stage, less is more. As the saying goes: “Money is a poor substitute for imagination.”
Ralf Lippold replies: Some names that come to mind are Wadim Sus Low Matthias Röder Matthias PinkertIan Whalen Rainer Wasserfuhr. Some startups worthwhile watching (locally and globally) based in Dresden areHeliatek GmbH Novaled Paulsberg. A former power plant as the platform for accelerated art, and technology startup creation in Dresden? Certainly, and information technology, and free Wifi could even more so accelerate it right here in the middle of town. cc Dirk Hilbert Bettina Bunge