A lot has happened recently. At the end of April we've finished our physics diplomas. Also, we've already worked the first week at our startup. The first lesson learned: Don't work on weekends. You really need to regenerate after work. :)
And finally, we're already running on seed funding with really cool terms. We're three guys and we can use up to €94000 ($135000) within one year. That's a pretty huge pile of seed money. Additionally, we get a large room for free:
As you can see in the second image, we did some complicated math today. :) I'm still not sure if our solutions are correct... Anyway, our room looks a lot like a class room. We still need to make it nice and get a comfy couch and a bookshelf. The room itself belongs to the GO-E-LAB (page in German) which is some kind of incubator sponsored by a local university - the PFH in Göttingen, Germany. It's really great to get supported like that.
There are also two other startups on our floor, so we're not too lonely over here. The other (software) startups consist of only business guys who have outsourced or remote developers. In contrast, our team consists of only developers (who are in fact physicists :) who additionally take care of non-development tasks. Maybe we can complement each other with our very different perspectives.
So, we get lots of money and a free room in an incubator (everything limited for one year). That sounds like a pretty nice deal. Now, how much of our company did we have to give away? Not much: 0%. Yes, nothing! :) Where's the catch? The goal of the funding is to support us in writing a business plan, so at the end of the one-year funding phase all we have to do is present a business plan (based on one year of customer development). Two times during the funding phase we have to present our status and we have to take part in a few educational courses. That's pretty much all.
How can you get this funding? Obviously, this isn't VC or angel funding. After all, which business would give money away like that? :) This type of funding is offered by the German government and the European Union. Here in Germany it's called EXIST Gründerstipendium. Other countries in the EU might have something similar. Only teams of no more than three people can apply and the majority of the team must have at least a master's degree or a diploma. The rest of the team should have a bachelor's degree. That's why we've been so unresponsive recently. We had to finish our studies very quickly. :)
In the early startup phase it's better to listen than talk, so I don't yet want to write about our idea in detail. Instead, we have to get out to people (mostly in the software space) and learn how they currently represent, iterate, and communicate their ideas. However, before we talk to people we want to implement some basic infrastructure, so we won't waste too much time after those discussions.
From now on, we'll start posting more regularly on this blog. We'll try to share what we learn and also how we work at our startup. Relevant development-related topics will also be posted on our development blog.