In conversation with Frederik Dürr
– The interview was conducted by Hanns Tappen
After the pitch is before the pitch. This, or similar, is how you can describe it in reference to sports competitions when you win as a startup at the StartupDorf Unicorn Pitch. After all, winning the series qualifies you to participate in the Unicorn Grand Prix next year. Today we want to take the opportunity to have a short interview with the winner of the March session. On March 3, Frederik Dürr, CMO of mySHOEFITTER was able to prevail against his competitors. At the end of the 90th Gründerstammtisch he was the winner of the Unicorn Pitch and took the Trophy from Düsseldorf to Hamm. Of course, the Gründerstammtisch (Founders’ Roundtable) took place online and therefore the pitches were also completed online. Once again, the audience decided, making the Unicorn Pitch a true audience award.
Hey Frederik, you participated in the StartupDorf Unicorn Pitch for your startup in March and won. Apparently not a bad advice from my side to participate in this pitch contest, right? How do you feel now after a couple of weeks?
Hey Hanns! Yes, I still totally exhausted from this epic battle... :)
Totally exhausted? But you don’t leave this impression on me right now! Joker 🙂 Please tell those who couldn’t witness your pitch in three or four sentences: Who are you and what do you do?
So: I'm Frederik, co-founder and CMO at mySHOEFITTER. My team and I are about to disruptively change the eCommerce market for shoes forever! In close cooperation with Fraunhofer FIT, we have developed a technology that allows us to measure feet with millimeter precision via smartphones and tablets - with the aim of ensuring that customers of online stores can always order the perfectly fitting shoes! So we have declared a battle against returns and the associated costs and environmental pollution, which we will win very soon!
Great theme and mission, which also convinced our audience. By winning the Unicorn in March you have qualified for the Unicorn Pitch Grand-Prix participation in February 2022. There is still a little time until then. Assuming it would already be February 2022, what news or success stories would you most like to include in the pitch?
As we are very close to going "live" with our MVP, the success news would then be next year: "mySHOEFITTER has proven that returns can be prevented in a simple way and, above all, reliably." / "mySHOEFITTER technology has matured to the point where the company can scale and internationalize!" / And most importantly, I would be happy to see "mySHOEFITTER has already prevented 1,000,000kg of CO2 emissions"! 🚀
Exciting. This development is certainly possible with your cooperation partner, Fraunhofer FIT. We’re keeping our fingers crossed. In February, it’s back to pitching in the competition. What do you think is important? In other words, what would be your tips for founders who have never pitched before – what should they pay attention to?
Don't bore the investor or audience with technical slides or statements about how great you are. Above all, you should tell a story and explain in figures what kind of impact your product has/has the potential to have.
I’m afraid I have to address the issue Covid-19. Online / offline, from your point of view, what has changed due to the pandemic in the startup ecosystem in which you are at home?
Actually, there hasn't been much of a change for us. We already worked a lot in the home office before and COVID has not affected us negatively in any way. On the contrary: thanks to COVID, eCommerce figures are increasing rapidly, which of course motivates us even more. But what really annoys us is that there are no more physical meetings at all. You stop meeting your partners, there are no more trade fairs and events for networking, and customer contact is exclusively online. We really miss the interpersonal aspect - and we're looking forward to hopefully meeting people offline again soon.
I certainly can agree with these points. Applies to so many of us. Let’s take this issue to the startup ecosystem. Have you seen any concrete impact of Covid-19 in the startup event landscape at pitch events, among others?
Of course, all the events are unfortunately only online. The problem is that apart from pitching, the whole shebang is missing: a real personal exchange is unfortunately somehow not really possible online or even the founder spirit is sometimes not really "transferred". That's why I think your events on MixUp.world are pretty cool, by the way, because it makes digital networking a little more fun again.
Thank you very much. Yes, we are also glad that our online events are a bit more fun than the usual streaming. MixUp.world offers a lot for our purposes – by the way they are a startup from Düsseldorf ;-). Which brings me to the last question. Your startup is based in Hamm, Westphalia. How do you perceive the Düsseldorf, respectively how do you perceive the startup ecosystem of our region from outside?
Living in Düsseldorf, I'm actually pretty close to all the action! What I definitely like is that the Rhine-Ruhr region is slowly turning into a real "Silicon NRW" with fantastic founders and ideas. The potential in our region is immense and I'm sure that the buzz is getting around pretty well at the moment.
I can confirm that – word gets around. The region is still one of the most exciting economic regions in Germany and is opening up more and more to the needs of start-ups – so it’s on the right track. However, there is still a lot to do.
Dear Frederik, thank you very much for the interview. We at StartupDorf wish you much success with mySHOEFITTER. We also look forward to seeing you again at the StartupDorf Unicorn Pitch Grand-Prix. We’ll be talking to each other a few times in the next few months in the context of the Gründerstipendium.
Would you like to participate in the StartupDorf Unicorn Pitch yourself?
You can find more information about the pitch and the application form via the following link. You can read more in the article “Everything you should know about the Unicorn Pitch“.
The next dates in 2021 are:
- July 7
- August 4
- November 3
- December 1