The fourth Startup Essential Workshop by venturelab was presented by Christian Schaub (Chairman of the board, CEO and co-founder Redbiotech), who focused on specifying how important it is to know who your customers are. He also suggested to move the business close to your customers.


Christian Schaub (l.) and Philip Hassler welcoming the participants.

The workshop continued with people attending having time to profile their client (Who buys your product? What are your customers’ needs? Etc.) with the help of Christian Schaub and Philip Hassler (Project manager at venturelab). Check out our report from last term.

The event then digressed over an interesting series of questions about IP and how to best protect your ideas. Christian’s argument is that there are two main ways to protect yourself: either you tell nobody about anything you discover, or you do the exact opposite by filing a patent application. But this second way takes time and isn’t even sure to succeed: “for every patent you file, at first you are pushed back. They want you to argument why they should accept your patent”.


Christian Schaub talks with young entrepreneurs. He hasn’t forgot, that he started once like them a few years ago.

Then Christian made an interesting point about competitors: he asked the audience to imagine being the owner of a ski resort and list some competitors. Some names of famous ski resorts came out until someone said “New York”. Christian at first made a joke about it but then said how that was indeed correct and pointed out how, often, one tends to underestimate the competition: “Any company taking away business from you, directly or indirectly, is competition.”

„Give it a price tag!“
For the last part of the event, Christian focused on the selling of a product or startup. He insisted on how important it is to know the value of your product. “If you want to sell a product, give it a price tag!”. So when it comes to making a deal it is important to set a high enough price but to make the buyer think he is making a bargain! Christian then explained to the audience how he managed the sale of his company to Pfizer and how he was able to re-equilibrate the power ratio between the large american corporation and the small little “Schlieren-based” startup. He ended the workshop by emphasizing the importance of trust between people: “Build trust. And do that permanently.”


20151020_192753_2_ssThe Startup Essentials are a great format for young and ambitious entrepreneurs. Loads of success have already participants from the last semester course like Clara Beck from TapTools, Tauras Sinkevicius from WedMap or Raphael Gindrat from BestMile.

Register here for the next free workshops with Jan Bomholt, CEO of as well as the Venture Capitalist Alexander Stoeckel from BrainsToVentures AG or Karim Maizar from Kellerhals Carrard in the coming weeks at ETH Zürich .

A report by ETH Entrepreneur Club.