Our cooperation with ETH Entrepreneur Club continues. Their semester’s Kick-off event started with an essential message for any future entrepreneur: Go out there and talk to your customers. Even if your product is still “ugly” or even if you don’t have a complete prototype yet you should try to understand your potential customers’ needs.
Felix Mayer, Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Sensirion, told us the story of his company which came to be a leading manufacturer of sensor solutions today. We started developing the technology here at the ETH, Mayer says. “If you start a company at ETH, usually you are technology driven and you don’t have a very good idea about the market.”
Mayer outlined the next important steps entrepreneurs need to have in mind when they start their company. There is a long path after you get your technology to work at ETH. Usually things take two times longer than you planned, Mayer revealed. And building a new market takes a lot of time, as does developing your sales organization. The next step is to find funding. “You need to have a big advantage and not simply a small reduction of the costs”, Mayer explained.
And don’t copy! You need to find the right timing. „If you copy from someone else, you’re going to be number two“. And finally, what is the biggest mistake of an entrepreneur? “We have a company culture where mistakes are allowed. Important is that you learn from them and you usually have a second chance,” answered Mayer to a question from the audience.