Estefania Hofmann is the founder and freshly appointed Managing Director of the start-up. She feels very comfortable in her new role. “The most satisfying feeling up to now was being able to inspire developers about the idea and then being able to recruit them. That was a special moment.” Founding a company comes with a lot of responsibility but also gives her a lot of freedom. “I come from a computer science background and find it exciting to work in the energy sector. We develop software or an IT product and in this respect we are no different than Netflix or Amazon. But we focus on energy-related themes and that means we have an indirect influence on the Energiewende and renewable energies. This sense of purpose gives me a huge amount of motivation.” Estefania Hofmann carries out these important tasks together with her team and co-founder Nico Bovelette.
As Head of EnBW Innovation, Jürgen Stein is proud of the freshly founded company: “It is fantastic when you can witness the process at first hand and accompany young people in the development of their idea.” As Fynn’s story and the creation of Switchboard and Google demonstrate, networks are fundamentally important for start-ups. Innovation is teamwork and Jürgen Stein knows why: “All new themes are extremely complex and no one can know everything. It is important to seek out the opinions of competent people at just the right time when you are trying to resolve a particular issue. This could be just a new idea, new impetus or more substantial support. It is simply impossible to do it all on your own.”
Alongside a network, it is also vital to find the right environment and have the right mindset. “To create something, you need a culture in which courage is embraced. A culture where things are allowed to go wrong although you have given everything, persevered and fought to the very end. And you need people who have the right knowledge and entrepreneurial skills. People who also sometimes work in gray zones but feel happy doing it,” Jürgen Stein adds.
He has one very important message: “Stay brave and don’t give up easily. Keep going even if things don’t work out immediately. Perseverance will pay off in the end.”