Rike Brand is multifaceted. She’s an ethnologist and has a Master’s degree in Public Policy — and is quite multifaceted in many other ways: She was first a cofounder of the Munich wave energy startup SINN Power. Then she founded the water gun startup Spyra with two other partners. She’s done a lot of bootstrapping and also prepared for the current crowdfunding campaign. Find out what else Rike Brand is up to in our interview.
What motivated you to found a company?
The potential the idea had to offer! I was so on board with it from the very beginning that I just had to turn it into reality. It would have simply been a waste not to try.
Did you have role models when starting the company?
I worked along side Philipp Sinn, the founder of SINN Power, as a cofounder in the first few years. What impresses me about Philipp is that he never loses confidence, even during the inevitably difficult stages of establishing a company. That makes him not only an enormous source of motivation for his team, but he also safely navigated his startup through several storms.
When and where do you have the best ideas?
While reading. The subject doesn’t matter — somehow there is always this film playing in parallel that’s full of associations, and I think: Hey, that could be useful for the project I’m working on right now!
“Panic-resistant and not being too worried about failing”
What’s your biggest talent?
I’m relatively panic-resistant and am not too worried about failing. I’m convinced that things will somehow keep going.
What’s the biggest mistake you’ve ever made?
I used to think I knew exactly what I wanted to achieve. But things were different as soon as I had supposedly “made it.” Now I scrutinize myself and what motivates me more often and more critically.
Secret weapon: A water gun
What’s your secret networking weapon?
Having a water gun in my hand. Then you always have something to talk about.
Do you think it’s important for more women to start companies in Germany?
Every good idea deserves to be turned into reality, whether it’s a woman’s or a man’s. But in general, the founder scene could benefit a lot from a bit more diversity.
What are the three most offensive prejudices you’ve encountered in everyday startup life?
I can’t think of anything at the moment that was not actually true. 😉
What’s on top of your desk at the moment?
My smartphone. It’s really important to me to keep in constant contact with Spyra’s growing water gun community on Facebook, Instagram and our website and to personally answer every question and comment as quickly as possible.
Where’s your next vacation destination?
The Slovenian mountains — but only after our Kickstarter campaign in July. Then I’ll leave my phone at home.