Munich Startup: Who are you and what does BWS Networking do? Please introduce yourselves!
Saina Bayatpour: With BWS Networking, we offer education, community, workshops and events for women – not only live in person, but also in compact form on our platform and in an app. We are a team of female founders with a wealth of business experience. Franzy Spöhrer (32) contributes her expertise in social economy and economics as well as HR, the food service industry and networking. And I, Saina Bayatpour (40), bring along my knowledge from market and advertising psychology and as the founder of a successful event agency.
How we found each other was a classic story through a LinkedIn job post. What united us was our common idea and vision. We quickly realized that we both work together and complement each other extremely well. Franzy is the more structured and level-headed one and I’m the more creative and impulsive one.
LinkedIn, Netflix and Eventbrite rolled into one
Munich Startup: What problem does your startup solve?
Saina Bayatpour: Offering women support, both in their private and professional lives, in any situation. We bring three levels together: Women, experts and partners. We promote the mutual exchange of information, and do so with our app 24/7. You could think of it as a network in your pocket. In the field education, experts exclusively share their knowledge and experience with our members and everyone can also meet up and talk in person at our events. We offer LinkedIn, Netflix and Eventbrite rolled into one. Not only for our own content, but in the future we will also include content from countless speakers and coaches, plus content from companies and platforms.
Munich Startup: But that’s nothing out of the box!
Saina Bayatpour: It’s true, there are countless women’s networks now. So what makes us different? We’re open to all women and offer a fully digital platform. There’s no admission process or differentiation made between positions or industries. That is also reflected by our membership fee. We deliberately set the price low so every woman can join. It’s also a great gift idea for a lot of women.
“Back to zero and reinvest everything”
Munich Startup: Was there a point when you nearly failed?
Saina Bayatpour: And then came corona! It was probably the same for many others. We were very focused on events, because it was always important to us to get to know each other as equals to create an authentic network. In March 2020, we were forced to rethink things. We went through every scenario: take a break, just keep going, quit completely or go back to zero and reinvest everything. We decided on the latter, which resulted in the ‘BWS Networking App’ and is something that we’re very proud of. Now our exciting task is to infuse this app with even more life. We’re grateful every day to have made that decision.
Munich Startup: Where would you like to be in one year, and where in five years?
Saina Bayatpour: Our goal is to reach 5,000 women in a year with our BWS Networking App. In five years, we should have 50,000 women on board. Because we also have a non-profit aim, we want to have built our first children’s homes in five years with our membership fees. In these homes, we want to take in orphaned children up to the age of 18 so they can grow up in a family environment that also reflects the values of the Women’s Society. Our motto is: So future generations can have a loving upbringing.
BWS Networking wants to take a risk – and succeed!
Munich Startup: What do you think about Munich as a startup location?
Saina Bayatpour: Munich is said to be one of the new startup hotspots. We unfortunately didn’t notice that very much for quite some time.
In our view, many factors play a role: A lack of transparency at certain points of contact, how difficult it is to have an overview of everything that’s offered, not having time to find out more as a startup. But once you’re in and have found the right contacts, you receive support and input at every turn. It’s like a big community.
Munich Startup: Risk or security?
Saina Bayatpour: For our network from an entrepreneurial point of view: risk! Nothing ventured, nothing gained. And you make the most exciting connections.