Edurino Founders: Counteracting Prejudice with Success

The Munich-based edtech company Edurino playfully introduces children to digital learning. The startup was just recently founded and has been financed by business angels so far. The founders Franziska Steiner and Irene Klemm met during their business administration studies and, after spending some time working in consulting, founded Edurino. We wanted to find out what motivates them.

Munich Startup: What motivated you to found Edurino?

Franziska Steiner: I’ve dreamt about starting a company some day for a long time, because entrepreneurship fascinates me. Education is a subject I’ve been deeply involved in since working as a mentor at the business@school initiative. I realized that to a certain extent, schools are at the same level of digital development as when I was in school and that Germany is seriously lagging behind in terms of digital education. After the global pandemic turned everything upside down, Irene and I decided to seize the opportunity and spring into action. That’s how we started Edurino.

Irene Klemm: Franziska summarized our core motivation – I think the path to entrepreneurship was inevitable for both of us. Since my time in school, I’ve been a tutor and worked as a volunteer for initiatives (most recently at Joblinge). Uniting that passion for education with the entrepreneurial spirit in Edurino motivates me every day.

Practical tips for the early phase

Munich Startup: Did you have role models when starting the company?

Irene Klemm: No direct role models, but certainly some people who inspired us. One person is Verena Pausder (founder of Fox & Sheep and HABA Digitalwerkstatt) – in my eyes, she is an extremely powerful woman with clear positions and goals. Another person is Melanie Perkins, founder of the online design platform Canva.

Franziska Steiner: My role models are my two grandmothers, who were very progressive thinkers for their time and took business risks. I’m also inspired by different founders, like Kati Ernst and Kristine Zeller, the founders of Ooia. They openly share their startup story and also give practical tips, which are particularly valuable in the early phase.

Munich Startup: When and where do you have the best ideas? 

Franziska Steiner: The most creative ideas emerge in rather unusual situations, like in the middle of the night or while exercising or climbing to the top of a mountain. The ideas then mature after some serious discussions with Irene. We’re both most productive when we brainstorm together and bounce ideas off each other.

Munich Startup: What’s your biggest talent?

Irene Klemm: A big talent of mine is my ability to get people excited. It makes me incredibly happy to get others excited about things with my enthusiasm.

Franziska from Edurino: “There’s always a bit of risk involved”

Munich Startup: How do you deal with doubt?

Franziska Steiner: There’s always going to be someone who doubts you or your idea. I personally specifically filter out which doubts I find justifiable and how I can eliminate doubts or at least mitigate them. But in the end, I always trust my instincts. After all: nothing ventured, nothing gained. There’s always a bit of risk involved.

Munich Startup: What are the three most offensive prejudices you’ve encountered while starting a company?

Irene Klemm: Thankfully until now, we’ve encountered very little prejudice. But we’re also aware of the fact that there’s a lot of prejudice out there. I think it would be fantastic if we as two female founders are able to quite naturally counteract gender-based prejudice with the success of our startup.

Munich Startup: Do you think now is a good time to start a company? Why?

Franziska Steiner: For our business model, right now is a very good time. The focus on digital education as a subject is increasing due to the global pandemic, and we’ve realized how pronounced the differences are in digital education compared to other countries. Personally, Irene and I are both happy that we have already gained professional experience. We feel ready to embark on the entrepreneurial journey together.

Munich Startup: Do you think it’s important for more women to start companies in Germany?

Irene Klemm: Absolutely, I have a very clear opinion about that. New, innovative companies shape our society and that makes it all the more important for diverse teams (and women) to shape business models. Don’t forget that we have more women in Germany than men. The logical consequence is that our future needs to be shaped just as much by women. But we certainly need more role models for that than we have at the moment. That makes it all the more important to increase the visibility of successful businesswomen, female politicians and other inspiring women.

“We need more role models”

Munich Startup: How do you support other female founders?

Franziska Steiner: We try to support other female founders on social media channels by not only sharing information about our product, but also about starting a company along with other practical tips that we wish we had been given. The most important aspect in the future, however, will be for female founders to have easier access to capital. That’s the only way things can really change. 

Munich Startup: What’s on top of your desk at the moment?

Franziska Steiner: At the moment, we’re knee-deep in the product development of our learning game, which promotes language development – as the stage before learning to read and write – in preschool. We’ve already developed the catalog of learning objectives in collaboration with teachers and speech therapists. Now we’re working closely with our game designer to create a game where children can experience exciting adventures together with the main character.

Munich Startup: What makes you happy?

Irene Klemm: There have been so many happy moments in our founding – what makes me particularly happy is the freedom and autonomy. Every morning, I wake up and know I get to follow my passion.