© Holo-Light

Susanne Haspinger: “Shape Things From the Beginning”

Susanne Haspinger is co-founder of the AR startup Holo-Light. The physicist is the COO of the startup, which was founded in 2015 and offers corporate customers immersive technologies and real-time streaming of immersive content. An interview with the founder about doubts, motivation and priorities.

Munich Startup: What motivated you to found a company?

Susanne Haspinger: Founding Holo-Light wasn’t planned beforehand, but was rather a spontaneous idea in our group. We simply knew we needed to take on the topic of augmented and virtual reality. What was very important to me personally was to create something of my own and to shape a team and product from the beginning.

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

Susanne Haspinger: I didn’t have a specific role model and still don’t. Until we founded the company, I hardly had any contact with the startup world. Together with my co-founders, I just had the courage to take that step. But I do also try to learn from other female founders and male founders and to also share my experience.

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

Susanne Haspinger: I find inspiration in many places and in the most varied situations. Often when talking directly with my colleagues. But also after discussions, while walking or working in the garden, while sewing or just sitting in the car.

Staying calm

Munich Startup: What’s your biggest talent?

Susanne Haspinger: My biggest talent is staying calm. Even in stressful and chaotic situations, I remain cool-headed and can get the “chaos” coordinated.

Munich Startup: How do you deal with doubt?

Susanne Haspinger: I go through my doubts or thoughts item by item to see if they are justified or are just a bit of mind jogging. If I’m still in doubt after that, then I talk with my co-founders about it. But when it comes to the founding or success of Holo-Light, I never had any doubts.

No chance of having a “crisis-proof” job

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

Susanne Haspinger:

  1. That will never work. You’ll all end up heavily in debt.
  2. You’re wasting your chance at having a “crisis-proof” job at a large company.
  3. Founding a startup isn’t real work. All you do is play foosball all day.

Munich Startup: How do you set priorities? What are they?

Susanne Haspinger: We set priorities for the company as a team. This is where it’s important to keep track of things and to incorporate different perspectives. It also helps that we all have a very analytical approach and communicate with each other well. For my daily routine, I like to use to-do lists – my note-filled calendar is my loyal companion.

Susanne Haspinger: “There will always be challenges when building a startup”

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

Susanne Haspinger: If you have a good idea, it’s always a good time to start a company. There can and will always be challenges when founding and building a startup.

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

Susanne Haspinger: Definitely, we need more diversity to drive innovation and to also allow for and make use of different points of view.

Series B funding in progress

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

Susanne Haspinger: Preparation for our next round of funding. We’re working on our series B funding round at the moment to continue to build our team and grow further.

Munich Startup: What makes you happy?

Susanne Haspinger: The moments when my colleagues and I can spend free time together and laugh ourselves to tears. But of course also: sun, long road trips and a good book.