photo: Florian Runtsch

Beachdome: “The Most Important Thing Is Trust”

Florian Runtsch may not have founded a startup directly. But his successful crowdfunding project, which brought in more than 40,000 euros, makes him a role model for many other founders and he has plenty of tips to share. We spoke with the Beachdome founder who, thanks to crowdfunding, will soon be providing a warm place for the Munich beach sport community to practice during the cold months once again.

Munich Startup: How did you prepare for the Beachdome campaign and where did you find good support?

Florian Runtsch, Beachdome: Every crowdfunding campaign is distinct in its own way. General tips and help pages help get things started, but are certainly not the answer to everything. In the end, you should really take a look at successful projects that are as similar to yours as possible so you can learn from them and use them as a source of inspiration. That is definitely what helped us the most with Beachdome.

Munich Startup: In many crowdfunding campaigns, the focus is not only on financing, but also on market validation or marketing. How was it for you?

Florian Runtsch: For us it was also a combination of the two. It was the predominantly the product or service that we were offering. And that of course generated revenue that couldn’t be invested 100%. But that also gave us super feedback about the demand and the needs of potential customers. Part of what we received was also donations for Beachdome and compensatory measures without direct costs.

“Muster up the courage”

Munich Startup: What was the most useful tip you received while preparing your campaign?

Florian Runtsch: Muster up the courage and bug absolutely everyone with your project using all channels and contacts that you have. Don’t be shy about also getting your private contacts involved! These are the people who trust you in the end and will support you the most. It might be a bit awkward in the beginning, but you quickly get used to it and you’ll notice that you get more positive feedback than expected.

Munich Startup: What recommendation do you have for other founders who are thinking about starting a crowdfunding campaign?

Florian Runtsch: Start creating your community early on. Take them along with you on your startup journey, let them become part of the project long before you want money from them. For me, that was about one year before the campaign.  It fosters their trust in you and the project. The most important thing you need for your campaign is, aside from the actual product, for the crowd to trust you on a personal level. That’s something you should be aware of in everything you do for the campaign.

Munich Startup: How did you benefit from the crowdfunding support from the City of Munich?

Florian Runtsch: Without the funding, we wouldn’t have been able to make such a great campaign video. Something like that quickly adds up to 3000 to 5000 euros. Depending on the funding goal, that can account for a considerable amount of the costs, and that is often just too expensive.

Munich Startup: What about the campaign makes you particularly proud? What insights did you gain during the campaign? What surprised you in positive – or negative – ways?

Florian Runtsch: You often read about potential funding contributions of around one euro per lead. Based on that equation, we would have needed 40,000 leads, which definitely wasn’t the case. And with a regional project with a niche target group, that would have also been very difficult. We had pledges of up to several thousand euros in the program, which allowed us to generate a tremendous sum with relatively few funders. That also highlighted the demand and demonstrated that every campaign is distinct in its own way and that it’s difficult to make blanket statements about how a campaign will go.

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