Photo: Oh Circle

Growing a Successful Following – Crowdfunding Tips From Oh Circle

More than 11,000 euros were raised on Startnext last year for Munich’s first zero waste café. A location has also been found for the project since then and Oh Circle will now call the Olympic Village its home. We learn more from Katharina Freundorfer in our interview about how she experienced crowdfunding, along with some helpful tips.

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?

Katharina Freundorfer: Market validation was the main focus for us as was finding and motivating the crowd. Crowdfunding was a great marketing campaign for spreading the news about our idea in Munich, finding support and gathering votes.

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

Katharina Freundorfer: The consulting from Startnext on crowdfunding campaigns was super. They had an “ask anything” session every week, where you could do just that. For example: what’s the best time to start the campaign, what can still be modified up to the end and what can’t, what criteria determine whether you show up on the “recommended projects” page. They also have lots of materials, workshops, videos and PPTs that explain how to create a campaign and describe what should be kept in mind for the video.

Learning from crowdfunding failures

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

Katharina Freundorfer: I would think about whether my product is suitable for a crowdfunding campaign or if it’s more of a B2B product. You’re not as likely to reach corporate customers through a crowdfunding campaign. You can also look at similar campaigns for inspiration (in other cities or with a similar product or service). What I also found helpful was going to meetups where crowdfunding failures were discussed. And I also collected information from people who had already completed a crowdfunding campaign.

Munich Startup: What was the biggest challenge during the campaign?

Katharina Freundorfer: A major challenge was determining the day to start the campaign, because I went on a scavenger hunt through Munich and the weather needed to be good. It was also fascinating to see how people responded to a zero waste concept during corona. Another interesting aspect was being pleased with my own video, because it was difficult for me to see myself objectively. Yet another challenge during the campaign was regularly writing to all social media contacts so they would repost us and advertise, and trying to keep track of it all.

A loyal following for the grand opening

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?

Katharina Freundorfer: The positive feedback from so many supporters was super, some of which I also have on video for social media. Some people even immediately bought a reward using their phones. It was exciting to be in such direct contact and to see that our idea was met with such approval. Moreover, the pressure was helpful for getting things done, for writing to all of our contacts, creating a press release and systematically using the time to reach our goal.

Munich Startup: What lasting impact has come from the campaign? And what’s next for you?

Katharina Freundorfer: We’ve grown a following that faithfully keeps up with and supports our grand opening. There were also some customers here for our soft opening to use their coupons and they’ve kept up to date on our renovation work. With the money from the campaign, we were able to raise the deposit for our shop and it confirmed that the idea will work.

Click here for more information and tips on crowdfunding.