© Smartaxxess

Women in Tech: Ruth Schöllhammer from Smartaxxess

The Munich-based startup Smartaxxes offers founders planning security with its platform by providing a forecast of the business concept's probability of success and access to financing options and other partners. Founder Ruth Schöllhammer and her co-founders Kai Flehmig-Pichlmaier and Mark Tom Pösken simplify company management with a digital file that is seamlessly networked with business partners - all centrally available with just one login. We spoke to Ruth Schöllhammer about her motivation, her career path and tips for other founders.

Munich Startup: What career path have you taken so far?

Ruth Schöllhammer: I originally studied literature. After a successful career as a manager in a corporate group, I then worked as a consultant. When my children were out of the house, I decided to become an entrepreneur. I wanted to start my own business, take responsibility and create something that was both socially and economically sustainable. It was important to me to learn something new every day and to enjoy my work.

Munich Startup: What motivated you to found the company?

Ruth Schöllhammer: My motivation for founding the company came from my many years of experience as a manager in a corporate group and my time as a consultant. When my children were out of the house, it was the right time for me to realize my entrepreneurial vision. I wanted to shape things, take responsibility and create something sustainable and meaningful for society and the economy. It was important to me to keep learning and to enjoy my work.

Strong team and network

Munich Startup: What do you wish you had known before you founded your first company?

Ruth Schöllhammer: Looking back, I am grateful for the strong team and network that supported me right from the start. And I’m actually quite glad that I didn’t know exactly what to expect.

Munich Startup: How has your company been financed so far?

Ruth Schöllhammer: Our company has so far been 100% privately financed, mainly by family and friends. This decision has enabled us to maintain our independence and fully exploit our strengths.

“For me, the best ideas come from sharing”

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

Ruth Schöllhammer: For me, the best ideas come from a lively exchange with our customers, other founders, young companies, consultants and various partners. The diversity of perspectives and approaches regularly leads to innovative ideas and solutions.

Munich Startup: What are your 3 favorite work tools?

Ruth Schöllhammer: My preferred working tool is still paper and pencil for quick sketches and notes. Internally, we mainly use Microsoft and Monday for our projects and organization.

Munich Startup: Your top tip for pitching?

Ruth Schöllhammer: My top tip for pitching is to clearly explain to potential investors why an investment in your company is worthwhile and what benefits they can gain from it. Illustrate how you will use the investment profitably. And make it clear where the risks are. Investors appreciate transparency and don’t like surprises.

Ruth Schöllhammer: “It’s time to move away from old paradigms”

Munich Startup: Does it seem like a good time to start a company? Why?

Ruth Schöllhammer: Society and the economy are urgently looking for new solutions and innovative approaches. It’s time to move away from old paradigms and work on sustainability. The world is changing fast and it is changing fundamentally. So what are we waiting for?

Munich Startup: Which technology or industry would you focus on for your next startup?

Ruth Schöllhammer: I would choose SMEs again for my next startup. I would also focus again on topics that help founders and young companies to be successful.

Munich Startup: What do you think could be improved in Munich as a startup location?

Ruth Schöllhammer: The bureaucracy comes to mind and the speed of administrative decisions regarding funding applications, approvals of foreign employees and similar processes. In addition, real estate costs continue to be a challenge for startups and companies.

Munich Startup: Which founder would you like to meet in person? And what would you ask him or her?

Ruth Schöllhammer: I would like to meet Ingo Endemann, the founder of MyHammer, in person. I am interested in his path to a successful platform economy and what success factors he has defined. I would also like to know what advice he would give to prospective founders today.

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Helen Duran

Als Redakteurin ist die Wirtschaftsgeografin Helen Duran seit 2015 für Euch in der hiesigen Gründerszene unterwegs. Sie ist neugierig auf Eure spannenden Startup-Geschichten!

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