Partnering with The Family to educate Europe’s young founders
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Partnering with The Family to educate Europe’s young founders

The Europe startup scene is a melting pot of talent, with many founders and entrepreneurs launching their first company before they’ve even graduated from University.

For Parisian startup educators The Family, learning doesn’t stop after graduation. Their mission is to educate founders and connect them with the right sort of investors. Over the last five years they’ve successfully supported more than 500 startups, which have raised €500M+ collectively.

Launching on October 20th in Berlin, Start Crew is The Family’s latest empowerment initiative. It will bring together 20 of Europe’s top young entrepreneurs for a weekend of workshops and one-to-one mentoring with some of Europe’s most experienced entrepreneurs and operators.

Since we also value early-stage founders and want to help them get their ideas off the ground, Samsung NEXT saw the event as a great opportunity to partner up, share our expertise, and support the unicorns of tomorrow.

Samsung NEXT Europe’s Ricardo Mendez and Jakob Fricke will join mentors from companies like Zalando, ResearchGate, and Dropbox to share their tech and business development expertise over the course of the weekend.

Mendes, who is CTO Samsung NEXT Europe, commented on the partnership: “Europe is in an unique position of combining different cultures and perspectives, with great access to capital and a working social support network. This provides a great platform for startups to propel themselves from, and I’m happy to see more teams taking advantage of it.”

To learn more, we asked The Family’s Lou LeMaistre for a little more information about what founders can expect from the bootcamp.

We’re excited to be partnered with you on this event… But before that, could you share a little bit about The Family and the work you’ve done around Europe to date?

The Family was born five years ago in Paris with the idea that a great entrepreneur can come from anywhere. Today we empower ambitious founders wherever they may be in Europe with education, services, and access to capital. We’ve supported 500+ startups over the years, 200+ of which are still active today. They raised over €500M collectively so far from top-tier VCs. And we never stop to share our knowledge and vision for Europe, through our YouTube channel startupfood (which has gathered +5M views), hundreds of Medium articles, and 300+ events with amazing speakers!

What was the idea behind Start Crew? What are you hoping to accomplish with this program?

When you’re young, you have this particular advantage of having more free time and fewer constraint to test your ideas. Some of our best startups at The Family were started by founders right out of school, as did Facebook, Snap, Dropbox etc. But you can’t learn to build startups from a textbook, it has to be experienced and confronted to first-hand knowledge. We think entrepreneurship is best learned when you’re surrounded by people with the right mindset and the same drive. That’s what Start Crew is about: facilitating shared learning and friendships amongst young founders and top startup people, by spending a weekend together!

You have locations in both Paris and London, why did you choose your Berlin location as the home of Start Crew?

When I landed in Berlin, I was struck by how open the ecosystem is here. You can really come from anywhere and feel welcome and legitimate. At the same time, the city is host to world-class people who are eager to give back. This gave me the idea to leverage the local know-how and make it accessible to founders across Europe. For our first event in May, we had 18 teams made up of 9 different nationalities!

Who should apply, and what are you looking for in applicants?

Start Crew is for university students and recent graduates who have launched a startup. We’re accepting broadly early-stage projects, from MVP through to seed round. More than ideas, we’re interested in the people behind them. The weekend is first and foremost a learning experience that is as rich as you make it. So if you’re an avid learner with fresh energy we want to hear from you 😉

What can participants expect to gain from taking part in the bootcamp?

First let’s be clear, this isn’t a conference or pitch competition. Startups follow a mix of workshops and office hours with top-notch entrepreneurs and operators coming from the likes of Zalando, Deliveroo, Dropbox, and N26. The support is truly hands-on and customised to fit a team’s current areas of focus, whether it be to improve their UX, boost their growth, scale their operations etc. It’s an intense weekend to experience high-level ambition, get honest feedback, and form new friendships.

This sounds like a pretty ambitious program, but how do you plan to support founders once the weekend is over?

The idea is to develop a community that grows in value and shares the same culture. For sure, we’ll stay in touch beyond the weekend and plan regular reunions. The Family and Samsung NEXT are providing a platform for meaningful connections between top experts and ambitious young people. We trust that the founders will know how to use it best!

Could you benefit from joining Start Crew or know someone who would? Applications are open now until the 9th October.

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