Philipp Kramer is a German founder living in Lisbon. He co-founded wryte, a time-saving and productivity-enhancing ecosystem for schools. He’s also a Shareholder and Advisor at circular logistics, a sustainable logistic system for bicycle manufacturers and retailers, enabling cost-efficient logistics and reducing CO2 emissions by 80%. Find out which advice for founders he shared with us, what’s the difference between the sectors he works in, and how the ecosystem in Lisbon differs from the one in Bavaria.
1. Hi Philipp. Thank you for agreeing to do the interview. Could you please tell us about your background and connection to the startup world?
I studied and lived in Munich for most of my life. At the end of my bachelor’s degree, a friend and I decided to start something from scratch rather than starting to work for a company. That’s when our team was created.
Even though we had a team, we still needed an idea. My Co-Founder is an Electrical Engineer, and I come from a communication background. So we’re very opposite in our skills, but we’re very similar in our mindset. Having a team and complementary skills made us confident to join the startup world.
2. You co-founded wryte, a time-saving and productivity-enhancing ecosystem for schools. Tell us about this journey.
Matthias, my Co-Founder, ran his own tutoring company, tutoring in total over 1000 students in 13 years. He detected the intense problems of the development from analog to digital working. The fundamental problem was that students lived in digital chaos. We thought technology should bring great solutions, so we started wryte, a note-taking app that can clear this digital chaos.
We needed someone who would develop the MVP for us. After a very short time, the founder of a successful German IT company called adesso became very interested in the idea. We got a very professional small team with much knowledge to create an MVP, launched the product in the app store, and started fundraising.
With time, we shifted the product from a tool focused on students to one focused on teachers and schools. Then we got more users and a big deal with a local government in Germany. Eventually, we got into Techstars and went to Tel Aviv for three months. This experience shook us to the core. It was one of the best experiences I’ve had.
3. Now you’re a Shareholder and Advisor at circular logistics, a sustainable logistic system for bicycle manufacturers and retailers, enabling cost-efficient logistics and reducing CO2 emissions by 80%. How did that happen? As an advisor, which tips for founders would you share with our readers?
My Co-Founder and I got connected to the founders at circular logistics, and they were interested in getting help from people that already went through the founding process. It’s a proper impact project, reducing CO2 emissions by 80%, so we wanted to participate.
Considering our founding journey and being an advisor at circular logistics, I would say the most important lessons I learned are that the team is vital – my Co-Founder and I first found each other, and then we found the idea; and that the earlier you invest in actual market research, the better. You must know which pain you are solving and who will pay for it. A typical founder mistake is not doing enough market research. Find out if this is a problem that people need you to solve and whether they would pay for it. I suggest reading “The Mom Test,” a quick, practical book that will save you time and money.
4. So you’re currently working in both EdTech and Logistics & Warehousing. Could you compare these two sectors?
Selling education technology can be difficult. In our case, we’re selling to local governments and schools, not companies or private people. The decision cycles are long, and they’re dependent on many factors. Compared to warehousing & logistics, it is way harder to sell because it’s very hard to make results measurable.
In Logistics & Warehousing, measurability is much less complicated. We know we reduce CO2 emissions by 80% and how long it takes until we reach 40% or 60%. We even reduce waste production by 99%. In any case, making results measurable is the key for people to buy your product or for angels to invest in your startup. Keep in mind that transparency matters a lot.
5. You’re from Bavaria but based in Lisbon. Could you tell us about the difference between these two startup ecosystems?
Munich is a super tech bubble. Brilliant people come to study at the technical university there, and massive companies have come out of this bubble in the past few years.
On the other hand, people come to Lisbon to enjoy life. Of course, to work as well, but it’s pretty different than the ecosystem in Bavaria.
In my experience, Germany is conservative and has long cycles. If you need a grant from the government, there are great programs, but they take a lot of time to get. Meanwhile, the tech incentives in Portugal are very attractive, so if you’re thinking about founding a startup, even remotely, Portugal will make that process easy and comfortable. They’re doing everything possible to make the country interesting for foreigners and grow the economy.
Thanks a lot for sharing your story and insights, Philipp. We wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors.
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