''It is the little decisions we make every single day that can have a huge impact on our future development''
Johanna is the Founder of KULTNOW- A Revolutionary New Social Impact App To Bridge The Gap Between Gen Z & Cultural Institutions, In A Digital & Dynamic Way That's Accessible To All. She has taken the challenge to answer our 20 Truth Questions, For us to get some insight, And learn the Truth about the people behind the venture.
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My TRUTH Story:
1. INTRODUCE YOURSELF IN THE THIRD PERSON TO A CROWD OF 10,000+ PEOPLE? Next on stage we'll meet a female entrepreneur from Germany, Johanna. When she was just 16 years old, She already thought about many possible startup ideas. Her idea at that time was to invent a hairbrush with an integrated dry shampoo component; Sadly she did not get an investment from her parents to make that idea a reality.
Today she is preparing her first big fundraising round for her company KultNow. With her KultNow team she is aiming to make cultural mediation in Germany more digitalized, democratic and dynamic.
The project already started in 2020 at the Zeppelin University, since that day her co-founder Hannah and her never stopped working on it. Today, they have an open beta tested MVP, first cultural institutions on board and first downloads. They are stepping into the cultural community in Berlin and aim to become the go to platform for cultural events in Germany!
2. WHAT IS YOUR DEFINITION OF A TRUTH FOUNDER? I have always been a curious person that loved to go out and discover new things. I love engaging myself, shaping our future and supporting amazing projects and people around me. Giving creative, value creating people a platform / community for mutual support is my true self.
For me a Truth Founder is someone who did not start a company to just be a founder, but someone who is willing to make a change and keeps positive social impact in mind.
Nowadays, we simply do not have the luxury to just found something without thinking about environmental, social, political or economic problems.
3. WHAT EVENT OR EVENTS HAPPENED TO YOU THAT INSPIRED YOU TO BECOME A FOUNDER?
The Start Summit in St. Gallen had a huge impact on my inspiration to become a founder. It is a massive gathering of startups and investors, all buzzing with futuristic ideas. People are sparking conversations, sharing their dreams, and what inspires them to change the world. Being there, you can't help but feel the excitement of this founding community. It is a place where innovation is in the air, and everyone is eager to collaborate and make a difference. It is not a conference, but a hub of creativity, a hub of dreams coming to life. It is the kind of event where I wanted to be, surrounded by passionate minds all fired up to turn their startup visions into reality.
4. WHAT IS YOUR MORNING ROUTINE & RITUAL? Honestly, my only morning ritual is the walk to my coffee machine first thing in the morning, Then I start working for the first hours. Early in the mornings I am the most productive, can focus the best and love quiet work. When I have more time, I start my day with a chill coffee on my couch and read the news so I don't forget what's happening around me.
5. WHAT MANTRA,QUOTE,LINE OR PHRASE DO YOU SAY OFTEN TO INSPIRE AND MOTIVATE YOURSELF? In the 2017 / 2018 school year, I spent a year abroad at Stonyhurst College in Clitheroe, England. I was 17 when I got to know new cultures, spoke a foreign language, experienced everyday life at boarding school and encountered the strict Jesuit tradition.
At Stonyhurst College, we live by the motto "quand je puis" ("as I can"). This still accompanies me today and motivates me to give my best, to develop my individual talents and to contribute to a community.
6. WHY DO YOU THINK PEOPLE SHOULD CARE ABOUT YOUR VENTURE? Firstly, the startup scene is big and constantly growing. Fintech, HealthTech and ClimateTech are the keywords for investors and get huge attention. For us, culture and the impact of culture on society and economy needs this attention as well. Germany has a cultural landscape that is highly exceptional. Sadly, over 70% of the German population never or just sometimes experience cultural events. The problem that needs to be tackled is the efficiency of cultural mediation. The offers are huge, but there is no clearly arranged platform, and the search is overwhelming. We offer the entire cultural journey from an inspiring, personalized, curated, AI-based feed and to the ticketing. To cultural institutions, especially small, financially and operationally weak ones, we offer a platform for self-representation. Thus, to make culture more accessible in our daily lives to support creativity, education, health and shared experiences.
7. WHY DO YOU THINK YOU ARE THE ONE TO MAKE YOUR VENTURE A SUCCESS?
It is not just me, it is our whole team that is motivated every single day to make our vision a success. KultNow plays the main role in my life and it has come a long way. We started working on our vision in 2021, developed a lot next to studying and have been bootstrapping everything until today.
With less than 2.000 Euros as a team, we arrived at the stage that we are at right now. This shows that we have huge amount of perseverance, belief and motivation. As a team are the perfect mix of youthfulness, cultural knowledge, and engagement, IT and management.
8. WHAT DOES SUCCESS LOOK LIKE FOR YOUR VENTURE? ( START WTIH: IMAGINE A WORLD... WHAT IF...WE WILL BE... )
First and foremost, success for me personally is about finding something that I love doing every single day. Where I can independently work on an idea that I strongly believe in and make a positive impact for society at the same time.
For my venture: I want people to love KultNow, to use our app whenever they look for cultural experiences. It is amazing to see and hear how many people ask for and admire a service like ours from both sides – cultural partners and users. I also strongly believe that cultural activity makes our society happier and supports us all in hard times.
9. ANSWER THESE AS MANY TIMES AS YOU LIKE - I BELIEVE... I DON'T BELIEVE... I believe that being at the right place at the right time has a huge impact in your own success story.
I do not believe that working on something as hard as you can will secure financial security.
I believe that the support of female entrepreneurship and the establishment of female networks are very important nowadays.
I do not believe that female led startups get enough financial support.
I believe that networking in the startup scene has a huge impact on your success.
I do not believe that you need to network every single day if your idea is great. You can also win without a network.
10. WHAT'S ONE DECISION YOU MADE AS A FOUNDER THAT COMPLETELY CHANGED THE COURSE OF YOUR JOURNEY? Last summer we made the decision to prepare for our fundraising round. This takes a huge amount of courage. We were focused first on being a non-profit organization at that point, but realized that we needed to turn it into a for profit business to be successful. At that time, I already had some knowledge in the fundraising space, which had a great impact on our decision. In general, It is the little decisions we make every single day that can have a huge impact on our future development.
11. WHAT DO YOU REGARD AS YOUR GREATEST SUCCESS PERSONALLY & AS A FOUNDER? My greatest success so far is that we developed something out of nothing and get invited to speak about our journey and experiences.
12. WHAT DO YOU LIKE MOST ABOUT YOURSELF AND WHY? My prudence and empathy, it helps me to stay calm and think optimistic in difficult situations.
13. WHAT'S ONE THING YOU CAN IMPROVE ABOUT YOURSELF, AND WHY DO YOU THINK YOU HAVE NOT DONE IT BY NOW?
One thing I want to improve about myself is not to think too much about every single step we take. We tend to think through every working step in detail which is somehow good because we want to be sure that it is the right way to go, but sometimes it can hold us back from just embracing our ideas and product.
I strongly believe that you need to go out and show what you have been working on in order to get feedback and improve.
14. WHAT'S THE BEST PIECE OF ADVICE YOU'VE EVER RECEIVED OR GIVEN, OR BOTH?
The most important thing is that when you see yourself in the mirror in the morning you can tell yourself, I love what I do and I do not care what others might think.
15. ON A SCALE FROM 1 TO 10 - 10 BEING THE BEST. HOW WELL DO YOU THINK YOU AND YOUR TRUTH STORY IS CLEARLY UNDERSTOOD BY YOUR COMMUNITY? ( WHY NOT 10? ) The problem that we solve is already known by most people that like to go out and experience new things. It is a big pain to find cultural events that you like and get all the information about it; And it is annoying to miss an event that you would have liked to go to – typical fomo (fear of missing out). Therefore, I guess that many people from our community understand our pain point and solution well, Because we've created a platform that can be used by everyone.
16. WHO DO YOU MOST ADMIRE AND WHY? What I really admire is watching high performance athletes, especially tennis players. The will, the strength and the motivation to stand on the tennis court every day, to train and to make the best of oneself is highly fascinating. The fight in the court, the mental strength required and the belief in your own skills to train incredibly hard; I think it is one of the biggest achievements in life.
17. DESCRIBE YOUR VENTURE - ELEVATOR PITCH STYLE?
KultNow is a digital platform that makes cultural education in Berlin easier and more dynamic.
We are making already existing cultural offerings in Berlin more accessible to the young target group, especially Generation Z. In doing so, we are convinced that the use of modern technologies and participatory approaches represents a significant enrichment for the cultural landscape.
We monetize through a personalized service fee for cultural venues and ticket sales, as well as a premium model for users. We are growing exponentially and organically and will have a revenue of over xx million in 5 years.
18. WHAT IS YOUR CURRENT MISSION STATEMENT OR MESSAGE + MARKET FIT FOR YOUR VENTURE?
Our mission is to be Germany's go-to platform for cultural gems, cherished by all generations.
We want to make enriching cultural adventures a part of everyday life. By curating the best highlights, we aim to create a place where people of all ages can easily find and enjoy cultural experiences that add a touch of magic to their day.
19. WHAT DO YOU LIKE TO DO TO UNWIND AFTER A LONG WORK DAY?
After a long day of work, I love winding down with techno cycling classes. There's something freeing about losing myself in the rhythm of the music, pedaling away as the stress of the day melts off. It's a chance to forget about everything else and just focus on the beat, the sweat, and the balance.
20. WHAT WAS THE LAST THING YOU TREATED YOURSELF TO AND WHAT DID YOU CELEBRATE? I took a trip to Rome with my best friends, to experience the city and the Italian flair and to just celebrate friendship and not think about work or our future too much, but to live in the moment.
BONUS QUESTION: WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO SAY TO ALL THE PEOPLE THAT ARE SUPPORTING YOU ON YOUR AMBITIOUS JOURNEY?
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