Stefan Pinggera is an Austrian entrepreneur and a co-founder at Austrian-Swiss startup CheckYeti, the online platform to easily search, compare, book and review great ski instructors, ski schools, mountain and ski guides across the Alps. In today's interview for Magazine MN Stefan talks about his experience as an entrepreneur, activity at CheckYeti and gives valuable bits of advice for startup founders.
MagazineMN: Previously you worked in a more corporate environment. Why did you decide to become an entrepreneur?
Stefan: We had an idea that, as we felt, would be very exciting to work on, so we started to plan and write a concept. When the right time came, we quit our jobs and dived into it.
Magazine MN: What is your definition of success?
Stefan: Success is about reaching your goals, and being happy and passionate about what you do along the way.
Magazine MN: What is the best business advice you have ever received?
Stefan: Money follows passion.
Magazine MN: How do you keep yourself motivated in difficult situations?
Stefan: We are a great team, so usually we get together and discuss the issue. As a result, the most difficult situations look much simpler.
Magazine MN: Earlier this year you co-founded a startup called CheckYeti. Tell us more about it.
Stefan: Looking for a ski instructor is still quite a tedious process. That’s why we decided to create a dedicated online platform for researching, comparing and booking winter sports activities across the Alps. Our mission is to help winter sports enthusiasts find the best instructor or guide for their perfect holiday experience - wherever they go, whatever snow sport they are passionate about.
Magazine MN: How did you come up with the idea of creating CheckYeti?
Stefan: It originated from a personal experience when i was looking for a ski guide for friends that visited Austria. It took me ages to find a guy. And when i finally found one, he turned out to be not that great as we expected.
Watch the video.
Magazine MN: Although CheckYeti was initially self-funded, you decided to seek outside capital. CheckYeti was excited to announce news about raising money from a seed fund LAUNCHub. What lessons have you learned in the fundraising process? What, in your opinion, is the most important thing every entrepreneur should consider before raising capital for a startup?
Stefan: We were lucky with LAUNCHub - they are great guys to work with. One of the key lessons for me was to rank personal fit much higher on the priority list when looking for potential investors. You will have to work with them very closely. In the end, what really matters is whether you are able to get along with each other. If you can't work together, then even all the money in the world won't help.
In my opinion, one of the most important things to consider is the time aspect – choose the right moment to invest time and energy in fundraising. I think most people underestimate the amount of attention it takes away from the core business, especially in small startups.
Magazine MN: As a startup co-founder, what is your favorite productivity hack?
Stefan: Fresh mountain air and strong coffee.
Magazine MN: What advice would you give to the first-time startup founder?
Stefan: Invest a lot of time in putting together a really good team.
CheckYeti website: http://www.checkyeti.com/
Stefan Pinggera was interviewed by Natalie Myhalnytska
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