15 questions to ...
15 Questions to …is a new interview series dedicated to spotlighting women in entrepreneurship. Women entrepreneurs question the status quo and lead change. They push boundaries and leave their marks on all aspects of (entrepreneurial) life. As such, they are strong role models who inspire and empower future generations of women and deserve to be seen and heard. We see women entrepreneurs in all areas of our community and want to make sure they are recognised far beyond the RWTH Aachen University ecosystem.
Therefore, we are leaving the stage to hear what they have to say. The format is simple: 15 questions, 15 answers – and lots of (un)learning throughout. Our guests: women entrepreneurs with that special can-do and will-do attitude. The stage is yours!
Sina Mertens is one of the founders of bottom-up.city, a young start-up team that creates technology for data mining and crowdsourcing of geosocial data. With this new data source, the team conducts analyses of ecosystems and forecasting of geospatial development processes, and thus provides customers with ready-to-use devices to communicate and make better spatial decisions. The start-up is currently participating in the Fall Batch 2022 of the RWTH Incubation Program to network, grow and raise funding. Here, Sina shares some entrepreneurial insights with us.
1) 1. Why our idea is going to change the world?
We're trying to unlock the transformative potential of spatial decision makers by supporting them through gathering first-hand data about cities communities, businesses and grassroots organisations committed to creating new knowledge, tools and approaches that can contribute to inclusive and thriving futures in cities.
2) Did I choose it or did it choose me?
A little of both. I was finishing my Master's Degree when I met Andreas, who had the initial idea and was directly on board, because I just couldn't imagine anything more exciting than beginning my career by starting a business doing what I love: Coding!
3) Biggest challenge on my entrepreneurial journey so far:
Trusting myself and my abilities to find a solution to every problem we encounter.
4) Lessons I have learned as founder:
A good lean team is everything.
5) We financed ourselves...
through funding programs like Gründerstipendium.NRW, followed by the Start-up Transfer.NRW fund, which gave us the possibility to spend months focusing on research and development before having to worry about earning money.
6) 5 years from now we will …
have established our geospatial analytics solution worldwide, helping stakeholders to make smarter decisions for future challenges as they shape the cities of the future.
7) If I weren’t a founder, I would be …
A spatial planner dreaming of being more independent in the work I do
8) What do I need to be a successful entrepreneur?
The will to work hard for the best solution, not necessarily the solution you had in mind originally
9) RWTH Innovation helped us with …
We just started at RWTH Innovation two weeks ago, so we will see. But I'm very excited to be on board!
10) Is there anything more that could be done for entrepreneurs in Aachen?
That is yet to be seen! :)
11) 3 reasons to become an entrepreneur:
The opportunity to follow your passion and keep learning every day and enhance your skills
You can shape your life how you see fit
To make meaning, to create a product you believe in and make the world a better place.
12) To me being an entrepreneur means …
It is hard work but with that effort comes the ability to shape your life how you see fit.
13) My favourite digital tool:
14) We are inspired by/our role model is …
Anna Kopp, IT Director Microsoft Germany
15) Our advice to women who aspire to be entrepreneurs:
Find a network to learn and gain as much knowledge. Seek out people that are smarter than you in areas of skills you do not have, they will make you soar.