VC Photo & Talk:

Five questions to mentor Marianne Stemann Andersen

Marianne Stemann Andersen

Marianne Stemann Andersen is a Postdoctoral researcher at KU’s Biotech Research and Innovation Centre (BRIC). She participated in Venture Cup’s Idea Competition in 2013 and the National Startup Competition in the Health-category. Now, she is part of our network as a mentor in Startup Mentors. We’re are very thankful for having Marianne in our network, and we’ve asked her five questions that you can use as inspiration:

1: What are your goals and mission?

“This is a very broad question, but in relation to Venture Cup I aim to learn a bit more about the competence starting point of the very early entrepreneurs in Denmark and help with feedback on strategy, concept clarification and potentially help connecting to relevant people in my network.”

2: What keeps you motivated to achieve your goals?

“I am motivated by the projects and people surrounding me. I consciously strive for being part of teams that I believe are likely to 1) leave better options for patients and society in the long run, 2) significantly impact my learning breadth and depth and 3) inspire me. I periodically revise my own path and performance, checking that my ambitions are aligned with how I use my time – both in my personal and professional life. In general, clear goals boost my self-drive, my ability to be creative and dedicated in order to achieving them. Sometimes I succeed :-)”

3: What is the best startup event/program/accelerator/conference you have ever been to and why? 

“I am very curious by nature, and back in my bachelor years as a student at Cambridge University I crashed a tech-conference called CUTEC without really knowing what it was all about. That opened up a world to me that I was not at all familiar with – tech-innovation and entrepreneurship. I was surprised about how advanced and futuristic their inventions were and how “mature” the student’s where when it came to starting their own ventures. I met some very bright and fun people from a range of disciplines that I have enjoyed keeping in contact with ever since. Catching up with old and new friends is simply the fun route to insight and inspiration that is relevant – immediately or eventually.”

4: What are the best startup advice(s) you have received or given others?

“Preparation is everything. Spend a lot of time on figuring out how exactly your product will address the unmet need for the patient/user you are targeting. Avoid wishful thinking about the value you/your product will add, so don’t assume – find out! Reach out for feedback early on and make sure you deeply understand the perspective and priorities of the decision maker(s) that are supposed to buy or implement your product. Consider if people with similar products have failed in the past and figure out why.”

5: What are the best startup movies/books/role models you can recommend to others? 

“Keep an eye on the work coming out of IDEO, a Stanford-derived consultancy that work in a radical different way on providing innovative solutions to unmet needs in a range of industries. Their approach to innovation very much starts from the user’s perspective. I highly recommend to read or listen to some of the recent work by their founder, David Kelley who prior to IDEO worked together with Steve Jobs to invent the Apple mouse.”

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