Bastian Unterberg a sports accelerator IeAD mentor

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What are the chances that a mid-twenties university student in their final term at university founds a successful tech company? Not that great. They’re probably pretty uneducated about what they’re getting themselves into. It is common wisdom that learnings generated from failure are those that stick the hardest – and I can only second that.

You start off merely with a network, without money, without entrepreneurial or operational experience, without access to the market, without any idea about your customers. And yet you are convinced that you are sitting on a revolution which just has to be launched to change the world. Good luck with avoiding frustration. But you keep on going and things get better, eventually …  at least until the next big challenge rocks you down.

IeAD mentor Bastian Unterberg

Starting a company is easy, building one is a tough beast. So apart from dealing with frustration and getting up over and over again, there is one ingredient that truly makes a difference: a rare breed of people who understand what you are trying to accomplish and who also have the guts to offer tough love.

At some point you realize that the high price you paid for tough lessons can be scaled down if you share your learnings with others who have just started up or are about to. Knowing how to appreciate tough love helps you to provide it to others who face questions to which you have found answers.  

This is why I happily volunteer to support founders throughout various accelerator programs despite a mostly stretched schedule. Working with first-time founders, reflecting and realizing what I myself have been through, helps to keep on going. Not always, but most of the time.

IeAD mentor Bastian Unterberg

I am happy to have just joined another accelerator program which was created by friends and some of the smartest people I know, the leAD Accelerator – legacy of Adi Dassler.  It’s a seed accelerator for innovative products, services, and business models in or related to sports.

The first badge starts in September and will run for three months during which 15 startups will be mentored and 10 finalists will compete to identify one winner.

If you know a great startup or founder in this space, refer them to ttp://

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Bastian Unterberg

Bastian founded jovoto in 2007 to establish a more open, social, and collaborative workplace for creative talent as many of today's work environments do not match the DNA of the next generations of talent.