From TechTalents To Founders: This Young Startup Team Will Make You Smile. Literally.
Leon Joost and Vincent Schramke are used to being disciplined, setting realistic goals and exercising teamwork. So, the fact that they are now promising startup founders shouldn’t surprise anyone.
What’s less expected is that they’re 24 years old and determined to change the medical and dental customer service experience.
Their startup, Komparo Marketing, is essentially a digital marketing agency specializing in marketing services for clinics, dental and medical-related businesses.
In addition to offering multiple marketing services, they are building information and comparison platforms for medical and dental aesthetic services. In January 2021, the first platform, Veneer-vergleich.de, went live, with a focus on providers and services in the dental veneer sector.
In 2020, the overall market size in cosmetic dentistry hit an estimated 6.9 billion Euros and was expected to grow by 5 percent. From this, Leon and Vincent saw an opportunity: To help patients who struggle with finding transparent information within the medical aesthetic market.
The idea had potential. But their smart and pragmatic, team-centric approach to risk is what made the founders’ tale utterly unique.
Starting with TechTalents
“Only the market can validate your product and give you feedback,” Thomas Funke (former TQ Managing Director in one of the educational videos in week 2).
Everything started to fit in place after Leon’s participation in the second edition of TechTalents — a 2-month education program in entrepreneurship, created by Eintracht Frankfurt and TechQuartier. The program promotes a better understanding of technological developments and prepares participants for future work in various fields of tech.
During the program, Leon played for the winning team, sustainably21, and created a gamification app that helped users make eco-friendly choices for points, which were redeemed for sustainable products.
The team’s app had about 250 downloads after it was released on the Google Play Store.
“After TechTalents I was so pumped and so motivated. My team won with this great idea. It really helped me see that you can do lots and lots of things in eight weeks. You can create an app. It was really a push for me,” said Leon.
This experience solidified Leon’s desire to build something and to be a full-time entrepreneur. It is also what led him to Vincent, who was equally determined and ready to jump into the world of startups and work for yourself.
“Right from the beginning of my bachelor’s studies in business administration, I had a job as a working student in a small startup. What I really enjoyed was seeing all the facets, all the different perspectives of a company especially when you’re trying to grow it,” Vincent said, sharing experiences from his “Introduction into business” class.
“Building up something from scratch caught my interest. I’m really happy that I met up with Leon.”
Vincent and Leon met during their bachelor’s studies in Mannheim and joined forces last year to form Komparo Marketing. Both were looking to create something special, but for the idea to finally become a reality, the two had to work together.
“Eight weeks after TechTalents ended, we were at the notary services and founded the company. We were two individuals who were just so motivated, but needed someone else to also give 100 percent,” explained Leon.
Young and Motivated
“We aren’t going to lie and say entrepreneurship is easy.”
But what makes it easier for Leon and Vincent is their background in competitive sports and their age.
Leon was part of the German U23 national rowing team during his studies. His highlight was the U23 World Championships in 2017. Which according to Vincent, creates discipline and more of a teamwork mentality. This helps them through everyday challenges they face and towards a more effective workflow as a team.
“We are young, which is actually an advantage for us. We still have energy. We still want to change something. We still want to learn a lot,” said Vincent.
Leon also emphasizes that realism is also one of their advantages.
“I have the feeling that lots of founders, especially young founders, are so in love with their products that they are not able to see many things around them. They might be disappointed if certain results aren’t achieved quickly. Young founders think that people will love their ideas and after a few weeks they will bring in money and change the industry. If you’re not realistic about achievements, you might lose faith in your idea.”
He also gives credit to Vincent and his experience in scaling the last startup, his clarity when evaluating what is realistically attainable, what the timeframes are needed to reach certain goals and how long it will take before results are seen.
With around 3000€ of personal savings to invest, the two jumped into the world of dental and medical aesthetic services. Their platform, veneer-vergleich.de, compares prices on services, doctors, and locations for clients. Users can quickly look for all the information they need to make an informed decision on elective procedures.
The question — which niche should they compare first?
“Veneers was a shot in the dark,” said Vincent. Well, not really for these two. Their pragmatic curiosity to explore businesses that require patients to pay out-of-pocket medical and dental expenses brought them to veneers and vanity dentistry. Leon’s girlfriend is also studying to become a dentist and helps with the medical text found on the website.
Leon: “We figured out very quickly that the market opportunity is there. All the analyses showed that veneers are a good niche to tap into, so we didn’t need to investigate different niches to understand that this opportunity was something that we could capture.”
The use of the keyword “veneers” in online searches has grown 300 percent in the last five years, according to Leon.
Vincent finished his master’s degree in management with a specialization in Strategy & Entrepreneurship at the University Católica in Lisbon in late July, and Leon will return to university this fall to study Entrepreneurship at WHU- Otto Beisheim School of Management.
For now, the team’s office comprises of 3 hot desks inside TechQuartier’s coworking space. They have also increased staff by 33 percent by adding a new intern to their group.
“We know it’s a small thing that we are starting. For example, you want to be a basketball or soccer player, you know that you won’t make it into the big championships from the start, right? You have to start small with the easier things to do that give you the most benefit,” Vincent said.
Both also agree that they will stay entrepreneurs moving into their next ventures, but will keep their options open, as they look for their next niche in medical and dental aesthetic services and as they grow their business.
Get to know more about Leon Joost and Vincent Schramke in their interview at the First Startup Radio Show from Radio Frankfurt.
Learn more about our coworking options at TQ and work next to Komparo Marketing and fellow startups.
About the author: Alise Munson is the Manager of TechQuartier’s Marketing Team in Frankfurt and comes to us via the USA specifically Portland, Oregon. Her expertise centers around content creation and strategic branding, but her heart belongs to dogs, mountains and Laugenbrezeln