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Co-Creator, New World Fellowships Foundation
Secretary General, EU-ARCTIC-Forum
Nina Del Marr & Steffen Weber showed up digitally for this year’s preschool from Berlin where the couple lives. With a long and full CV, they are now ready to collaborate on a joint project they have long wanted to start. The New World Fellowship’s Foundation is an organization that will bring together influential thought leaders across industries. Del Marr also had a separate desire to build on a project she previously worked on in San Francisco: Circle. A science and goal-based program delivered in small circles of people with a focus on creating an environment that feels safe, which she believes is the biggest factor in highly effective partners. Del Marr focuses primarily on introducing this tech-supported program to businesses. Hoping for guidance and more insight into the start-up environment, they prepared for packed days led by Startup Migrants. After their participation, Haboon Hashi sat down with the couple in a café in Berlin to talk about their experiences and thoughts.
What motivated you to apply for the entrepreneurship school?
Nina: We were already working on our independent projects, I with Cirkel and Steffen with a leadership program.
The New World Fellowship’s Foundation was originally Weber’s project, which they later incorporated Circle and several plans into. Nina: I was attracted to the fast-paced startup structure and thought we could gain more insight and see what Startup Migrants had to share. The diversity that Startup Migrants focuses on was also attractive.
What were their expectations in advance?
Nina: I was curious about how they would structure it online, but I was mostly curious to learn more.
Weber has an interesting CV with, among other things, a long period as founder and general secretary of the EU Arctic Forum. A two-day gathering of top leaders, scientists and diplomats to discuss Arctic policy, including the climate crisis.
When asked if they always knew they wanted to be entrepreneurs, the otherwise close-knit couple’s answers differ.
Nina: No, I fell more into it. It felt more necessary to achieve my goals rather than entrepreneurship itself being a goal.
Steffen: Yes, I wanted to create the tools and the freedom to achieve my goals, so entrepreneurship felt like a natural way to go.
What does the road ahead look like for you?
Nina: Right now we are getting ready for prototyping, building a program and testing it out. we are also in the process of applying for scholarships etc. in order to continue building.
Nina pauses a bit and tells about the networking they had the opportunity to do during preschool: We have also started working with two people we met during preschool where one of them now works with us full time, so we also expand the team somewhat and look forward to to work on it.
Do you have any advice for future entrepreneurs who may be in doubt or afraid?
First, Del Mar answers and says that she thinks that enter is the type of person who becomes an entrepreneur, or you are not, but says it somewhat hesitantly before Weber breaks in and proclaims that it is a typical American way of thinking. He says instead:
Steffen: become aware of yourself and what ‘your thing’ is, then invest time and energy in it. I also advised you to invest time in getting to know relevant people in the industry you want to enter. Lastly, I would say, test your ideas and receive feedback early in the start-up phase.
When it’s Nina’s turn to answer, she pauses for a moment to think, and answers:
Nina: do not focus too much on the label ‘entrepreneur’. Rather focus on your goals and if you end up becoming an entrepreneur, great! She adds that she thinks there is a lot of focus on the label entrepreneur versus doing what you actually care about and rather leave the labels.