Franziska Schmid Junge Tueftler

/04/

How to use
transparency and holacracy
to grow a team
& teach kids
to become tinkerers

with Franziska Schmid (from Junge Tüftler)

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In this episode, our guest is Franziska Schmid, the CEO and co-founder of Junge Tüftler and the Tüftel Akademie. With her companies, Franzi and her team have taught technology through events, workshops, and webinars to more than 25 000 kids and teenagers in Germany, who have learned that way how to become young tinkerers and inventors. Franzi is a friend of mine, and I was very excited to learn more about the successful growth of her company, but also because she has an inspiring vision of education, and how her company should be developed in all transparency through a new organisation culture called holacracy. I was very curious to learn how they both share the CEO role with her co-founder and how she quit her job to found her company while being pregnant. I was also very keen to learn more about how they used that holacracy system to develop the companies to more than 25 employees, providing full transparency to the salaries, and using that system to give ownership and power in the decision making to all employees. 

Together we discussed about:

  • the importance of educating people and kids on technology,
  • how she quit her job while being 5-month pregnant to co-found her company
  • how her mission helped them to attract developers who find a meaningful work at her company, even though they can’t afford to pay them as much as in the corporate world
  • how they are creative to find funding and support from third parties to be able to finance their projects and make them available for free to as many kids as possible
  • the importance of the state in the education system, and the possibility to involve companies to help finance this education system
  • the Open Badges system developed by Mozilla to show what people have learned 
  • how they set up their recruiting system to be able to hire the right people fitting to their company culture and that holacracy system
  • How to have an efficient but flexible system for the team schedule, as most of their employees work with flexible hours and part-time contracts 
  • Learning to let go as a CEO
  • Her learnings as a mother and entrepreneur
  • How they took advantage of covid to focus on their strategy and the accelerated digitalization of their company.
 

If you want to learn more about what flexibility and transparency might look like in the future of modern organizations, this episode is for you. 

 

The links to Franzi and her companies:

 

The resources mentioned in the episode:

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Our first guests

Why I (really) created this podcast

We are at a critical period for our planet and its inhabitants, and entrepreneurs and companies are going to play a massive influence on our future. 

As always, there are two sides who can pull us in opposite directions. 

On one side, there are entrepreneurs who chase and base their decisions on money, success, and fame. 

On the other side, I believe there are entrepreneurs who truly care about making a positive difference on this world. Money is a mean and not an end to these entrepreneurs: they care about their Mission First, and their goal is not fame nor a quick exit for the sake of it. I call them Entrepreneurs for Future

I want to do my best to support these Entrepreneurs for future. 

On one hand, I do that with my company GT Impact, with which I help mission-driven companies scale up with digital marketing and growth hacking. 

On the other hand, I wanted to start this podcast because I believe the best way to learn is by getting advice from those who have already done what we want to achieve

Finally, maybe a secret reason for me to create this podcast: because it is a real pleasure and inspiration to meet and learn from these entrepreneurs. 

I have indeed been an entrepreneur myself since I am a teenager, always launching projects based on my passions. 

Music, for example, has guided me through my whole life. At 20 I started a non-profit organization to run techno music festivals in Belgium, where I was djing myself, then a few years ago I co-founded my first startup in Berlin, a music tech startup called Feelthebeat (Soundbrenner now). Currently I still do music with my indie folk pop band Lapwings

Preserving nature and its wild animals have also always been one of my passions: I have been mesmerized by the beauty of the wild orang-utans I have followed in Sumatra, or by the wild dolphins I had the chance to swim with in the Golf of Mexico. 

As an entrepreneur, I have bigger plans for GT Impact than “just” making it a great digital marketing agency for mission-driven startups, and secretly, this podcast helps me to learn and prepare the future…but shhh, that will be for another episode 😉  

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