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Founded by Sebastian Klein, Artur Schreiber, Felix Lander
Founded in 2012
Exit in 2014
Located in Mannheim
All three founders are graduates of the University of Mannheim. MCEI provided consulting and an office during the starting phase.

Start Up Characteristics

SponsoRun is a mobile application that rewards sportive activity with exclusive vouchers. The goal of SponsoRun is to give people an extrinsic motivation to do sports while increasing the perceived value of distributed coupons through the required sportive effort. SponsoRun was established in August 2012 as the first product of the Whitebox Concepts GmbH founded in April 2012 by Artur Schreiber, Felix Lander, and Sebastian Klein.

As SponsoRun is supposed to be used as a professional running application, it does not only inform joggers about the distance they ran, but also average speed and calories burned. Hence, it contains all the important features of existing running apps while additionally creating a new incentive to work out: In order to motivate as many people as possible and achieve a long-term motivation, the app has a wide range of vouchers on offer, claims Sebastian Klein, one of the three founders and managing directors. The offer already ranges from fashion and catering to cinema. Free sushi at Sushi Circle, Antipasti at Vapiano, or a 10 percent discount at Runners Point - this is just a small selection of the many coupon ideas.  Companies that offer coupons in the app pay a provision for every mediated customer. Three business angels, who the three founders got to know at a business plan competition organized by the MCEI, financed the development of the app. 

Personal Background

The founding team consists of Artur Schreiber, Felix Lander and Sebastian Klein. All three are graduates of the University of Mannheim and established SponsoRun while working on their Master theses. The three founders took part in a business plan competition organized by the MCEI and got to know three business angels at this event, who financed the development of the app.

The Start Up moved from Mannheim to Berlin a few months ago and the three founders now work full-time on their Start-Up.

Business Development and Challenges

A great challenge for SponsoRun was to get partners while having no users or product. The founders designed a nice presentation and personally spoke to business owners about their idea to convince them to cooperate. Further, in the pre-seed phase, they had to master the challenging task of raising money and find developers to be able to actually start working on the product. Through the investment of the three Business Angels, SponsoRun was then able to concentrate on establishing a functioning product and proof their business model within Mannheim with no marketing budget. After successfully launching the app, SponsoRun had to raise more money and is currently improving their product and coupon offerings so that users enjoy the app. At the same time, the Start Up focuses on extending its user base to ensure that enough coupons get redeemed to satisfy their clients.

The founders’ goal is to establish SponsoRun as THE motivation tool for sports in Germany and crossborder. Within this process, the key challenge will be to acquire enough users to make the company profitable. According to Felix Lander, this is only possible with a strong network and frequent exchange with other entrepreneurs, investors, and creative student, which is encouraged by the new MCEI platform.

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  • University of Mannheim
  • Institut für Mittelstandsforschung
  • Gründerverbund
  • ESF
  • Europäische Union
  • Baden-Württemberg - Ministerium für Finanzen und Wirtschaft
  • Absolventum