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Sissel Hansen | Founder of Startup Guide: „Dreams are just a hard work life away!“


Sissel Hansen, born in Denmark, is the founder of the Startup Guide, a book that guides through the startup ecosystem of the cities Berlin, Aarhus and Copenhagen. But that's just the start. There are much more cities to cover and Sissel is strongly willing to go more international. But first the 2nd version of the successful Startup Guide Berlin is coming out on 5th February 2016. So two days before the launch, Sissel took some time to write a piece about her start. Get inspired by a woman, who didn't take her missing college degree and her young age as a show-stopper. That's her story:

It’s funny how hard it can be to talk about yourself, when no topic has been given to you. Especially when your “self” has been through a huge development during the past 2 years and is still very much in process.

Directing the voice of this article made me reflect upon the many facets of Sissel: Should I talk about the struggles of being an entrepreneur with no college degree, about the adversities of being a female in a still very male world, about how dreams are just a very hard work life away to come true or simply about someone who is still on a beautiful learning journey?!

"Dreams are just a very hard work life away to come true."

Sometimes it all can start with a “you are not good enough”. That’s how Startup Guide Project was born.

How everything started with the Startup Guide

I moved to Berlin for its world of possibilities, freshness and hands-on spirit. I knew that here was “the” place where whatever you wanted to create was just waiting to be done. I soon found out that getting to know the possibilities and vibrancy were not the only elements involved, when you want to build something, and that you need to understand a specific ecosystem to do so.

Collecting all this information myself took more than I’ve ever expected, and ended up consuming a lot of energy that I could have spent on building my own company – or so I thought. But then I saw an opportunity and found a common need of many other foreigners, who come to Berlin to start their own business.

I worked for a short time with someone who shared the interest of the startup scene here. But soon in that process my work maturity was questioned based on my non-existing college diploma and young age. That frustrating breaking moment was the best thing that could ever have happened to me.

"My working maturity was questioned based on my non-existing college diploma and young age."

One year later we have mapped 3 cities and have another 3 coming up in 2016.

I’ll not bother you with details of the struggle and hard work, but all of that was very much part of the process. I was lucky to find team members who believed in this project as much as me, and that gave all their heart to make it happen.

Today I’m happy we’ve already created some sort of impact, that this has project inspired and empowered others to make their projects come true.

Now I work every day to never forget why I’ve started this – which was to help others, and it is with that in mind, that I will develop and push forward Startup Guide to the World.

Artikelfoto: Foto Credit to Peter Bjerke

Also read the article of Louise Pri, who is the project manager of Berlin Startup Guide Vol. 2:

​Startup Guide Berlin Vol.2 - Taken aback by the infamous entrepreneurial spirit in Berlin

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