Startup Coaching and Lean Coaching by BrainHive North Consulting

Unlike the Business Coach or Finance Coach or Success Coach, the Start-Up Coach’s role lies exactly in the middle between material and human knowledge, and must therefore know both sides very well. While on the one hand things like financial planning, review of pitch documentation and an understanding of brand, team and vision are among the basic requirements for successful startup coaching, lean coaching, pitching coaching or startup mentoring activities, the founder coach often also needs to understand the character of the founder and build it psychologically.

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Topics such as communication skills, presentation skills, leadership or a confident demeanor are crucial to the success of the founder both in the financing phase and later on. In this capacity, the founder coach is rather a motivation and interview coach and he sometimes has to even respond to certain distortions in perception of the founder, even and especially in cases of serious subconscious issues within a budding entrepreneur (for example, problems with eye contact, social anxiety) or stability of his voice (possibly energy / speech training work necessary). In these moments, start-up coaching can become very psychological, and lean more into the realm of life coaching.

In the following lines, we will discuss the content, benefits, and process of start-up coaching and the related costs at BrainHive Coaching to give budding entrepreneurs a good idea of why startup coaching can be a thoroughly rewarding investment in many different ways. We also discuss cooperation with the Lean Coach as well as a presentation of the professionalism of BrainHive Coaching in the area of Start-Up Coaching. The purpose of this article is to outline as good as possible the ideal preparation for the founder who is looking to use startup mentoring, or those who generally seek to learn about all important founder issues from an experienced startup coach prior to opening their SME or freelance enterprise.

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The Startup Coach as a Mentor: Advantages of Startup Coaching

In fact, the founder coaching client can test many of the success factors of founding with an experienced pitching coach. A truly professional Founder Coach will audit / inspect all sorts of business documents as well as help improve the founder’s story and resume. They will ensure that there are no gaps in the documentation (for example, a missing pitch deck or sufficiently good e-mail templates for investor communications) and will see to it that the founder can present his elevator pitch verbally as confidently as possible. It may even be that the pitching coach needs to improve the formal wardrobe of the founder or give general conversation and structure training, to create a sufficiently loud, calm and uniform voice convinces and enlightens when talking with investors.

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Also, one of the absolute benefits of involving an outstanding Startup Coach is the often impressive variety of knowledge that only the best Startup Coaches can provide. Often these star coaches also bring in their own network (including business angels, multipliers and influencers) as well as very specialized knowledge of industries, technology and organizational tools. The perfect Startup Coach is both business consultant, as well as futurologist, philanthropist, sustainability enthusiast, target group expert (sociologist), marketing psychologist, communication professional. They will also have practical experience in offices, think tanks, factories and knowledge about the people and events in the targeted regions concerned.

Additionally, the coaching client will be connected with a BrainHive Lean Coach, who can combine many years of experience as well as relative youth in his person. Many competent start-up and pitching coaches in Germany and around the world today are already getting old and while they understand a part of their material extremely well, they do not have the same relation to future topics and digital megatrends. However, these are often the ones that can strategically secure both the survival of a new foundation and its exponential rise with a special chance of success.

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As well as these benefits, a particularly notable advantage is of course the significantly reduced risks in founding when an experienced startup coach is used in the company’s development. During each phase of the foundation, default risks are addressed through process document audits, market risks are monitored by monitoring product development and the product market match, and financial risks are taken into account by constantly looking at the figures. A seasoned Founder Coach points early to an existing competition and encourages the founder(s) to share ideas in many different ways for validation.

Also, the Lean Coach has particular expertise in Lean Startup and will usually be involved to ensure that the overhead costs, hiring, and start-up aspects associated with the choice of location and office space are considered with particular care. This ensures the company’s resilience through the various rounds of investment or building in a specific industry as a small / medium sized business with specific profitability and size targets.


Startup Mentoring Cost: Cost of Founder Coaching

While many different startup coaching offerings are now funded by the state, there are also numerous offers, due to either the bureaucratic requirements for startup coaching itself (content, frequency, officially approved teaching material and exercises, etc.) as well as the startup coach (certain locations, certain Legal forms, expensive / protracted certifications, etc.) that are not promoted but nevertheless of high value for the client.

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Since we at BrainHive Coaching, for reasons of international tax optimization with irregular locations of our administrations, technology-agile strategies (usually acting by telephone, not physically present) and customer and partner side are more international than national subsidy interests allow, for years we have established referral partnerships within the funding landscape and otherwise to turn our coaching offers into transparent and fair priced private service packages. These lean coaching packages serve the founders as an ideal compilation of individual performance modules that ensures perfect progress in the various stages of the foundation.


Telephone Coaching6h8h16h30h
Video Coaching / Screen Sharing1h2h6h12h
View / Edit DocumentationUp to 8 pagesUp to 16 pagesUp to 40 pagesUp to 80 pages
Recommendations Reporting2 reportsUp to 4 reportsUp to 6 reportsUp to 12 reports
Period1 month2-4 months4-6 months8-12 months


Industry Briefingshort auditUp to 3 competitorsUp to 5 competitors
Strategy Papers / Analysis A paper, 2-3 pages OR2-3 papers, 6-10 pages total4-5 papers, 15-20 pages total
Brand Design Coaching / Story Design etc.1h2h8h12h
Suitable forPre-startup phase, trial coachingStartups in the start-up phase (0-12 months)Startups in the growth phase (year 2-5)Startups in expansion or from 1 Mio. Euro total capital
Total Price2,500 €5,000 €11,000 €22,000 €
Min. Monthly price2,500 €1,250 €1,833.33 €1,833.33 €
Corresponds to total man-days * 2.5 man-days 5 man-days14 man-days30 man-days
Price* / man-day1,000 €1,000 €785.71 €733.33 €

* = Use licenses for all templates as well as additional documentation / tutorials are included in the price.


Otherwise, the Founder Coach usually tends to fall into one of the lower categories with his daily rate, looking at general business coaches, business consultants, and mentoring consultants. If it is not anyway a pro bono startup mentoring assignment, you will often see comparatively low daily rates of around 500 to 600 € as a rule. However, it is unusual that a start-up coach accepts a founder as a client whose coaching contract is worth a total of less than € 5,000, be it paid privately or through the state.

In Germany, about half of all coaching used is funded in one way or another. There are also private, semi-public and public group offerings where the founder’s price per single course or week events ends is in the low to mid three digit range. Individual founding topics are also offered by agencies such as the Chamber of Commerce, S.C.O.R.E. or similar bodies. Due to the high subsidy share of these startup group coachings, their cost is often under $200US.

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At BrainHive Coaching we try to provide training material through our libraries and through our techniques to achieve the highest possible level of efficiency, which is somewhat decoupled from the daily rate or hourly rate of the actual start-up coach. It depends on the achievement of the goal, not so much on the personally invested time (as other coaching approach like, for example, the success coaching). Since we are very careful that as many founders as possible can afford access to our services and attach great importance to the service of the founder and society as a whole from our overall corporate vision, we have paid special attention to staggered pricing in our packages. While the offers are almost at the beginning still accessible and useful for anyone who has even a reasonably concrete intention to found, the higher priced packages are above all affordable and effective for those founders who already have an ongoing operation or are about to go into the hot phase of their business startup.


Pitching Coach vs. Lean Coach vs. Regular Founder Coach: The Process of Founder Coaching

While the above table of benefits already provides a good idea of which analytical stations and executive work to go through in each step of the founder’s mentoring, it probably makes sense to focus a bit more on the actual communication and work with the startup coach. Unlike many other business coaches (eg.Executive coaching or financial coaching), where the program is often executed relatively rigidly, the founder coaching is also characterized by the different methodology in the startup area.

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As a result, pitching coaching and lean coaching in particular can have a much more dynamic character. The visualization, planning, and modeling process, as well as the actual start-up process itself, must be constantly adaptable to reflect the right mindset for more likely survival and faster growth in an over-accelerated market environment. If the startup coach makes the mistake and, for example, hastily recommends the market launch of a product or an advertising campaign for day X, the resulting financial consulting chaos can be enormous. Especially as a lean coach, it is the task of constantly questioning the product design and the consideration of the target customer.

If in doubt, the startup mentor will then always have to insist on validation, with a single survey or interview series with target customers often leading to completely new conclusions and completely new ideas, which in turn need to be analyzed with previously unexamined tools. Such and similar incidents belong to the rule and not to the exception of professional start-up coaching and therefore make accurate descriptions of a given procedure to an idle exercise with (hopefully) low statement content.

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Perhaps it makes more sense to understand the process of founder coaching, if one looks at the various preconditions and needs for the practical implementation of the theoretical coaching progress and the final realization of coaching success. With the logical understanding of what the startup coach needs to know and what he needs to work through with the coaching client, the interested founder may be able to get a better picture of what really matters in the selection of the general startup coach, and more specifically, the Lean Coach, Pitching Coaches or Business Plan Coaches.


Founder coaching briefing: During the briefing, the founder coach creates a holistic view of the current status and intentions of the founder. He will usually spend at least a week or two, during which time he will do his own research and analysis, returning questions to the founder.

Founder coaching phase: As soon as the startup coach has completed his own preparatory work, this gives the starting signal for the actual work phase. During this phase, there are many exercises and homework for the founder, and the coach is usually involved in creating accompanying presentation, planning, and process documentation on template submission, viewing completed (typically note-filled) founding exercises, and submission helpful by recommendations, but does not engage in the event itself.
It is important in the working phase for the founder to remember: the coaching can be likened to the team coach in sport. The coach does not play with the players in the field. If founders wish to perform additional services from BrainHive Consulting or BrainHive Marketing during this preparation and collection phase, these are separate, separate performance components from Startup Mentoring, which we are happy to discuss in each case.

Founder Coaching Completion / Renovation Phase: Each package at BrainHive Coaching is set up in a specific start-up phase, with the last package being a basically open, non-termination, and endlessly refurbishing performance plan, but also following a cycle because it helps to increase efficiency and transparency. The constant reorientation of the startup coaching belongs as already described at the beginning to the fixed part of our approach. In the final phase, an inventory is made of the progress made and reports are produced, which also contain recommendations.

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Depending on how the time budget of the startup coach is distributed during the ongoing coaching route on the various work, the report can be either more extensive and enriched, for example, with additional valuable analytical evaluations, or culminates only in a sober overview with notes on the next steps, the framework of future founders mentoring and coaching can then be pursued further.

It is important in building the process of founder coaching and the often easily quite emotive meeting between founder and coach, that the coach is not ignorant to the humanity of the founder. Sometimes it can be important to simply hold an open discussion on the phone or, based on certain points of frustration, to respond compassionately to tormenting uncertainties and typical founding woes. If in a rigid structure of startup coaching there is not enough room for the human component, it must be assumed that either the founder coach will make a mistake, or in fact the client has a degree of psychic consolidation and character robust enough that he already has the almost robotic competence necessary to avoid such woes. Exceptions confirm the rule, and we at BrainHive Coaching have had a lot of experience with all the founder typologies and know what each type of founder needs to get ahead the fastest.


The Ideal Founder Coaching of BrainHive Coaching

You should perhaps seek a Founder Mentor through us if you have a particularly complex startup topic, as we have an extensive view, through all of our experience as well as the exoticism of the projects we receive (also due to our reputation in the impact sphere) to provide a large range of services. Also, due to the emotional intelligence that prevails our Chief Startup Coach Joachim Görbert, as well as on an organizational level in our lean, pitching and coaching practicse, founders can be sure that they are in good hands with us. If the founder is very close to the cash register and wants to make use of subsidies, we also have good access to funding and grants through our network partners, all of whom are seasoned and proven start-up helpers and / or startup coaches.

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As a personal mission, to provide an almost limitless and selfless service to the founder in self-observation, it is in the conclusion a special stress value that we would like to attract especially young and technology-affine founders as clients. If the founders also consider the urgently necessary dimension of sustainability, either on a social, technological, ecological or spiritual level, we are happy to talk with them and can also extend their initial preliminary discussion in terms of time.

We understand that by augmenting certain knowledge, it will also be possible to increase resources at the local, regional, and perhaps even global level, and what this means for the opportunities, security and opportunities of generations. The future wants to belong to those who see the chance of a better future for all of us. Making our intention every day, that it is this kind of future that we wish to manifest together, is what our BrainHive Coaching organization stands for, and every single consulting product we offer. It is precisely in the field of start-up coaching that we live up to this claim, and so we are particularly pleased to encourage you to make your inquiry and to see for yourself with what motivation and professionalism we are prepared to perform for you.


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