How to find a start-up idea

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If you’re a fan of “Höhle der Löwen” (Lion’s Den), you’ve probably thought about some of the start-ups: “Gosh, I could have come up with that idea too. And that’s right: there is still enough room for a new start-up idea. And those who set their radar accordingly will also find what they are looking for.

The search for a start-up idea can be exciting and tricky, because even though it is always said that the ideas are lying on the street – in the end it is not quite that simple. But there are different approaches that can help you find a suitable idea.
Here are our tips:

#1 Analyse your skills and interests

Think about what skills and interests you have and which of them could be turned into a business idea. There are many founders who have built their start-up idea on their strengths and passions and have become very successful with it. Because what you can do or what interests you also puts you in a motivated state in which it is easy for you to implement things.

#2 Identify issues and needs

You know the situation: in a certain situation, you realise that there is no satisfactory solution to a problem you are facing. Especially at a time when many good solutions are needed, the chances of building a successful business with an innovative start-up idea are really good. For example, in the area of climate protection. This means: Look for gaps in existing markets or for problems that have not yet been solved. Think about whether there is a way to meet these needs or solve these problems.

#3 Observe trends

The rule used to be: if it’s trendy in America at the moment, it won’t be here for at least five years. Of course, in today’s globally networked world, that is no longer the case. So take a look at what trends there are in your industry or in society. Here in Germany, but especially abroad. With a little intuition, you might even be able to spot a new technology or a new trend.

#4 Talk to others

This tip seems so simple, but it holds an enormous amount of potential. Because sometimes other people come up with ideas but don’t put them into practice. Or you develop an idea together in conversation. So talk to people in your network. Maybe they also have experience in starting a business and can give you valuable tips and insights that can help you find a start-up idea.

#5 Franchise or licensing opportunities

You don’t want to reinvent the wheel? Then franchising or licensing can be a good option for you. Especially if you are not yet sure what kind of business you want to start. These models often offer a proven business idea and start-up support. We will go into more detail in another article.


Whether start-up ideas are on the street or not depends on your view and your focus. Align yourself with this, become a kind of sniffer dog for good ideas and you will notice that suddenly something pops up here and there that might have potential for a start-up. Of course, not every idea is feasible. Sometimes the market is not ready or the implementation is simply not realistic due to a lack of resources. Nevertheless, we advise you to write everything down, to dedicate a page in a notebook to each idea. Many successful companies have already been created in this way. Because just as every journey begins with the first step, every company also begins with a small thought. Good luck!

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