Start-up: Franziska Pohlmann - Cave of the Lionesses

2021-04-12 The 35-year-old director and composer already founded her first film production company during her studies at Leuphana, produced a feature film shortly afterwards and later directed for renowned institutions such as KIKA or SZ-Magazin, among others. In her new project "createF", she will accompany female founders and investors for an empowerment series. The Leuphana Gründungsservice is also on board.

 Franziska Pohlmann ©Radek Wegrzyn
Leuphana-Alumna Franziska Pohlmann already founded for the first time during her studies. In her new project "createF", she will accompany female founders and investors for an empowerment series.

When Franziska Pohlmann founded her first company, she was just in her early 20s and in the middle of her studies. More than ten business angels supported her in successfully bringing the Lüneburg fairy tale "Die Krone von Arkus" to over 50 cinemas throughout Germany with the young film production company. One thing in particular has stayed in her memory: Hardly any of the business angels in her first company were female. "Just 16 per cent of start-ups are led by women and only 37 per cent of start-ups are started by women. In Germany, there is a lack of role models in this area on both sides - as founders and investors," says the Hamburg native. With her new start-up, Franziska Pohlmann wants to contribute to change: "We advise and accompany ten female founders on their way. In addition, we coach three female investors in our format and embark on the path for more financial literacy together with the audience," explains the filmmaker. The "Female Founders Show" should get as much coverage as possible: "Whether TV, online or a cross-media broadcast makes the most sense is constantly developing in the process." Franziska Pohlmann's company createF focuses on empowerment and looks behind the facades of the founding processes and financing methods: "We don't just want to show pitching to investors, but accompany the entire founding process and explain how to invest in start-ups."

At the moment, the createF founder and her team are in the middle of planning, sitting on the phone or answering countless emails. She is supported by Leuphana's start-up service, among others: "We are in close contact and exchange. For me, Leuphana has one of the strongest networks." A good ten years ago, the filmmaker graduated from the University of Lüneburg with a degree in cultural studies, specialising in music and cultural organisation. "I learned to approach things professionally and implement ideas during my studies. During my project work at university, I got to know many student start-ups, was able to exchange ideas and was inspired. I have always found open doors at Leuphana - even today. The university leaves a lot of room for creation," says Franziska Pohlmann. An important contact for createF was established through the start-up service - the sustainable label "entire stories", which is also supported by Leuphana, is providing the equipment for the programme.

Franziska Pohlmann is financing the production of the start-up programme via the crowdfunding platform Startnext, among others. "There have already been talks with TV stations and streaming services. The response from great entrepreneurs like Verena Pausder, Fynn Kliemann and Jakob Bernd has been enormous. Through the form of crowdfunding, especially in the initial phase, we remain independent for the time being and have more freedom in the overall design." Franziska Pohlmann is also supported by a start-up grant from the N-Bank. The programme will not only focus on women, diversity in general plays a major role: "Age, experience and gender are the decisive diversity characteristics: We want to ensure more visibility for female founders between 15 and 70, demonstrate different perspectives on scalable ideas and show that Germany is a country of female inventors," says the filmmaker.

The 35-year-old can already look back on a successful career: as a director, Franziska Pohlmann has realised formats such as KIKA's "Schloss Einstein", the Metropolis-nominated cinema debut "Die Krone von Arkus" or also Part IV of the adaptation of the NSU trial with SZ-Magazin. She is currently composing the film music for the cinema documentary "Miss Holocaust Survivor". With the Babelsberg Film Orchestra, she has recorded the soundtrack to various film projects of her own.