Berlin startup Flowkey

Jonas Gössling (Co-Founder, CEO), Alexander Heesing (Co-Founder CFO), and Ahmed Hassan (Co-Founder, CTO) © Nils Lucas


The Future of Music Education

Founded in 2014
25 employees
Funding Bootstrapping

Millions of people dream of being able to play a musical instrument. At Flowkey, the goal is to develop products which will allow everyone to fulfill this dream. Flowkey was launched in early 2015 and quickly evolved into one of the most successful music education apps, serving more than one million users on iOS, Android, and desktop. Website

Interview with Flowkey

What inspired you to found your startup?

I am a piano player myself and always loved to make music. Whenever I played at a party there were lots of people coming to me and asking if I could show them how to play something quick and easy. I realised that most people have an inner desire to play music but there are too many hurdles to get started. So I decided to create products that would allow people to get into playing an instrument much simpler than before.

How do you define success for yourself and your company?

We define success by our ability to help as many people as possible to learn to play an instrument, while simultaneously creating a healthy, long-term and profitable business.

Is there anything you’d do differently if you could do it again?

Not much, really. In hindsight there are always things that you could have known or done better. But it doesn‘t really help to think in those terms. Mistakes are inevitable. You simply learn from your mistakes and move on to the future.

What problem does your product solve?

We are solving a problem for all the people that always wanted to be able to play an instrument. We make it fundamentally easier for them to reach their goal.

Where do you see your company in 1/5/10 years?

In one year, flowkey is among the top three music education apps worldwide, based on revenue / paying customers. In five years, flowkey is the leading solution for teaching yourself how to play musical instruments, based on revenue / paying customers. In 10 years, flowkey is the new standard way of how people learn and play music and is not only serving self-learnes, but also teachers and schools.

How are you different?

One thing where we are different from traditional tutorials is that we use a unique technology to track your learning progress and give you feedback during practice. We have also developed a unique interface that combines the two proven teaching methods of learning by reading music and learning by ear.

How often does your product/service show up in a user’s day or week?

Two to three times per week.

Impact: how are you doing good and building a better future?

We are bringing more music into the world and are helping people fulfil themselves.

How has the startup scene in Berlin changed?

There are more and more people thinking of original ideas rather than just copying proven business models. But still, there is a lot of room for improvement. Generally there are still too many founders trying to execute a proven and safe strategy, instead of inventing something new and change the status quo in a small or big way.

What are the pros and cons of launching your startup from Berlin?

Pros: Lots of talented people living here or wanting to move to Berlin
Cons: At the moment, skyrocketing costs for new office space.

Flowkey was featured in “The Hundert Vol. 10 – Startups of Berlin“, October 2017.

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Berlin nightlife is not restricted to only Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg. The Savignyplatz in the sophisiticated Charlottenburg is home to a variety of bars and restaurants that cater to every taste.

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