Startup Notes

Startup Notes

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Startup Notes is the hub for unique entrepreneurial insights. Every two weeks, we publish a podcast interview with an accomplished founder or venture capitalist from Europe. We talk about all things startup-related – from identifying an opportunity, finding investors, to growing and scaling a company from three people to an international operation with hundreds of employees.
Daniel Krauss on building FlixBus and the key to outpacing your competition
Dec 12 • 29 min
Daniel Krauss is Co-Founder & CIO of FlixBus, which is one of Europes’s biggest recent startup success stories. After starting operations in 2013, FlixBus has quickly established itself as Europe’s largest intercity bus network provider that offers an…
Teaser: Daniel Krauss on building FlixBus and the key to outpacing your competition
Dec 5 • 1 min
Daniel Krauss is Co-Founder & CIO of Flixbus, which is one of Europes’s biggest recent success startup stories. After starting operations in 2013, Flixbus has quickly established itself as Europe’s largest intercity bus network provider that offers an…
Sophie Chung on why Germany is behind in digital health
Nov 29 • 34 min
Dr. Sophie Chung is Founder & CEO of Qunomedical, a digital health platform that provides its clients access to affordable high-quality healthcare worldwide. With Qunomedical, patients can e.g. find information about procedures, doctors, hospitals,…
Jörg Rheinboldt on how to pick winners
Nov 14 • 37 min
Jörg Rheinboldt is a legendary serial tech entrepreneur and investor that has played an integral part in setting up and financing some of Germany’s most successful online companies, such as Alando.de (which was acquired by eBay only six months after…
From Scratch 06 | Florian Heinemann teaches how to acquire first users and build a marketing machine
Oct 30 • 46 min
In our sixth #FromScratch masterclass, Florian Heinemann taught our audience how to acquire first users and build a marketing machine when starting a company. Florian is Europe’s number one online marketing expert. Since 2012, he is a Founding Partner of…
Teaser: From Scratch 06 | Florian Heinemann teaches how to acquire first users and build a marketing machine
Oct 24 • 1 min
In our sixth #FromScratch masterclass, Florian Heinemann taught our audience how to acquire first users and build a marketing machine when starting a company. Florian is Europe’s number one online marketing expert. Since 2012, he is a Founding Partner of…
Felix van de Sand on best-practices and common mistakes in UX design
Oct 22 • 33 min
Felix van de Sand is Co-Founder of COBE, a digital agency focused on UX design. COBE provides a variety of services to its clients, ranging from design thinking to coding. Mobile and web app development agency COBE.tech also belongs to the group as well…
Ralf Wenzel on the key elements of B2B sales
Oct 10 • 47 min
Ralf Wenzel knows how to build successful digital ventures inside out. As CSO of Delivery Hero, he is responsible for the strategic growth of the Berlin-based tech company that IPO’ed in 2017. He also stil serves as CEO of Foodpanda (sold to Delivery Hero…
From Scratch 05 | Gloria Baeuerlein & Christian Vollmann teach how to raise money
Sep 26 • 39 min
In our fifth #FromScratch masterclass, Gloria Baeuerlein and Christian Vollmann taught our audience how to raise money. Working as a Principal at Index Ventures in London, Gloria knows the VC industry inside out. In her role, she primarily focuses on…
Melikshah Ünver on recruiting top talent for high-growth startups
Sep 12 • 28 min
Melikshah Ünver is the CEO and Co-Founder of Taledo, a curated online recruiting platform that connects top 10% talents with the best open positions in Germany’s digital startup ecosystem. After working as a consultant and heading the Group Development…
Jens Woloszczak and Karl Sponholz on internationalization and product best-practices
Aug 22 • 40 min
Jens Woloszczak (CEO) and Karl Sponholz (COO) are heading one of Germany’s most exciting FinTechs: Spotcap. Based in Berlin, the startup offers access to flexible finance and operates as a direct lender to small and medium-sized companies in the UK, the…
From Scratch 04 | Valentin Stalf teaches how to build an outstanding MVP
Aug 8 • 34 min
Valentin Stalf is Co-Founder & CEO of N26. Over the past five years, he has become one of the world’s most influential founders in FinTech by building one of the fastest growing challenger banks in Europe. Today, N26 has 1 million customers in 17…
Pawel Chudzinski on how to raise money from early-stage investors
Jul 25 • 40 min
Pawel Chudzinski belongs to the most renowned VCs in Germany and Europe. Working and living in Berlin, he is Co-Founder of early-stage venture capital firm Point Nine Capital. The firm is focused on early-stage investments related to SaaS and digital…
From Scratch 03│Uwe Horstmann deconstructs the traits of great founding teams
Jul 11 • 37 min
Uwe Horstmann is one of the people that truly stand out in the Berlin startup scene. Only in his early 30’s, he has been Managing Director at Rocket Internet in the past and started his own VC firm that follows a special approach - Project A Ventures does…
From Scratch 02│Fabian Heilemann reveals the secret behind great business ideas
Jun 28 • 35 min
Dr. Fabian Heilemann rose into the spotlight of the European startup scene after founding DailyDeal together with his brother Ferry. In 2011, they sold the company to Google for $114m. Later, they went on to found FreightHub, which recently raised $23m.…
Charles von Abercron on launching and managing high-growth companies
Jun 16 • 34 min
Charles von Abercron is the Founder & former CEO of GLOSSYBOX. Started in 2011, GLOSSYBOX is an online subscription service that delivers high-end beauty products directly to its users’ doorstep. Founded by Charles with the backing of Rocket Internet, the…
Finn Age Hänsel on great management and how to get through hard times
May 10 • 40 min
Finn Age Hänsel is one of the most notable personalities in the German startup scene. Based in Berlin, he is Managing Director of Movinga - an online startup that was founded with the ambition to globally disrupt the moving services industry and is backed…
From Scratch 01│Christoph Gerber demystifies entrepreneurship
Apr 29 • 39 min
Christoph Gerber belongs to Germany’s best-known tech entrepreneurs. Back in 2009, he started Lieferando — one of the first online food delivery startups in Germany. In 2014, Christoph and his co-founders sold the company for €62.9M to the Dutch…
Chanyu Xu on trends and success factors in the foodtech space
Apr 11 • 32 min
Chanyu Xu is a seasoned entrepreneur from Berlin. After co-founding several food startups like EAT ÜBER and Eating with the Chefs (backed by star investor Peter Thiel), she became the Founder & CEO of ONO Labs in 2017. ONO LABS creates individualised and…
Sascha Weiler on marketing operations and advice for first-time founders
Mar 28 • 39 min
Sascha Weiler is Founder & Managing Director at Homebell. The Berlin-based startup has taken on the challenge to digitalize home improvement and living space projects by offering reliable craftsmen services at a fixed quote and fair prices via its…
Seth Pierrepont on Accel Partners’ success and the startup scene in Europe
Mar 13 • 21 min
Seth Pierrepont joined the international VC firm Accel Partners in 2013. At Accel, he focuses on investments in software, consumer marketplace and mobile businesses. He helped lead Accel’s investments and ongoing work in CallSign, Carwow, Kry, and Soldo.…
Michael Brehm on launching startups and the key role of sales & marketing for success
Feb 28 • 32 min
Michael Brehm is one of the biggest names in the German startup scene. As former Executive Director & Investor at social network startup VZnetzwerke (with its brands studiVZ, schülervz, meinVZ), he forever influenced the society in his home country in…
Yassin Hankir on savedroid’s ICO and the future of cryptocurrencies
Feb 24 • 43 min
Yassin Hankir is one of Germany’s FinTech stars. After a few years as a Consultant at McKinsey, he co-founded vaamo, a digital wealth management solution, and in 2015 started savedroid - an innovative personal savings app. This interview is a special one…
Anna Alex on Outfittery and why data analytics and good storytelling is a powerful mix
Feb 13 • 35 min
Anna Alex belongs to Germany’s top female entrepreneurs. Since 2012, she and her co-founder Julia Bösch have been disrupting the fashion industry with OUTFITTERY. The startup offers a curated online shopping experience for men that allows their clients to…
Eckhardt Weber on his learnings from building companies with FinLeap and Heartbeat Labs
Jan 31 • 51 min
Since 2014, Eckhardt Weber has been one of the key people behind Berlin-based company builder HitFox Group and especially its FinTech-focused branch FinLeap, which has seen some tremendous success in recent years with him leading it as its Managing…
Doreen Huber on growing Delivery Hero and disrupting the catering industry with Lemoncat
Jan 17 • 33 min
Doreen Huber is one of the most respected female entrepreneurs in Germany. As the Founder & CEO of LEMONCAT, she is successfully digitalizing the market for business catering since 2016. After starting out as an entrepreneur in various companies with a…
J. Allie Morse on building Africa’s first unicorn for Rocket Internet and working in Silicon Valley
Dec 27, 2017 • 35 min
J. Allie Morse is a seasoned entrepreneur who has lived and worked in Sierra Leone, Singapore, Nigeria and San Francisco with close ties to the European startup scene. She was the founder and former CEO of Jumia House (formerly Lamudi) in West Africa,…
Stephan Heller on Groupon, FinCompare and the role of execution in startups
Dec 13, 2017 • 39 min
Stephan Heller is a true execution-driven entrepreneur of the digital economy who knows how to start a company from scratch and grow it successfully. Since the beginning of 2017, he is Founder & CEO of FinCompare and before had the same role at…
Alexander Frolov on increasing your chances of getting funded by a VC like Target Global
Nov 29, 2017 • 45 min
Alexander „Alex“ Frolov is a truly pan-European entrepreneur and venture capital investor. Originally from Russia, he has spent the last five years building up the international VC firm Target Global, which is a comprehensive family of funds and offers…
Roman Kirsch on his exit with Casacanda to Fab.com and building Lesara at high speed
Nov 15, 2017 • 32 min
Roman Kirsch is one of the exceptional talents in the German startup scene. After graduating from business school, he started Casacanda in 2011 and sold it to Fab.com after only six months at a presumed valuation of $10m. After leaving Fab, he started his…
Claude Ritter on his journey as a founder and his criteria for early-stage investments
Oct 27, 2017 • 35 min
Claude Ritter is one of Germany’s online entrepreneurs who can be labelled as to have been quite successful in his career so far. He co-founded online food delivery startup Lieferheld in 2010, which was later sold to the widely known Delivery Hero Group.…
Niklas Jansen on how Blinkist built an inspiring high-performance startup culture
Oct 18, 2017 • 36 min
Niklas Jansen co-founded one of the hottest companies in Berlin. His startup Blinkist summarizes the key insights of over 2,500 bestselling non-fiction books in short 15-minute reads and audio format. With this idea that resulted from a personal problem…
Sebastian Diemer on FinTech, Bitcoin and taking risks as an entrepreneur
Oct 4, 2017 • 45 min
Sebastian Diemer is one of the rockstars within the European startup scene. As one of the founders of Kreditech, he helped to shape the continent’s FinTech scene for years to come by creating a real-time scoring technology that enables 100% automatized,…
Luis Hanemann on online marketing, growth and influencers
Sep 20, 2017 • 37 min
Luis Hanemann is without a doubt one of the biggest names in the European startup scene when it comes to online marketing and growth. Since 2015, he is a partner at venture capital firm e.ventures. Based in the VC’s Berlin office, he develops and…
Friedrich A. Neuman on building companies and making ideas work
Sep 6, 2017 • 34 min
As founder & CEO of the company builder MAKERS, Friedrich A. Neuman truly knows how to start and scale companies and take ideas ‘from zero to one’. Originally from Brazil, he came to Europe at the beginning of his twenties to study Business & Economics in…
Olaf Jacobi on the 3 T’s of startup success
Aug 23, 2017 • 28 min
Olaf Jacobi is a textbook example of a VC. For eight years, he was a partner and co-owner of Munich-based venture capital firm Target Partners. In 2015, he went on to join Capnamic Ventures to build up its Berlin office. With more than 20 years of…
Tim Koschella on AdTech and his learnings from being a serial entrepreneur
Aug 9, 2017 • 22 min
With Tim Koschella, Startup Notes is hosting a true serial entrepreneur. He founded his first company (e-learning video platform Lecturio) in 2008 and has been involved in the startup world ever since. As a founding partner of Berlin-based HitFox Group…
Sebastian Stricker on ShareTheMeal and why the golden era of social entrepreneurship is now
Jul 26, 2017 • 27 min
As the founder of ShareTheMeal, Sebastian Stricker is a true role model entrepreneur. One that does not put profit first though - but a social cause by trying to fight global hunger. Together with the United Nations World Food Programme, ShareTheMeal…
Uwe Horstmann on the qualities of exceptional founders and the elements of startup success
Jul 10, 2017 • 30 min
Uwe Horstmann is truly one of the big names of the German startup scene. In 2012, he founded Project A Ventures, an operational VC firm that invests in tech startups in Europe and around the world. In his function as a Partner, he is responsible for…
Jasper Masemann on how to build a successful company from the VC perspective
Jun 28, 2017 • 26 min
Jasper Masemann is Principal at one of Germany’s most iconic Venture Capital firms - Holtzbrinck Ventures. Like many founders and VCs before him, Jasper first worked in consulting learning the ropes of the business world before starting his own company.…
Benedikt Franke on his entrepreneurial learnings that led to founding Helpling
Jun 13, 2017 • 27 min
Benedikt Franke is an alumni of Rocket Internet’s ‘golden generation’ that successfully accelerated digital entrepreneurship in Germany by the end of the 2000s. For Rocket, he worked as Head of HR and as COO for its venture MyCityDeal. Afterwards,…
Antonio García Martínez on the obscene startup world in Silicon Valley
May 31, 2017 • 44 min
In this episode, Startup Notes has a special guest from Silicon Valley: Antonio García Martínez. Antonio has been an advisor to Twitter, one of the first product managers on Facebook’s ad team, and the CEO/founder of AdGrok (a venture-backed AdTech…
Robert Wetzker on making the jump from science to the startup world
May 16, 2017 • 21 min
Robert Wetzker is the Founder & CEO of Aklamio. Started in 2011, the company is today Europe’s technology leader in referral marketing with more than 3,000 brands using their services, generating sales uplifts of 20 percent and more. Aklamio’s technology…
Christoph Gerber on staying humble and hungry even after a big exit
May 3, 2017 • 34 min
Christoph Gerber, is one of the smartest, humblest and most down-to-earth founders in the Berlin startup scene. In 2009, together with Jörg Gerbig and Kai Hansen, he started Lieferando - one of the first online food delivery startups in Germany. For ca. 5…
Philipp Pausder on founding a company with a mission for positive climate impact
Apr 19, 2017 • 26 min
Philipp Pausder is the co-founder of Thermondo, an energy company that provides smart and clean heating systems. By now, the company has raised more than €35M from respected investors such as Rocket Internet, Holtzbrinck Ventures and the energy…
Julian Riedlbauer on founding a startup with high exit potential
Apr 5, 2017 • 28 min
Julian Riedlbauer has 20+ years experience in entrepreneurship. After building up extensive M&A experience on the sell- and buy-side as an entrepreneur, Julian founded the M&A boutique “Pure Equity Advisors”, which was acquired by GP Bullhound. Today,…
Christian Miele on the status of digitization in Germany
Mar 22, 2017 • 34 min
Christian Miele is one of the most respected startup experts in Germany. From sketching out a business plan on a napkin to preparing a startup for an IPO, Christian is experienced in all stages of a company. While building a VC fund for Bertelsmann in…
Hans Stier on how to start a successful crowdfunding campaign
Mar 6, 2017 • 21 min
Hans Stier is the founder of one of Germany’s biggest crowdfunding successes, Bonaverde. With their revolutionary concept of the world’s first roast-grind-brew coffee machine, Hans and his team raised over $2M from crowdfunding investors on Kickstarter,…
Alexander Graubner-Müller on his €300M backed startup Kreditech
Feb 22, 2017 • 45 min
Alexander Graubner-Müller is the co-founder of Kreditech. Kreditech gives out loans to consumers that are underserved by traditional banks. The startup uses alternative data sources (e.g. social media data) and machine learning technology to score the…
Yassin Hankir on founding FinTech startups in Germany
Jan 26, 2017 • 42 min
Yassin Hankir is one of Germany’s leading fintech entrepreneurs and co-founder of the automatic savings app savedroid and the robo-advisor startup Vaamo. Savedroid is an automatic savings app based on user-controlled rules, e.g. “Transfer 5% of the…