The Pop Quiz, Monday is a fun little exam that we love to give to savvy business owners. The examination is not a surprise after all since the interviewee already knew about the questions in advance. However, we can always pretend and have fun with the scenario of a young entrepreneur sitting in class nervously biting on their pencil. They are ready to take a pop quiz on a chapter that they were supposed to read the night before. Instead, they played Metroid all night on their SNES (Oops, this was me in high school). The real purpose of the pop quiz is that this is a fun way to introduce business tips from real-world experiences that you can not learn in a classroom. We want to thank our entrepreneur for being a good sport and volunteering their time to answer a few questions to help our community grow from their knowledge.
I want to introduce you to our guest today who will be taking our Pop Quiz Monday.
Can you please tell everyone your name?
What is your job role?
Early-stage VC Investor at seed + speed Ventures (seedandspeed.com), Advisory Board Member of RightNow Group (right-now-group.de) and university lecturer at Steinbeis University for EMBA students.
Tell us about your company?
seed + speed Ventures is a Venture Capital firm within the family office Maschmeyer Group of self-made UHNI Carsten Maschmeyer who invests into Pre-Seed and Seed startup companies and is also known from the TV show “Die Höhle der Löwen” (German version of `Shark Tank´). Located in Hanover, Munich, Berlin and San Francisco, the Maschmeyer Group provides innovative startups with sales support and smart capital.
What do you love most about your job?
We empower founders to move markets. My vision is to enable entrepreneurship by serving up connections. I love to inspire and grow startup founders to boost their dreams.
What motivates you to get up every day and go to work?
Working together with the brightest people to change our future, spreading the spirit of founders and fostering entrepreneurship is highly rewarding.
Mentoring motivated founders lets me stay curious, open, young and inspired. Combining the capabilities of other VCs, industry partners, accelerators, company builders, startups, academia, and government not only brings a basis for new inspiration and innovation but mostly lets you gain new access points, speed and flexibility. Innovation means making fascinating ideas happen. This is a free flow of creativity.
How do your co-workers inspire you?
My co-workers are highly ambitious, communicate clearly and are open to change. When actively listening to everyone’s opinions in my team, I often hear out the „what, if?“. This curiosity and a strong sense of urgency to change the future lie in our VC nature. We take deep dives in many sectors and companies (e.g., in AI, IoT, Health, TravelTech. LegalTech, E-Sports, InsurTech, Media, etc.). We need to ask and learn “beyond” and love to explore and push for new investments, innovation, and growth. We connect with many new inspiring personalities a day with a global mindset: startup founders and product heroes with a focus on execution. Overall, it leads to challenging one’s own views regularly.
How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?
We know how to celebrate success. To give you one out of the many examples: every year, we go to the Oktoberfest in Munich/Bavaria all together. All of our colleagues fly in, and I can tell: it is a lot of fun and we laugh a lot.
What are some of the challenges of your job?
Keeping up with the speed of digitization is a challenge itself. We always need to think ahead of our time, evaluate between good and bad investments and keep closeness to founders, customers, partners and respective dynamic markets.
What are some lessons learned from a past project that you can share with us?
Invest in digital culture and innovation also involves an openness for failure and acquiring new know-how.
Strictly (re-)investing into complementary winner teams, doing what they love has turned out to be a great strategy.
Complimentary Team + Good Traction = Easier Capital.
What advice would you give to someone who is starting in your industry?
Connect. Connect. Connect.
Thank you for taking our pop quiz today. You get an A+ for effort. You can learn more about our interviewee and their business by visiting them on the web: