Archive for the ‘General Posting’ category

Happy Holiday Season!

December 22, 2006

As the year approaches its well deserved finishing line, I would like to wish all people who have been reading my blog or have given me suggestions and feedback along the last year a very happy holiday season and all the best for the upcoming year!

2006 was exciting for the VC and start-up business! I am extremly positive that this trend will continue into 2007!

I look forward to working with you all!

Best wishes



German MNO Alliance for Mobile TV

May 29, 2006

What a big bang announcement! T-Mobile, Vodafone, O2 and e-Plus have announced a cooperation to deliver 14 TV Channels and 2 Radio Channels based on the DVB-H Standard.

Takeaway: This is a big move in the overall mobile TV landscape. So far, only young and motivated start-ups (MFD, etc.) have started to set-up their own programs and channels on i.e. DMB. This recent German alliance of the four leading MNOs is a big move, which could change the still nascent mobile TV landscape dramatically here. It remains to be seen, if this alliance is flexible enough to deliver on its promises or if small start-ups are more nimble than the big ones.

Congratulations to the RedHerring 2006 Winners – Germany coming in only at 4th place!

May 10, 2006

Congratulations to the winners of the RedHerring 2006 contest. Some remarkable winners worth mentioning from Germany are (in no particular order): Actionality, OpenBC and Spreadshirt. A positive surprise from a German side is clearly PV Crystalox Solar, examplifying Germany's competitive edge in the cleantech space. Other European companies who made it on the list this year and which have earned high respect and acclamations at the show (just to name a few): Sulake/Habbo Hotel, Cognima, Netvibes (well done Tariq!) or FON (Big plans ahead of you Martin!).

Takeaway: UK is the clear winner this year with 28 selected companies. France and Israel are both runners-up with 17 selected companies. Then, finally (!) Germany is sharing place number 4 ex aquo with Switzerland (Thanks Valerie for putting them up already). Although this list is a good indication on where technology oriented companies are based, it probably doesn't give enough credit to the great start-ups we have here in Germany….

Recommendation: Hey Germany! We can do better than that next year!

RedHerring 100 Event – Recap

May 10, 2006

I am just on my way back from the RedHerring 100 conference, which took place in Paris this week. Definitely one of the top events here in Europe, where you can meet the best VCs and start-ups in Europe. 100 “start-ups” from technology and life sciences got awarded there and had the chance to pitch their story to the audience. The event has revealed that Europe has a strong and remarkable crowd of entrepreneurs and business managers who are as successful as their US counterparts, however, please excuse that I name just a few “stars” who presented there and whom I consider particularly interesting and amazing:

Stan Boland, CEO from Icera. Icera is a fabless IC company aiming to revolutionize the next generation of mobile handsets. Stan, a serial entrepreneur, explained his vision, strategy and how to build a great and successful company. He clearly has very ambitious plans with this company as he outlined in his presentation.

Bernard Liautaud, Co-Founder/President/Chief Strategy Officer from Business Objects: BO is a great European success story in the IT/SW industry. Established in the early 90s, the company immediately focused on the US market and went public there soon after. BO has been increasing sales in 13 consecutive years (!!!) and hit the $1Bn revenue mark last year. He provided a very honest insight into the last 13 years, how he built a global company, went through difficult years and how he decided to transition out of the CEO role. Especially the latter topic showed that he is a great European Entrepreneur, who realised that every company is going through different phases of growth and that now the time has come to hand over his day-to-day activities. As he mentioned, he is enjoying his new, more strategic role at BO very much.

Brent Haberman, Co-Founder of I had a chance to meet with and talk to Brent, who went through all phases you can imagine in building a company. He started off with a few friends, raised seed money, went public in the late 90s, saw his stock price tumble from 320 pence to 19 pence, rebuilt the organisation and then sold out last year to Sabre for $1Bn+. He is now in a Chairman role at and apparently looking for his next venture where he can “have fun” and be a real entrepreneur again.

Takeaway: Europe has great entrepreneurs! Of course, there are several things that make it more challenging here in Europe (fragmented markets, different cultures, European work ethics (!), cost per talent, rules and regulations, semi-liquid financial markets, etc.) but nevertheless, the companies mentioned above have made it! Despite all the quarrel, blame and excuses, they have taken the opportunity presented and made a great company out of it. This should encourage us, that nothing’s impossible! We can all learn from these gentlemen and what they have achieved.

Recommendation: Hello start-up out there! RedHerring 2007 is around the corner and this could be your chance to get on the list! It’s not just for fun, it’s a good marketing tool and way to promote your great ideas!

Meeting Ms. Web 2.0 Blogging Lady Valerie Thompson

March 3, 2006

At PrivateDC I finally had a chance to connect with Valerie Thompson, No. 1 blogging lady on European Technology start-ups through her blogs Swiss Ventures and The alarm:clock euro.

Takeaway: It is great to see that there are many motivated and talented people out there, who believe in the emerging opportunities around Web 2.0 and the role blogs can play in forming a public opinion. It’s still only the tip of the ice-berg in terms of chances and opportunities around these fascinating topics. Luckily there are people out there, who loudly think about those “dreams” and get other people going!


Recommendation: Take your time and read the alarm:clock euro and you will get a feeling of what’s happening out there in the brave, new world 2.0.

PrivateDC – Premium Business Angel Platform

March 3, 2006

The Private Deal Conference organised by Brains-to-Venture has become the platform for seed investing in Germany. Celebrating its 5th anniversary, PrivateDC “aims to become the world’s leading platform for entrepreneurial investors solely dedicated to private investment activities in high-growth companies.”

Over 120 business angels, private investors and leading VCs came together to discuss early stage investing, exciting start-ups and promising business concepts. In addition, I had a chance to connect with Marc Samwer, Lars Hinrichs, Klaus Hommels and other leading figures of the seed and early stage investment scene.

Takeaway: Seed-Investing is alive! And PrivateDC is a great platform to bring start-ups, experienced managers, wealthy individuals and “hungry” VCs together. Besides good panel discussions and interesting start-ups, the networking effect of this event is unparalleled. Thanks to Jan, Florian, Christian, Sven and all other B-to-Vs for making this a great event!

Recommendation: PrivateDC is a must attend event for everybody who is serious about investing in seed stage deals. If more private investors would join such platforms, the rate of successful and innovative start-ups in Europe would sky-rocket! 

One new blog every minute!

February 23, 2006

Amazing! According to Technorati every second somewhere a new blog goes online!

“The Pew Internet study estimates that about 11%, or about 50 million, of Internet users are regular blog readers. According to Technorati data, there are about 70,000 new blogs a day. Bloggers — people who write weblogs — update their weblogs regularly; there are about 700,000 posts daily, or about 29,100 blog updates an hour.”

Takeaway: I wonder, why we here in Germany aren’t a large blogging country yet! What do our kids do? Why are France or Spain the blogging countries No1 in Europe?

Recommendations: There are so many things you can do with blogs. It’s a totally new way of communications, of bonding people to each other, of creating communities, but – again – Germany seems to see another trend pass….How can we give this a boost?