IdeaLab! 2008 WHU (2nd day)


Stars of the German Internet Industry: Lukas, Ehssan, Kolja, Oliver an me :o)

IdeaLab with lectures of internet entrepreneurs

After the opening speech of Prof. Dr. Martin Fassnacht, prorector of the Otto Beisheim School of Management (WHU), Oliver Samwer (European Founders Fund GmbH) spoke about the effects of the financial crisis on start-ups. The climate will be tough, but he believes that the internet industry still is the best for young people, but you have to have a great staying power and today work more cost-conscious… and not only target for growth, growth and growth. His European Founders Fund already started to analyse costs together with their portfolio companies, with the goal to reduce the burn rate. However the internet industry is still exciting (‚die Branche ist geil‘), because in no other industry the half of the top 10 players changed in the last 2 years.
More about the lecture of Oliver on the IdeaLab site (in German language).

After other lectures of Julian Riedlbauer (Corporate Finance Partners CFP GmbH) and Martin Ott (Moneybookers Ltd.) Lukasz Gadowski was speaking about his new project ‚Team Europe Ventures‚, in which he pools his over 50 investments, and about critical success factors for start-ups. Firstly the team is very important; you need an a-team with complementary skills and the investors should help active in the founding phase and company building. Lukas also advised to focus on whatever matters for you, but don’t forget the ‚execution‘ – to many plans and delays seem to be fatal for start-ups in our fast moving industry. Another interesting point was that you shouldn’t forget the magic formula ‚Costumer Lifetime Value > Customer Acquisition Costs‘. But the most important thing was: mobile will become huge :o)
More about the lecture of Lukasz on the IdeaLab site (in German language).

Later on, after the presentations of Dr. Johannes Ziegler (Miaplaza Inc.) and a panel discussion about Pioneers in Germany – with Oliver Samwer (European Founders Fund GmbH), Dr. Johannes Ziegler (Miaplaza Inc.), Robert Basic (Basic Thinking), Julia Kleine (Tomorrow Focus AG) and Oliver Jung (Adinvest AG) – Kolja Hebenstreit (Team Europe Ventures) was speaking about ‚Key Performance Indicators and Product Management‘. Kolja gave the audience insights on how to structure and continuous control a business modell in the internet industry. Afterwards Ehssan Dariani (Gruschel GmbH) was pitching for his workshop in Berlin. Beside his pitch, he also spoke about his time at studiVZ Ltd. in a very entertaining, but also authentic way.

At the end of the day, we heard some (entertaining) ‚StartUp Elevator Pitches‘, before we went to the cozy ‚IdeaLab!2008 Gruschel-Lounge‘ – a great reception with free cocktails :o)