Two days of excitement and passion passed for me and my 16 fellow students at the (Ad)-Venture Trip to Berlin. The group from FS Ventures was able to get insights into the unique and interconnected world of Start-Ups and VCs in Berlin. It is an own, though small, ecosystem which we were introduced by industry partners at their office.
November 14th – a deep-dive to VC in Berlin
On November 14th we started our trip with Cherry Ventures, where Patrick gave us a smooth start into the adventure. He shared insights on what most founders do wrong when pitching in front of investors and furthermore, showed practical examples of role model pitch decks.
Then, we were invited by Said who showed us the office of Holtzbrinck Ventures. His team gave us deep insights on their business as well as their typical business day among all career levels. You could feel that all of us students were delighted by that. A keynote we definitely could take away from that visit was: “It is not about what I believe a founder is able to do today, it is about what I believe a founder is able to do in the future!”
At Project A, we were hosted by Enrico and he shared a very interactive and interesting presentation about investor mindsets. A major key take-away from here: For an investor it is essential to understand “what does he need to believe to believe that the business will be successful”. Confusing and still very true!
November 15th – VC as a valuable alternative to Investment Banking and Consulting
The next day, we could feel the Berlin vibe of start-up and investing at APX. Tilmann hosted us and showed APX’ three layers with which sector analysis on a market takes place: When evaluating a new business model in a “new” market, the first layer is the team at APX, the second are Mentors working at APX and the third are external experts who are having significant knowledge about markets and their specialties.
Straight after that we were welcomed at Creandum, where we met Julian, an FS alumni who joined Creandum after last year’s VC Trip. Julian was the vital proof for all participants that it is possible to establish your own network during the trip and thus get a job at your future employer. He showed that going for VC is a valuable alternative to Investment Banking and Consulting that is worth being considered.
Earlybird was next: Kai gave us a warm presentation and elaborated on their business. He was especially answering questions regarding the recruitment process and the pre-requisites for entering the VC industry.
We normally expected the VC Trip to be done after that, but then Global Founders Capital, the VC department of Rocket Internet was willing to spontaneously host us. They were stating what is important when investing in early stage companies: First: founders, second: Traction, third: Team and their ability to sell with the right mixture of outgoing mindset and technical experts to communicating their vision and business to potential business partners and investors. Furthermore, he shared his own experiences on founding a company, his mistakes, thoughts, and actions when his start-up was not performing as expected.
The Frankfurt School VC-Alumni network is on its way
All in all, the two days were very packed. Packed with high-quality insights none of us would ever have been able to get by their own. Venture Capital is getting more important and my bet: a few years from now we will have a Frankfurt School VC-Alumni network established in Berlin.