Blogs I love to read

Some friends asked me which blogs do I follow so here is a list with a short commentary:

  • AVC – Fred Wilson needs no introduction. His blog spreads across many topics and is a good read to stay in touch with trends. He sometime surprises with some very personal posts so in a way his blog has a human fabric that sets it apart from the other techie blogs that I read. Here is one of his latest pieces: Mobile Web Is Top Of Funnel, Mobile App Is Bottom Of Funnel.
  • Tomasz Tunguz – is a source of invaluable amount of metrics and insights about SaaS businesses. Here is one of the articles I found particularly useful lately: The Importance Of Payback Period For SaaS Startups.
  • Both Sides of the Table – similarly to Fred, Mark Suster is a person who left his fingerprint all over the VC industry. Here is one a bit older article that gives a taste of his working practices: How the Hell do I Prioritize Work, Blog & Find Balance? I am a trainee on this front and still struggling with the work life thing.
  • Yankee Sabra Limey – Gil Dibner writes rarely but when he does it, he produces great reads. Here is a piece I look at from time to time: VC SUMMER INTERNSHIP – NOW WHAT?
  • a16z – if someone has tons to say, this is Andreessen Horowitz. It is a bit unfortunate that you get most updates through Twitter rather than his blog but his newsletters compensate by aggregating a good list of tech, industry and futuristic articles.

Hope you like the list and looking forward your suggestion for some more I should follow. Just drop me a line in the comments.

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See you soon!

First Techstars Demo Day in Berlin

The first Techstars demo day in Berlin was something! I know it is Sunday, I will be quick I promise. 🙂

Techstars Demo Day 2015

Hosted in Hebbel-Theater in Berlin’s Kreuzberg district Jens Lapinski and his team presented their first batch of startups. The gorgeous Art Nouveau styled building was built in 1907/1908 and was the early and unique work of the famous architect Oskar Kaufmann. It was the breakthrough that shot him to fame. Let’s wish the same to the first Techstars batch!

The startups pitched in 2 batches of 5 and the presentations all looked super well done – for me this means crisp, elaborated and well timed. Founders walked to the stage accompanied by the thundering tunes of charging music pieces and presented with a sleek looking deck of slides outlining market opportunities, user growth, expansion plans. The best part though is that at least 2 of the companies have secured funding during the programme – 1x Seed and 1x Series A. You could feel that some founders are still fundraising and pretty nervous. Yet, I am confident that more news is coming soon.  I have seen the products of these companies 3 months ago and am amazed by the progress they have achieved.

Jens has closed the demo session with some kind words to all involved but I would like to share one of his slides summarising the Techstars values.

Techstars principles


Powerful message – nothing to add!

That was not all though. The event moved on in the Factory Berlin and continued with networking first and last but not least – an afterparty .

It was a well spent day 🙂

Good luck to all teams, and keep sending me updates. Looking forward to hear from you!

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Have a great rest of the weekend.

Impressions from Lange Nacht der Startups 2015

Lange Nacht der Startups

Organised by Deutsche Telekom and marketed as Europe´s biggest event for startups, the Long Startup Night managed to attract a huge crowd of visitors and enthusiastic selection of startups. Spread across 2 big halls you could try a ton of products, engage with founders and corporate representatives, taste some free (but not only) food or just wander around and snatch merchandise.

If I have to summarise in 30 seconds it will be like:

  • The event was full. There was a queue of people waiting for someone to get out in order to get in.
  • Many ideas, startups of all size and in all verticals. Participants varied from startups having a prototype to startups having raised substantial rounds to companies that are known brands or blue chip.
  • Plenty of pitches and interaction during the whole event.
  • Food startups are the new trend. I could see (and smell) food everywhere.

Bottom line: Deutsche Telekom did a really good job. 

Tim Höttges Opening Speech
Opening Speech from Tim Höttges, CEO of Deutsche Telekom

Other trend that I could spot and is of personal interest is that finally we have companies pushing beacons to the forefront. I could spot the proximity platform BeaconInside and discovery app HYPH. Special thanks goes to Marko Barleben, CEO of HYPH, for having the patience to explain me all in detail. Twice. In sum, it is no longer only Sensorberg making the beacon headlines in Berlin.

Another company I spotted a second time in just 2 days is ILOCKIT. These guys know how to protect your bike and I could see their demo the other day at the September Berlin Tech Meetup co-organized by Gabriel Matuschka.

There were guys that really nailed it though. Palmetto allows you to grow microalgae on the walls of an office building!! Let me remind you that microalgae could be used as fuel or food. And all this in a sustainable way.

Now last but not least please give your support for LUUV – they can fix your shaking hands when filming. Their Kickstarter campaign kicks in on 22nd September so sign up for the newsletter NOW and they will keep you posted.

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See you soon!


A taste of Portugal – Work and Pleasure – Beautiful seaside

Enough about entrepreneurship and startups. Let’s talk about holidays in Portugal.

In the last 4 years going back and forth I could spend a total of 3 days having holidays in this beautiful country. What a big mistake!

This year I decided to do something about it and for 10 days drove with friends through the country, or more precisely along the coast from Lisbon down to Sagres and then as far as Faro. Writing is not my greatest gift as you might have noticed so I will just post a list of pics of some of the most picturesque places on earth. All pics are courtesy of my good friend Niki Vodenicharski.

Somewhere in Alentejo
Somewhere in Alentejo
Praia de Odeceixe
Praia de Odeceixe
Praia de Odeceixe
Praia de Odeceixe






Praia da Falesia
Praia da Falesia


Tunnel Beach, Sagres
Tunnel Beach, Sagres



































Some other nice places include Sines, Porto Covo and Praia de Zambujeira in the Alentejo region as well as Albufeira and Portimao which are more commercial and in the Algarve region.

I also gladly accept hints about other good beaches if I missed some. Thanks!

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See you soon!


A taste of Portugal – Entrepreneurship emerging – Lisbon Challenge

There is plenty of great establishments in Portugal and if you remember in Part 1 I talked about entrepreneurship in Porto, Portugal. Now is time to go to the capital.

Let’s start with the dining options – as you might suggest the food in Lisbon is great. Just kidding, of course, it is great but I won’t talk about it now. Disclaimer: yes, I am biased about this country. 🙂

When you go to Lisbon, entrepreneurship starts and ends with Lisbon Challenge. It is a 3-month acceleration program organized by Beta-i and attracting a crowd of tech startups. The numbers speak for themselves: alumni consists of 140+ startups, capital raised goes over 50 million euros and many companies went on to YCombinator, Seedcamp, Tech stars. Least but not last they claim that 40% of alumni got invested. These numbers are valid as of writing this article (late summer 2015). Knowing the team and especially @Pedro and @Ricardo this does not come as a surprise. I am glad to have met these guys at the start of their endeavour and to have the chance to give my modest contribution during the mentorship sessions.

If you find this interesting – go and try the programme. If not, here is some more to get you excited: one of the extra cookies besides the many mentors and perks is the Investors Day in Lisbon. The best teams then go to a roadshow to London and San Francisco. In the past some also went to Brazil. Another one are the great places you can go on a weekend like Cascais, Evora and Beja just to recharge for another challenging week.

Apology in advance: If I missed or messed up something e.g. numbers, please just write me a message or post a comment. Thanks!

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Have a great week!