Yes, that’s right. I quit my Job at DuMont Venture and I am moving to London in only six weeks. I will join Seedcamp* as their new associate come mid-June to strengthen the European startup ecosystem and to bank on my own passion and experience in dealing with early stage companies and founders.
The decision to leave DuMont Venture, my colleagues, friends, and our portfolio, was not easy. I have experienced and learned more than I could ever have imagined when Jörg first asked me to join him and Olaf in starting DuMont Venture back in 2007. Joining any company in its startup phase is intense and exciting, and setting up a venture firm is no different. We always referred to our own “startup” because we had the same growing pains as any other small organization. Nevertheless, I think it is safe to say that DuMont Venture is by now established as one of the main players in “earlier” stage VC in Germany. I am incredibly proud to be part of this success and it is very hard to move on – both the team and our portfolio was made up of awesome people that made work a pleasure every single day. Really – Every. Single. Day.
I first got in contact with Saul (the founder of Seedcamp) in November 2009, in response to a post on the evolution of Seedcamp. There is a big debate out there on the changing model of venture capital and the emergence of smaller and more hands-on oriented funds. Techstars and ycombinator are the most obvious candidates, but many other geographics see similar models deploying smaller amounts of capital in connection with a really active mentoring and support program. Meeting hundreds of entrepreneurs in the last years has taught me one thing especially: There are many questions and not so many answers out there – on all topics and areas of entrepreneurship, funding, and scaling of companies. Smaller funds investing knowledge and advice can add incredible value to a team of smart young entrepreneurs with a big idea. The use of “smart money” is in my opinion most appropriate in this early stage of a company’s life, as all other aspects are leveraged manyfold. This is the reason I am a strong proponent of this kind of model – and this is also the reason I felt I needed to walk the walk instead of just talking about it.
So, I am already in the process of preparing my move to London, handing over my responsibilities at DuMont Venture, and stopping my head from spinning too fast. I am in close contact with the team at Seedcamp, and Reshma and Alasdair are doing everything to give me warm welcome. One thing is for sure: I am excited beyond belief.
If any of you guys know someone moving out of a cheap and spacious appartment in the city of London (yeah, I know…), please let me know. In the meantime, Startups, please apply to Mini Seedcamp Berlin on the 16th of June (my first day at Seedcamp!), read about Seedcamp and spread the word about it – because it is awesome.
On another note, my posts will obviously be in English from now on (except when I complain about London property prices).
*About Seedcamp from the Seedcamp Website:
Seedcamp is a programme created to jumpstart the entrepreneurial community in Europe by connecting next generation developers and entrepreneurs with over 400 mentors from a top-tier network of company builders; including seed investors, serial entrepreneurs, product experts, HR and PR specialists, marketers, lawyers, recruiters, journalists and venture capitalists.
Seedcamp acts as a micro seed fund to invest in startup companies, mainly through our flagship event Seedcamp Week which takes place in September every year. To make sure we are honing in on all the new startup talent, we also run Mini Seedcamp programmes throughout several startup hubs around Europe from January-June. Seedcamp’s standard investment is €30-50k. Following Seedcamp Week, the companies who receive investment stay in London for 3 months to grow and develop their company, building key and lasting business relationships along the way to help them sustain a viable business.