27 9 / 2014

The Goals of Corporate Venture Capital – the end of a myth

From several meetings I had over the last week I discovered a myth in science and public opinion regarding the topic of CVC (Corporate Venture Capital). A lot of experts define the value add of CVC in a cooperation between a small, flexible startup with a capitalized fortune 500 corporation. This conclusion is wrong – and the explanation of the true motivation is a far more simple conclusion than many people think. 

 

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23 9 / 2014

ESOP in German startups

Thanks to Oliver Thylmann (@) and Manuel Koelman (@) for their support with this post!

Lately I was asked by journalists and founders regarding the standards and usual metrics of ESOP (Employee Stock Option Plan) for Startup companies in Germany.

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I was a bit surprised that there is so much uncertainty and hidden knowledge on this topic. So here is my view on the topic from the portfolio companies we work with as a venture capitalists. From my perception this is in line with most of the companies and VCs I know.

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09 9 / 2014

Mobilistentalk with a view. #thisiscologne #cologne #view #sky #river #clouds #telekom #germany #landmark #instafeel #instagood #instamood  (at Kranhaus 1, 12. Etage)

Mobilistentalk with a view. #thisiscologne #cologne #view #sky #river #clouds #telekom #germany #landmark #instafeel #instagood #instamood (at Kranhaus 1, 12. Etage)

07 9 / 2014

European Pirate Summit 2014

Founders and entrepreneurs - see what you missed last week at The European Pirate Summit in #Cologne with Mike Butcher (techcrunch) Evan Nisselson (ldv capital) Lina Wüller (rebel at heart) Oliver Twardowski (reputami) and many more…

(Source: vimeo.com)

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07 9 / 2014

Why VCs invest in the App economy

Last week I gave a presentation in Berlin for app developers and companies in this segment. We had an interesting discussion what VCs would expect and what value investors could bring to the table for those startups. So here are my slides from this event: 

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13 7 / 2014

European Mega Rounds

Recently people I met are discussing European mega rounds, VC financing rounds with three digits million Euro amounts. Basically it is questioning how Europe can battle with US companies receiving those $0.5 - 1.3bn financing to extend their leadership in their categories. Those people believe without those funding rounds European startups would be doomed to be successful and it would harm the ecosystem in general if those rounds will not happen.

So lets see for once: there are large funding rounds and successful companies in Europe - Spotify, King, Supercell, Soundcloud, iZettle, to name a few. Obviously more spreaded around Europe, focused on Nordics, UK, Germany, Baltics. If Europe wasn’t that fragmented, EU would not be far behind US and catching up. However China is still far ahead of both regions and will increase their gap more and more over time. Even worse China is now tapping into US - Alibaba $250m in Tango - and the question is when the first large Chinese investment will happen in Europe. (My guess will be for the gaming and/or mobility segment.)

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03 7 / 2014

yesterday at the meeting with minister of economics in Dusseldorf. Discussion Startup ecosytem, financing, building #howtogetitofftheground #startups #vc #germany #NRW #instamood #latergram #instafeel #politics #getitdone #picoftheday

yesterday at the meeting with minister of economics in Dusseldorf. Discussion Startup ecosytem, financing, building #howtogetitofftheground #startups #vc #germany #NRW #instamood #latergram #instafeel #politics #getitdone #picoftheday

02 7 / 2014

Meeting with minister of economy for North Rhine Westphalia to discuss: #Startups #Venture #VC #investments #building #ecosystems #germany #dusseldorf #cologne #nrw  (at Staatskanzlei des Landes NRW)

Meeting with minister of economy for North Rhine Westphalia to discuss: #Startups #Venture #VC #investments #building #ecosystems #germany #dusseldorf #cologne #nrw (at Staatskanzlei des Landes NRW)

27 6 / 2014

NSA troubles start to hit the business..

Today Wall Street Journal reports that German government has ended the contract with Verizon Communications to provide data and Internet connectivity for several institutions run by German government (http://online.wsj.com/articles/german-government-ends-verizon-contract-1403802226). This is the right decission to be made and the strongest signal to our friends in the US that in business your actions always enforce a reaction from the other side of the table. You are living in a free world and you can decide about how you believe your neighbors and friends should be treated - but so can your partners as well.

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I have a strong opinion on the NSA troubles as you can read in my earlier blog posts on the one side and of cause I am bias hence my employer is benefiting from this decision business wise. But there is more to this based on my history in my former business life.

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22 6 / 2014

Corporate Venture Capital is back: T-Venture Open 2014 

by Thomas Grota

We had our bi-annual portfolio day last week in Berlin. With great honor we had our CEO of Deutsche Telekom as keynote speaker with a strong message to the audience. DT group is looking to enable it’s partners even stronger in the future. We want to connect them faster with our networks and give them access to our customer reach more easily. Of cause we want to benefit from those partnerships as well.

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There is a lot to be done in the coming months but as Tim Hoettges pointed out we are on a good track. Corporate Venture Capital is one pillar to engage with startups in the Valley as well as in Europe. He wants T-Ventures to take a more leading role, taking part in this process and become a leader in the CVC space and getting higher in the ranks as we are currently on #7 globally. 

Areas to be investing are defined as well. Foremost one topice we have been thinking for some year now: Cyber security following the NSA troubles revealed by Mr. Snowden. So it looks like we are on the right track so far, while mobile, cloud and big data are still and will be on our target list. 

Having 80 portfolio companies as our guest in Berlin was also a strong message and interesting to see how our portfolio CEOs can connect across our portfolio as well with senior management in Deutsche Telekom. 

Some German articles give some impression on the event:

(There are more but behind pay walls so I can’t provide links).

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