Based on my academic background and a willingness to continuously learn and develop throughout the last 16+ years, I have gathered strong expertise in the following areas:
- Entrepreneurship, Private Equity, Startups & Venture Capital
- Achieving Sustainable High Growth & Predictable Revenue
- B2B SaaS & Platform Business Models
- Innovation & Digital Business Transformation
- New Technologies
- Corporate Venture Capital
Entrepreneurship, Startups & Venture Capital
The foundation of business is entrepreneurship. I have been privileged to spend the last 16+ years working with entrepreneurs, founders, startups and private equity investors.
As an investor and active board member, I help founders develop their ideas into thriving businesses, fuel the growth engine, raise money and exit their ventures.
Read my respective blog section here.
Achieving High Growth & Predictable Revenues
Aspiring founder teams thrive for winning big markets, disrupting entire industries, creating new digital business models, building competitive moats and essentially changing the way business is done today. In our highly competitive markets, management teams are required to lead their teams to high growth and predictable revenue. But entering a high growth phase comes with a lot of challenges and generating predictable revenue is often easier said than done.
As an investor and board director, I actively mentor management teams so they can transition their companies from initial traction to sustainable high growth and cope with the growth challenges ahead.
I have published FastScaling, a high growth handbook for founders, in which I show founders a smart path to building massively valuable businesses.
B2B SaaS & Platform Business Models
I have gathered in-depth knowledge and experience as regards B2B SaaS and platform business models.
Innovation & Digital Business Transformation
Digital technologies and business models are radically changing competitive dynamics across industries. In a digitised environment characterised by rapid and continual change, it is critical for organisations to be agile and quickly respond to new developments. But even more important than reacting to external developments is proactively embracing the opportunities that come with new digital technologies and digital business models.
I help organisations survive and thrive in the world of The New Normal.
Change is the only constant. New digital technologies and business models are radically changing competitive dynamics across industries. I keep up with this change by following recent developments and being a lifelong learner.
Corporate Venture Capital
Corporate venture capital (CVC) — corporations investing instartups — is supposed to create a win-win for both established corporations and startups. Startups can tap into the corporate assets thereby uncovering faster and more efficient opportunities to scale. Established corporations can generate awareness within the organisation about new technologies, market trends and potential industry disruptors and can capture value by being shareholders in successful startups or becoming the disruptors themselves.
But the worlds of startups and corporations are not always easy to combine. After a period of initial enthusiasm, many corporate venture capital units falter or close, failing to achieve either financial or strategic returns.
Based on my vast experience advising corporations in connection with their venturing activities and establishing the METRO Group CVC Unit, I have learned that observing some guiding principles can significantly improve the CVC success rate.
I have been elaborating on these guiding principles as a guest lecturer and have been sharing my CVC playbook in articles published on Medium, the MIT Sloan Management Review and the Global Corporate Venturing Magazine.
How I Got Here
From 1993 until 1995, I pursued a career as a professional player in the second and first German handball division. I experienced first hand what strong teams can achieve. As Michael Jordon put it: "Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence wins championships".
From 1995 until 2002, I studied law specialising in corporate and business laws. I passed my exams with distinction and concluded this period with a Ph.D. in law and a Master in Business Laws (LL.M. oec.).
Private Equity & Buyouts
After having finished my legal clerkship (Referendariat) in 2004, I joined the renowned international law firm Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer. Until 2008, I advised Private Equity Firms and major corporations on large buyouts transaction, both buy-side and sell-side.
From 2008 until 2009, I attended the INSEAD MBA program. I took electives mainly relating to Entrepreneurship and Private Equity.
Venture Capital & M&A
From 2009 until 2013, I was a partner with two mid-sized business law firms. I was a notary public and advised corporations, investors and founders on their M&A and venturing activities.
Corporate Venture Capital & Digital Business Transformation
In 2015, METRO Group asked me to join as a managing director of METRO Innovations Holding in order to establish the METRO Group Corporate Venture Capital unit. I invested out of the growth fund LeadX Capital Partners in later stage B2B companies that were active in consumer industries and predominantly pursued SaaS or platform business models. As a board director, I created value for portfolio companies by leveraging the METRO Group assets and mentoring founders with regards to achieving sustainable high growth.
I contributed to the METRO Group digital business transformation by analysing pain points across the complete value chain and looking for external innovative products and services that could solve such pain points. Constantly exposing the organisation to startups and new digital technologies did not only enable the organisation to become more digital and efficient, but did also create awareness as regards new disruptive business models and opportunities to become a disruptor.
I further strengthened my expertise in this area by attending the IMD Executive Program „Leading Digital Business Transformation“ and the INSEAD Executive Program „Leadership Communication with Impact“.
As a guest lecturer at the IMD in Lausanne, I talked about how corporate venture capital can facilitate digital business transformation.
I have been sharing my CVC playbook in articles published on Medium, in the MIT Sloan Management Review and the Global Corporate Venturing Magazine.
LeadX Capital Partners
After having spun out of METRO Group, LeadX Capital Partners is an independent growth capital fund. I am one of three partners investing in B2B tech companies and tech-enabled B2C companies active in consumer industries.
I am a growth capital investor and a partner at the investment firm LeadX Capital Partners.
Each year, I look at hundreds of tech companies that want to raise capital in order to accelerate growth. I see patterns in companies that fail and companies that succeed.
My respective growth expertise and knowledge deriving from more than 16 years in Private Equity and Venture Capital have gone into FastScaling, my growth handbook for founders.
Prior to joining LeadX Capital Partners where I built one of the largest European portfolios of B2B tech companies active in consumer industries, I was a lawyer and partner at reputable German business law firms.
My articles on Venture Capital and M&A have been published by renowned magazines like the MIT Sloan Management Review.
I received a Ph.D. in Law from the University of Cologne and hold a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree from INSEAD Business School.
I live with my wife and children in Cologne, Germany.