90 episodes

The Most Awesome Founder Podcast is a show about entrepreneurs, innovators, advisors, and educators, and the stories that make them who they are today. We are brought to you by the WHU–Otto Beisheim School of Management Entrepreneurship Center in beautiful Vallendar, Germany.

The Most Awesome Founder Podcast Gerrit McGowan

    • Business
    • 4.0 • 4 Ratings

The Most Awesome Founder Podcast is a show about entrepreneurs, innovators, advisors, and educators, and the stories that make them who they are today. We are brought to you by the WHU–Otto Beisheim School of Management Entrepreneurship Center in beautiful Vallendar, Germany.

    EP 90 - Fueling fast-growth companies with Karel Dörner

    EP 90 - Fueling fast-growth companies with Karel Dörner

    Episode 90 of the Most Awesome Founder podcast and we are pleased to welcome Karel Dörner! Karel is one of the earliest role models of the WHU entrepreneurship spirit; from the dorm rooms of WHU to co-founding eBay competitor Alando, it took him only a few months.
    Moreover, leaving McKinsey to found a startup with buddies from university when founding was yet to be considered an outstanding career option takes guts and a strong-minded person willing to take a risk. With a blend of personal anecdotes and professional insights, Karel unveils the highs and lows of startup life and the wisdom gained from his many business endeavors.
    Tune in to find out how, in the end, he found his way back to top-tier consulting and can still transform high-growth startups today.
     
    Chapters:
    (0:08) Intro to the episode
    (0:44) Karel’s professional background: from founding alando to joining McKinsey 
    (13:35) Are there parallels between doing business in 1998 and today?  
    (27:30) How do you make an exit decision as a young founder?
    (33:12) How can consultancies help fast-growing companies 
    (37:55) Changing external environments for fast-growing startups
    (42:40) The startup ecosystem approach
    (48:00) The public sector as a lead customer – a model for Germany?
    (53:14) When is the right point to exit as a founder 
    (59:30) Books & podcast suggestions
     
    Karel's recommendations:
    Startup Insider Podcast
    Benedict Evans
    Flyvberg, Gardner- How Big Things Get Done

    • 1 hr 3 min
    EP 89 - Balancing growth and regulation in fintech with Tobias Auferoth

    EP 89 - Balancing growth and regulation in fintech with Tobias Auferoth

    In this episode, we delve into Tobias Auferoth's career journey, which led him from an beginning at Goldman Sachs to a pivotal turn toward entrepreneurship and technology in fintech.
    As the co-founder and managing director of the fintech startup Upvest, Tobias shares his insights on creating a groundbreaking investment API, demystifying the complexities of financial technologies for our audience. With clients like Revolut, Raisin, and N26, his company exemplifies the fusion of traditional finance with modern technology, offering seamless integration of securities trading into existing platforms.
    This conversation highlights the challenges of navigating a highly regulated industry and emphasizes the importance of trust, innovation, and the delicate balance between rapid growth and compliance.
    Dive into this episode to explore the intersection of regulation and innovation, where the future of finance is being redrawn 🚀💼🔍
     
    Chapters:
    (0:35) Tobias gives an intro to his background
    (2:50) Why was the reasoning for co-founding Upvest
    (4:25) What is Upvest’s investment API about? 
    (8:05) The role of trust in a B2B fintech
    (10:53) How can a startup grow in a heavily regulated industry?
    (14:30) The need for VC involvement in Upvest
    (16:10) What is the culture and mindset in Upvest? 
    (20:08) The overall state of the fintech industry
    (22:45) What is the best way to enter the finance industry as a career path?
    (26:20) Podcast and book recommendations
     
    Tobias‘ recommendations:
    Janosch Kühn - Mach keinen Quatsch

    • 29 min
    EP 88 - Building AI chatbots for customer retention with Marco Dassisti

    EP 88 - Building AI chatbots for customer retention with Marco Dassisti

    Join us on the WHU Most Awesome Founder Podcast as we dive into the world of entrepreneurship with Marco Dassisti, a seasoned alumnus of WHU's MBA program and the founder of kitchX and Qualimero.🔊🚀 
    Discover the highs and lows of building a startup, the power of conversational commerce, and the future of WhatsApp as a sales channel. From the challenges of scalability to the excitement of creating a new venture, Marco shares valuable insights and lessons learned along the way.🔥 
    Don't miss this engaging conversation packed with inspiration and practical wisdom!🌟💡
     
    Chapters:
    (1:00) Introduction to Marco's Background
    (3:15) Discussing the Problem of Scalability in the Case of kitchX
    (5:40) Explaining What Qualimero is All About
    (9:00) Overview of the Current Lead Journey and Their Pain Points
    (10:00) How Qualimero Addresses These Pain Points
    (11:10) Importance of Quality Assurance for LLm in Sales
    (14:30) Exploring Why Conversion of Customers is Difficult for Startups
    (16:30) The Drive of Being an Entrepreneur and Lessons Learned from kitchX
    (20:50) Analyzing the Future of Whatsapp in the Context of Meta
    (24:00) Discussion on German Conservatism
    (25:15) Insights into Intrapreneurship at OBI
    (30:00) Comparing No Code vs. Having a Technical Co-Founder
    (34:20) MBA Program of WHU and Entrepreneurship
    (36:25) Podcast and Book Recommendations
     
    Marco's recommendations:
    How Big Things Get Done

    • 38 min
    EP 87 - The state of venture funding with Maximilian Eckel

    EP 87 - The state of venture funding with Maximilian Eckel

    Dive into the heart of Germany's startup ecosystem with our latest podcast episode, where we explore the vibrant yet challenging landscape of entrepreneurship in this dynamic country. Despite being a hub of innovation and potential, German startups face unique hurdles, from stringent regulations to the quest for funding. Our episode sheds light on these intricacies through the lens of industry insiders, offering a rare glimpse into what it takes to thrive in Germany's competitive startup arena. 🚀🇩🇪
    Join us as we dissect the layers of support and struggle that define the German startup journey, from the early stages of ideation to the complexities of scaling globally. Our guests share their firsthand experiences, navigating through bureaucratic tangles, cultural nuances, and the ever-evolving digital landscape. This episode is a must-listen for anyone curious about the realities of startup success and the resilience it demands in Germany's unique ecosystem. 🌐💼
     
    Chapters:
    (1:00) Max's background
    (8:50) The role of WHU in the venture funding landscape in Germany
    (14:20) Outside perspective on WHU's startup ecosystem
    (19:00) Deeptech startups and WHU students
    (24:20) More Hands-on entrepreneurial mentality or traditional success Path?
    (30:40) Is WHU's startup mentality sustainable?
    (32:35) What's the startup motivation for WHU students?
    (40:05) The undervalued potential of bootstrapping startups
    (43:00) Funding report discussion
    (53:40) Why deeptech has no proper VC funds
    (1:04:00) Overview of the WHU ecosystem
    (1:17:10) Books and podcast suggestions
     
    Book recommendations:
    The Circle Amazon.com: The Circle: 9781594139611: Eggers, Dave: Bücher
    A Canticle for Leibowitz Amazon.com: A Canticle for Leibowitz: 9780553273816: Walter M. Miller Jr.: Bücher
    A Swim in a Pond in the Rain Amazon.com: A Swim in a Pond in the Rain: From the Man Booker Prize-winning, New York Times-bestselling author of Lincoln in the Bardo: 9781526624284: Saunders, George: Bücher
     
    Podcast recommendations:
    Startup insider Startup Insider | Podcast Startup Insider (startup-insider.com)
    Deutsche-Startups Podcast - Alle Nachrichten und Informationen, News, Tipps und Infos zu Podcast - deutsche-startups.de
    Unicorn Bakery Unicorn Bakery - Der Startup Podcast mit Fabian Tausch

    • 1 hr 15 min
    EP 86 - Sunhero and the Power of Solar Innovation with Christopher Cederskog

    EP 86 - Sunhero and the Power of Solar Innovation with Christopher Cederskog

    Strap in for a riveting new episode on 'The Most Awesome Founder Podcast' as our hosts, Dries Faems and Gerrit McGowan, are joined by strategic mastermind Jeroen Kraaijenbrink. Jeroen shares captivating real-life experiences that he acquired while working on strategic matters with all kinds of clients from the corporate and startup world. Coming from an academic background, he gives insights into his method-oriented approach to strategy and how he aligns his work style with the customers.
    But that's not all – with a staggering 200k+ followers on LinkedIn and a spot in the Top 20 Global Content Creators, Jeroen is not just a strategist but a digital influencer powerhouse. Hungry for tips on amplifying your online presence? He's got insider secrets you won't want to miss.
    If you are into strategy, make sure to catch this episode.
     
    Chapters:
    (1:00) Christopher's background
    (2:30) Reasons for founding sunhero
    (3:40) Building a solar system journey
    (5:40) Factors influencing solar business
    (8:10) Sunhero's business model
    (12:00) Education in the solar industry
    (15:15) Debt financing usage
    (17:30) Challenges for german startups
    (20:50) Pitfalls of international expansion
    (27:00) Cultural considerations
    (29:45) Spanish and german mentalities
    (32:30) Hiring in different countries
    (33:50) Core principles of sunhero
    (36:50) Data-Driven decision-making  - always?
    (42:40) Tips for early stage entrepreneurs
    (48:00) Book and podcast recommendations
     
    Chapters:
    Storyworthy: Engage, Teach, Persuade, and Change Your Life through the Power of Storytelling : Dicks, Matthew, Kennedy, Dan: Amazon.de: Books
    Lenny's Podcast (lennyspodcast.com)
     

    • 50 min
    Ep 85 - Building B2B Marketplaces for SaaS with Sergio Chavez

    Ep 85 - Building B2B Marketplaces for SaaS with Sergio Chavez

    🌟 Welcome to the first episode of 2024 on 'The Most Awesome Founder Podcast'!
    Join our esteemed host, Dries Faems, as he engages in an enlightening conversation with Sergio G. Chavez, the innovative head of marketplace and partnerships at Sastrify. Sergio, with his rich international experience in Germany, delves into the intricate world of partnership management and its unique challenges, while also unveiling Sastrify's ambitious vision of creating a comprehensive solution for SaaS procurement and management.
    Sergio brings to light intriguing misconceptions and hurdles he faced while carving out his international career in Germany. A particularly fascinating insight he shares revolves around the critical role of German language proficiency in customer-facing roles within the DACH region. The episode takes a deep dive into contrasting perspectives on partnerships held by different generations, probing into the perennial debate of quality versus quantity in professional relationships. 🤝
    This episode is a treasure trove for anyone interested in understanding the nuances of international career building, the evolving landscape of partnership management, and the pioneering strides in SaaS solutions. Get ready to be captivated by Sergio's journey and insights that could reshape your view of global professional dynamics.
     
    Chapters:
    (0:08) Introduction
    (0:50) Sergio's backstory
    (3:20) Motivation for jumping into a Startup as an MBA.
    (8:00) What Sastrify is all about.
    (13:20) Sastrify in the forcefield between their customers and SaaS Vendors.
    (16:20) The problem with current SaaS B2B Sales. 
    (20:30) How Sastrify as a SaaS marketplace uses its money.
    (23:20) Partnership management and its unique challenges
    (27:00) Quantity vs. Quality in partnerships.
    (29:10) Different perspectives on partnerships.
    (32:30) Helping international professionals to build a career in Germany.
    (35:25) Core challenges and misconceptions for building a career as an international professional.
    (55:00) Sergio's book and podcast recommendations
     
    Sergio's recommendations:
    Venture Deals by Brad Feld
    The Startup Community Way: Evolving an Entrepreneurial Ecosystem by Brad Feld
     
    All in Podcast
     
    Startup Insider

    • 53 min

Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5
4 Ratings

4 Ratings

J4L3BR4 ,

Nerdy prof and hipster entrepreneur

Good insights. Good guests. Fantastic network. Sometimes the audio quality is not as good as you would expect it.

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