Education, entrepreneurship, Events, News

Introducing the free & open Lean Launchpad Düsseldorf

So I recently retired from facilitating and organizing Startup Weekend and Startup Next.

But fear not. I’m not going away and I’m not about to stop caring about entrepreneurial education for startup founders in our region. On the contrary, I’m ramping up my efforts.


That’s why I have chosen to offer the Lean Launchpad (LLP), the world’s premier pre-accelerator program from Stanford, Berkeley and hundreds of other universities and used by numerous F500 companies, FOR FREE to early-stage startups.

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Education, entrepreneurship, Events, News

I’m retiring from organizing and facilitating Startup Weekend & Startup Next

I’m officially retiring from facilitating and organizing Startup Weekends and Startup Next, effective immediately. (You can still invite me as a coach, though).

SW Tourism Tehran, Iran 2015

Waving goodbye (SW Tourism Tehran, Iran 2015)

So long and thanks for all the EPIC awesomeness. I’m forever grateful for the experience and the people I’ve met on my journeys and the chance to have an impact on entrepreneurship and inspire individuals worldwide. It has certainly added more than a 10x meaning and value to my life.

Note: For those of you who don’t know, Organizers and Facilitators of Startup Weekend work on an entirely voluntary basis – aka for FREE. Keep that in mind the next time you are participating at a Startup Weekend or when you’re organizing a Startup Weekend with a facilitator shipped in from out of town.

So why am I retiring now?

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Education, Frivolous Friday, Little Known Fact, startup

A Blast from the past – An internal memo from my last startup

After pitching Steve Blank at SxSW 2012, co-founder Kit left, Arne right

After pitching Steve Blank at SxSW 2012, co-founder Kit left, Arne right

This morning, I accidentally stumbled on an internal memo from me to my co-founders and advisors from my last all-in startup venture,, from almost exactly four years ago.

“Gauss – The People Magnet” was one of the very first social discovery apps for the iPhone. For the more technical inclined, it was also a freaky cool cloud backend to mine people’s interests and networks to combine new insights with proximity and context. It took us through a roller coaster ride, from the front pages of The New York Times, CNN and TechCrunch to almost personal bankruptcy in the course of about two and a half years.

In the name of radical transparency, I thought I’d share it without comment with the public. I’ll let it be a testament – for good or for worse – of my startup CEO communications skills. I’ll let you be the judge. Anyways, it’s an interesting time capsule from a startup in the midst of the exploratory phase. At this point, we were three months in and already had an MVP and  constantly experimenting with new features and learning what users were doing and wanted to be doing and all the while trying to keep up with Facebook, Twitter, Google and Foursquare API changes that where rampant back then.

Here it goes:

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Education, entrepreneurship, Lean Startup

I’m Featured on SlideShare – Again!

I’m featured on LinkedIn SlideShare today – Again! This is the fourth time one of my presentations have been featured as presentation of the day on LinkedIn SlideShare in less than the same amount of months! (Previously: 1, 2, 3)

So yeah, go ahead and pinch my arm.

This time it’s the Lean Launchpad 101 “What We Now Know” lecture I held in Iran earlier this year. Read more about the backstory.

Gee. Thank you LinkedIn SlideShare – You’re being awfully good to me.

11998884_10156056044275444_5744685327128476078_n Screen Shot 2015-09-11 at 14.28.48

Here are the slides I used in case you missed them:

entrepreneurship, Events

Pirate Summit 2015

MC'ing the startup pitches @ Pirate Summit 2015. 02 September 2015, Cologne, Germany. Image ©Dan Taylor/Heisenberg Media

MC’ing the startup pitches @ Pirate Summit 2015. 02 September 2015, Cologne, Germany. Image ©Dan Taylor/Heisenberg Media

And thus, Cologne’s own Pirate Summit is history for this year. And what a spectacular event it was – once again! This marks the 5 year anniversary and the same number of summits I’ve attended.

This year I wasn’t pitching anything myself, but MC’ing the startup pitches on the first day instead, I opened with the exact same hack I debuted pitching my own startup from the same stage in 2011.

Back then as now, I made everybody stand up and introduce themselves to a stranger next to them, explain who they are and what they expected to get out of the event.

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