corporate entrepreneurship, Events, innovation, startup

Speaking at the pre-opening of the digital HUB Cologne

What Startups Need @ digital HUB Cologne

Recently I was honored to be invited to speak at the members-only pre-opening of the digital HUB Cologne about “What Startups Need”.

Spoiler alert: It isn’t corporate partners and digital hubs.

The digital hubs in the state of NRW in Germany is a political construct part financed with public money. It’s supposed to support and help small and medium companies get onboard with “digitalisation”, whatever that term means.

The ensuing panel debate and Q&A

As you might know, I’m much more of a libertarian than a socialist, so I’m not the biggest fan of this publicly funded hub concept for a number of reasons.

Some are:

  • I don’t believe taxpayers should be subsidising private enterprises
  • If the market had wanted or needed a “digital hub”, it would have created one already by itself
  • The market is Darwinistic and self- correcting – putting public support-wheels or bandaids on failing businesses is wrong
  • Creating publicly funded competition to existing local business offerings is wrong

You get the drift.

In sum, I think it’s a political innovation theatre paid for in part by us the taxpayers.


These were the slides I used:

Education, entrepreneurship, Lean Startup, startup

Lean Startup Crash Course @ Founders Club Maastricht

The Lean Startup Crash Course participants @ Founders Club Maastricht

Recently I was invited to Founders Club Maastricht to hold my popular Lean Startup Crash Course.

Students presenting their results…

This guy…

These were the slides I used:

Education, Lean Startup

Lean Startup – Am I doing it right?

Image credit:

One question I get all the time is how to do Lean Startup right, so I thought I’d take a minute and share a somewhat canonical answer.

The shortest 5 step description I can give goes as follows:

  1. Articulate your hypotheses (guesses about the unknowns) using the Business Model Canvas (BMC).
  2. Get out of the building and test these hypotheses using Customer Development.
  3. Validate learnings by building Minimum Viable Products and getting them in front of customers.
  4. Iterate (small variation, no real change in BMC) or Pivot (something changed in the BMC) as needed.
  5. Build – Measure – Learn (aka rinse, lather, repeat – because this is an iterative process, you have to get out of the building more than once to talk to customers)

By now, getting the the Lean Startup methodology right should not be a problem.

The hard part is still going to be creating a product people love. 

To learn more in-depth about the Lean Startup and how to do it right, I recommend taking the canonical free course ” How to Build a Startup” from the father of the movement himself, Steve Blank.

This text was originally posted on LinkedIn.

Education, pitching, startup

Teaching at Cologne Business School (CBS)

Student projects pitching @ Cologne Business School (CBS)

Recently I was honored and delighted to be invited to teach students at Cologne Business School how to pitch with my Startup Masterclass.

Here are the slides I used:

Events, startup

It’s that WebSummit time again

Gary V…

It’s that time of year again! This year the WebSummit moved to beautiful Lisbon, Portugal. Who’s in town? Hit me up on them there social interwebs and let’s have a drink or dinner.

This thing is getting huuuuge… But we all know we come to catch up outside of the talks, having chats and drinks outside of the venue even…

WebSummit is also a Great excuse for me to visit my fiends at Startup Braga and Startup Portugal