Education, entrepreneurship, Lean Launchpad, Lean Startup

Lean Launchpad back @ Digitalhub Aachen

It’s that time of year again! Happy to report that the Digitalhub Aachen has invited me back to help this year’s incubated early-stage startups too.

This year too we’re running 10 early-stage startups through the Lean Launchpad (LLP) model from Stanford by the father of the Lean Startup movement Steve Blank, for 4 months, meeting weekly to report progress and receive peer review.

The Lean Launchpad format

The reporting format for the peer-review; data talks, bullshit walks

Education, entrepreneurship, startup

Vesting For Startup Founders Explained


It’s pretty much expected by your potential investors that your startup should have a 4 year vesting plan with a 1 year cliff, accelerated on an exit event with a double trigger for the founders. But what does all this mean?

BTW: If you like this post, you’ll probably love the much more in-depth Pitching Masterclass.

It’s a question I get asked all too often by first-time startup founders, so I’ll try to explain it here once and for all. You don’t need to be a lawyer to understand it. Read on to master your vesting.

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Education, entrepreneurship, pitching, startup

How to Pitch Your Startup


Yours truly live on stage at LeWeb in Paris pitching “Gauss - The People Magnet” (Image CC @francois_tancre)

How to Pitch Your Startup

I see a lot of startup pitches and pitch decks. And most of them suck. So let me share some basic knowledge to help you avoid my rookie mistakes and to help you massively improve your pitch so that when you potentially try to secure either something similar to small business loans in Orlando or before you reach out to investors, to start raising that funding round you have something more solid to present. It’s so important to clearly explain your business and its goals. You should also mention who your target market is. This will allow investors to understand the sort of demographic that you’ll be appealing to, allowing them to work out whether or not there is a gap for this business. Once a business has worked out who the target market is, they’ll be able to engage in personalized marketing. This can build customer loyalty and trust, whilst also increasing sales. Perhaps businesses should find more online about personalized marketing. It could be impressive for investors.

(If you like this post, you’ll probably love the much more in-depth Pitching Masterclass.)

There are actually three pitches you need to master. Read on to master them all.

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entrepreneurship, Lessons Learned, startup

On Location Based Services

Painted in Waterlogue

Writing on the Wall: A Business Model Canvas, complete with festively colored Post-Its, Atherton, CA June 2013.

This post has been gather digital dust in private draft form since May 2013. I thought I’d finally publish it to share with anyone interested in location based services.


In what now seems like eons ago, I founded a location based tech startup called “Gauss - The People Magnet“. It took me on a roller-coaster ride around the world - from the front page of The New York Times to near personal bankruptcy in the course of about two years. It folded before we got somewhere significant. If you’re interested in the background for founding ‘Gauss - The People Magnet’, there are a couple of old posts for that.

Gauss was an iPhone app to help you discover who’s nearby and what you have in common; To discover the hidden connections to the people around you in real-time – and out of necessity at the time – a self-made cloud backend that did a lot of magic for that to actually work.

To its users, it was a People Magnet for their pocket.

In this post I’m completely cleaning out the closet with my thoughts and experiences related to that startup, including potential revenue sources and business models. It’s a long and winding read - a very mixed bag, assembled from scattered notes.

Caveat Emptor 2016: If any of this looks familiar or straight forward today, rest assured they weren’t when we started out back in early 2011. To wit: successful monetization of non-dating social discovery apps arguably still hasn’t happened yet. No, Zenly’s 2017 exit to Snap does not a successful monetization make, but kudos to the founders.


I know this is a long and bumpy read, so here’s the short version:
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