Helpling founder: “You must challenge everything”

Benedikt Franke shares entrepreneurial insights that led to him founding the startup Helpling.

Benedikt Franke is one of Germany’s "prototype entrepreneurs." After studying philosophy and economics, and working for the Boston Consulting Group, Franke joined Rocket Internet and became part of its team of young entrepreneurs.

While at Rocket Internet, Franke worked for the venture MyCityDeals as COO and head of human resources. In 2010, Franke founded his own company, the Latin American Media Group, which he sold three years later.

Eight years after Franke entered the startup world at Rocket Internet, Franke found himself working for Oliver Samwer again. This time for the startup Helpling (German) – a company that digitalizes the cleaning and home services industry.

Helpling, similar to Bookatiger, helps people find individuals to clean and service their homes. Customers simply book online and professionals find the online platform makes it easier to find new clients, and manage when and where they want to work, Franke shares.

The startup Helpling connects providers of household services with clients.

The startup Helpling connects providers of household services with clients.

In addition to expanding Helpling into international markets, Franke is active as a business angel for startups, like the buzz-generating condom producer Einhorn and Tourlane, a personalized online travel organizer.

“The most critical person of your business is yourself. You must challenge everything. Don’t build up your own opinion upon the feedback of your family or friends. They are most likely not the best experts in your field and don’t necessarily want to be critical and give you bad news."

In this episode, Franke talks about the fast-paced learning experience he had when at Rocket Internet in 2009, how to make it work when you found a startup with close friends, why you should email Oliver Samwer if you have a good business idea and the next steps for Helpling.

[01:15 – 03:50]  On his professional background and working at Rocket Internet
[03:51 – 07:00]  On founding his first own company
[07:01 – 09:37]  How he and his co-founder started Helpling
[09:38 – 11:03]  On key learnings during his career so far
[11:04 – 12:56]   What it is like to found a company with a friend
[12:57 – 13:57]    On complementing each other as co-founders
[13:58 – 15:50]   On Helpling’s business and vision
[15:51 – 18: 36]   On Helpling’s decision to offer additional home services
[18:37 – 20:53]   The hottest markets for starting a company
[20:54 –  22:13]  On how to pitch an investor
[22:14 – 23:41]   Question from a listener: What is it like to work with and under Oliver Samwer?
[23:42 – 25:07]   His best advice for new founders
[25:08 – 26:48]   Openings at Helpling and characteristics he looks for in candidates

This text originally appeared on Startup Notes.

Photo credit: Helpling

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