Holtzbrinck Ventures’ Jasper Masemann on building successful startups

Venture capitalist Jasper Masemann on how to building a successful company.

Jasper Masemann knows the nitty-gritty of the startup world from multiple perspectives. Since 2015, Masemann has worked at Holtzbrinck Ventures, one of Germany’s most well-known venture capital (VC) firms.

Like many founders and venture capitalists before him, Jasper worked as a consultant for several years, where he learned the ropes at the Boston Consulting Group, before becoming an entrepreneur himself. In 2011, he founded greatcontent.com, a text production platform that facilitates copywriting in 18 languages for clients worldwide.

From entrepreneur to supporting founders as a VC

After four years as CEO, he switched sides and joined Holtzbrinck Ventures. He works with founders and helps their companies’ reach their full growth potential.

After 16 years in business, Holtzbrinck Ventures has more than 735 million euros under management. The VC firm also invested early on in some of Germany's most profitable startups: Zalando, Delivery Hero, FlixBus.

Two of Holtzbrinck Ventures’ latest investments include Zeitgold and Lingokids.

“Founders who don’t have their ego under control have the big problem that they don’t listen to their customers and create a bad product. Especially if you want to convince a VC, I recommend a more modest approach – but of course you should also be bold. To have that combination in the right balance is really important.”

In this episode, Masemann talks about his work as a VC, shares great tips for founders that are seeking funding and weighs in on current developments in the European startup scene.

These are the topics covered:

[01:35 – 03:06]   A typical day as a VC
[03:07 – 04:56]  Why Holtzbrinck Ventures is a popular VC firm
[04:57 – 07:31]   On the most impressive company he has seen in 2016
[07:32 – 10:45]   On the hottest industries for starting founding
[10:46 – 13:15]    What makes a great entrepreneur vs. an average one?
[13:16 – 14:46]    What it takes to impress Masemann during a pitch
[14:47 – 16:26]    Tips on what not to do when talking to investors
[16:27 – 18:27]   When to contact Masemann for funding
[18:28 – 20:54]  On the startup scene in Germany and Europe
[20:55 – 22:43]  On the ideal founders team setup
[22:44 – 25:51]  Masemann's advice to first-time founders
[25:52 – 28:12]  On picking between startup or corporate after graduation
[28:13 – 29:26]  Open positions at Holtzbrinck Ventures

This text originally appeared on Startup Notes.

Photo credit: Startup Notes / Holtzbrinck Ventures

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