This semester’s kick-off and Startup Champions event from ETH Entrepreneur Club and venturelab gave the chance to gain first-hand knowledge on the entrepreneurial views of one of the top venture capitalists in Europe, Klaus Hommels.
Our cooperation with ETH Entrepreneur Club continues. After a great interview with president Edith Schmid, this time we get insights about their kick-off and startup champions event together with vetnurelab. And by the way: The well-known business angel Klaus Hommels from Lakestar was one of the guest speaker. The Zurich-based founder of Lakestar, whose very long line of big hits includes Skype, Facebook, and Spotify, as well as such highly valued, still-private companies as Airbnb and the shaving products company Harry’s is one of the top venture capitalists in Europe.
In his presentation, he did not miss to praise the entrepreneurial achievements of former ETH students and pointed out that the European startup culture has become increasingly technology focused in recent years, after this had already been the case in the United States for quite some time. He illustrated his point by presenting recent examples of successful European tech startups (e.g. Spotify, Soundcloud, Teralytics). Moreover, he revealed that for him, intrinsic motivation and the passion to develop a great product that solves a technologically challenging problem are the main cornerstones for creating a successful startup.
The following panel discussion, featuring Klaus Hommels, Dominik Grolimund (Founder of Wuala and Silp), Christian Reiter (Founder of Bitspin) and Stefan Steiner from venturelab gave great insights into the life of young entrepreneurs and the decisions they face during the build-up of their company and after a possible exit. Among those insights was Dominik Grolimund’s confirmation that continuous calibration of products based on feedback provided by a diverse group of people is essential for achieving results that really meet market needs and expectations.
Regarding post-exit decisions, Christian Reiter explained that he declined an offer to work for Google after the acquisition of his company by the Internet search giant in order to be able to further follow his own path. After sharing a number of further key learnings from their endeavors, the panelists as well as their audience enjoyed a hearty apèro in the heart of ETH’s main building.
Last but not least, Klaus Hommels invites aspiring entrepreneurs to contact his fund Lakestar using the mail address firstname.lastname@example.org.