If you’ve spent even an hour in Berlin, the chances are quite high that you’ve heard the words: Venture Capital. Berlin is Europe’s startup capital for more than a few reasons. Here, you’re in the centre of Europe, with every other main European hub no more than a 2-hour flight away. What’s more, founders have access to premier, international talent in Berlin, with many of Europe’s best tech, design and business schools nearby. But most importantly, there’s money here: Berlin is ranked Europe’s 2nd, behind London, for number of venture deals.
On Thursday, January 23rd we gathered at our Berlin studio for three first-hand accounts from venture builders who know what it’s like to build companies in Europe and around the world, acquire venture capital, and create digital products from scratch.
We kicked off the evening with a fireside chat between Monica Ray Scott, Goodpatch’s Design Strategist & Business Development Lead and Stephanie Kaiser, Founder & Managing Director at Heartbeat Labs. In her current role, Stephanie leads product development, engineering and venture execution in addition to serving as a member of the German digital council to the federal government.
Stephanie has a long history of building products from scratch: In the last 5 years, she’s founded two companies, was recruited as VP of Product at Clue, the world’s fastest-growing female health start-up, and was recognized as one of the 50 most inspiring women in tech in Europe (Inspiring Fifty). Stephanie gave us a very honest and personal account of her professional experiences and lessons learned along the way. She also gave us an insight into what it’s like to advise the German Government on digital topics and how this will shape our work as designers. We will be sharing the full transcript of her interview soon!
Our first speaker was Claude Ritter, co-founder and entrepreneurial partner at Cavalry Ventures. At Calvary, Claude supports founders in areas such as product management/technology, marketing, strategy and fundraising. Next to his role as investor, Claude is co-founder and CEO of Tiger Facility Services, a digital facility services company that has raised approximately 20M € in VC since 2014. In 2010, Claude co-founded Berlin-based Lieferheld/Delivery Hero, which has become the world’s largest food-ordering network.
In his talk, Claude gave us insight into why design-led teams get funded and the key role product design plays during the VC process. He shared his anecdotes about how “Good Design is Good Business” and why design-driven teams have a higher chance of succeeding. If you’d like his full talk and reasons why you need a designer in your founding team you can request the slides here.
To close out the evening, Anna Sardini, Lead Experience Designer at BCG Digital Ventures spoke to us about the 3 things she learned building a venture. On her journey to Berlin, Anna worked as an Experience Designer in Europe and Asia, designing digital products both at agencies and corporate side.
In her current role at BCGDV, Anna spends everyday consulting and working with product teams who are building new businesses. She structured her talk around the experiences she made in a venture she spent 12 months building with her team. This venture still exists today and is called LabTwin — a voice-powered digital lab assistant for scientists to document while they are in the laboratory. If you missed the event and want to know how BCGDV structures their venture process you can download her talk here.
Need we say…another great event for the books. A HUGE thank you to our speakers and everyone who makes Product Crunch possible!
An initiative by Goodpatch, Product Crunch is a learning platform and community for passionate product people: project managers, designers, engineers, researchers, founders, and everyone in between. If you’re tired of missing the fun, make sure to join a Product Crunch meetup group:
We also share all Product Crunch trailers on our YouTube page.