Hi, Hope you're doing well? I'm Michael from Munich, Germany 🇩🇪 and have recently relocated to San Francisco. Co-Founder, Startup Mentor, Corporate Venture Capital specialist and certified Project Management Professional (PMP ®) with experience in Tech, Automotive, E-Commerce and Healthcare. Please note: I keep receiving more and more bookings at inhumane hours (midnight or 5 AM) - Please do yourself a favor and keep the time difference between your time zone and my time zone in mind. Bookings are only accepted for times between 8 AM and 8 PM PST (Pacific Standard Time) WHAT I OFFER: I would love to share some of the learnings I acquired along the way and help you avoid some of the mistakes I had to make to learn them. This includes: - How to take the leap of faith - How to evaluate your business idea - How to find product-market fit - How to create a visual brand identity - How to find your first paying customers - How to motivate yourself - How to work from anywhere in the world as a "digital nomad" ... WHAT I CARE ABOUT: 👉 Brainstorming new business ideas 💡 👉 healthy eating, exercise and sports 👉 photography, visuals and graphic design 👉 combining traveling and work as well as possible 👉 purpose, values, leadership, personal development, & positive mindset 📚 MY PROFESSIONAL BACKGROUND 💻: I'm currently doing freelance innovation projects with persilla partners and help out startup founders and corporates of new business opportunities. Besides that, I run Circular Concepts GmbH with my co-founder Simon, we are a product innovation studio with a strong focus on sustainable consumer brands. Our brand &blend (www.andblend.com) is developing into leading sustainable brand for handmade kitchen & home accessories. 👉 studied Management & Technology (Bacherlor) at TUM 👉 from 2016 till 2020: - one of the first 2 employees of Hirschvogel Ventures, a corporate venture arm of a german Tier 1 automotive supplier shaping the future business strategy for e-mobility and industrial tech. - head of acceleration & incubation - led the benchmark program for european high-tech startups that seek to collaborate with german family-run businesses 👉 from 2021-now: CEO and Co-Founder of Circular Concepts GmbH (www.circular-concepts.com) I am looking forward to great conversations and inspiring mentoring sessions!

My Mentoring Topics

  • Startup
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Self-Employed
  • Strategy
  • Corporate Venture Capital
  • Business and Corporate Development
  • D2C Consumer Goods
  • B2B High Tech Startups
  • Amazon Seller Central
  • Early Stage Validation
  • Motivation
1.March 2024

Michael is a wonderful mentor. He was very helpful and I really enjoyed our session together. He took the time to structure our conversation, understand where I am at and my current challenges and goals, and then patiently answered all my questions. He was friendly, open and easy to connect with as well. I also appreciate that he outlined a few points for me to work on in the coming weeks, which gave me a clear and actionable path forward. I look forward to learning more from him in the future!

8.December 2023

Michael was incredibly nice, helpful, and insightful during our mentoring session. His communication style made it easy to understand his advice, and I walked out of the meeting feeling positive and motivated. The discussion was fruitful, and I have clear action items to pursue. Time spent with Michael was definitely not in vain. Grateful for the guidance!

19.October 2023

Michael has been an excellent mentor for my business journey as a young entrepreneur. He helped me in getting started and provided practical guidance to make crucial decisions and optimize my agency strategies. His support extended beyond work, he also offered me valuable career advice and life tips. Thank you Michael!

20.August 2023

Meeting Michael was truly transformative. His expertise and approachability set the stage for an incredible mentorship. His insights on AI and business were enlightening, and his relatable explanations and personality made it even more enjoyable. Michael's personal touch created a comfortable atmosphere. His anecdotes showed genuine care for my growth. His advice was a game-changer, offering fresh perspectives and clear direction. Tailoring his insights to my goals was key, and I can't wait to reconnect with Michael for more guidance. He's a remarkable mentor, and I feel incredibly fortunate to have met him.

12.July 2023

The Session with Michael was great and eye-opening for me! He gave me valuable tips for my upcoming self-employment and helped me to focus on the most important things. These 45 min were the best time to invest I had so far. Keep it up, Michael!

31.March 2023

I had a wonderful session with Michael where we discussed my career plans, negotiation, and career decision making. Michael was very knowledgeable and friendly, making it easy for me to talk to him. He was able to extract a clear plan from our conversation that has given me structured goals to work towards. Overall, I highly recommend Michael for those seeking career guidance and support. Thank you, Michael!

31.March 2023

It was a productive session that helped me clear some doubts and have a clear direction to work on. And Michael gave great inspirations for people to work on their ideas and start their own business. I really appreciate it.

27.March 2023

I contacted Michael because I wanted to make a career change and approach the world of Venture Capital for the first time. Michael was very patient and detailed, he explained to me how Venture Capital works and all the stages of how a company is financed throughout its journey. He answered all my questions and helped me with concrete examples to understand how I could match my already acquired skills and passions with what is on offer in this industry. In addition, his advices were very practical and immediately showed me what the next steps are in the medium to long term.

18.January 2023

The session was very helpful for me, since I was doing my business alone. Now I had a sparring partner on eye-level. He was able to give me knew views from the outside perspective and we went out of the the short meeting with action items and fully energized. I can recommend Michael to anyone who is looking for a professional viewpoint.

5.December 2022

Michael is really friendly. He was extremely knowledgeable in the domain I needed help with. He is able to break the topic down structurally for someone to understand. I really enjoyed and learnt a lot from our conversation.

28.November 2022

I had so far only one session with Michael but ended the session with very clear and actionable tactics. What I enjoyed the most is that he spent most of the time actively listening, clarifying what he heard and then providing suggestions that worked in my current situation. Was at the point of throwing in the towel but he showed some alternatives to try out new ideas.

16.October 2022

It was a pleasure speaking with Michael. When you're trying to introduce a new concept to the world it's nice to have someone who will listen because he is an early adopter and an innovator. The session was very productive and I know if I have questions in the near future Michael will be there to help me. I'm very grateful.

12.October 2022

I found my session with Michael very helpful, he was able to extract a clear plan from everything we discussed and I now have structured goals to shape my next actions around. He is friendly and easy to talk to and knowledgeable about the areas I wanted assistance with. Thank you Michael!

23.September 2022

Michael supported me in advancing my startup to the next stage. His guidance and advice gave me new actionable steps on what to do next. Especially his experience in the startup ecosystems around the world gave me a broader perspective.

29.July 2022

His advice was very conclusive and actionable. I liked how he explained his ideas in a calm manner.

24.July 2022

With a very short introduction of my startup you were able to provide me with great insights on how I could proceed to achieve the next step.

21.July 2022

It was really good. Michael is full of brilliant ideas and it's great to hear all the valuable insights he shared with me. Also, I appreciate the fact that he has been gracious with his time and checked upon me regarding the progress I made so far. Over all, I would strongly recommend Michael for being a great mentor.

29.June 2022

Hi Michael, it was really helpful. Thanks for sharing those tips and suggestions.

Managing, Performing, Living
Fredmund Malik

Key Insights from the Book Management as a Skill: The book argues that management is a skill that can be learned and honed, not just an innate ability. Malik emphasizes the importance of effective management in all aspects of life, not just in business. Systems Orientation: Malik's approach to management is deeply rooted in systems theory. He believes that organizations should be seen as complex systems, and managed accordingly. The Manager's Role: According to Malik, a manager's role is to design and maintain systems that enable employees to perform at their best. Importance of Communication: Malik underscores the importance of effective communication in management. He believes that clear, honest and timely communication is key to avoiding misunderstandings and ensuring smooth operations. Focus on Results: Malik believes that managers should focus on results, rather than processes. He argues that by keeping an eye on the end goal, managers can make better decisions and achieve greater success. Right Things vs. Doing Things Right: Malik draws a distinction between doing things right (efficiency) and doing the right things (effectiveness). He argues that managers need to do both to be successful. Management Tools: The book provides a set of practical tools and techniques for effective management, including the "Malik Management System." Embracing Change: Malik emphasizes the importance of being adaptable and open to change in today's fast-paced business environment. Leadership and Management: Malik asserts that leadership and management are two sides of the same coin, and that effective leaders are also effective managers. Importance of Teamwork: Malik believes that teamwork is crucial for business success, and that managers should strive to create a culture that fosters collaboration and cooperation. Continuous Learning: Finally, Malik argues that continuous learning and improvement is essential for both individuals and organizations to stay competitive. Analysis and Conclusions In "Managing, Performing, Living," Fredmund Malik presents a comprehensive and practical approach to management that is deeply rooted in systems theory. As a professor who has been dealing with these topics for many years, I find Malik's arguments both compelling and relevant. Malik's assertion that management is a skill that can be learned is a powerful one. It underscores the importance of continuous learning and improvement, both for individuals and organizations. In my experience, the most successful managers are those who continuously strive to improve their skills and knowledge. The book's focus on systems orientation is also noteworthy. Malik argues that organizations should be seen as complex systems, and managed accordingly. This is an approach that I have found to be incredibly effective in my own work. By understanding the interdependencies and interactions within an organization, managers can make more informed decisions and achieve better results. Malik also emphasizes the importance of communication in management. This is a point that cannot be overstated. In my experience, many management issues stem from poor communication. By fostering clear, honest and timely communication, managers can avoid misunderstandings and ensure smooth operations. Another key point that Malik makes is the distinction between doing things right and doing the right things. This is a crucial distinction that all managers should understand. While efficiency is important, it is equally important to ensure that the organization is focused on the right goals. By maintaining a focus on results, managers can ensure that their efforts are directed towards the most important tasks. Finally, Malik's book provides a set of practical tools and techniques for effective management. These tools, such as the "Malik Management System," can be incredibly useful for managers at all levels. They provide a structured approach to management that can help to ensure consistency and effectiveness. In conclusion, "Managing, Performing, Living" is a comprehensive guide to effective management. Its emphasis on systems theory, communication, results focus, and practical tools make it an invaluable resource for managers. Whether you are a seasoned manager or just starting out, this book provides valuable insights and techniques that can help you to improve your management skills and achieve greater success.

An Ugly Truth - Inside Facebook's Battle for Domination
Sheera Frenkel, Cecilia Kang

Key Facts and Insights from "An Ugly Truth - Inside Facebook's Battle for Domination" Facebook's real-time evolution: The book delves into the metamorphosis of Facebook from a Harvard dormitory project to a global tech behemoth and its continuous struggle to maintain its dominance. Mark Zuckerberg's role: Founder Mark Zuckerberg's decision-making and leadership style is an integral part of the narrative, with his 'move fast and break things' mantra shaping Facebook's culture. Facebook's impact on democracy: The book provides an in-depth examination of Facebook's influence on political landscapes worldwide, notably the US Presidential election in 2016. Data privacy and misinformation: It uncovers the controversies surrounding data privacy violations, fake news dissemination and Facebook's lackadaisical approach towards these issues. Facebook's business model: The book exposes how Facebook's business model, centered around targeted advertising, has led to questionable practices about user data. Internal culture and dissent: The narrative also highlights the internal culture at Facebook, revealing instances of dissent and conflict among employees and executives over the company's direction. Regulatory scrutiny: The book emphasizes the increasing calls for regulation and antitrust action against Facebook, both within the US and globally. Cambridge Analytica scandal: It provides an exhaustive account of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, underlining Facebook's lax approach to user data protection. Facebook's role in societal polarization: It explores how Facebook's algorithms and policies have contributed to increased societal division and polarization. Facebook's Global Expansion: The book investigates Facebook's aggressive global expansion strategies and their impact on countries like Myanmar and India. The Future of Facebook: It offers insights on what the future holds for Facebook amidst growing public distrust, regulatory scrutiny, and internal dissent. An In-Depth Summary and Analysis "An Ugly Truth - Inside Facebook's Battle for Domination" presents an unvarnished picture of Facebook's rise to power and the subsequent controversies that have plagued the platform. The book, authored by acclaimed journalists Sheera Frenkel and Cecilia Kang, peels back the layers of a company that has become a fundamental part of our digital lives. At the heart of Facebook's story is Mark Zuckerberg. His relentless pursuit of growth, encapsulated in the mantra 'move fast and break things', has steered the company's direction. Yet, this approach has also led to a myriad of problems. From data privacy violations to misinformation campaigns, Facebook has been embroiled in controversies that question the company's ethics and responsibility. The book offers a comprehensive examination of Facebook's impact on democracy. Through incidents like the 2016 US Presidential election, it highlights how Facebook has been weaponized for political manipulation. The platform's algorithms, designed to engage users, often amplify divisive content, contributing to societal polarization. Furthermore, Facebook's business model, based on targeted advertising, has raised serious issues about data privacy. The Cambridge Analytica scandal, extensively covered in the book, revealed how user data could be exploited for political gains, reflecting Facebook's lax approach towards data protection. The narrative also touches on the internal culture at Facebook. It reveals instances of dissent, with employees and executives confliccing over the company's approach to fake news and hate speech. This internal turmoil is indicative of the broader struggle to reconcile Facebook's growth-focused ethos with ethical considerations. In recent years, Facebook has faced increasing regulatory scrutiny. The book underscores the growing calls for regulation and antitrust action against Facebook. These pressures reflect a broader debate about the power of tech giants and the need for comprehensive digital regulation. The book also examines Facebook's aggressive global expansion, highlighting its impact on countries like Myanmar and India. In these regions, Facebook's failure to tackle hate speech and misinformation has had real-world consequences, further illustrating the platform's pervasive influence. Finally, the book gives a glimpse into the future of Facebook. Amidst growing public distrust and internal dissent, the platform faces immense challenges. Yet, the narrative also suggests that Facebook's reach and impact are unlikely to wane soon, raising pertinent questions about the role of social media in our lives. In conclusion, "An Ugly Truth - Inside Facebook's Battle for Domination" offers a compelling examination of Facebook's journey, revealing the complexities and contradictions of the world's largest social media platform. It provides readers with a deep understanding of the issues surrounding Facebook, equipping them with the knowledge to engage in informed discussions about the future of social media and digital regulation.

Secrets of Sand Hill Road - Venture Capital—and How to Get It
Scott Kupor

Key Facts and Insights from "Secrets of Sand Hill Road - Venture Capital—and How to Get It" Understanding the VC mindset: Venture capitalists are not risk-averse investors but risk-calculated investors with a deep focus on high-growth startups. The importance of the pitch: The key to securing venture capital is a compelling pitch that showcases your product's uniqueness, market potential, and team strength. Understanding VC economics: The book elucidates how venture funds work, explaining fund structure, the allocation of funds, and return expectations. The power of networks: Success in securing VC funding often depends on leveraging networks and relationships effectively. Term sheets and deal structures: Detailed insight into the anatomy of a term sheet and the implications of different deal structures. Board dynamics and governance: The importance of board composition, governance, and its impact on the future trajectory of a startup. Exit strategies: Understanding the different exit strategies, from IPOs to acquisitions, and the role of VCs in these processes. Diversification: The significance of portfolio diversification in venture capital investment. Managing VC-Founder relationships: Insights into managing relationships with VCs, including discussions about control, decision-making, and conflict resolution. Understanding dilution: The book explains the concept of dilution and its implications for founders. Demystifying the VC jargon: The book unpacks the complex terminology used in the VC world, making it accessible for entrepreneurs. Analysis and Conclusions "Secrets of Sand Hill Road - Venture Capital—and How to Get It" by Scott Kupor provides a comprehensive guide to understanding the venture capital world from a practitioner's perspective. Drawing from his experience as a managing partner at Andreessen Horowitz, Kupor demystifies the process of raising venture capital, delivering a wealth of knowledge to entrepreneurs. The book starts by highlighting the mindset of venture capitalists. Contrary to popular belief, VCs are not risk-averse but calculate risks carefully. They seek to invest in high-growth startups that can potentially offer significant returns. This insight is crucial for entrepreneurs, as it helps them understand what VCs are looking for and how to position their startups accordingly. One of the most significant aspects of securing venture capital is the pitch. Kupor stresses the importance of a compelling pitch that showcases the product's uniqueness, its market potential, and the strength of the team. This aligns with my experience, underscoring the importance of the 'elevator pitch' in grabbing the interest of potential investors. The book provides an in-depth understanding of VC economics, explaining the structure of venture funds, how funds are allocated, and the return expectations. This knowledge is vital for entrepreneurs as it can help them negotiate better terms and understand the implications of different funding structures. Kupor also emphasizes the power of networks in securing venture capital. Leveraging relationships effectively can increase the chances of securing investment. This aligns with the concept of 'social capital', which I have often taught in my entrepreneurship courses. The book provides an invaluable guide to term sheets and deal structures. Understanding the anatomy of a term sheet and the implications of different deal structures can empower entrepreneurs during negotiations. This underlines the importance of financial literacy in entrepreneurship, a topic I often emphasize in my lectures. Board dynamics and governance also play a crucial role in the success of a startup. The book discusses the importance of board composition and governance and its impact on the future trajectory of the startup. This aligns with corporate governance theories, emphasizing the importance of balanced power structures and effective leadership. Understanding exit strategies, from IPOs to acquisitions, is also crucial. The book explains the role of VCs in these processes, helping entrepreneurs anticipate possible future scenarios. This aligns with financial strategy concepts in entrepreneurship. The book also highlights the significance of portfolio diversification in venture capital investment. This reflects modern portfolio theory, which I often teach in finance courses, emphasizing the importance of diversifying investments to manage risk. Managing the VC-Founder relationship is a recurring theme in the book. Kupor provides insights into managing relationships with VCs, including discussions about control, decision-making, and conflict resolution. This resonates with my teachings on the importance of emotional intelligence and negotiation skills in entrepreneurship. Another important concept discussed in the book is dilution. Kupor explains the implications of dilution for founders, a crucial aspect that entrepreneurs must understand when negotiating investment deals. Finally, the book serves as an essential tool for demystifying the VC jargon, making the complex terminology used in the VC world accessible for entrepreneurs. This aligns with my belief in the importance of understanding industry-specific language in business. In conclusion, "Secrets of Sand Hill Road - Venture Capital—and How to Get It" provides an invaluable guide to understanding and navigating the venture capital world. I would recommend this book to any entrepreneur seeking to raise venture capital or anyone interested in gaining a comprehensive understanding of the venture capital landscape.