I’d like to share some background on our recent launch of VentureVilla Inc. in Boston.
Nadine, Kai and I learned a lot during the last 12 years of founding, running, scaling and exiting startups. Especially our jointly founded startup CouchCommerce taught us a lot and continues (as NewStore) to be an exciting entrepreneurial journey between Germany and the US. We realized that it is really hard for German entrepreneurs to get access to good advice on how to build a company that is ready for growth in the US. This involves early steps like the right incorporation (Delaware Inc. and German GmbH), legal setup between German and US entities, IP rights and tax topics. Additionally finding the right people on both sides of the Atlantic and establishing a healthy remote work culture have proven to be challenges many startup entrepreneurs share who have similar ambitions.
During the last two years Nadine founded and ran the VentureVilla Accelerator in Hanover Germany for the local government owned investment fonds and successfully incubated an early stage startup ecosystem in our home town (see her blog post for more background information). Same as Nadine, Kai and I very much enjoyed mentoring and working with startup teams during this period. It has been a great pleasure to see how even a small network of experienced startup entrepreneurs occasionally acting as mentors can have such a positive effect on early stage teams.
However, the main challenges even for very promising startup teams from Germany continues to be attracting funding from professional and experienced business angels and venture capitalists. The reasons are diverse and I don’t want to dive into them at this point. But a path we recommend and more and more entrepreneurs from Germany try to take is to be become fundable in the US from day 1, even as a startup team with roots in Germany. This increases the likelihood of a successful outcome dramatically and reduces many risks down the road given that in a successful growth phase later in the life of the company the involvement of a US venture capitalist is anyhow very likely.
Taking this into account founding VentureVilla Inc. was the next logical step for us. Nadine is running VentureVilla on a daily basis as CEO while Kai and I are supporting the teams as mentors. We will try to share a lot of learnings so that these become accessible not only to the teams we work with but to all German entrepreneurs interested into this approach to startups.
To kick things off we are excited to support an amazing team: MachineLabs, GitHub for Machine Learning. We will keep you updated about their development and encourage you to have a look at their product.