EP 90 – Fueling fast-growth companies with Karel Dörner

EP 90 – Fueling fast-growth companies with Karel Dörner

Episode Stream



Episode 90 of the Most Awesome Founder podcast and we are pleased to welcome Karel Dörner! Karel is one of the earliest role models of the WHU entrepreneurship spirit; from the dorm rooms of WHU to co-founding eBay competitor Alando, it took him only a few months.

Moreover, leaving McKinsey to found a startup with buddies from university when founding was yet to be considered an outstanding career option takes guts and a strong-minded person willing to take a risk. With a blend of personal anecdotes and professional insights, Karel unveils the highs and lows of startup life and the wisdom gained from his many business endeavors.

Tune in to find out how, in the end, he found his way back to top-tier consulting and can still transform high-growth startups today.



(0:08) Intro to the episode

(0:44) Karel’s professional background: from founding alando to joining McKinsey 

(13:35) Are there parallels between doing business in 1998 and today?  

(27:30) How do you make an exit decision as a young founder?

(33:12) How can consultancies help fast-growing companies 

(37:55) Changing external environments for fast-growing startups

(42:40) The startup ecosystem approach

(48:00) The public sector as a lead customer – a model for Germany?

(53:14) When is the right point to exit as a founder 

(59:30) Books & podcast suggestions


Karel’s recommendations:

Startup Insider Podcast

Benedict Evans

Flyvbjerg, Gardner – How Big Things Get Done