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EP 88 – Building AI chatbots for customer retention with Marco Dassisti

Join us on the WHU Most Awesome Founder Podcast as we dive into the world of entrepreneurship with Marco Dassisti, a seasoned alumnus of WHU’s MBA program and the founder of kitchX and Qualimero.🔊🚀
Discover the highs and lows of building a startup, the power of conversational commerce, and the future of WhatsApp as a sales channel. From scalability challenges to the excitement of creating a new venture, Marco shares valuable insights and lessons learned along the way.🔥
Don’t miss this engaging conversation packed with inspiration and practical wisdom!🌟💡

Ep 87 – The state of venture funding with Maximilian Eckel

Dive into the heart of Germany’s startup ecosystem with our latest podcast episode, where we explore the vibrant yet challenging landscape of entrepreneurship in this dynamic country. Despite being a hub of innovation and potential, German startups face unique hurdles, from stringent regulations to the quest for funding. Our episode sheds light on these intricacies through the lens of industry insiders, offering a rare glimpse into what it takes to thrive in Germany’s competitive startup arena. 🚀🇩🇪

Join us as we dissect the layers of support and struggle that define the German startup journey, from the early stages of ideation to the complexities of scaling globally. Our guests share their firsthand experiences, navigating through bureaucratic tangles, cultural nuances, and the ever-evolving digital landscape. This episode is a must-listen for anyone curious about the realities of startup success and the resilience it demands in Germany’s unique ecosystem. 🌐💼

Ep 86 – Sunhero and the Power of Solar Innovation

In Episode 86 of the ‘The Most Awesome Founder Podcast’ you get to explore Christopher’s inspiring journey with Sunhero, driven by a commitment to sustainability and motivated by fatherhood. Learn how he self-educated to build solar systems despite no technical background.

Discover the practicalities and challenges of the solar energy business, emphasizing market understanding in regions like Spain. Uncover Sunhero’s customer-centric approach, setting it apart from others.

Get insights into the solar industry’s educational aspects, startup financing, and the challenges German startups face internationally. Christopher shares leadership lessons and hiring nuances across countries.

Explore the core principles guiding Sunhero, the balance between data-driven decisions and intuition, and advice for early-stage entrepreneurs. Don’t miss Christopher’s book and podcast recommendations.

Join us for an enlightening conversation on entrepreneurship, sustainability, and international business.

Ep 85 – Building B2B Marketplaces for SaaS with Sergio G. Chavez

🌟 Welcome to the first episode of 2024 on ‘The Most Awesome Founder Podcast’!

Join our esteemed host, Dries Faems, as he engages in an enlightening conversation with Sergio G. Chavez, the innovative head of marketplace and partnerships at Sastrify. Sergio, with his rich international experience in Germany, delves into the intricate world of partnership management and its unique challenges, while also unveiling Sastrify’s ambitious vision of creating a comprehensive solution for SaaS procurement and management.

Sergio brings to light intriguing misconceptions and hurdles he faced while carving out his international career in Germany. A particularly fascinating insight he shares revolves around the critical role of German language proficiency in customer-facing roles within the DACH region. The episode takes a deep dive into contrasting perspectives on partnerships held by different generations, probing into the perennial debate of quality versus quantity in professional relationships. 🤝

This episode is a treasure trove for anyone interested in understanding the nuances of international career building, the evolving landscape of partnership management, and the pioneering strides in SaaS solutions. Get ready to be captivated by Sergio’s journey and insights that could reshape your view of global professional dynamics.

EP 84 – Inspiration session #11: The Oliver Samwer and Max Finger startup bible

Welcome to our last episode in 2023!
🚀 This episode takes a unique twist as we journey 25 years back in time to dissect a master thesis that was written by two of the German entrepreneurship world’s most influential figures – Oliver Samwer & Max Finger.
📜 Oliver & Max, renowned for their groundbreaking entrepreneurial ventures, penned this remarkable thesis called “America’s Most Succesful Startups” at the dawn of their illustrious career when doing their masters at WHU. Now, Dries and Gerrit dive deep into the pages of history to meticulously examine the propositions made, debating their relevance in today’s fast-paced entrepreneurial landscape and whether the two founders walked the talk on their self-proclaimed recommendations.
💡 Some of the results indeed were visionary for the time, while other principles seem to have been forgotten…It’s not just a look back; it’s a conversation about enduring principles in the ever-changing world of entrepreneurship.
We wish all our listeners delightful holidays and a happy new year!

EP 83 – From strategy consultant to Global Top 20 LinkedIn Creator with Jeroen Kraaijenbrink

Strap in for a riveting new episode on ‘The Most Awesome Founder Podcast’ as our hosts, Dries Faems and Gerrit McGowan, are joined by strategic mastermind Jeroen Kraaijenbrink. Jeroen shares captivating real-life experiences that he acquired while working on strategic matters with all kinds of clients from the corporate and startup world. Coming from an academic background, he gives insights into his method-oriented approach to strategy and how he aligns his work style with the customers.
But that’s not all – with a staggering 200k+ followers on LinkedIn and a spot in the Top 20 Global Content Creators, Jeroen is not just a strategist but a digital influencer powerhouse. Hungry for tips on amplifying your online presence? He’s got insider secrets you won’t want to miss.
If you are into strategy, make sure to catch this episode.
Stay tuned!

EP 82 – Should startups promote a social vision with Murat Tarakci and Timo van Balen

This episode is for everybody who wants to get a bit nerdy with top-notch entrepreneurship research. We are excited to welcome the two renowned scholars Murat Tarakci & Timo van Balen to gain insights into their electrifying research about how startups with a social vision struggle to attract job talent. Gerrit’s trajectory perfectly complements this academic understanding as the founder of a nonprofit startup and inevitably leads to fascinating discussions.
Revisiting some of our most commonly discussed topics, like message-market-fit, communication strategies for startups, and the struggles of building a solid recruiting strategy, but this time with the sound support of top-level research.

EP 81 – Creating and leading scaleups in the Middle East with Muhammad Chbib

The 81st edition of the Most Awesome Founder Podcast with Dries & Gerrit is just around the corner! We delve into the fascinating world of startups and cross-cultural business dynamics with our guest, experienced founder, business angel and WHU alum, Muhammad Chbib.
Muhammad shares his valuable insights and experiences in the startup world and describes his journey from Germany to Dubai and back again and, how it has shaped his approach to entrepreneurship and the lessons he has learned along the way. 🚀
Muhammad’s expertise and perspective shed light on the significance of building connections, navigating cultural nuances, and seizing opportunities in Arabic markets. 🌟
He also emphasizes the need to adapt and respect the ways of the culture in order to succeed. His critical perspective on some aspects of how he feels a colonist mentality by Westerners sparks a lively discussion that is now more relevant than ever.
Take advantage of this thought-provoking conversation!

EP 80 – Inspiration session #10: Startup subsidies, lean impact and dark side of AI

We are excited to unveil the 10th installment of the inspiration session, featuring our co-hosts GerritMcGowan and Dries Faems.
They discuss a captivating mixture of different topics in the realm of entrepreneurship from an academic and a practitioner perspective, such as:
• Why aren’t there more sustainability-driven unicorns although badly needed
• Which startups get supported by government grants
• What the academic research on the controversial topic of hybrid work yielded
• The next big thing on the horizon: quantum computing
And have you always wanted to know how to create the boyfriend/girlfriend of your dreams? Then, gear up for a rollercoaster of knowledge, reflection, and pure amusement! You won’t want to miss this exhilarating episode!🔍

EP 79 – Mitigating Startup Founder Burnout with Ute Stephan

In today’s episode 79, Dries & Gerrit explore the toll it can take on a founder’s mental health whilst trying to materialize his entrepreneurial dream into a reality, and they have an excellent guest for that matter: Prof. Ute Stephan, a renowned entrepreneurship scholar from King’s College and an outstanding expert on entrepreneurial wellbeing and founder stress.
The three plunge into the fascinating topic of how entrepreneurs’ wellbeing directly impacts the success of their ventures and the vital role strict leisure time management can play. 💼 How can one implement coping strategies to avoid getting caught in a cycle of overwork and why meticulously tracking health and fitness can be a curse and blessing? 📆 Dive into a captivating episode where personal journeys intertwine with cutting-edge entrepreneurship research, all shining a spotlight on mental health.
Check on yourself and, if you can, on others!