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EP 29 – WHU Accelerator Team Introduction (1/2)

We’re doing things a little bit different in this week’s episode of the Most Awesome Founder Podcast. Today we are introducing not one founder, but many.

As you may have heard, on May 17 we are launching the first cohort of the inaugural WHU Startup Accelerator. This intensive 7-week, mentor-driven, and equity-free program provides the best and brightest startups from the WHU community with rocket fuel for their new ventures, culminating in a July 2 Demo Day event where they will pitch their ventures to investors.

So for the next two episodes of our podcast, we’ll be introducing you to the 8 inspiring teams selected to participate in this year’s accelerator, the founders behind the ventures, the problem they are solving, their purpose for being, and the paths they have chosen to get to market as effectively and efficiently as possible.

This week, you will meet the founders of…

Lidrotec – a laser cutting technology that enables semi-conductor producers to reduce material waste by 90-100%

Specter Automation – an artificial intelligence software that helps construction companies integrate digital planning data on the construction site

KitchX – a digital kitchen configuration studio that supports customers from design to installation

Bringwing… a shipping subscription services that is changing the way consumers order from retailers online

Each of these teams are led by incredible founders with unique backgrounds, all driven by profound desires to improve peoples lives. And for those of you that are regular listeners of our podcast, you know that there are few things more inspiring than the stories of mission-driven entrepreneurs.

Hope you enjoy this unique episode of the Most Awesome Founder Podcast!

EP 28 – Design Thinking with Alex Grots

In episode 28 of the Most Awesome Founder Podcast, we introduce Alex Grots – entrepreneur, innovator, creator, and expert in the art and craft of Design Thinking. We discuss Alex’s fascinating career from being a paramedic to working in the music industry; from building his first startup during the dot-com bubble to leading world-famous design agency IDEO in Germany; and from co-founding the high-growth IoT-venture ProGlove to advising innovation projects across the globe.

Alex is one fascinating and creative cat, not to mention an incredible storyteller with experiences that could fill volumes! But his easily palatable way of putting people at the center of innovation is what makes him such an incredible guest. I hope you enjoy it!

EP 27 – Mastering Communications for Startups with Oliver Aust

In this episode of the Most Awesome Founder Podcast we introduce Oliver Aust, one of Europe’s leading communications and personal branding experts, and former Head of Communications at Easyjet. He is the founder and CEO of Eo Ipso Communications and co-host of Speak Like a CEO, the category-defining podcast on CEO communications.

Oliver helps CEOs and leaders build unignorable personal brands and businesses, drawing from his experience advising a wide range of organizations from high-growth startups to Fortune 50 and DAX30 companies. He is also a Techstars and WHU Accelerator mentor, and author of three books on communications, including the international bestseller, “Unignorable”.

EP 26 – Finding Flow as a Founder with Valerie Bures-Bönström

In episode 26, we introduce Valerie Bures-Bönström, PhD in computer science, mother of three, cofounder of Mrs. Sporty Fitness Clubs, founder/CEO of Pixformance Sports, and now, founder/CEO of interactive fitness mirror company, Vaha.

We’re discussing Valerie’s founder journey, her passion for the fitness industry, the analogs between athletics and entrepreneurship, and one of Gerrit’s favourite topics, flow.

Valerie is an incredibly successful and driven founder who undoubtedly has that Midas touch! Her passion for entrepreneurship, technology, health, and wellness is absolutely infectious. And her ability to switch between technology, business, fitness, and family makes her one of those rare founders that seem to be able to do everything. Hope you enjoy it!

EP 25 – Open Innovation with Henry Chesbrough

In episode 25 of the Most Awesome Founder Podcast, we introduce Henry Chesbrough – Director of the Garwood Center for Corporate Innovation, Adjunct Professor at the Haas School of Business, UC–Berkeley, and Chair of Open Innovation at Luiss Guido Carli in Rome.

We’re discussing the origins of the concept of open innovation, its implications in business today, the roles of startups, and the interrelationships of open innovation, open source, and intellectual property.

EP 24 – Building Digital Communities with Cory Warfield

In episode 24 of the Most Awesome Founder Podcast, we introduce Cory Warfield, entrepreneur, connector, founder of ShedWool and LinkedIn Leadership Influencer with over 250.000 followers.

Cory and Gerrit met almost 5 years ago when mentoring Cory’s startup ShedWool at an accelerator in Colorado. Since then Cory grew his startup to 20+ employees, built a massive LinkedIn follower base and launched numerous new ventures from his vast professional network.

In this episode, we are discussing Cory’s incredible founder journey from literally the bottom to the top, how faith and humility drive success and some really useful tricks for leveraging LinkedIn to grow both your personal brand and your business.

Hope you enjoy it!

EP 23 – Building meaningful company cultures with Freya Oehle

In episode 23 of the Most Awesome Founder Podcast, we introduce Freya Oehle, WHU alumn, co-founder of the online shopping tool startup Spottster, and current co-founder of digital transformation consultancy 3tausendsassa.

We are discussing Freya’s founder journey, from WHU to building Spottster with a school classmate, to a unique exit and to building a new startup with the same team she build her previous one. Freya is a high-energy entrepreneur, with the passion and charisma of a great leader. So it is no wonder, her Spottster team continue their entrepreneurial journeys together.

Get valuable insights into building teams, establishing company cultures that are both meaningful and fun, and what leadership looks like across product and service-oriented startups. Hope you enjoy it!

EP 22 – Decoding Innovation Theater with Steve Blank

In this episode of the Most Awesome Founder Podcast, we introduce Steve Blank – legendary entrepreneur, author, adjunct professor at Stanford University, and father of the customer development / lean startup method. We’re discussing Steve’s founder journey, but more importantly, the concept of innovation theater – those incubators, accelerators and corporate innovation labs that look slick from the outside, but are often lacklustre in producing tangible results.

EP 21 – Tackling Stigmas With Entrepreneurship with Lia Grünhage

In this episode of season 3 of the Most Awesome Founder Podcast, we introduce Lia Grünhage, WHU alum and founder of Avery Fertility, a Berlin-based startup that provides both women and men with top-notch education and care around fertility planning and treatment. 

We will be discussing Lia’s founder journey, her evolution from Amorelie management team to becoming a founder herself, the challenge of tackling cultural taboos like sexuality and reproduction and so much more. 

EP 20 – Founding People-Centric Ventures with Robert Ermich

In this episode of season 3 of the Most Awesome Founder Podcast, we introduce Robert Ermich, founder of DeinHandy, OnTruck and an exciting new stealth startup in the healthcare space.