Inspiring Alumni

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 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 78 – Empowering Women in Finance with Dana Menzel

We are over the moon to have Dana Menzel on board for episode 78 of the Most Awesome Founder Podcast. Dana’s entrepreneurial path is impressively versatile. She started as a goldsmith, mastering the art of this filigree craft, and turned this into her first thriving jewellery business. Now, she is leaping into a whole new area, and we are excited to hear about this!
With roots spanning across international borders, Dana is carving out a space for herself as a female entrepreneur. She talks about the most significant challenges as a female entrepreneur in Germany, how she masters them, and what qualities she looks for in a co-founder.
An MBA and WHU accelerator graduate, Dana speaks to her education’s instrumental role in equipping her with the tools and networks vital in breathing life into her idea of a platform born from a desire to uplift women through financial literacy and independence since her master’s thesis provided some shocking insights in that regard.

EP 77 – From founder to unicorn angel investor with Oskar Hartmann

We’re kicking off our new season with a bang! A dive deep into the world of angel investing with none other than Oskar Hartmann.🌍✨ His outstanding track record: 14 (!) of his startup investments have reached unicorn status, he’s one of the 1000 wealthiest Germans, and in his spare time? He cracks world records in indoor rowing 🥴🏆

Alongside our brilliant hosts Dries Faems & Gerrit McGowan, Oskar unveils the intricacies of spotting unicorns, what he learns from Olympic champions, and how to source for business opportunities from Africa to South America 🦄🚀

By the end of this episode, you’ll be equipped with a treasure trove of insights into the culture of risk, pinpointing unparalleled opportunities and the magic of unconventional thinking. Let Oskar’s unparalleled experiences and tales inspire you to transcend your limits and chase excellence! 💡🌟

EP 76 – The art of balancing startups and life with Björn Maronde

Get ready for an inspiring conversation with successful entrepreneur Björn Maronde in the newest episode of the Most Awesome Founder Podcast!
Björn shares his personal background, the pivotal moments that led him to entrepreneurship, and the valuable lessons he learned along the way. 📚💡 You’ll discover how an executive MBA played a role in shaping his entrepreneurial career and how he navigated the challenges of starting a business with a close friend. 🤝
Björn also reveals the importance of product-market fit and the challenges of expanding into multiple markets simultaneously. 🚀
So, whether you’re a seasoned entrepreneur or just starting out, this podcast episode is a must-listen. Tune in to gain valuable insights and strategies that will propel your startup journey.

EP 75 – From e-commerce wunderkind to successful investor with Roman Kirsch

Our next guest on the Most Awesome Founder podcast: Roman Kirsch! 🎙️

Roman will be sharing his high-paced entrepreneurial journey, characterized by his story of perseverance, hard work, and why sometimes naivety can be beneficial.

Discover Roman’s passion for building new ventures that led to various well-known and flourishing startups but also some non-successes and how he dealt with them. Roman also discusses his insights from switching from an entrepreneur to an investor role, the importance of a startup’s idea vs. its team, and why serial founding can almost be addictive. 💉

We hope this unique founder story will stimulate the entrepreneurial spirit of our listeners!