In episode 35 of the Most Awesome Founder Podcast, we introduce Christian Meermann, WHU alum and Founding Partner of Berlin-based VC firm – Cherry Ventures. Christian and Cherry have played a central role in the rise of some of Germany’s most well-known startups, some from WHU even. From Flaschenpost to Flink, Flixbus to Forto, Amorelie and many more!
In this episode, Christian goes through his journey from being a WHU student to CMO at Zalando and eventually founding Cherry Ventures. He shares a few learnings from his journey and throws light on the German venture capital ecosystem. He also discusses what VCs are looking for in a founder and what founders should look for in a VC.
Hope you enjoy listening to the episode as much as we did producing it.
(00:58) Introduction of Christian Meermann
(03:00) Christian’s entrepreneurial journey – WHU to Zalando to Cherry Ventures
(07:10) How Christian acquired the necessary skills for the role of CMO at Zalando
(09:25) How marketing education has evolved over time
(10:43) the “Learning by doing” mantra and how Christian approached venture capital
(12:30) Christian’s fundraising strategy for Cherry Ventures
(15:25) Christian’s view on how the VC ecosystem has changed over time
(18:50) The competitive landscape in the VC ecosystem and Cherry’s strategy to tackle it
(22:15) What does Cherry Ventures look for in a startup / founder
(26:08) What kind of TAMs is Cherry Ventures looking for
(29:57) Christian’s take on the concept of “Blitzscaling”
(33:37) Are german investors opening up to investing in blitzscaling?
(36:01) The growth capital ecosystem in Germany and EU
(37:31) the most exciting technologies and businesses for the next decade
(40:19) Christian’s take on disruption in the VC ecosystem
(43:30) The role of technology in a VC fund
(46:01) Has the market become a founder centric?
(50:13) Christian’s advice for budding entrepreneurs
(54:56) Christian’s book recommendations
(57:10) Christian’s music choices
(59:20) Gerrit outro