EP 54- The Awesome Founder Inspiration Session #6 with Gerrit McGowan & Dries Faems

EP 54 – The Awesome Founder Inspiration Session #6 with Gerrit McGowan & Dries Faems

Episode Stream



In Episode 54 of the Most Awesome Founder Podcast, we returned with the 6th inspiration session with Gerrit McGowan and Dries Faems.

Sticking to the format of sharing something they learned, made them think, and made them laugh, Gerrit and Dries discuss the following captivating topics:

– MBA Students and their effect on work in startups

– In what sense the “cigar butting investment strategy” can be implemented today

– What academic research about entrepreneurship is still missing

– The new OECD innovation policy for Germany

– The issues of digitalization in Germany

– How to boost the productivity of a PhD Student

We hope you enjoy listening to this podcast episode, filled with thought-provoking takeaways, just as much as we did producing it!



Something that made you learn


The lean startup method: Early-stage teams and hypothesis-based probing of business ideas. Michael Leatherbee and Riitta Katila. Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal (2020) DOI: 10.1002/sej.1373






Something that made you think


The Entrepreneurial Story and its Implications for Research. Anna Brattström and Karl Wennberg. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice (2022) DOI: 10.1177/10422587211053802


OECD Review of Innovation Policy: Germany 2022: Building Agility for Successful Transitions


Something that made you laugh


Corsini, Alberto, Michele Pezzoni, and Fabiana Visentin. “What makes a productive Ph. D. student?.” Research Policy (2022): 104561





(0:53) Gerrit’s introduction

(2:55) Something that made Dries learn – “The Lean Startup Approach” & MBA Students

(3:51) Gerrit’s explanation of “The Lean Startup Approach”

(5:12) “The Lean Startup Approach” in practice and research

(8:58) MBA students and how they affect the usage of “The Lean Startup Approach”

(11:55) How MBA students bloom in a startup

(15:00) Extending the research question to different startup industries

(18:28) Something that made Gerrit learn – the cigar-butting strategy in investing

(24:00) Warren Buffets’ philosophy in “cigar butt investing”

(27:00) Downsides of “cigar butt investing”

(32:03) Does the cigar-butting strategy also work in our increasingly digitalized world?

(37:14) Does the cigar-butting strategy also work in startup investments?

(38:53) Something that made Dries think – academic research on entrepreneurship

(42:41) What are the academic scholars missing on entrepreneurship?

(45:39) Is rigor or relevance more important in entrepreneurial academic research?

(57:20) Something that made Gerrit think – New OECD innovation policy in Germany 2022

(64:00) Core problem in Germany is the low investment in digitalization

(67:00) Is the lack of digitalization in Germany a governmental or cultural problem?

(70:36) Something that made Dries laugh – what makes a PhD student productive?

(74:46) Graduate students’ relationships with professors in EU vs. US

(78:12) Something that made Gerrit laugh – PostcardMania reaction to Hurricane Ian

(81:26) Wrap up