EP 60 – Building two mergers in fourteen years with Jan Reichelt

EP 60 – Building two mergers in fourteen years with Jan Reichelt

Episode Stream



Kick off the year right with startup guidance from the successful WHU founder Jan Reichelt. His successful entrepreneurial journey began with Mendeley and has led him to reach two consecutive acquisitions. After his own founding, he began investing as an angel and has now moved towards venture capital.

Listen and learn more about Jan’s journey, what it’s like to be an entrepreneur in diverse countries, how to live the entrepreneur lifestyle successfully, and tips for investor relationships.

We hope you enjoy the episode!




(2:30) Intro 

(3:35) Jan’s founding story

(7:30) What Jan looks for when investing as an angel?

(8:00) Why do a Ph.D.?

(8:45) What made Jan found?  

(11:39) How did you drive the product side of the startup? 

(14:00) Difficulties founding in Germany  

(17:00) Entrepreneurial success in a place you’re not familiar with  

(18:45) Intrinsic motivation, the recipe for success 

(20:00) Steps after starting the founding of Mendeley 

(22:20) We weren’t growing fast enough for the VCs – how did they deal with the near-death experience

(25:45) What made Mendeley a compelling acquisition target

(30:00) What happened after the acquisition?

(31:20) Founding the sequel to Mendeley

(36:17) Did you have a product market fit at the second acquisition? 

(40:00) Start as a business angel

(42:30) Why do you think it’s important to have investors that have been entrepreneurs themselves

(45:10) Trust is eroded when Investors aren’t founders themselves

(48:45) Different cultures’ understanding of failure, what is/isn’t acceptable in the places you have been?

(51:00) How he lived the Entrepreneurial Lifestyle

(53:00) Would you rather invest in a founder who failed than a founder who never tried?

(54:41) What are you focusing on now?

(58:30) Looking back, what advice would you give your younger self?

(1:02:15) What are you reading right now?

(1:03:00) What is cycling on your playlist?

(1:04:49) Where can people find you if they’re interested in your work?