EP 1 – Early Stage Startups with Joerg Rheinboldt

EP 1 – Early Stage Startups with Joerg Rheinboldt


Episode Stream



Joerg Rheinboldt is Managing Director of APX, the Axel Springer/Porsche Plug and Play Accelerator. Joerg’s entrepreneurial journey began in 1994 when he founded his first company, Denkwerk. He later went on to cofound Alando AG (with Oliver Samwer), which was acquired by eBay barely six months after launching. He then spent the next five 5 years as the Managing Director of eBay Germany before cofounding the nonprofit, Betterplace in 2007.

Joerg is currently an active angel investor, board member of renowned cookie company, Bahlsen, and sits on the entrepreneurship board of WHU-Otto Beisheim School of Management. He is the co-author of “Simply Seven: Seven Ways to Create a Sustainable Internet Business“, founder of TEDx in Germany, a loving husband, father to twin boys, and an important cog in the vibrant Berlin startup ecosystem.


      Interview Introduction (0:31)

      Intro to Joerg (1:27)

Part 1: What is APX and what does it do? (1:59) 

      MUSIC INTERLUDE (7:23) 

Part 2: Corporate vs Independent Venture Capital (8:01) 

Part 3: Are startups selected according to corporate partner interests? (8:59) 

Part 4: Cohort Themes: Are they based on Axel Springer and/or Porsche’s strategic priorities? (12:21) 

      MUSIC INTERLUDE (13:06) 

Part 5: Startup Selection Criteria + the N26 Story (13:32) 

      MUSIC INTERLUDE (17:52) 

Part 6: Founding with Friends + APX Startup Selection Process (18:20) 

Part 7: Startup Team Composition (22:36) 

      MUSIC INTERLUDE (24:54) 

Part 8: Founding Team Technical Skills? (25:28) 

Part 9: Geographically-Dispersed Founding Teams (27:02) 

Part 10: Flow States and Entrepreneurial Well-Being (28:48) 

      MUSIC INTERLUDE (30:58) 

Part 11: Joerg’s Founder Story: Bill Gates, Denkwerk, Alando, Betterplace, and more! (31:36) 

Part 12: From Founder to Employee (42:39) 

Part 13: What are you currently reading? (42:53) 

Part 14: What’s on your playlist? (44:33)

Closing Summary (45:08)