Stephan Heller is a true execution-driven entrepreneur of the digital economy who knows how to start a company from scratch and grow it successfully. Since the beginning of 2017, he is Founder & CEO of FinCompare and before had the same role at Watchmaster (a digital marketplace for buying and selling luxury watches that has secured a total of 16m€ in funding). Prior to founding his own companies, Stephan worked at well-known startup Groupon in various roles. As Head of Merchant Marketing & Inbound Sales EMEA helped Groupon to grow tremendously in Europe. After university, he first started his career at Roland Berger Strategy Consultants from where he was recruited by Rocket Internet to join Groupon. Stephan holds a Master in Management degree from ESCP Europe and is active as an Angel Investor (e.g. in Talon.One). He is also a backer of the Founders Pledge.
Based in Berlin, FinCompare is a FinTech startup with the vision to become Europe’s leading financing platform for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). It is using technology to offer small businesses and entrepreneurs a convenient one-stop destination for all their financing needs - enabling their clients to find, compare and close financing options from over 200 lenders. Supported by strong investors, the startup has successfully begun to reform the B2B financing market. Having raised 2.5m€ in funding and provided millions of Euros in financial products to their clients already, FinCompare is well on its way with dynamic growth.
In this episode, we are talking to Stephan about his exciting time at Groupon and the crazy stories that one can hear about the startup’s journey in Berlin, why he started FinCompare, and what aspiring entrepreneurs should be aware of when it comes to execution and operations in a young company.
Here is the full list of topics that we cover with execution-driven entrepreneur Stephan Heller:
[00:29 – 02:42] Introduction of Stephan and the milestones of his career so far
[02:43 – 04:49] Why Groupon produced so many entrepreneurial talents that went on to start their own companies
[04:50 – 06:24] What made Groupon special when Stephan worked there
[06:25 – 09:24] On the type of stories that happened behind the scenes at Groupon [Listener Question]
[09:25 – 13:02] On Stephan’s journey with Watchmaster and why he left the company [Listener Question]
[13:03 – 16:49] The key entrepreneurial learnings that Stephan had at Watchmaster
[16:50 – 20:15] On the importance of fast-paced execution in a startup
[20:16 – 23:23] How to improve execution skills as a founder for quickly building a company
[23:24 – 27:03] Best practices for structuring the early operations in a startup
[27:04 – 30:25] On how to balance fast-paced execution with building a great team culture [Listener Question]
[30:26 – 35:03] Why Stephan switched from E-Commerce to FinTech when founding FinCompare
[35:04 – 36:36] Open job positions at FinCompare and ways to get in touch
[36:37 – 39:28] Stephan’s best pieces of advice to aspiring founders