Startup Notes

Uwe Horstmann on the qualities of exceptional founders and the elements of startup success

July 10, 2017

Uwe Horstmann is truly one of the big names of the German startup scene. In 2012, he founded Project A Ventures, an operational VC firm that invests in tech startups in Europe and around the world. In his function as a Partner, he is responsible for dealflow, product and IT. Before founding Project A Ventures, he was a senior manager at well-known company builder Rocket Internet since its start in 2007. He served as Rocket’s Managing Director from 2009-2012, focusing primarily on international rollouts. Being engaged in the support of NGOs like Oxfam and working on his PhD thesis in Entrepreneurship, Uwe is actively sharing his knowledge outside his daily work. In 2016, he was named to Forbes’ Europe ’30 Under 30’ list. Based in Berlin and Sao Paulo, Project A Ventures has assets under management with a total value of 260m€. With a focus on digital technologies, the VC has invested into more than 45 startups, including companies like Catawiki, Tictail and ZenMate. In addition to financial assistance, its team of 100 experts also support its portfolio companies operationally with e.g. software development, performance marketing and business intelligence. In this episode, Uwe Horstmann talks about how his career evolved, his work as an operational VC, key qualities of successful founders, the competitive edge a company can gain through ’hyper learning mode’ and why luck is an essential part of startup success.

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