To understand why GlassDollar exists, you need to understand the path that shaped me.
My dad started his first company when I was 8. Up until that point, I only knew employed reality — “Oh no it is Monday tomorrow” that would frame every Radio program in the morning. It was the perfect time in my life to experience the stark contrasts between self-employed and employed life. The seed was planted, “I have control over the life I make on this planet”.
I started my first jobs around that time. Delivering papers, shredding papers at my dad’s company by the hour, collecting items in a logistics center and tutoring. I realized what it meant to sell your time. Understood why people were longing for the weekend. The search for my own free, authentic life of play instead of difficult labor began.
I started my own projects that were more driven by play. Collecting paper delivery jobs in bulk and outsourcing them to my friends. Buying magic and pokemon cards in large quantities and selling them by the piece, breeding my favorite kinds of fish, selling fruits and whatever else I could source.
I learned how to make profits not a salary.
Empowered by my first successes and the growing freedom to choose over my time, I continued searching for my own game during my studies. (Especially motivated, after my 6 months internship at VW.)
This search for creative freedom and profits unbound by time culminated in nestpick, a 150 employee company that raised 15M €. Using the startup toolkit (lean method/framework) I started to understand how to systematically create/discover new business models and propositions.
However, the journey also taught me about the shortcomings of the singular capitalistic startup path with its frenetic pursuit of VC funding. Startups are some of the best vehicles to make a scalable and lasting impact, because they leverage capitalism. However blind pursuit of profits may end up producing companies that don’t end up having a net positive impact.
Rocket fuel is great, when you have a rocket and route planned out, unutilized rocket fuel creates pressure leading to short-term decisions and derailing from your mission.
After my exit, I was left with a large hole in my identity. From one day to the other I stopped being the CEO of nestpick. I started the search for my north star, my direction that would outlast and be aligned with any company I would ever be part of — the impact I wanted to have in my life. The search for the deepest pattern, the red line of my life began. In a period that I experienced as agonizing because of its directionlessness but now remember fondly I asked myself questions like:
- Where do I feel flow most frequently?
- What topics have been calling me throughout my life?
- Where can I make the most valuable contribution?
I can recommend Ryan Allis lessons from my 20s & lifebook here.
My mission in life is to enable people to follow their passion, to do what they love. That is what I focused on for myself so far, now I am passing on my learnings in the form of a startup. I started exploring projects that could have that impact and to just go from there.
We started out as a GlassDoor for Investors, became a matchmaking platform, only to ultimately realize, we were not going to improve anything by 10x here. Especially since we also discovered that the best players did not need any help with fundraising, so we were helping many players that had not found their game yet.
Having built up major capabilities in startup sourcing, evaluation and matchmaking at scale, another door opened for us. Corporates requested granular sourcings for problems they faced, as they increasingly fast-track their projects in innovation and digitization by working with startups. E.g. a visual inspection solution in the factory to reduce scrap, a C02 measurement software or a sensor to add to their product.
We also learned that for great b2b startups finding customers is a bigger problem than investments.
Extrapolating this learning — a world in which these projects become a norm is a world we want to live in.
Hiring the best teams for a defined impact/outcome, not individuals for jobs they only get to know, once they start working at a company.
Revenue is equity-free and you get a chance to validate and develop your product. To independently pursue your passion and the impact you want to make.
With impressive results illustrated by the Open Bosch Award or Startup Autobahn’s innovation award, naturally, startup partnering programs of corporations (venture client) gained traction.
Based on our pilot data — available here - PoCs have increased by a factor of 10 over the last 5 years.
GlassDollar itself is enabling corporations like Daimler, BSH, Siemens, Telefonica, Miele, Stihl, MTU Aero Engines and many more to source and run 10+ new PoCs every week, representing millions in revenue for startups.
Our objective is to build an infrastructure and product suite to power corporate<>startup projects and large corporations that already run PoCs with startups systematically. Subsequently, we want to make this incredible innovation tool available to medium-sized corporations as well by reducing our prices for corporations and sharing in on the revenues we enable for startups. We believe this will increase the number of PoCs run from 1k per year to 10k over the next 3 years, hence enable thousands of humans out there to choose the self-directed path of entrepreneurship.
To make a world in which we think about impact, instead of CVs. A world where we look forward to Monday.