We believe that strong advisors and a great network are amongst the most important assets a founder can receive. Especially in the early phase of building a company, input from experienced individuals on key topics is crucial. 92% of small business owners agree that mentors have a direct impact on the growth and survival of their business. According to Forbes, mentored startups grow 3.5-times faster and raise 7-times more money than comparable startups without strong mentors. This is one of the reasons why programs like Y Combinator are so successful, and why founders are trying to get the best angel investors on board from the very beginning. At Picus, our collaboration with founders goes far beyond pure capital commitment. We serve founders as an entrepreneurial sparring partner, for the entirety of their lifecycle. For us, this has many dimensions and offers access to strong advisors, talent and a valuable network at the core of it.
“Sharing my experience with entrepreneurs facing the same challenges I did is a great way to foster the spirit of collaboration and entrepreneurship”, Picus Expert Partner Sebastian Schuon tells.
Against this backdrop of insights, the value of regular, guiding exchanges between ventures and experts becomes evident, vital even.
A new program for our founders
That being said, we are very excited to announce the launch of the Picus Expert Partner Program. In it, we have composed a cast of experts, all of whom work in leading roles at some of the world’s largest and most reputable tech companies (e.g., Facebook, Personio, Twitter, Salesforce, Amorelie, Revolut, Carta, Egym, Palo Alto Networks), and place amongst the best and most experienced professionals in their respective fields. In the past, we have supported numerous of our portfolio companies with experts from our network on a case by case basis. We introduced finn.auto to the founder of a digital car infrastructure company, helping them expand onto the digital and flexible access of their car fleet. We connected Flat.mx with the founder of Casavo, the leading European proptech iBuyer, to refine their go-to-market strategy. And on another occasion, we facilitated discussions between Selina Finance and the digital marketing leaders of B2C technology businesses such as Enpal and Billie, who supported them in re-imagining their online marketing strategy.
As we have witnessed the massive value those experts delivered first hand, we decided to officially launch an own, wide-ranging and systematic expert network with which to support our portfolio founders.
“We realized that many entrepreneurs face similar challenges throughout the company building process. Connecting them with experienced professionals in the different fields has proven invaluable to the progress of the companies in our portfolio and has accelerated their paths to success”, says Robin Godenrath, Founding Partner and Managing Director at Picus Capital. “We are now moving from introducing founders and experts from our network to each other on an ad-hoc basis, toward creating a visible and strategically arranged panel of professionals whom our founders can count on for their needed support throughout all relevant areas.”
Within this program, Picus Expert Partners will collaborate with our portfolio companies and advise them on selective, crucial projects, such as building a high-performing and scalable HR organization, structuring a targeted and effective sales funnel, launching new marketing and branding campaigns, or setting up an enhanced and solid technology infrastructure.
“For us, supporting a company does not only mean being a financial investor but, more importantly, acting as their closest entrepreneurial partner, on an everyday basis and throughout the lifetime of their company”, Florian Reichert, Partner and Managing Director at Picus Capital, concludes. “Therefore, we want to provide holistic and best-in-class advice across different functional, industry- and market- specific challenges, in order to support them on their journey. The Picus Expert Partner program will serve as an important pillar to this ambition, and we look forward to continuously adding new experts based on specific requirements we detect within our portfolio companies.”
The initiative gives founders instant access to some of the most knowledgeable leaders of the globe. The Expert Partners have gained extensive experience throughout various industries and functions in some of the most successful technology companies worldwide. We are delighted to show you the first batch:
- HR & Company Building: Anselm Bauer (Co-founder @ Alasco, Co-Founder @ Stylight)
- Cloud & Digital Platforms: Jean-Marie Ferdegue (Director of Engineering @ Facebook, Director of Platform Engineering @ Babylon Health)
- Branding: Lina Gralka (Co-founder @ KLUB KASTELL, Head of Brand Marketing @ Amorelie) & Kathleen Hermsdörfer (Co-founder @ KLUB KASTELL, Brand Consultant @ Amorelie)
- Finance & Fundraising: Max Beyer (Co-founder & CFO @ finn.auto)
- Marketing: Max Müller (Managing Director @ TeleClinic, Managing Director @ Stylight) & Nicolas Stadtelmeyer (General Manager @ EGYM, Managing Director @ Stylight)
- Sales: Oliver Manojlovic (VP Sales @ Personio)
- Software Engineering: Ron Pragides (Vice President of Engineering at Trustly, VP Engineering @ Carta, Director of Engineering @ Twitter)
- Tech Engineering: Sebastian Schuon (Co-founder @ Alasco, Co-Founder & CTO @ Stylight)
- Cybersecurity: Sergej Epp (Chief Security Officer @ Palo Alto Networks)
- Growth: Val Scholz (Founder @ Kiko, Head of Growth @ Revolut)
Picus Expert Partners enjoy sharing the knowledge they gathered over time with young and aspiring companies, to give something back to the startup ecosystem and to empower entrepreneurs to re-imagine tomorrow. In addition to relaying their experience, Picus Expert Partners will also be able to act as high-profile co-investors, in attractive angel rounds, for the Picus portfolio, and hereby contribute to the notion of full-circle structure of beneficiary relationships.
Check out the Expert Partner profiles on our website!