2015: Opening & Kick-Off Speech - Oliver Samwer

“From Silicon Valley, Tel Aviv, London and Berlin”. 

Mauritz Quambusch, General Manager of this year’s IdeaLab! conference warmly welcomed all of our participants from around the globe at the WHU campus in Vallendar.

Malte Brettel, Chair of Entrepreneurship at the WHU - Otto Beisheim School of Management talked briefly about the suspenseful startup lifestyle. They “work harder, earn less, but they have more fun. […] Once you become an entrepreneur, you never go back”. After this introduction, the microphone was handed over to Oliver Samwer.

Rocket Internet’s Founder & CEO held an inspiring kick-off speech at IdeaLab! 2015 conference. Together with his two brothers, the WHU Alumnus founded Rocket Internet, a Berlin-based venture builder back in 2007. 

Oli Samwer’s speech was quite interactive, he randomly invited participants to pitch their ideas in a one-minute elevator pitch live on stage, as well as possible “venture capitalists”, who were asked to judge the pitches and ask questions. 

There’s nothing better than trying it out yourself”

The German startup guru criticized the German startup culture and compared it to the United States. “There are less people who go out and build their ideas” in Germany. He encouraged the aspiring founders to be more daring, to take greater risks and strive harder for their dreams.

When investing into companies, he always asks himself “is it [the business model] big enough?”. When it comes to funding, it’s not only about Series A rounds. It’s about choosing the right long-term partners as investors and creating one’s own “Cinderella story”.