Before the semester break, the last KIT Entrepreneurship Talk of the summer semester took place on July 16, 2015. This time, Tim Stracke, co-CEO of Chrono24, was invited as a guest. Stracke entered the online marketplace for luxury watches in 2010. Today, the company is among the leading global market places in this sector. The success was recently crowned by an investment – the company will receive 21 m. EUR from Insight Venture Partners. Congratulations!
Stracke studied industrial engineering at the University of Karlsruhe TH (which is the KIT today) and also received his MBA at Golden Gate University in San Francisco. After his studies, Stracke worked in consulting but founded his own company soon after. Before becoming a CEO of Chrono24, he was able to gather a lot of experience in the startup scene. At the E-Talk, he shared his lessons learned as a founder and entrepreneur and gave the audience personal recommendations and tips.
Thus, Stracke recommends seizing the motivation and will to found first in order to specifically address the idea later. The most important aspects here are focusing on a product and a customer segment as well as concentrating on large, strongly growing markets – and this applies from the beginning of a startup. It is also important to enter the startup phase with the right team. When choosing a team, experience and joy in the matter play enormous roles. Stracke recommends three people for a team of founders, who trust one another boundlessly and whose competencies complement each other optimally. Additionally, in the starting phase of a startup, the first five to sixth months are extremely important, because the value of a company lies in the team. A positive company culture supports team development.
If entry into the startup scene isn’t all too easy, Stracke advises not to give up too early even if you fall behind expectations. You get a feeling for the market and can build market knowledge, which is extremely valuable. “Risk it! – The worst thing that can happen is that you gain experience,” Stracke tells the guests at the end.
In the upcoming winter semester, the KIT E-Talks will begin again. On October 22, 2015, Prof. Götz W. Werner, founder of the drug store enterprise dm will visit as a speaker. We look forward to this exciting talk in the Technologiefabrik Karlsruhe.