On February 21th, we welcomed serial entrepreneur and investor Claude Ritter as guest of our Founder Talk. The event was organised in partnership with the ifm Förderkreis and hosted at our partner C-HUB. We at MCEI were excited to have another top entrepreneur and speaker here in Mannheim, especially since he shared lots of insights about his vast entrepreneurial experience.
Claude Ritter is currently co-founder and CMO of BOOK A TIGER. He co-founded Lieferheld and served as Chief Product Officer for Delivery Hero. Prior to Lieferheld, Claude spent 5 years as CEO of The NetCircle - a Shanghai-based web company that develops and operates niche community websites with more than 4 million users. He also co-founded DUQI, a Chinese real-time photo sharing site, and Aionics, a web agency based in Switzerland. On top of being a serial entrepreneur, Claude is Managing Director of his own Investment Company, Pico Ventures (angel investments), and Partner at CAVALRY Ventures.
Claude Ritter spent almost two hours sharing his vast life experience with us. He brought forward several tips and insights as a help to the younger entrepreneur generation.
Claude is from Switzerland where military service is still mandatory. He served in the army for a few years until he finally became an officer. That taught him a great deal about perseverance: being in the army was tough! He summarised this experience by the following motto: Just do it!
After his time in the army, moving on from his job as bank employee in Switzerland, Claude went to live in Shanghai. He co-founded his first venture “The NetCircle” with two German brothers he met there. Through his next ventures, in Shanghai and then in Berlin, he accumulated a great experience about what you should and shouldn’t do when founding a venture. He emphasizes the importance of founding with a team you can rely on and work with.
He mentioned his venture DUQI as an example for a few things young entrepreneurs should avoid. First, as an entrepreneur, it is important to know about rules and regulations in your area, because your business model may at some point become incompatible with them. Second, you should select your team for their professional qualities - and not because you want to work with your friends, relatives or significant others. Third, the first 4 months are really important and it’s better not to outsource engineering during that time, since waiting too long for problems to be solved could prove fatal. Last but not least, you should define a clear strategy as well as milestones: it´s nice if things are going ok...but should you keep aiming for something better still if you don’t want to miss opportunities.
Founder and current CMO at Book a Tiger – a Berlin based cleaning company, Claude gave the company the benefit of this experience. Co-founder Nikita Fahrenholz (Delivery Hero, Book a Tiger) shares his work values. From the beginning, they managed to build a strong company culture into the new venture. This culture, based on shared values, helped the team to go successfully through their pivot phase. Claude is also partner at Cavalry Ventures. The Berlin based company allocates (pre)-seed fund to venture funders. It is a way for him to give back all the support he has received through the past years to the next generation of founders.
Thanks to Claude Ritter for the amazing insights into his experience. Special thanks also to our co-host the ifm Förderkreis and our partner C-HUB for making this event a most enjoyable time for our guests. The evening ended around some drinks and snacks with a networking session.