The year 2020 was full of unexpected situations. I never in my wildest dreams thought I’d be working from home with a crazy dog, a new kitten, children homeschooling — and a million critical business decisions to make before my second cup of coffee. My worlds merged unsettlingly: I would be deep in discussion with the Blis executive team regarding cash forecasts with my five-year-old son demanding, “wipe my bum!” from along the hall.

It was the most challenging year of my career and our business, but it provided a set of valuable lessons that will help me navigate whatever…

The takeaway industry has been one of the few sectors able to operate and thrive in the pandemic and has provided a lifeline to many hospitality businesses.. Pre-pandemic, the industry continued to grow at a fast-moving pace thanks to the rising popularity of on-demand apps, yet its acceleration reached new levels as lockdowns hit the nation. Not only were order numbers increasing, but the quality of orders improved, with an average price of orders increasing by 10% as consumers looked to ‘treat themselves’ according to data compiled by City Pantry.

Restaurants were not alone in pivoting their model to provide…

What were the key assets you saw in Maëlle Gavet as the new CEO of Techstars and have you set a roadmap for her to follow in the ‘years’ ahead?

Maëlle has been a leading technology executive and entrepreneur for over 15 years. She began her career as an entrepreneur and then went on to become a Principal at the Boston Consulting Group from there she became CEO of OZON.ru, Russia’s largest e-commerce site (which recently went public on NASDAQ and is valued at over $9B), and then Executive VP of operations of the Priceline Group, the largest online and…

The events industry has seen dramatic changes as a result of the pandemic, impacting markets from healthcare and tech to food and drink as the events where they showcase their products, services and attend meetings crucial to the business were cancelled. The events industry naturally relies on the functioning and interconnected nature of other markets. …

One day in late 2013, I was deep in conversation with a good friend about the difficulties his daughter was having in getting her first job. She was bright, curious, and full of potential. But she’d been rejected over and over again, without any feedback, after completing the same type of aptitude test each time. The tests were stressful, and she underperformed. What my friend couldn’t understand was this: why were companies so fixated on a test that not only failed to capture her intelligence, but also failed to see the strengths that made up her potential?

As the rejections…

What were your biggest learnings from your time at Boston Consulting Group?
Structured thinking! Quickly scoping out a problem space then figuring out what data would be most useful to make a well-calibrated decision in cases where I have incomplete information — which tends to be the case in early-stage investing. I also make a mean powerpoint presentation…

How do you view the next 12/18 months in terms of investment in DACH tech and software startups?
I believe the pandemic will lead to a more decentralised startup culture outside of the key hubs. …

What inspired you to become a VC and was there a particular lightbulb moment?
I first started thinking seriously about VC when I was at INSEAD about 10 years ago. I realised that the key skills of early stage VC were not so much in financial engineering but in understanding startup founders, market & tech trends and great product development. In the ensuing years I started angel investing and getting to know people in the industry. There wasn’t a single lightbulb moment but rather a series of steps along the way.

In Germany ‘ Legislation is set to mandate companies…

The traffic on UK roads has fluctuated hugely over the past twelve months. As the country went into its first lockdown, the public’s relationship with everyday transport methods changed almost instantly.

While most hoped that these lifestyle adjustments would be a temporary measure, time has proven that the impact of the pandemic will be felt long beyond its immediate threat, both at home and on our roads.

Working from home

In line with most aspects of the ‘new normal’, our working environments look a little different now compared to how they did a year ago. A recent survey we carried…

The media dominates our lives more than we realise. Yes, it tells us what’s happening in the world and if it’ll be sunny next Tuesday — but it also has the ability to influence and persuade. Right now, reporting on the pandemic has been essential to communicate how we must act, both legally and also morally.

Given this impact, many startup founders I speak to think it’s beyond them. They believe that only large, established businesses will be spoken about in the press and a journalist wouldn’t be interested in what they have to say. I will caveat that by…

Dynamic technology platforms are the embodiment of the moto ‘move fast and break things’. Uber is an exemplar of this philosophy; it acquired a dominant market share in London at an incredible pace, however, at precisely the same time, it has faced a prolonged legal challenge which goes to the heart of its business model.

On Friday 19 February 2021, after a six year battle, the Supreme Court unanimously ruled that Uber had misclassified its drivers.

Silicon Roundabout

Silicon Roundabout provides unique and unrivalled access to leading entrepreneurs and VC’s from Europe and the US. https://www.siliconroundabout.org.uk/

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