What is Stephan up to?
– Mentoring startups through Creative Destruction Lab
– Product strategy and organisational structure for larger startups.
– Researching sustainable aviation.
Spending more time in Europe these days, my Q1 2020 was dedicated to help Gunnar Froh, the founder of Wunder Mobility to refine the organisational stucture of his startup. Wunder has recently closed a $ 60 million round. I worked first as a coach and then in a very hands on to streamline the organisation. We were able to streamline the business. The Wunder leadership team bolted on a new acquisition and could focus their growth on the most promising areas.
COVID obviously disrupted my life along with everyone elses. I feel we were lucky to have a relatively mild lock down in Germany. Most of my mentoring is remote anyway so that continues unchanged.
In my own venture portfolio, COVID has not slowed things down. At least two of the 15 founders I have currently the pleasure of working with completed funding rounds in Q2, and several companies, including Wunder mentionend above, seem stronger now than before.
I am a mentor at the Creative Destruction Lab in Toronto since 2016. At the CDL, I will focus on Oxford, where I am a mentor in the AI and health stream. Recently, I joined CDL in Paris in the climate stream.
I realised how much I enjoy the operator role and high pressure situations. Organisational change, restructurings and particularly pivots have been my life blood over the past 20 years. I intend to do more of this.
If you take this blog as an account over the past couple of years, you see a strong interest in the environment (I cofounded Avocadostore.de, Germany’s eco marketplace), technology (I started out as a mechanical engineer with a thesis on fuel cells), and also in aviation.
If you add all these things up, you won’t be surprised to learn that I am currently putting a lot of research into sustainable aviation.
I hope to be able to shift this research project into something real soon.
Synfuel might be an easy way towards sustainable aviation, but to do it right, you can’t just address a bit here, a bit there. But need to embrace it. This is a very basic rule change, unlikely to steer the dinosaurs…