Next Steps…

I deliberately took a while while to decide how I want to work and where to get involved. I pondered to join a VC (too far away from the business) and looked at direct investments in other people’s ideas (sometimes felt I could come up with better ones myself). I enjoyed the last couple of months with discussions with fellow entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and would be founders and now it is time for the next steps.

I said that I would only be interested in businesses which make life easier for everyone, make markets more efficient and disrupt the status quo; or help reduce emissions.

So here is the news:

We have identified several business concepts that fit the abovementioned criteria. True to what I said earlier, neither of them will involve dating or gambling. None of the concepts is a clone of something that works somewhere else, so there is considerable risk involved, but also ample opportunity.

For all businesses, we will be looking for entrepreneurs to launch and manage them. They will be able to count on input and advice, and will get enough freedom to run their businesses. And they will get reasonable shares to make them real entrepreneurs. Upspring will provide ideas, know how, infrastructure and seed funding.

So from now on, we will be scouting the market for real founders with

  • great business accumen,
  • team spirit,
  • lot’s of potential
  • at least 2, but no more than 5 years of job experience.
  • An excellent business education
  • and demonstrated entrepreneurial skills.

Locations will be Hamburg and Berlin. Do contact me via xing if you know of someone. If you want to apply, send a CV via Xing.

29 thoughts on “Next Steps…”

  1. Hi Stephan,
    Why the restriction of job experience and I mean the upper limit 😉
    Could you be a little bit more precise to narrow down markets, business ideas or -cases?

    Daniel Hoepfner

  2. @Reiner, Danke!
    @Gerd: ebenso 🙂
    @Daniel sorry, can’t be more precise at the moment.
    @tina Du wirst das auch so schaffen 😉

  3. Looking forward to what will be born out of those ideas. Shame I don’t fit the upper limit of job experience? Is this a hidden age discrimination? 🙂
    Anyways all the best!

  4. Good Luck! Unfortunately not Munich, there are bright people and ideas as well 🙂 I love your Focus

  5. wirklich interessanter ansatz, dessen ergebnis mich brennend interessiert.
    bin gespannt, ob die umsetzung von beispielsweise vier ideen aus einer feder zu größerem erfolg führt, als z.b. die umsetzung der vier besten ideen aus 40 vorschlägen.
    die eigenen ideen zu finanzieren ist jedoch sicher einer der erfolgversprechendsten wege, wenn man IN deutschland innovative start-ups finanzieren will.
    spannend find ich auch, ob sich die ‘bezahlten unternehmer’ im endeffekt mit der idee so stark identifizieren können wie mit einer eigenen.

  6. Stephan,
    it truly sounds like you are a passionate and well-intentioned guy and you plan on doing good.

    May I ask you some questions concerning your search for entrepreneurs? 🙂
    There are some points that I didn’t get –

    I see only limited upside for any of your wanted entrepreneurs – it was not their idea they have to execute upon (which may limit their passion and level of engagement); they seem to get a lot less equity than they’d get if they were to start their own company (which probably will succeed in some way if they are good executors) and it sounds like there is some serious potential of conflict build into your model – who decides at the end of the day, the originator of the (original) idea (i.e. you) or the entrepreneur?

    (Supposedly) Ideas are dime a dozen and execution is everything (and the original ideas seem to be change a lot in the process of being executed to success) – which is just my grasp of how startups work, which may be flawed and you most certainly have a lot more experience than I do 🙂 Still, may I ask, what’s the point of keeping your ideas secret? If the ideas were truly groundbreaking and you were to publish them, wouldn’t that be a nice way to get the best entrepreneurs to execute them as they know what they apply for? Keeping them secret may be a bad signal?

    Also, if the ideas are as good as you (most probably, deservedly) think they are, why don’t you execute on them by yourself? True, you cannot be in several places at the same time – still makes for a dubious signal in my view?

    I’d be glad to hear about your reasoning! I hope you don’t take my points personally, as they are only made in order to learn more about the entrepreneurial process 🙂

  7. @couchtycoon Danke für den Kommentar.

    Für die Konzepte, die jetzt Bestand haben, haben wir auch mindestens 200 verworfen. Das ist nicht viel anders als bei VCs.

    Ich kenne viele exellente Unternehmer, die eben gerade nicht die passende Idee zur Hand hatten und mit Ideen anderer groß geworden sind.

    Arbeitsteilung ist da durchaus sinnvoll. 🙂

  8. Daniel, you might want to improve the way of in asking questions as other people migth consider them abrasive. In your last sentence you seem to suspect so yourself.

    However, the questions themselves are valid.

    In order to succeed as an entrepreneur, among other things you need to
    – decide which of the many valid concepts to pursue
    – acquire capital
    – get the right terms agreed for that capital
    – get the right team together
    – know where to get specialisist knowledge when needed
    – stay focused on the right core strategy

    so that you can
    – execute properly
    – do all of this faster and better than your competition

    The probability of doing all of this right the first or second time is pretty low as the relatively small number of successes in comparison to the would be founders does show.

    If you are smart, you try to get help for some of these steps from people who have done it before. If a good entrepreneuer is able to focus on the right things then this can make him a hundred times as successful.

  9. Thank you for pointing out your reasoning. It is much appreciated!
    If I crossed the fine line between asking critical questions and being abrasive, I’m very sorry. That was of course not intended! I just wanted to cut to the point – which next time I will try to do more eloquently and less abrasively.

    Is it correct to say that you try to mitigate potentially destructive sources of errors in start-ups by providing help based on your own experience – an equity-based (as in contrast to billable hours, which is not as closely linked to results) consulting model, so to speak? Sounds like a fascinating business model and a good deal for all involved!

  10. Sehr progressiver Ansatz – ich wünsche Dir viel Glück!
    Gerne stehen wir von Sun Dir bzw deinen Startups mit Rat&Tat rund um Web-/IT-Infrastrukturen zur Seite – verxingt sind wir ja schon 🙂

    Sun Startup Essentials Community Manager

  11. Imho, it would be better for a healthy and innovative startup ecosystem that there would be more successful entrepreneurs willing to risk investing into young startups as business angels, including advisory and network access. That’s definitely not sufficient in Germany.

    The process of matching the ideas/concepts to the right potential “entrepreneurs” is tough, especially when the market or concept is not disclosed, good luck. There are many investors seeking for talent in the same way, it seems easier to join “guided startups” than founding your own. In the end it’s something between a regular job and founding your own company, but without a vision and half-assed passion. Maybe a bit too radical this formulation but I am not a big supporter of this, maybe just missing the successful outcomes…

    Despite the minor criticism, all the best for the projects!

  12. Just to state the obvious again: In this blog, you may comment as long as you do this not anonymously.

  13. Ich empfinde den Fokus auf Nachhalitigkeit als eminent unterstützenswert und wünsche daher viel Erfolg!

    Zunächst hat ich gewisse Zweifel, ob dieser Inkubator-Ansatz Erfolg haben kann. Denn: Tragfähige Ideen gibt es in Überzahl. Was tatsächlich fehlt, sind die richtig guten Köpfe, diese umzusetzen. Bietet Herr Uhrenbacher also nicht etwas, wovon es zu viel gibt (Ideen) und sucht etwas, wo der Markt leergefegt ist (echte Gründer)?

    Aber scheinbar hat Herr Uhrenbacher durch den bemerkenswerten Erfolg von Qype das nötige Standing, um mehr als (!) ausreichend Bewerbungen von fähigen Leuten zu bekommen (so meinte er mir gegenüber jedenfalls).

    Schön wäre es, wenn Herr Uhrenbacher allen Interessenten die Möglichkeit geben würde, untereinander Kontakt aufzunehmen. Vielleicht bildet sich so das eine oder andere weitere Team. Sofern dafür derzeit keine Zeit ist, übernehme ich das gerne: Kontaktinfo über

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.