Benedikt Franke: “The most critical person of your business is yourself. You must challenge everything. Don’t build up your own opinion upon the feedback of your family or friends. They are most likely not the best experts in your field and don’t necessarily want to be critical and give you bad news.
From Consultant to Serial Entrepreneur and Business Angel
Benedikt Franke is one of Germany’s ‘prototype entrepreneurs’. After studying “Philosophy & Economics” and working for the Boston Consulting Group, he joined Rocket Internet and became part of its team of young entrepreneurs that successfully accelerated digital entrepreneurship ‘made in Germany’ by the end of the 2000s. For Rocket, he worked as Head of HR and as COO for its venture MyCityDeals. In 2010, Benedikt founded his first own company, the Latin American Media Group, which he successfully sold by the end of 2013. Eight years after he entered the startup world at Rocket Internet, Benedikt is working with Oliver Samwer again. This time by founding Helpling – one of Europe’s leading startups that successfully digitalizes the old-fashioned cleaning and home services industry.
With Helpling, people can find assistance for their household. Customers can book a vetted and insured home service provider and gain back time that they would spend on chores like cleaning within just a couple of clicks. For the professional home service providers, the innovative online platform makes it easier than ever to find new clients and to manage when and where they want to work.
Besides ambitiously growing Helpling in an increasing number of international markets, Benedikt is also active as a Business Angel for startups like buzz-generating condom producer Einhorn or the personalized online travel organizer Tourlane.
Benedikt Franke on Startup Notes
In this episode, Benedikt talks about the fast-paced learning experience he had when he began his startup journey at Rocket Internet in 2009, how to make it work when you found a company with a close friend, why you should email Oliver Samwer if you have a good business idea and the next steps for his startup Helpling.
These are the topics that we cover with Benedikt who shares his experience of having gone through the full cycle from founding and selling a company before and personally cannot think of a different occupation other than being an entrepreneur:
[01:15 – 03:50] On his professional background and working at Rocket Internet
[03:51 – 07:00] On founding his first own company
[07:01 – 09:37] How him and his co-founder started Helpling
[09:38 – 11:03] On key learnings during his career so far
[11:04 – 12:56] What it is like to found a company with a friend
[12:57 – 13:57] On complementing each other as co-founders
[13:58 – 15:50] On Helpling’s business and vision
[15:51 – 18: 36] On Helpling’s decision to offer additional home services
[18:37 – 20:53] The hottest markets for starting a company at the moment
[20:54 – 22:13] On the ‘dos and don’ts’ when pitching to an investor
[22:14 – 23:41] Question from a listener: What is it like to work with and under Oliver Samwer?
[23:42 – 25:07] His 3 best advices to first-time founders
[25:08 – 26:48] Open job positions at Helpling and characteristics he looks for in candidates
Podcast host: Emil
For more podcasts with former Rocket Internet employees, check out our interviews with Kilian Thalhammer and Boris Hageney. After working as a Managing Director for the Rocket Internet venture Paymill, Kilian became a FinTech advisor and business angel. Boris Hageney had worked with the Samwer brothers from the early days on and shares his unique insights in one of our video interviews.
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