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01 February 2021

Adapt. Improvise. Overcome.

The ability to adapt, improvise and overcome obstacles is a key feature in the start-up world. We have asked our clients and friends in the community to tell their stories about how important it is to adapt, improvise and overcome.

Hannes Aigner (COO, mikme): In my seven years in the start-up world, I've found that embracing change and adapting on the fly are disciplines that need to be mastered for a team to succeed – especially in times of uncertainty. At my current company (mikme), adaptation and empathy for users are key. The success of our products and company is decided by quality, speed, and the steady patience to follow through with customer feedback. The infamous product-market fit can only be achieved by listening to our customers and understanding and anticipating their needs. This two-way communication with our users is what made our newest product (the "mikme pocket") possible, despite the various logistical and legal challenges we encountered on the way. We may not have yet mastered the art of making it all look easy, but with an open mind – and expert legal advice on speed dial – we made it happen and will continue to do so.


Nora Frizberg (General Counsel, Speedinvest): We at Speedinvest have approx. EUR 400 million assets under management with 70+ professionals working from Vienna, Berlin, London, Munich, Paris and San Francisco. We have invested in approx. 150 portfolio companies to date, mostly in Europe and the United States, some of which have been shaken by the Corona crisis, but a lot of which have actually seized the new opportunities which arose from it. Being available and supporting our portfolio companies in every way we can is very important to us, now more than ever. We thus have continued to invest in existing (and new) portfolio companies, because we know that our founders are most able to adapt to changing circumstances. This is the beauty of start-ups compared to corporates: They can react more quickly and flexibly and change their course of action if necessary almost overnight and, at the end of the day, profit and grow from it. My legal team and I are also required to be quite flexible, to facilitate such changes quickly and smoothly. It is an exciting journey and we look forward to growing even more into one of Europe’s top venture capital funds, made in Austria.

"Perhaps the intention of the regulation to create a framework for simple, transparent and standardised securitisation will at some point be acknowledged in CEE, rousing securitisation from its current slumber."

Georg F. Haschke (Founder and CEO, Dr.Owl NutriHealth): My journey as start-up entrepreneur has not ended, but when I look back to the time when I started, my journey took many detours. The ability to quickly adapt to feedback from friends, family, investors, suppliers and most importantly lead customers, enabled us to develop a new generation of health supplements, we call them health-drinks, that are more efficient and effective than pills and are really well-accepted on the market. But being able to adapt does not mean to sit back and enjoy; it is a driver to further develop innovative products and expand our business to international markets. With the help of our legal team at Schoenherr, we look forward to tackling future issues as and when they come.

author: Thomas Kulnigg


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