1983: Born. I don’t remember it so I can’t say much more.
1989: I got my first big wheel. It was awesome. (No. I’m not the kid in the picture. And I never wore a helmet.)
1992: My dad brought home an old crank-style telephone that would conduct electricity through two wires when you cranked the handle. I attached them to my brother’s ears and gently woke him from his slumber.
1999: Realised that I wanted to be an entrepreneur. Built a couple of absolutely horrible businesses.
2001: During the senior year awards ceremony, I won two awards that I thought would absolutely guarantee my popularity with women: top algebra student and fastest typing. (Easy ladies, one at a time.)
2003: Joined the military. Pretended like I could sing and mouthed the words to the national anthem with 11 other soldiers for the 2003 opening San Francisco 49ers game in front of 50,000 fans.
2004: Stationed in Germany. Drank lots of beer.
2005: Thought it would be cool to try and kayak the same river that the European international kayaking tournament is held. With zero previous kayaking experience. The kayak and I did not exit the river at the same place or time.
2006: Went back to California to study Mandarin. Spent just as much time surfing and playing golf as I did studying.
2007-2011: Hawaii. DC. Alaska. Iraq. Kuwait. Texas. Left the Army because of 3 of the 6 words that preceded this sentence.
2011-2012: Got an MBA thinking it would help me build my own business. Won two business plan competitions for an idea I had. The idea sucked. Realised an MBA doesn’t help you build a startup.
2012: Moved to London. Founded Makers.tech with a crazy Russian guy.
2014: While Makers was going strong, I couldn’t seem to reconcile my discontent with living in London so I decided to step down as CEO and simply be a lowly board-member.
2015: Moved to Berlin (a city that I grew deeply in love with) and joined Techstars as a Managing Director making investments into technology startups.
2016: Ran the first iteration of the Techstars METRO accelerator (a joint accelerator between METRO and Techstars, focused on food and hospitality) before switching over to run the Techstars Berlin program.
2017: This year marks roughly 30 companies that I’ve accelerated through Techstars who have cumulatively raised tens of millions of euros in financing. I spend most of my time currently meeting with founders, investors and local stakeholders to do my part to assist helping Berlin become one of the greatest startup communities in the world.
2018: I’ve been involved in accelerating over forty tech startups through techstars that have together gone on to raise more than an additional $100 million in follow-on financing.
2020: After reflecting on everything I learned building Makers and working with so many talented founders at techstars, I’ve recognized that all of the success cases I’d seen have similar patterns. The founders focus on the right things. I’m using this experience to continue assisting founders to grow great businesses.