I am a passionate entrepreneur and discovered my love for the impact space very early on. At the age of 26, I was part of an IPO, an experience that made me realise I didn’t want to create businesses that didn’t truly matter.
When I asked myself, ‘What do I want to do?’, my mind shut off, and the question went straight to my heart. The answer that came out was to work with impact entrepreneurs, because they genuinely inspired me. I took that energy, and embraced the fears and doubts that this would be an impossible task – and this was how Ananda was born.
Three people in particular inspired me.
Sylvie Mutschler (Mutschler Ventures) showed me a way to be a better investor and build an in-depth relationship with the founders. Thomas Jetter, who made the first ever commitment to Ananda, helped me believe in my own story. And Monika Roell relentlessly challenged and mirrored me in the early days, allowing me to find my North Star. Many of our founders have inspired me as well, because their intrinsic motivation level and sense of mission are so striking and pure that it carries everyone around them.
Real entrepreneurship comes from a place of love and inspiration, and the desire to create something truly new and unique – not to just disrupt something that already exists. From Steve Jobs inventing the Macintosh to Jimi Hendrix playing the guitar, these are people who wanted to do something that was completely fresh and unheard of.
These days, the topic I’m engaged with most is founders’ health – their physical and mental wellbeing – because it is a big breaking point in companies. Founders are twice as likely to suffer from mental health problems than those outside of the entrepreneurial life. So it makes sense to focus on our founders’ resilience and ensure their own personal development in order to make the whole company more stable and sustainable.
I’ve also redefined my idea of success. Instead of measuring it in money and influence, what’s most important to me is living a life of peace and openness, having excellent and honest friendships, loving my surroundings, and having a lifelong attitude to learning. There’s nothing wrong with making money, but it should never be the first motivator for entrepreneurship. Better goals will carry founders much further.
I enjoy spending time with my family and being a dad of three. I love sports, especially boxing. I also enjoy nature; I love ski touring. Meditation or working with my hands are activities that help me disconnect from thinking. I enjoy having ‘no-time’ when there is nothing scheduled, and I am just by myself.
I am living my wildest dreams. I cannot think of anything better to do than what I am doing in my life right now. I also enjoy being involved with Real School, Europe’s most sustainable school, which I helped bring to life. It is probably the most impactful thing I am doing, as it’ll have a very long-term influence on the world: if you change the mindset of thousands of children, that will impact millions. And it’s wonderful not having to wear the pure investor’s hat for once.
More about me
Don't Settle for Purpose. Should we all try to find our purpose in life - and will it bring us joy and satisfaction in return?
Hear the story and reflections of one of the co-developers of the impact carry model which is applied by >80 funds in Europe.
Impact investing: A model for saving our world?