I had an intense and good week. Lots of things happening. Most of them are good. This week so far was full of real-life meetings and encounters. Quite some serendipity is back. It is also a lot to process.
Let’s start with something tiny: A spider is living in my outside window frame in front of my desk in my home office. When it moved in in spring, it was super tiny, and it was catching little flies in its net. We did not “clean it away” as it was living outside and eating mosquitos. In summer, it had grown a bit and had built a bigger net catching bigger flies. In July, something new happened: whenever it caught a bigger fly or bug, wasps came by and took its prey away. It had grown in size again in early September, and now the wasps are afraid of it. I still think about what to learn from this. ;-)
IRL 1: Investor Event and Summer Party
We had our first investor event this week after months of virtual events only. We had a very nice location near Oberbaumbrücke and invited the maximum number of investors and startups possible. We had a great evening of conversations, connections, and some very nice food. I missed these meeting opportunities quite a lot. This time we did not have any pitches from the startups. We had a panel discussion with an investor, a race car driver (thank you, Porsche!), and one founder. After this, we had dinner together and talked. This was the first event they attended in real life for quite some months for quite some people.
IRL 2: Our new new office
We will move into our new new office beginning of October. Since the beginning of this week, I have been working from here (I am writing this at one of our desks right now). It is very different from the office we built and decided not to use because we are remote first. The view is amazing, and since there are many more companies and people here, I ran in so many people during the first few days of being here that I had quite a dose of serendipity this week. I am looking forward to finding the right balance between being here and working from home to get all the things done I want to do.
IRL 3: Maps.org and the New Health Club
On Sunday, Anne, the founder of The New Health Club (APX is one of their investors), invited me to dinner around the topic of Maps.org. They are researching the use of psychedelics in mental health-related therapies. I have been interested in this field for some years and think (and hope) that new ways to treat people’s mental health issues become possible and available. Rick Doblin was in Berlin, and their research study has started in Berlin in cooperation with Charité. It was exciting to spend an evening with the team working on the topic. I appreciated the combination of dinner guests that had quite controversial opinions about how different medication and people therapy can work hand in hand to help people.
5 new startups this week
We invested in 6 companies last month, and we welcomed 5 of them to our portfolio this month. With the sixth one, we will start to work later this year. On Monday, we had a rather large video meeting with all of the founders and anyone from our portfolio interested in getting to know the new ones. I am having meetings with all of them this and next week, and it is amazing how the founders immediately connect with us and among each other. With more than 100 companies in our portfolio now, we are starting to roll out more and more roundtable and salon and forum-like formats for the founders to learn and exchange experiences and best practices. We have built a platform for all our stakeholders to connect, and I think we will offer quite some meaningful and useful connections digitally and in real life.
What I read and watched this week
As there were so many events and longer evenings on my schedule this week, I did not really have time to watch a lot of things:
Rick Doblin‘s TED Talk on the future of psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy
An excellent piece by Gagan Biyanhi on MVT (minimal viable testing) and why it might be the better process for evaluating startup ideas
I revisited the 15 commitments of conscious leadership. Because you should do that from time to time.
An interesting article in the NYT on how we burn calories
Thank you for reading, and I hope you found something useful. Please share the newsletter if you want, and please share your feedback if you have any.
Have a great weekend and week