And here I find myself, almost three years away from the most significant professional change of my life… After spending my whole career helping other companies to navigate through stormy waters as a business consultant specializing in turnarounds, I decided to found R3 Communications with James, Christian, and Mathias in July 2015. And what a journey it has been ever since!
I have to admit that envisioning to be an entrepreneur always felt right. Even back in the consulting days, when I found myself in turnaround situations grasping the downsides of ownership my perspective had not changed. In fact, I found that being a consultant precisely in these circumstances was not enough for me and felt that one day I needed to grab the right opportunity to become an entrepreneur. For me, neither an appealing product nor a sexy industry was the sole criterion. But there was one thing that needed to be valid: I wanted to be part of something great, and – spoiler alert – EchoRing rocks!!
During my journey towards entrepreneurship, I started to work with a great team in the field of elderly care with the mission to improve the situation, especially in a home care scenario. After six months of full dedication even having reached the stage of proof of concept, the great undertaking didn’t go on…
At that very time, I met my close friend Mathias (a former BCG colleague of mine… and now co-MD at R3 Communications). He, by surprise, introduced me to James, the mastermind behind our EchoRing technology. After that discussion, I already identified myself with the outstanding technology and its potential to become an industry standard … but the market was of course extremely challenging, few big-conservative well-positioned market leaders, very long sales cycles, etc. In fact, a tough nut to crack. But (thankfully!) we jointly decided to enter the boat together.
And here is where it comes: the 1st link Coffee <> Deep Tech! A really good friend of mine already had a startup which specializes around coffee: “Coffee Circle” (the best and fairest coffee in the world by the way) where we started our work on EchoRing renting two tables in their office, and of course with a flat rate of the most exceptional coffee available … And here I still am, working day and night to help EchoRing to continue rocking! But these days in our own 100 square meters and a team of 17 great people.
Funnily enough, even though the coffee and industrial communications market are so different from each other, and the value propositions of Coffee Circle and EchoRing are very unlike as well, there is a considerable similarity: we both compete against settled and dominant traditional players in mature industries. Surviving and business success requires a lot of thinking, right and fast decision making and a lot of energy! But we could go even a step further in our similarities: they sell coffee, and we do business with coffee. We also take our coffee machine to the fairs! And, of course, we still use Coffee Circle’s great coffee… To share it with all our visitors!
All in all, to continue doing business, I cannot do anything else but extend the invitation to come, visit us and meet EchoRing: we will talk about deep tech – obviously, over a good cup of coffee!
PS: Oh… I almost forgot…: our engineers, well, they run with coffee!