Ulrich Wallenhorst

Start-Up Funding: Mastering big challenges professionally!

Start-up Funding

Initial situation: a new Venture Capital fund (VC) - set up as a start-up fund combined with a start-up incubator - needed a critical mass of investors with the willingness to invest at least a mid-six-figure amount in a first funding round (BaFin requirement). In total, 20-30 m€ venture capital should flow within 12 months for investments in 10-20 start-ups in the pre-seed and seed phase. 

Challenge: At the moment (post-Corona, recession, Ukraine crisis etc.) there is a noticeable reluctance of suitable investors, coaches and mentors. This has made it much more difficult to acquire the sufficient number and required quality of investors and supporters within the available time frame.   

Solution: The VC management approached AAA-Advisors members who, due to their professional and other backgrounds and wealth of experience, could not only act as investors but also as coaches and advisors to the founders and CEOs and, due to their network, could act as funding catalysts. 

Implementation: Two AAA advisors acquired 10 additional managers in their network, founded an investment vehicle as a GbR and invested in record speed a mid-six-figure sum with a lower individual entry hurdle, participated in various pitches of new startups (batch days) and formed initial networks with the founders for direct exchange and support. In the course of the final closing, this procedure was repeated again, this time with even more startup and VC-experienced entrepreneurs and founders who are very well known in their industries. Through the engagement of the AAA-Advisors, on the one hand a financially and ideally highly qualified support could be secured, and on the other hand a high reputation could additionally be built up - due to the names of the acquired co-investors, which in turn had a magnetic effect on the startup scene. 

Results: As a result, the VC had generated 20m€ in the targeted time of 12 months. Moreover, the investor community itself proved to be a very good combination of experienced founders and shareholders of established entrepreneurs. 


Image source: unsplash.com; Thx to Mika Baumeister

About the author
Ulrich Wallenhorst

Ulrich Wallenhorst has been a manager and executive with extensive product and market expertise for over 30 years, both in German medium-sized companies of various sizes and industries (mechanical engineering, industrial automation, automotive, etc.) and in large listed American corporations.

From 2018 to 2023, he was the Technical Managing Director (COO) of tool manufacturer Knipex.

Through his implementation experience, he can effectively support the introduction and evaluation of products, business models, technologies and methods in companies as an advisory board and consultant.

Ulrich Wallenhorst is currently active as chairman of several advisory boards and as senior advisor to several private equity companies.