Beginner's Mind

#114: Doerte Hirschberg: Revolutionizing Climate Tech Investments, Empowering Women, Venture Capital

July 23, 2023 Christian Soschner, Doerte Hirschberg Season 4 Episode 33
Beginner's Mind
#114: Doerte Hirschberg: Revolutionizing Climate Tech Investments, Empowering Women, Venture Capital
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Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Is investing in climate tech just a trend, or is it the future of venture capital? Doerte Hirschberg, a leading figure in the VC world, challenges the status quo and brings a fresh perspective to these questions.

Doerte Hirschberg is the co-founder and managing partner of Climentum Capital, a venture capital firm that focuses on climate tech investments. With a background in traditional investments, she has transitioned into the climate tech space, bringing with her a wealth of knowledge and a unique perspective on the intersection of business viability and environmental sustainability.

In this episode, we delve into:

  • The transition from traditional investments to climate tech.
  • The intersection of climate tech and business viability.
  • The role of women in venture capital and the gender gap in VC investment.
  • The role of regulations and capital in shaping Europe's climate tech future.
  • Balancing work and family life in the demanding world of venture capital.
  • Don't miss out on this insightful conversation. Subscribe to our channel and join us in exploring the future of climate tech investing with Doerte Hirschberg.


💡 LINKS TO MORE CONTENT
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Christian Soschner
Today’s speaker is Doerte Hirschberg

📖 Memorable Quotes:
(04:49) "Installing solar and investing in energy-saving technologies make sense from a business case point of view."
(15:04) "Climate change and CO2 emissions are measurable impact topics, making our fund's impact target as credible as our financial ones."
(35:04) "In the VC investment field, you mostly have male teams or one woman, especially in the industrial sector."
(39:17) "The traditional venture capital game is about the winner. Women, making up 50% of consumers, can see many trends and insights more clearly."
(01:06:37) "My aspiration is a transition towards a more sustainable industry and society, reducing extreme poverty and maintaining Earth as a livable place."

⏰ Timestamps:
(00:01:00) Initiating Discussion on Climate Change Investments
(00:02:42) Transitioning from Traditional Investments to Climate Tech
(00:05:33) The Intersection of Climate Tech and Business Viability
(00:12:02) Exploring the Power of University Innovations
(00:14:10) The Art and Science of CO2 Investing
(00:20:16) The Intersection of Technical Expertise and Global Reach
(00:26:02) Pragmatism in Green Transition
(00:30:02) The Role of

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Christian Soschner

You ever wonder how to balance a high powered career with family life all while making a significant impact on climate change? Let's dive into it.

 

00:00:13:09 - 00:00:20:11

Doerte Hirschberg

I'm very good. If I know I have 45 minutes and then I'll pick up my kids. Then I get a lot done in 45 minutes.

 

00:00:20:15 - 00:00:48:17

Christian Soschner

Meet at the Herschbach, a trailblazer in the world of climate tech investing and a master of work life balance in this episode, we will explore key mentum capitalists unique approach to climate tech investing, the challenges and opportunities in the green sector, how to balance family and career, the role of white papers in the Cambridge Tech Space and the future of our planet.

 

00:00:48:24 - 00:01:14:22

Christian Soschner

Don't forget to subscribe button to stay updated on our latest episodes. Let's embark on this insightful journey together. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the conversation. Let's dive in. And we now go to the lack of customer streaming and that everything is good and we can proceed with the questions today. It's very good to see you today on the podcast.

 

00:01:15:05 - 00:01:15:23

Christian Soschner

How are you doing?

 

00:01:16:11 - 00:02:20:07

Doerte Hirschberg

Great. Thanks for being here. Yes. So I have been an angel investment since my time at Rocket and I started with consumer and software topics and over time this got more and more purposeful and sustainable and because I just felt worth the money, I have given all the great chances I had in life, I should do something good and something that makes sense for us and for the planet.

 

00:02:20:19 - 00:02:46:20

Doerte Hirschberg

And then in 2019, 2020, I realized that that now is a moment where there are so many great technologies and great companies which can be commercially extremely attractive, attractive and financial cases for investors, but also have a big impact on the on the planet because it's so urgent now. Everybody needs to act and that gives a unique opportunity.

 

00:02:46:20 - 00:02:53:15

Doerte Hirschberg

And then I was convinced, okay, I need to do this. I need to find the right people to do it together, and then I need to start this.

 

00:02:53:15 - 00:03:26:19

Christian Soschner

It's the circle to here. Can we stay a little bit? That's the basic definitions of climate change and climate investing in time and tech. I grew up on the countryside and to give you just a background by asking the question, I grew up on the countryside. My grandparents had this more very tiny little farm in Upper Styria, and any time when I tried to throw away anything plastic or aluminum a can, for example, my grandmother was very upset and she told me from early age, take care of the environment, don't polluted, keep it clean.

 

00:03:26:19 - 00:03:46:20

Christian Soschner

And if you don't keep it clean air and you don't. So it was basically farmer's life. When I feel the world now through this lens, for me, it's quite clear that we have to do everything that's necessary to keep the environment safe and working and intact. I mean, it's the only home that we have, and if we destroy it, it's the end of society.

 

00:03:47:19 - 00:04:05:09

Christian Soschner

Why is that currently so much fuss around this topic? To me, it seems very logical to do something, but whenever we open the media there is a lot of coverage. Why did this change in the last year? I am. In five years ago there was almost nothing. And now we have this big, which is very good thing. We have now this big press coverage.

 

00:04:05:20 - 00:04:10:02

Christian Soschner

What's your definition of climate change and why do you think with your find It's very urgent.

 

00:04:10:14 - 00:04:53:01

Doerte Hirschberg

Yeah. So the facts around climate change are known for decades, but it was never so pressing and it was also not so visible to all of us. So we experienced hotter summers, drier summers. We see more floods than other areas. So this is something that's that is now there and and and no one can can ignore it. The other thing is that the the current energy prices and also the roundness of some materials that we need and the increased prices and raw materials have also made many business cases more viable.

 

00:04:53:06 - 00:05:15:16

Doerte Hirschberg

So it makes it makes a lot of sense to install solar, it makes a lot of sense to save energy and invest in technologies that just reduce energy usage to or to to recycle or to use other materials that are not rare or earth materials. So so many things make sense from a business case point of view. They haven't five or ten years ago.

 

00:05:16:01 - 00:05:37:03

Doerte Hirschberg

So this is why now also the big money is coming in. Yeah. I also come from from McKinsey, not from philanthropy. Yeah, it makes sense, but it's also it's an investment case. And on the on the contrary, in fossil cases and all, it's very clear that they will have an end. And that's that's money needs to shift big times.

 

00:05:37:04 - 00:05:41:05

Doerte Hirschberg

And I think this combination makes it so interesting.

 

00:05:41:16 - 00:06:01:23

Christian Soschner

Yeah, I think also the Middle East is moving towards too much green investment. It's interesting the for me, I mean, Elon Musk is a very controversial person, but recently I saw a presentation from him where he presented his battery solution and that solar will save the planet and will drive down the cost. And it's it makes a whole lot of sense.

 

00:06:01:23 - 00:06:20:08

Christian Soschner

I have it on my YouTube channel when I think back at my work with venture capitalists, I have a farmer background mostly in pharma, so they invest in patents. At a time when I presented the case, it was very hard to be a heavy before scientific company to shy away and said, No, no, we don't invest in healthcare.

 

00:06:20:21 - 00:06:43:04

Christian Soschner

Then experienced a shift towards the digital age and we had a lot of investors here in Austria and also in Europe who invested in software. And when I approached them and said, Hey, this hospital is very helpful, they said, No, no, no, but I invested it. I perceive this Cambridge Tech is very hot, very intense. What, in your opinion is this?

 

00:06:43:06 - 00:06:50:13

Christian Soschner

Is this push towards hot, very intense investments right now? It's a completely game shift in in the reality of my opinion.

 

00:06:51:21 - 00:07:19:08

Doerte Hirschberg

Absolutely. So there is also software in climate tech. Yeah, there are some tools that can improve energy efficiency and make houses smarter. They are also tools that can monitor ESG and climate related stuff for track. So there is a lot of software and this is the space that's more traditional. Obviously, funds feel very comfortable and that is why we as climate focused companies, often find these companies overhyped.

 

00:07:19:08 - 00:07:47:10

Doerte Hirschberg

And also the competition is is very high. So, so far for ESG tracking, there are many companies out there. But then at the end, I mean, CO2 is a gas. So you need physical products, you need engineering, biotech, chemistry to to solve the larger part of the problem. And yes, hardware is harder. And this is why many funds say we don't do it right away and there are also reasons for it.

 

00:07:47:16 - 00:08:18:06

Doerte Hirschberg

So it's it does generally take time, more time. There are very few hardware processors that can scale software like Lego, if you remember what lab. Yes. Well, they program something in a few weeks and it had millions of users quickly. Yes. So that's very unlikely to happen in hardware. But we are convinced that there are enough hardware cases that are still fast growing enough to be a venture capital case and venture capital for us, we are often put in plus we lifetime.

 

00:08:18:06 - 00:08:41:02

Doerte Hirschberg

So which means if we invest now, we should see an excellent potential in six or seven years and so we have some rules. One is we can't invest in pure science, so we typically need a product that already works, at least in pilot stage. There should be some customers, maybe, maybe the B2B sales process that is still long and ongoing, but first, customers should be there.

 

00:08:41:09 - 00:09:04:11

Doerte Hirschberg

We also need teams that are not the the the 2528 out of university who have a big dream and just work a lot. We need teams who can scale industrially. Yeah you can make negotiate in which large corporates and all that stuff. So there are things that we need to see also the CapEx question. So we need to have an answer how do we finance the next round?

 

00:09:04:11 - 00:09:29:10

Doerte Hirschberg

And if this involves CapEx, what is a smart way to do it? Because there is still a gap in financing of first of a kind of plant, which she was often need and more and more players are involving to do that. But it's it's not that easy. So so these are the things that we have become experts in and we know and this is why we believe this is this is a risk that we can manage and handle.

 

00:09:29:10 - 00:09:31:05

Doerte Hirschberg

And that has great upside for us.

 

00:09:31:20 - 00:10:02:21

Christian Soschner

Let's talk a little bit about when you made a very important point. So let's dissect it step by step and start with the first one before we come to the team and why you are investing in more experienced teams and not young teams. Let's start first with why invest in hardware into climate tech space From the LP side, did I understand you right that from your perception, software and climate change in ESG investment investing is a little bit overhyped, but nobody wants to go into hardware right now.

 

00:10:02:21 - 00:10:06:06

Christian Soschner

So there is a huge opportunity sitting on the table. Is that the right perception?

 

00:10:06:17 - 00:10:10:21

Doerte Hirschberg

Yeah, not nobody, but definitely, yes.

 

00:10:11:20 - 00:10:27:23

Christian Soschner

I mean, Tesla is, if in my opinion, equitable example. I mean, Tesla is mostly hardware. They put cars on the street, solar panels on rooftops, batteries. Do we see similar companies in Europe on the Arctic assets like ours with the next Tesla for example, automotive out of Europe.

 

00:10:28:10 - 00:10:52:04

Doerte Hirschberg

And so we invested, for example, in a company called Phantom from Sweden, and they do heat pumps and they have heat pump technologies for urban applications. So for large buildings where you have a big one in the down and then modular things, and this is a company that is growing massively and now planning the second manufacturing plant and yes, that can show such a traction.

 

00:10:52:04 - 00:11:08:12

Doerte Hirschberg

We also have a the battery manufacturers North Volt in Sweden, also H2, Green Steel, a very ambitious project to make green steel. So these are some needs that definitely have the potential.

 

00:11:08:22 - 00:11:28:15

Christian Soschner

So there's a lot going on in Europe. Student But only in the United States. It's very good that we, at least in this area, still are on competitive on the competitive landscape. Let's look at the team and your investment style a little bit because I think it's very important for a piece that we might be interested to talk to work with you in future.

 

00:11:29:09 - 00:12:05:20

Christian Soschner

You mentioned and mapping and it's also the basic reasons or it's the basic setup when a company should address pieces and if they don't have it, they shouldn't. You mentioned that you want experienced team on one hand and on the other hand you're looking for a clear go to market strategy and accredited inputs. So you wants to have at least a working prototype, something that proves that's the concept works and a team who understands how to bring it to the market, how to negotiate with larger cooperation and agility, and sell a team to get the right impression from Clément Thomas Investment start.

 

00:12:06:11 - 00:12:47:04

Doerte Hirschberg

Yeah, very good. Very good. Summary. Yes. The team so typical hardware teams, for example, in Germany are often from universities. They have developed some really great patterns and, and technology that could really solve big problems. But many of these companies and relatively small and never get this this big traction and become a Tesla or what not. And and then on the other hand we have in in Germany a lot in Berlin the scene of entrepreneur others who are business people with no big technical expertise.

 

00:12:48:12 - 00:13:08:07

Doerte Hirschberg

But but all the know how, how to scale quickly and also this this MVP thinking minimum viable product, how we can we get something in the next months and then just get it out and try it and make it better and it's not that easy to merge these two cultures and to find teams who have both of that and who work well together.

 

00:13:08:07 - 00:13:33:19

Doerte Hirschberg

It starts with the location, one in Berlin and one somewhere in Katsuya, maybe in Munich. You will you have more, more synergies like that. But it's also the the mindset and the culture. So this is something that that we need to see. And then you typically also need people in the team who can not only scary big, but who can also talk to corporations and negotiate large contracts and be seen as a as a valuable counterpart.

 

00:13:34:04 - 00:13:45:04

Doerte Hirschberg

And this is something that we need to look at. And ideally the team has it all, or at least they know of the gaps and how to fill them. And, and this is very, very important. Yeah.

 

00:13:45:16 - 00:14:14:10

Christian Soschner

Yeah. I could not agree more. Marrying science with business. It's the science by itself. I was always the person when a scientist approached me or said on its my part is an application for that first the patient and sometimes as I said I mean scientists don't like sometimes science and not translating products into science into products. The question that I have now for you is the mission of Momentum Capital.

 

00:14:14:10 - 00:14:39:07

Christian Soschner

I think it always needs a visionary on a team. And my question and what I find interesting is, like people like Elon Musk or others like Steve Jobs, for example, who had this big vision and developed big companies, how did your vision evolve, but how did you find it to focus solely on CO2 investing to get rid of this problem?

 

00:14:39:07 - 00:14:45:09

Christian Soschner

Was that first emission or did you find the mission while you were working on something else?

 

00:14:45:20 - 00:15:08:16

Doerte Hirschberg

Yeah. So we we met as a team during 2020. It was virtually because we are from Berlin and Copenhagen and Stockholm and this was big covered time, so we couldn't even meet physically. But the first month and we came from different angles and had different perspectives. And I'm definitely not the impact and impact measurement expert in the team.

 

00:15:08:16 - 00:15:31:05

Doerte Hirschberg

We have others, but what's what they convinced me about and what makes a lot of sense is that climate change and CO2 emissions is the one impact topic that you can measure was with figures that are very solid and where you have a scientific base on the assumptions and the European taxonomy and stuff that you can base this on.

 

00:15:31:18 - 00:15:52:17

Doerte Hirschberg

And this allows us to make our impact target for the fund as credible as our financial target. So we have a we have a financial target and a hurdle rate for all carry, and we have the same on the impact side. And this is at the moment in this year, this is only possible for for a CO2 or CO2 equivalence.

 

00:15:53:08 - 00:16:23:14

Doerte Hirschberg

You can have other impact categories. Yeah, you need education, social stuff, biodiversity, very, very, very important topics. But there you need to do it more qualitative because you cannot compare, I don't know, millions of cancer patients who live longer with kids who receive better education and more insects in a certain area. You cannot compare that. This needs to stay qualitative and we like this.

 

00:16:23:14 - 00:16:40:17

Doerte Hirschberg

Yeah, this this opportunity to to really measure what we do and to also talk to the financial community and and finance driven investors in a language that they speak and we say, hey, we deliver this air and this much climate impact. Yeah.

 

00:16:41:17 - 00:17:09:11

Christian Soschner

I couldn't agree more from coming from the finance side. Having one KPI that you can clearly measure makes a huge difference. But on the other hand, when you open the newspaper, I think it also opens up a lot of critics criticism or say, why are you saying that CO2, why not something else? What's your opinion? Buy CO2 The best KPI that we currently have to measure when we want to measure any impact on on the environment.

 

00:17:09:11 - 00:17:14:22

Christian Soschner

I mean, it's a complex system. You have a lot of variables to target with buy CO2. In your opinion, the best one.

 

00:17:15:21 - 00:17:41:05

Doerte Hirschberg

It's not. It's not the best, but it's the only one that is standardized so far in the in the impact community so that you can really compare a recycling technology was vegan cheese and you can say this can save so much and this so much. And I would definitely not say that this is the most important KPI or what's biodiversity, for example.

 

00:17:41:05 - 00:17:45:09

Doerte Hirschberg

This is also something that's that is definitely very, very important.

 

00:17:45:09 - 00:17:48:14

Christian Soschner

But can, can you measure the impact on biodiversity of.

 

00:17:48:14 - 00:18:14:07

Doerte Hirschberg

A more qualitative. Yeah. So you can of course. And if you have a certain technology you can in a certain area measure something. Yeah. So but it's, it's not on a global scale and you cannot compare it to CO2 or to, to something else. Yeah. So it's not a, it's not a Yeah. The one figure, but that doesn't mean that it's not important.

 

00:18:15:13 - 00:18:43:20

Doerte Hirschberg

We need also funds to invest on that. And this can also make financial sense. But it's just our focus. We decided, okay, let's, let's take this battle and, and quite frankly, a lot has also a positive impact on climate change central. So, for example, we we have done investments in the in the space where we avoid plastic and their CO2 is only one of several impact factors.

 

00:18:43:21 - 00:19:15:11

Doerte Hirschberg

Yes, this whole ocean plastic, which then comes to biodiversity, to other problems, is not directly related to CO2. And of course we also account that in our impact due diligence. So we calculate the CO2. And but then we also say and in addition, there are other things that we really like and find important. And this is of course something that we that we don't ignore and we have the freedom to also do investments which are not super great climate cases, but very good and that have additional great impact dimensions.

 

00:19:15:11 - 00:19:15:17

Doerte Hirschberg

Yeah.

 

00:19:16:04 - 00:19:29:19

Christian Soschner

So when a summing up for any startup founder or any founder wants to approach, you should have at least one slide. But it clearly showed the CO2 impact of that technology.

 

00:19:30:06 - 00:19:32:23

Doerte Hirschberg

Yes. Yes, that's very helpful for us. Yeah.

 

00:19:33:09 - 00:19:57:18

Christian Soschner

That's not let me ask you the killer question that I usually get from because I can ask you this question. There is always the when I started investing in public companies, I initially have followed every trend. So I felt that everybody is investing. It must be good and this is exactly when I learned it's not the right time to invest in because it's always overhyped.

 

00:19:57:18 - 00:20:22:05

Christian Soschner

If Warren Buffett points that out very often and also other famous investors, of course, don't invest in hires, invest in loss. The question I have to, you know, is and this is frequent gaffes committed by their own companies, what makes you different in your industry? So what sets you apart? Why should LP invest in you? What's your USP?

 

00:20:22:05 - 00:20:27:06

Christian Soschner

What is something that I just cannot do? What do you do better now?

 

00:20:27:15 - 00:20:52:24

Doerte Hirschberg

No. So one thing is definitely that we are more technical than others. We also have engineers on our team. We also know the investor landscape. That is not B.S., but that is more infrastructure, debt, private equity related, that can also invest in hardware. So we know more about this stuff. And one other thing is that our geographic footprint is is a big advantage.

 

00:20:54:02 - 00:21:18:21

Doerte Hirschberg

Scandinavia is in many green technologies a bit ahead, but it's small. So companies who do something great in Denmark, Sweden, they are very happy that we have the access to to Germany, which is big. And on the other hand, many German startups like our connections to the Nordics, where it's maybe easier to convince some, some B2B customers and to have some discussions.

 

00:21:18:21 - 00:21:52:23

Doerte Hirschberg

And so this is also definitely unique. And when you spoke about these hype and bubble topics, I think this is our job as an investor to have strong seizes and to view these look at these topics that where valuations increase and where the hype increase and position yourself smartly to that. So for example, we looked at the hydrogen space and we are very convinced that hydrogen will be an important part to decarbonize big industry.

 

00:21:53:22 - 00:22:19:00

Doerte Hirschberg

And there are many in Electrolyzer companies have seen super high valuations and pay rounds without much revenue or anything like that. So we said, no, this is not for us. We won't go into Electrolyzers and we invested now into a company that does the electrodes for Electrolyzers, which is a critical component around 25% of the cost and still was not goods, efficiency and durability.

 

00:22:19:00 - 00:22:44:19

Doerte Hirschberg

So we did an investment there and other segments, for example, in the in transportation, we said this whole electric vehicle and cars, that's that's over. That's not for early stage anymore. We look at other segments within transportation. So more goods, transportation and shipping and stuff like that, which we learn from cars and trucks, but which will still be different now.

 

00:22:45:15 - 00:22:48:03

Doerte Hirschberg

So I think this is our task.

 

00:22:48:03 - 00:23:18:06

Christian Soschner

I couldn't agree more. There's a lot of hype around electric vehicles, but they also see on the public sectors, there are many big companies advanced, evolved, developed China, for example. It has some nice companies. United States Tesla Inc is still the best one. The question that comes to my mind now after listening to you is I mean, you mentioned initially philanthropy, So you're a fund, you want to make money at the end of the day.

 

00:23:18:23 - 00:23:43:07

Christian Soschner

And very often when I address this point of making money, making profits, at the end of the day, I get a hard pushback from scientists. Okay, it's all about money. If you're just talking about money, we wants to save the planet. And what I find very compelling in your story is that you want to do both. On one hand, you want to save our planet and on the other hand, but also your financially of our.

 

00:23:43:18 - 00:23:49:09

Christian Soschner

How is this for your parents? This tool to tackle these two topics? How do you what is your experience in this area?

 

00:23:49:17 - 00:24:22:23

Doerte Hirschberg

Yeah, so in the climate tech community, there is also a group which says we need to stop the growth momentum and we we need to end the capitalistic system which always wants to sell more and more and more and and I think that's that's a very fair and interesting point. And I love debating about it, but it's it's not very realistic and it's it's for is for for us as individuals or whatever.

 

00:24:22:23 - 00:24:55:17

Doerte Hirschberg

It's also it's also hard to realize and I personally am more convinced that the the capitalistic system will stay at least for the next one or two decades. Yeah. So the stuff that I can foresee, but that the governments and other regulators will try to bring it into the right directions and make regulations and carbon markets and all that stuff too, to ensure that this capitalistic system, which is imperfect, moves into the to the right direction.

 

00:24:55:22 - 00:25:21:23

Doerte Hirschberg

And this is what I'm convinced and not everybody is. And this allows me to work together with large corporations. For example, we have BASF as a as an investor in our fund. Yeah. Others would say, hey, BASF, they're chemical companies. They're they do a lot of bad things. Yes, I know. But they are also thousands of people within BASF, which I have every day, to make that better and to reduce that constant worry.

 

00:25:21:23 - 00:25:23:21

Christian Soschner

I have shares of BASF.

 

00:25:23:21 - 00:26:06:21

Doerte Hirschberg

So and and also also for financial investors and ops. Yes. And many people that we speak to, we know that they also have money in oil and gas and all that. And this will be a process that they will not say, oh, now we invest a bit in time and we have to shut down all this legacy. No, but they are so that it's rather my task to make their progress towards Green quicker and give them opportunities to to change what they do into something more green and sustainable than to just not work with them or or ban them completely.

 

00:26:06:24 - 00:26:18:08

Doerte Hirschberg

So this is but this is, of course, a very pragmatic approach that I'm happy to debate. Yeah, but this is our starting point. I would say you.

 

00:26:18:17 - 00:26:41:03

Christian Soschner

I mean, if you want to debate the end of capitalism, we can spend a little bit of time on that, which, I mean, I don't understand this movement. When you look, for example, electric vehicles, the European Union decided that's the way forward. And how I see it is that one of the visionaries who made this decision possible was not in the in Europe.

 

00:26:41:03 - 00:27:04:20

Christian Soschner

He was in the United States, in my opinion. Elon Musk So he pushed this topic very hard forward with his own money, with his own capital, and the capitalist system gave him sufficient funds with the acquisition of PayPal from from eBay to push this vision, I think on a global scale into the Internet. And he didn't make much money for for I think about a decade.

 

00:27:04:20 - 00:27:28:22

Christian Soschner

It's not it's Tesla's it's becoming big. I think we followed the capitalist systems people like me, these are my favorites. So if you have role models, feel free to offer them. But Steve Jobs, for example, Elon Musk, Bill Gates, for example, with Windows City, did a lot of good work in during the pandemic, with vaccine development, with Melinda Gates Foundation.

 

00:27:29:02 - 00:27:36:08

Christian Soschner

Without the capitalist system, they wouldn't have sufficient funds to do that and to lead the charge. What is your view on the capitalist system?

 

00:27:37:24 - 00:28:14:08

Doerte Hirschberg

So fundamentally, I am with you. Yeah. I also love this entrepreneurial stories and and the technologies that move something to the better. That's that's also my qualitative, but it's also fair. For example, in the Tesla case a Tesla, if you have now a five year old diesel and you replace it with a new Tesla, this is this will depend a lot on your driving pattern, but it's not necessarily super green because it has also a lot of new to them, which has many problems and the whole production process and aluminum, which is a lighter material, is also super problematic.

 

00:28:14:21 - 00:28:46:02

Doerte Hirschberg

So this it's good that you have a Tesla, but of course it would be even better if you would move to public transport and reduce your travel overall. And and this is also a fair point. Yeah. So, so this is this is a fine balance and I think a reduction of certain consumption will also be part of the equation now.

 

00:28:46:12 - 00:29:15:01

Doerte Hirschberg

So but we are all humans and we I think humans are collaborative. As you mentioned, your grandparents who told you don't throw away your stuff. I mean, in Germany, almost everybody is sorting the trash every day. It's a lot of extra effort. We all do it. So I also know so many people would take the bike also when it's raining and really try to do an effort, not throw away food.

 

00:29:15:01 - 00:29:41:17

Doerte Hirschberg

And and I think we can also do more there. Yeah but this is a process and if you would ban I don't know vacation floods Yeah this would you wouldn't get a majority for that and and I'm also I'm I'm convinced on capitalism at least on if it has some boundaries but I'm also convinced on the democracy and for democracy you need the majority.

 

00:29:41:17 - 00:30:04:24

Doerte Hirschberg

And this is what makes me so angry about these guys who blew themselves on the street because they risk actually that the majority of the the normal people are supportive and are willing to to go their way and install the heat pumps safe energy where they can exchange the light bulbs and all the stuff that we actually do.

 

00:30:05:01 - 00:30:05:05

Doerte Hirschberg

Yeah.

 

00:30:06:17 - 00:30:26:18

Christian Soschner

I couldn't I couldn't agree more. I mean when you explain it converts logically to people, I think to simplify it, I mean, it's logical when it's the right thing to do. The two that you talk a little bit about, I mean, I have a 20 year old diesel and looked at TV shows a couple of years ago. I said, Yeah, let's go green.

 

00:30:26:18 - 00:30:45:08

Christian Soschner

And then it it's a little bit of calculation in the background. I said, No, wait a minute. How often do I use my car? And it's basically once a month I am in Vienna, use public transport, and quickly came to the conclusion if I replace Meccano because they are, it's here when I buy a new car, probably a 20 year old car would be disposed.

 

00:30:45:12 - 00:31:08:16

Christian Soschner

So it's it's gone. It's of no use for anybody anymore and a new Tesla and yet a car in the US coming to Europe right now has a huge negative impact right from the start. When I compare it to my old diesel, you already have. So my decision pechstein was don't buy a new car. So I have attempted idiots and said okay, decide, but what's it to it?

 

00:31:08:16 - 00:31:39:20

Christian Soschner

What it does to this argument and which coming very often from from from the left wing and in capitalism, finding better system, finding new systems and very open to discuss that and listen to the arguments. But any time when I consider it and think about it, I don't find a better system. The only inequality in the system is that people who know how to play the game are just make more money because they know the rules, and people who don't know the rules are basically not very good in playing the game.

 

00:31:39:20 - 00:31:57:06

Christian Soschner

But this can be easily fixed with education. Do you are you aware of a better system than capitalism? Do you have anything in your social circle? Anybody who has a groundbreaking at the end says, when we do this and that, we get to a the system and no.

 

00:31:57:21 - 00:32:32:13

Doerte Hirschberg

But we should continuously improve it and learn from other countries. And I'm now exposed a lot to Scandinavia, which is maybe a bit more socialistic than than Germany. And I think there are there are on on many ways. There are there are things how we can balance the system. And I think we fundamentally we need to the capitalism always will create big winners and we always need to take a lot from them and give it to the others and and try to give similar opportunities to all.

 

00:32:32:13 - 00:32:55:14

Doerte Hirschberg

And I mean, in Germany, we're falling totally behind on that. And with the immigration that will stay the next decades also due to climate change and due to fossil wars and all, we will have immigration, but we need to ensure that these kids and families get integrated and and work and can work in the society. And this is.

 

00:32:56:11 - 00:33:20:21

Doerte Hirschberg

So we need to balance it. Absolutely. And I'm much more for for higher tax and these rules and carbon credits and we can do way more to yeah to take money from the rich and to balance a betterment that I'm all for and but they're the devil's in the details. Yeah. So every measure has pros and cons and I don't want to be a politician.

 

00:33:21:03 - 00:33:52:01

Doerte Hirschberg

It's super hard. Yeah. And and and again we need to take the, the majority with us and the majority in our countries are the Yeah. The, the boomer generation. So the now 50, 60, 70 year old and that is not also not easier to to do something against this majority. So we need to take them with us and ensure that this generation I think fundamentally this generation, they all have kids and grandkids.

 

00:33:52:01 - 00:33:59:21

Doerte Hirschberg

They also want to leave the planet healthy. But this is a yeah, this is a process.

 

00:34:00:21 - 00:34:03:22

Christian Soschner

And now we have our critical topics on the table. So I.

 

00:34:03:22 - 00:34:04:02

Doerte Hirschberg

Think.

 

00:34:04:17 - 00:34:05:24

Christian Soschner

If anybody want to start.

 

00:34:05:24 - 00:34:08:09

Doerte Hirschberg

It back to our fund and to.

 

00:34:08:09 - 00:34:35:10

Christian Soschner

The I, I really love this conversation. So because we are in communication training, you always here if you want to start if I to talk about politics, talk about religion or talk about anything that's critical. Correct now and where we have everything on the table, if we are not fighting, definitely let's let's take it the next, I think, very diverse topic on the Internet.

 

00:34:36:03 - 00:34:49:14

Christian Soschner

Diversity in your team. Your team members are not the traditional finance guys are white or men in suits. You have a diverse, diverse, active and young team. Can you describe the team a little bit?

 

00:34:50:03 - 00:35:08:13

Doerte Hirschberg

Yes. Yes. Yeah. So so we have two women on the team, a marlin and me and that itself in the founding team to have two women is very rare and it's also it's a big benefits and it makes it all better on top of that yeah my.

 

00:35:09:02 - 00:35:11:21

Christian Soschner

I was interrupted you think two women are are in a leadership role.

 

00:35:15:22 - 00:35:45:02

Doerte Hirschberg

So of course it depends in the industry and if you there are certain sectors like in medicine and always more balanced but especially in in the industrial field and in the VC investment field you mostly have either completely male teams or you have one women. Yeah. So still it's still the case is different again in Scandinavia, but there are not many German or Austrian B C funds I think speed investors.

 

00:35:45:02 - 00:35:49:17

Doerte Hirschberg

One example if you like, I say Austria, but where you have several women.

 

00:35:50:06 - 00:35:52:15

Christian Soschner

Are Oliver Hall is not a woman, I guess.

 

00:35:53:24 - 00:35:54:03

Doerte Hirschberg

So.

 

00:35:54:06 - 00:36:16:10

Christian Soschner

But twice I wish that they had had a discussion with Chairman Sanna in January. She is from Playfair Capital and asked the same question What's the root cause? Why do you think there are not so many women in the VC landscape? Is it because women just don't like it? Is it because there are evil men who prohibit women from entering the space?

 

00:36:16:10 - 00:36:18:15

Christian Soschner

What's the root cause, in your opinion? How can we fix that?

 

00:36:19:13 - 00:36:44:15

Doerte Hirschberg

So there are several. Yes, of course there are many biases in the in the industry. I was surprised when I entered it how big they were. But there was also only now there was last week in Financial Times, there was a they were quoting a scientific study where they found that male investors invested more in in female founders when the female founder was good looking.

 

00:36:44:15 - 00:37:12:16

Doerte Hirschberg

Yeah. So if there are these biases towards founders, then obviously there are also biases towards investment managers whom they hire. And this is basically proven by science. But also anecdotally, I know so many women who start somewhere in a fund and who after two or three years just feel I can't get there, I don't get the same mentoring, coaching, I don't get I don't get the same chances there.

 

00:37:13:15 - 00:37:41:16

Doerte Hirschberg

They all want to hire women. They all say it. But fundamentally, then yeah, so it doesn't work. Yeah. So it's it's really difficult. And I mean, I'm here to change that and I think it can be and it's also you have since decades you have these debates in engineering and then yes, women maybe prefer less science and mess topics and have other strengths.

 

00:37:42:00 - 00:38:07:03

Doerte Hirschberg

But for an investor, especially a, B, C investor, this actually perfectly fits the strengths of women. Yeah. So this is a large early stage. Investing is a lot about investing in the founding team. So psychology, which is the female topic then? Yes it is. It is about finance. Yeah. But we have in management and or we have 50% women and then it's about networking, networking.

 

00:38:07:03 - 00:38:33:23

Doerte Hirschberg

This is again a woman topic her see So and then also I have to say, I think investing is one of the most flexible job in times of work hours. Yeah. So it's actually very family friendly. I can decide when I speak to founders and I can set my schedule. Yes, I'm working a lot, but it's very rarely that I need to do the call at 6 p.m. when I maybe want to have dinner with my family.

 

00:38:34:10 - 00:38:51:08

Doerte Hirschberg

So there are no no real big reasons. So I think it comes back to Tobias also maybe to a bit less risk appetite of many women and investment careers is where the base salary is.

 

00:38:51:21 - 00:39:01:09

Christian Soschner

Fast as doesn't make this risk aversion. Doesn't it make women better investors than men?

 

00:39:01:09 - 00:39:21:18

Doerte Hirschberg

So there are studies that, for example, female founders, they get less money, but with the money that they get the bring, they bring the company further because they are more conservative and are worried that they will not close the next funding round if they don't realize certain things. So yes, there are certain things, but on the on the contrary.

 

00:39:21:18 - 00:39:44:07

Doerte Hirschberg

And you can of course also argue that the classical software venture capital game is all about the winner. So if you do 20 investments, you need the one or two fund returners who are really outside things and then you have 18 or 19 companies where it doesn't matter much if they go completely bankrupt or if they are somehow small and mediocre.

 

00:39:44:16 - 00:40:11:05

Doerte Hirschberg

So you can, of course, also argue that this is about taking high risks and having very strong conviction. But I don't think that that that women cannot do that. Yeah. So I also I'm also very I mean, women also 50% of the consumers. So I'm also convinced that there are many trends and seasons that they see more obviously.

 

00:40:11:09 - 00:40:24:21

Doerte Hirschberg

Yeah. And understand better. And so I think it's just a gap that we need to close. And I'm very sick of all these arguments. We don't find the women, they don't exist.

 

00:40:24:21 - 00:40:49:07

Christian Soschner

So really it is it is the arguments on the table that don't exist. I think one of the best tech investors still is Cathie Wood. So, I mean, she's a little bit criticized lately because, of course, I mean, when you invest in tech, you have this power territory and it falls down. But she's really doing a great job diligently researching the companies, putting all their research out on the market.

 

00:40:49:24 - 00:41:01:07

Christian Soschner

I think we should have 50% women and 50% men from diverse social backgrounds diverse at this. It is I think there is no reason not to do that. Yes, Sisters?

 

00:41:01:21 - 00:41:03:22

Doerte Hirschberg

Absolutely. Let's do it.

 

00:41:03:22 - 00:41:27:14

Christian Soschner

We agree. There was one story. Kevin O'Leary is an investor from the United States is if you can, Shark Tank. He came a little bit under scrutiny with the case in the last half year. But before that, he made a very interesting point on a podcast. He also got the question why he invests in women. And it was I would say it was a traditional white male podcast and everybody expected some dirty, politically incorrect answer.

 

00:41:27:18 - 00:41:52:16

Christian Soschner

And his answer was quite short. He said, I invest in women because they are good impeding companies. So his argument was that 80% of his profits he makes with his investments are from female led companies and not from major companies. And he criticized the men specifically in this in this comment that they take too much risks. So taking risk is good, but not too much.

 

00:41:52:16 - 00:42:17:00

Christian Soschner

And Ben, you said I mean, it's the power lifting. Sebastian, might it be described as very good in his book? This one book I can recommend about venture capital then you fans too. We know it's good, but nobody even statistically speaking, ten companies and expecting that one is this power or now is a huge game still when we talk about 1010.

 

00:42:17:00 - 00:42:28:09

Christian Soschner

Yes. There is no guarantee that one of these companies this is the big winner. You can easily select ten companies and burn all your capital within one year. I think change in 20.

 

00:42:28:14 - 00:42:54:04

Doerte Hirschberg

This brings us back to hardware investing. I think it's so I'm convinced on hardware investing it will be different. There will be more companies will grow good and quickly and we will probably from our 20 investments have rather three or four who have who are very big. But then we will also have many more that are okay ish and only few that are really a complete notional because there is also more substance.

 

00:42:54:04 - 00:43:17:21

Doerte Hirschberg

There are patents, there is machinery at some point in time. Also our co-investors as well. We often we invest in the next round. There are corporate investors, there are some private equity and they have a totally different risk appetite. They ideally like no companies in their portfolio. That's that failure. So so also we need to ensure already that we mitigate some of the risk.

 

00:43:17:21 - 00:43:28:17

Doerte Hirschberg

So I think this is this is also something that is showing there is a trend and maybe yeah, maybe this is then even better to get more women into the side of investing.

 

00:43:28:18 - 00:43:57:19

Christian Soschner

Now why not? There is no reason not to At the end of the day, I think when it comes to investing, it's only to return to count that count and looking at the statistics of think they are more favorable, unfortunate, they are more favorable for women in investing did for men in investing. My opinion, when we talk about investing there is all this is disparate territory and I made a lot of investment mistakes in the last 20 years, always investing at the highest.

 

00:43:58:06 - 00:44:24:08

Christian Soschner

When I look at the climactic space, especially with the recent development process, European Union pushes a lot of money into that space. Also, the Biden administration has, I think, passed a bill last year which picked up actually with several trillion dollars going into that space. But I look at the companies on the stock markets, they all are many of them are at the all time high.

 

00:44:24:08 - 00:44:33:22

Christian Soschner

So close to you see, if I were currently in the climate tech space or is it just my media perception?

 

00:44:33:22 - 00:45:05:01

Doerte Hirschberg

So I wouldn't say in the climate tech space. I think there are definitely some areas I mentioned electric vehicles Electrolyzers already are also in the food tech. Some some companies already have now way lower valuations. So there there are certain areas, but they are also so many that are still not understood by enough investors. So like recycling cases, actually when you look at them, they they just make total sense.

 

00:45:05:01 - 00:45:37:00

Doerte Hirschberg

Yeah. Not to throw something away or burn it, but to actually reduce it. But it's yeah, it's there are not many investors who go there and there are many places like that's where it's still it's far away from. Yeah. And this is, this is I think something for us to, to look at very careful and to in these different sectors to understand these different dynamics and where it is and the type of people.

 

00:45:37:14 - 00:46:08:17

Christian Soschner

That you are really part of the ecosystem and have deep insights into system our investors invest. I think this is a huge difference. Differentiator. Yeah, that's that's good to hear. You have a lot of conviction in campus tech and believe that now is the best time to invest in that. I should rephrase that question correctly, not to incite you because the topics are already on the table.

 

00:46:10:10 - 00:46:33:15

Christian Soschner

I mean, when had medication in the nineties, the expectation was to invest us invest your money, come back and get a return. But if the company had already put executives alone, when you look now at the startup world, I very often get the question what's how do investors help the company? And also look at how investors present themselves on LinkedIn.

 

00:46:34:13 - 00:46:46:08

Christian Soschner

They always present themselves with a little bit of extra and to do extra work for the startups. What's relevant to them position on in that space? How do you support your startups now?

 

00:46:46:08 - 00:47:14:22

Doerte Hirschberg

So I think a core value edge of all investors is the financing expertise and also the support in the next financing round. And I think this is also very crucial for us and in our ecosystem. The next round will be different than in the classical software ecosystem, as I explained before. In addition, we have one of our partners, Stefan is a is a true expert in how to calculate alignment, and there's a scientific methodology called lifecycle assessment.

 

00:47:14:22 - 00:47:37:10

Doerte Hirschberg

LCA. We do that in the due diligence process already and give this to the company so they they have something where they can actually have done actually was scientific methodologies calculated what the potential of the technology is. This is something that they can use for customers, for grants for, for the next financing round and so on. And we also help them to navigate.

 

00:47:37:21 - 00:48:04:12

Doerte Hirschberg

And in this, yeah, how to get actually more grants and how to access carbon markets, voluntary carbon markets and so on. Yeah. So the climate impact angle is the second strong thing and we are an SFD are Article nine fund. So this is from the European Commission. The classifications of funds, Article eight is also a bit green, but a normal fund can relatively easily become much more.

 

00:48:04:14 - 00:48:21:09

Doerte Hirschberg

Eight Article nine is way harder and we already have cases where the founders said the round is actually full, but we want you in the round because we want this article name STEM and we want to use that and this means something to us. Yeah.

 

00:48:22:13 - 00:48:41:24

Christian Soschner

It's good to hear. There are other topics that startups often bring, bring on to bring to the table. So financing is clear, but you help companies, then you bring a lot of expertise on the table and also your business network. But sometimes he also that startups expect promises to help them with the hiring to find the right people for leadership positions.

 

00:48:42:11 - 00:49:03:13

Christian Soschner

What's your take on that additional demands from startups? I us comment on set up to be something like the extended work pinch of startups or do you make a clear cut and say, Look, I mean we give you the money, we of course help you with one or the other introduction, but at the end of the day, it's your own needs to execute where to your position?

 

00:49:03:13 - 00:49:04:14

Christian Soschner

Clément I mean, that game.

 

00:49:06:05 - 00:49:39:05

Doerte Hirschberg

Is definitely the second. So the founders need to manage the company and obviously there are topics across different companies where we see similar questions and where we can help was connections between founders or to a hiring agency or or sales agency or whatever is the topic. But hiring recruiters or marketing people or whatever for our portfolio company is definitely not the best use of our own money.

 

00:49:40:11 - 00:49:50:02

Doerte Hirschberg

So at the end this need to be paid and this either needs to be paid by the by the portfolio companies or by our piece. And we're not doing that.

 

00:49:51:05 - 00:49:56:01

Christian Soschner

But in collaboration with a startup company to take up board seats.

 

00:49:57:05 - 00:50:20:03

Doerte Hirschberg

Yes. Yeah. So we are we are very collaborative with other we see funds also other types of investors. So we don't always need to lead. We also don't need always 10% or whatever threshold. So we're also willing to to to co-lead or to follow a strong investor, but especially if we lead, we take a board seat and we take the serious and and work with the company throughout the years.

 

00:50:21:05 - 00:50:25:20

Christian Soschner

And how often do you go to your board meetings in the year?

 

00:50:27:00 - 00:50:53:02

Doerte Hirschberg

So so this is also different by country. So in many countries the board meetings are very formal and you have actually a agenda of formal, formal items that you that you need to get through. And then the more important stuff is the the advisory. And this is day to day. So I'm on WhatsApp with all of them very regularly every day.

 

00:50:53:02 - 00:51:14:09

Doerte Hirschberg

Sometimes it's okay. We don't talk about anything for two weeks because it's just what they need to focus on and what I focus on. But this is what startups need did. It doesn't help to have once a month, once a quarter, once a year, something fixed in the calendar. You need ad hoc advice. They need to decide quickly and then and this is way more important to you.

 

00:51:14:22 - 00:51:18:00

Christian Soschner

So your startups can reach out to you any time you have a question.

 

00:51:18:00 - 00:51:18:18

Doerte Hirschberg

Yes, Yes.

 

00:51:18:18 - 00:51:23:10

Christian Soschner

That's good. It's crazy. It's great. This is a strong USP going to be.

 

00:51:23:13 - 00:51:32:07

Doerte Hirschberg

And also we are a relatively many partners, which also means that every founder has a partner, is accountable. So how many.

 

00:51:33:03 - 00:51:39:15

Christian Soschner

How many startups do you manage in your you as a as a person?

 

00:51:39:15 - 00:52:01:07

Doerte Hirschberg

Yeah. So I mean we are we are new fund we helped our first closing last summer so we are operational for a year now and we have now done eight investments and four of them I'm currently managing, but obviously this will grow. We so is this first fund will do around 20 investments and then we'll have a second and third fund.

 

00:52:01:15 - 00:52:28:11

Doerte Hirschberg

And then but on the other hand, it's also typically the involvement is the highest between the of the first funding round and the next one, because then typically other investors come in who also take part of the advisory and coaching. But yeah, so I would assume in a steady state I will always have something below ten, so maybe around eight to show some companies that I, I really take care of.

 

00:52:28:11 - 00:52:28:15

Doerte Hirschberg

Yeah.

 

00:52:29:02 - 00:52:51:21

Christian Soschner

You mentioned an interesting part for me. So key mentum is not a one trick pony to say we do a one fund two we hope that we find before our 20 investments the one power lobby now takes the money and leave. You said you also have plans already for your second, third, fourth, fifth fund. So Mendham is set up to play an important role for decades in the anti echo system.

 

00:52:52:05 - 00:53:01:07

Doerte Hirschberg

Yes, that's the aspiration, because unfortunately the problem will also not be solved with this one fund, the.

 

00:53:03:00 - 00:53:04:18

Christian Soschner

20 companies that we have done before.

 

00:53:04:19 - 00:53:10:00

Doerte Hirschberg

But with this will, I feel.

 

00:53:10:03 - 00:53:41:09

Christian Soschner

No, that's true. How do you see fund raising with your fund? I mean, Brussels is doing a lot of regulatory work, pushes money into the into the system. Biden administration pushes money into the system. It looks to me like also the Saudi Arabian oil companies start investing in that space. How do you see the availability of capital, private capital, not public funds, private capital on the market for start ups.

 

00:53:42:16 - 00:54:14:18

Doerte Hirschberg

So there's there's definitely more capital coming in, but there are also several things that don't work so well. So, for example, most of the climate tech funds are first time funds like us and especially big private investors just don't do that anymore. They have some some rules only second or even third fund and stuff like that. So it's so in 20 2021, it was it was easier to raise money.

 

00:54:14:18 - 00:54:39:12

Doerte Hirschberg

And now that all the market is going down, it's also also harder for all of us. We're fortunately far enough with our fundraising that we don't need to worry now. We're still we are actually still fundraising until September and we are also open for additional tickets. But we were fortunate enough that we could convince strong investors that we have the the Danish Growth Fund, which is a government fund.

 

00:54:39:12 - 00:54:58:16

Doerte Hirschberg

We have a bank from Denmark, we have BSF, but also many family offices and so on that are currently invested in the fund. But it's it's definitely not easier. But on the other hand, I'm very happy. Yeah. So our our fund might be a few million smaller than it would have been if we would have raised in 2020.

 

00:54:58:16 - 00:55:19:17

Doerte Hirschberg

But we could start investing at a very good time, you know. So in our segment, the valuations have not crashed down, but at least they are more moderate. Yeah. So in our portfolio, we have no companies where we would now say this was actually a high valuation. And when we think about the next round, how can we even get there justified?

 

00:55:19:17 - 00:55:33:21

Doerte Hirschberg

So, so we, we actually have a good chance to build up a super healthy portfolio and also show nice traction. And this will also of course also be important when raising the next fund and ultimately returning the fund again.

 

00:55:34:04 - 00:55:41:12

Christian Soschner

Is to still some room in your industry for a valuation reset southwards.

 

00:55:41:12 - 00:56:04:10

Doerte Hirschberg

Absolutely. So so there's I would say the early stage was never that effective. We didn't go so super crazy. And now it also get down a bit, but not super much. But in the later stage it was very drastic. And we also have I mean, there are some examples in from what's now a lot of the pressure that was very overhyped and get down massively.

 

00:56:05:06 - 00:56:24:06

Doerte Hirschberg

But it's again, segment by segment, we see others like in part who are still growing the valuations. So yeah, I, I think still seeing fundamentally the time and tech segment is stronger than others. But but we also cannot ignore the current market.

 

00:56:25:06 - 00:56:35:17

Christian Soschner

2022 I mean, I love tech investments on the public market and 2022 was not fun. So everything I think went so far at least 50%.

 

00:56:36:08 - 00:56:52:00

Doerte Hirschberg

Yes, it's very difficult. And I mean, I speak to so many founders who are really struggling and I mean, that's really tough. Yeah. If you have a company and great employees and good technology and the market is so much against you know.

 

00:56:52:24 - 00:57:17:04

Christian Soschner

You mentioned speak invest before and they did a study where they asked European investors what's the flaws of the European ecosystems are. And my point when they look at our ecosystem in the European Union is always that or startups with a pharma background, there is not enough capital, private capital on their market. So that's the reason why I asked you this question.

 

00:57:17:10 - 00:57:46:17

Christian Soschner

How do you see the availability of private capital for startups or scale up companies? And the usual advice I give to companies who wants to start here in Europe is principle. Raise a seed round, gets public funds, but be aware of the situation that after this you say it's highly unlikely to cause a serious, serious, serious or with European investors only or to an IPO in Europe with European investors only.

 

00:57:46:23 - 00:58:16:08

Christian Soschner

So the way forward is to sell a company to the industry or you relocate to the United States because there is much more capital available and there is there are much more investors wants to invest in data stage companies and also support IPO aspirations. Now is typically pretty of private capital in your area. Do you see the possibility or the potential and clamor for committed companies to find also foreign investors solely in Europe and do an IPO in Europe?

 

00:58:16:08 - 00:58:24:18

Christian Soschner

Or do you also have a similar perception that you say, okay, at the end of the day, if you can't sell your company here in Europe, you need to go to the United States.

 

00:58:24:18 - 00:58:50:22

Doerte Hirschberg

I mean, we will see that over the next decade. I think it it should be possible because a lot of the climate tech is much more to the industrial core of Europe. And a lot of the private money will come from from corporates or from from families who have made their money in in industrial stuff. And it's probably an easier thing from a successful machinery company where you made your money to invest in.

 

00:58:51:03 - 00:59:21:04

Doerte Hirschberg

I don't know. Yeah, recycling or new packaging technologies then to do software. Yeah, that's one thing. The other is that US investors are also actively looking at Europe and I expect them to do that even more because they also they, they see that Europe is very far in many technologies and has a lot to offer. And they also see that climate tech is very political in the US.

 

00:59:21:04 - 00:59:45:01

Doerte Hirschberg

And yes, there is this big package and all, but it's also if the next government comes and it's it's the Republicans, it can also be shredded. And so it's way more certain that Europe will stay for the next 20 years on this green train than than the US. So I, I also expect more U.S. investors to continue investing in the European ecosystem.

 

00:59:46:06 - 01:00:17:05

Christian Soschner

So when I was in my twenties, it was the nineties and Europe was leading in many industries back then, European companies. Then came the new millennium and I think with the dot com bubble burst in 2000, it was led by part of European digital companies. So when I look around the landscape, you have Alphabet, we have Apple, we have Microsoft, no European leading company in these markets.

 

01:00:17:06 - 01:00:41:17

Christian Soschner

I think the Nokia sent to Siemens of the days back then or to the fourth sector think it was similar to Facebook 20 years ago. They all went extinct. There were no investment capital wasn't an investment capital. And you mentioned that it came. It's tech. Europe, in your opinion, has a leading role. So we have more companies, we have better technology.

 

01:00:41:17 - 01:00:44:21

Christian Soschner

Is this direct perception? Are we really in the lead in these areas?

 

01:00:45:09 - 01:01:12:13

Doerte Hirschberg

I wouldn't say in the lead, but I would say we still have the chance to stay meaningful. There. But it's it's not defined yet. It's also also in China, a lot is happening and this China-U.S. rivalry is definitely a high risk for us. We have now higher pressure to act because of the Russia war, Russia, Ukraine war and the energy price implications that we have here.

 

01:01:12:22 - 01:01:36:12

Doerte Hirschberg

So this is also, of course, revealing some more energy and some more urgency, but also creating problems. Yeah, high energy prices also for for the industry, but so it's not yet decided. But I think we we have a chance to have a certain share and I'm working that. We'll take this chance and do something out of it.

 

01:01:36:12 - 01:01:49:08

Christian Soschner

So what, in your opinion, what needs Europe to to take the lead, to take the lead in green technology, climatic.

 

01:01:49:08 - 01:02:22:19

Doerte Hirschberg

And I think, again, there's not not one answer, but definitely regulations and security on certain regulations is definitely important. Also the the carbon markets to maybe go some steps further there. Yes it is also about money and and and deploying money also in an accessible way because especially what the the financing institutions of the European Union do this is especially for for startups early stage this is so crazy.

 

01:02:22:19 - 01:02:50:04

Doerte Hirschberg

I mean there are if you are a startup and you want to get a two or 3 million EU funding, the first thing you should do is hire a consultant who helps you with the application forms. And this cannot be this is so crazy. Yeah. So get a bit more pragmatic in this way. Absolutely. I know it's not easy is so government money from taxpayers that we need to spend wisely and lots and all that.

 

01:02:50:04 - 01:02:55:13

Doerte Hirschberg

But yeah there are several of these things to unleash the potential that's definitely there.

 

01:02:56:06 - 01:03:06:18

Christian Soschner

That would be good to have private additional private money at the end of the day when it wants to raise public money or private money. Public money is available, but private capital, especially from entrepreneurs.

 

01:03:07:14 - 01:03:25:19

Doerte Hirschberg

Yeah, but also from the whole pension system. I mean, this is such a big difference that the US pension money is in large shares, also in private equity venture. And this is way, way, way less than in Europe and this is also something that we need to but needs to change.

 

01:03:25:19 - 01:03:59:13

Christian Soschner

To open open doors here. As I say, the same since I think 20 1314, that's a lot of funds, especially here in Austria. If a lot of foundations, also insurance companies, and they could do much more without investing in risky assets. I mean, when they invest in venture funds, for example, like in your fund and you can diversify your portfolio so you don't buy only one company, you invest in 20 companies, you look at the statistics, it's next to impossible that the fund is a complete loss.

 

01:03:59:13 - 01:04:01:01

Christian Soschner

So it's 100% lost.

 

01:04:01:06 - 01:04:31:08

Doerte Hirschberg

And if you look in the data, it's actually it's not so easy to return b c fund. And there is quite a big share of funds that are, as they are below the one X or at least below a really attractive IRR. So it's not so easy. I understand why it is a why it is a higher risk asset class, but that does just mean that you need to balance your portfolio out, but that does not mean you shouldn't touch it.

 

01:04:32:20 - 01:05:04:23

Christian Soschner

I think big, big corporations can put a fighting, for example, 1% in b C funds without risking their existence, which helps drive the ecosystem forward on bond and but also opens the door to, I would say, the possibility to create returns even if there is a risk. But what options do they have? On the other hand, I mean, they can invest in both short and they also risk everything because who knows what happens with Berkshire and Warren Buffett is not there but can invest in interest bearing whatever they find on the market.

 

01:05:04:23 - 01:05:08:18

Christian Soschner

But also it is can change very quickly as we saw in the last ten years, up and down.

 

01:05:09:18 - 01:05:32:01

Doerte Hirschberg

Yeah, So yeah, but at least at the moment that financing and this is pretty attractive and you get double digit interest rates on debt, you need to be, as we see in private equity industry, you need to have good arguments and good returns.

 

01:05:32:10 - 01:05:50:16

Christian Soschner

So actually because the biggest learning I made on public markets is you need to buy the assets when nobody wants them. So when they are looking for alternatives because then you can buy low when now nobody wants to invest in venture funds. I think it's the best time to invest in venture funds.

 

01:05:50:18 - 01:06:11:11

Doerte Hirschberg

This is a very good that's a very good point. Need to agree. I think now is a good time to invest because the portfolio that you can build up in 22 or 23 will be very healthy and towards the end of the decade we will have a very good exit momentum because many corporates have targets, climate targets for 20, 30, 20, 35.

 

01:06:11:18 - 01:06:15:13

Doerte Hirschberg

So the acquisition appetite will be way higher. This is definitely true.

 

01:06:15:22 - 01:06:41:02

Christian Soschner

I couldn't agree more. You mentioned 20, 30, 20, 35 and further along, let's look into your crystal ball. Yeah, and it's just guesswork when we look into the future and let's say 20 years and you achieved your biggest dreams. How does divided look like then?

 

01:06:41:02 - 01:07:24:10

Doerte Hirschberg

So I would hope that we have made a transition towards a more sustainable industry and society without losing too many people, both here and in central Europe. Yeah, I mean, but also on the southern side of the planet. Yeah. And that's we can say yeah, 7 billion people hopefully continue to decrease the share of the super poor and, and somehow manage to keep this earth a place where you can live and where so many people can live.

 

01:07:24:10 - 01:07:48:00

Doerte Hirschberg

Yeah, I think and I just hope that this does that, that we can do that without any tragedies. I mean what we see in Ukraine currently that the country is destroyed. This is already so massive and there are so many other wars that we don't talk that much about, but there is a severe risk That's also all this.

 

01:07:48:17 - 01:08:00:15

Doerte Hirschberg

Yeah, the stuff that the that are triggered by climate change can lead to to more and more catastrophes. And I just hope that we have as few as possible of these.

 

01:08:01:14 - 01:08:26:10

Christian Soschner

Yeah, yeah. Totally agree. I know both. Please. So this would be devastating for Europe. I hope we continue what we started in 1945 and also the European Union that we keep Europe safe and without borders, at least ment is in the Ukraine should stop hope that hopefully also pretty soon. Let's talk about investments.

 

01:08:26:19 - 01:08:27:02

Doerte Hirschberg

Yeah.

 

01:08:27:03 - 01:08:31:24

Christian Soschner

And what was your favorite investment that you did?

 

01:08:32:20 - 01:08:39:09

Doerte Hirschberg

No, I don't have a favorite one. Oh, I like I like all of them for different reasons.

 

01:08:39:10 - 01:09:04:19

Christian Soschner

Then due to time constraints. I mean, we could also sit here until 3:03 p.m. So I have the next meeting at 3 p.m.. But due to the time constraints, maybe you can pick one to demonstrate to help people understand when they should approach you. Also to describe with one of your portfolio investments. Wyatt decided to invest in debt.

 

01:09:05:08 - 01:09:12:08

Christian Soschner

You like the company. What's the strength of the company and what's debt you're looking for in companies?

 

01:09:12:20 - 01:09:52:03

Doerte Hirschberg

Yeah, absolutely. So I can select from U5, which is the Vienna based biotech company that produces in the fermentation process casein, which is the base for vegan cheese. So the whole protein market is one where we believe we need to feed 7 billion people and we need to do that in a was less land because we need more land for trees and was less animals and that so this goes more to plant based and to talk to fermentation processes and stuff like that.

 

01:09:52:10 - 01:10:18:06

Doerte Hirschberg

So we have studied this fundamentally we also defined some areas where we think we as of country strong. So for example, we would in the food space, we would not invest in B2C brands because we don't have this consumer branding expertise. So we prefer B2B models and we also fundamentally believe that the food giants will win. Yes. So as you see, it was was alternative meat, so plant based meat.

 

01:10:18:09 - 01:10:49:09

Doerte Hirschberg

Now all the nestlings and all have the large products in the supermarkets at competitive cost and this is what wins. So and then we got introduced to to Farmer five by a by a fund from Switzerland called Euro Morgan. And what, what I liked immediately was their B2B model. So they work with cheese companies who currently produce cheese and who know everything about milk and that she's making process, but who are no biotech technicians at all and they don't have any fermenters there.

 

01:10:49:23 - 01:11:24:00

Doerte Hirschberg

And me, if I enables these companies to set up a vegan cheese line and produce cheese that really tastes like cheese and has the mental relatability and all the stuff that we we like about cheese, because cheese plant based cheese does currently not work. So we only have 2% of the cheese market. Is this vegan vile. For example, 20% of the European milk markets is vegan plant based because the milk alternative as there is tasty now and several people have switched and for cheese it's just not good enough.

 

01:11:25:00 - 01:11:55:02

Doerte Hirschberg

And so then we started the due diligence. We talked to customers, we went saw the technology. So we have some biotechs expert expertise in our fund. So we looked very deep in what EFA and Christoph, the two founders can and and found that very convincing. And then we ultimately decided to invest here. So we we look for companies that are at the stage where they have the first revenues or will have them soon, where we see a reason why this can grow very quickly.

 

01:11:55:02 - 01:12:15:13

Doerte Hirschberg

In this case, we see that because they have so good connections to these cheese companies and there are several that the same quickly. And then these cheese companies actually have easier access to CapEx than a small startup. Yes. And we look for distinctive technologies and from Wi-Fi is actually one of the first ones who can actually make cheese.

 

01:12:15:13 - 01:12:19:10

Doerte Hirschberg

Wisconsin, that tastes like something that you would also call cheese. Yeah.

 

01:12:19:13 - 01:12:24:04

Christian Soschner

So is it really strange tasting like cheese? Yes. You tried.

 

01:12:24:04 - 01:12:27:07

Doerte Hirschberg

It? Yes, I tried it. Yeah. Yes.

 

01:12:28:16 - 01:12:35:04

Christian Soschner

So really like real cheese And it they can model, they can basically mimic every sort, every kind of cheese to.

 

01:12:35:06 - 01:12:41:24

Doerte Hirschberg

So in theory they can. I tried mozzarella and feta. Yeah. So okay. To get checked for it.

 

01:12:42:01 - 01:12:42:23

Christian Soschner

There's no difference.

 

01:12:44:19 - 01:12:47:13

Doerte Hirschberg

I mean it has no milk in it so there's a big difference. But the taste.

 

01:12:48:00 - 01:12:49:09

Christian Soschner

For the taste, my taste wise and.

 

01:12:50:01 - 01:12:56:04

Doerte Hirschberg

The taste, I'm pretty sure that in a blind tasting, you and me would not taste different. Yeah.

 

01:12:57:01 - 01:13:18:21

Christian Soschner

That's impressive. That's impressive. And it also explains what you are looking for, I think. Very well. Yeah. If you're looking for P2P models. So it's not your plan to scale the next Tesla, for example, to find this one, Elon Musk, who then builds everything himself. And you need trillions or billions flowing into my looking for these specialist companies.

 

01:13:18:21 - 01:13:37:05

Christian Soschner

If I understood it right or do one thing very well and are about that larger corporations it's pretty pretty pharma model. So larger corporations already have own customer base, can invest a lot and are looking more for licensing needs, for example. It's also your preferred model.

 

01:13:37:17 - 01:13:39:19

Doerte Hirschberg

Yeah. Yeah.

 

01:13:39:19 - 01:14:15:22

Christian Soschner

And you want to have on one hand a clear definition how the company reduces CO2, which I think in terms of milk is quite simple. More we can cheese alternatives on the market, less milk consumption, less cattle, less CO2. And the second part that's very important. You need proficiency on the team. As far as I remember, firm. If I had to have strong ties to detect the technical University of Vienna, so have a sound science based and they also have people on their team.

 

01:14:16:04 - 01:14:23:01

Christian Soschner

What you mentioned understand how to negotiate deals with their respective industries. It's also an important part.

 

01:14:23:12 - 01:14:33:15

Doerte Hirschberg

Because I can ifa as a serial entrepreneur. So she has already built a company and exited that the ecosystem.

 

01:14:33:15 - 01:14:48:00

Christian Soschner

I think in Austria we love you for the invest material, how to do that. One question, I mean, you prefer firm. If you have an Austrian company in your portfolio, how do you see the Austrian ecosystem from the Berlin perspective?

 

01:14:48:00 - 01:15:09:08

Doerte Hirschberg

And I'm not an expert on that. I couldn't judge. I think it's I think it's definitely evolving. It's it's, it's it can it has way more potential. It can grow bigger. But I really can't judge. I couldn't tell you the ten most promising Austrian startup.

 

01:15:10:03 - 01:15:34:07

Christian Soschner

Okay then let's look at your this table your space. I mean the this is probably an important question for a five piece. Investing is not very difficult. I mean, you can throw your money on the stock market and burn it very easily. So this is especially in these days, the interesting thing is always how do funds make a difference?

 

01:15:34:14 - 01:15:56:05

Christian Soschner

How what do they do to find better opportunities on the market and think this is the secret? It's also not easy to make money on the public market. They're thinking 95% of people who try to get rich on the on the stock market lose money, don't make money on the stock market thing 75%. And look at the statistics who really produce returns.

 

01:15:56:05 - 01:16:18:10

Christian Soschner

And it's a very small percentage when you look at these outstanding returns of about 10 to 20%. Warren Buffett the best investor, makes a think a little bit below 20% in the last 60 years. But the majority of his returns were back in the sixties, seventies and eighties of the last century. What's your secret sauce in finding companies?

 

01:16:18:10 - 01:16:28:15

Christian Soschner

How do you find your deal flow where you are convinced that in this deal flow are the winners of tomorrow?

 

01:16:28:15 - 01:16:55:21

Doerte Hirschberg

So it's a smart combination of of smart people who have networks, who have knowledge and hypotheses on Caesar's and what will happen. And then it's it's combining that with data. Yeah. Unfortunately, there are many, many data sources out there that you can can look at and aggregate, which makes it also easier for for smaller funds to to just do that.

 

01:16:56:11 - 01:17:01:07

Doerte Hirschberg

And it's always this combination.

 

01:17:01:07 - 01:17:29:22

Christian Soschner

So let me ask you a personal question that I find very interesting with people who have big aspirations to change the world. I mean, it's basically what you take up as a contrarian position. So you are looking on one hand, I mean, you're looking in a philanthropic area, climate tech. You also want to make profits for your piece and you look in small areas that don't have that are not existent currently in the public.

 

01:17:30:06 - 01:17:56:08

Christian Soschner

So It's not like managing a football team, both in the Champions League and all over the media. And I can imagine that, you know, in pharma and very often making pushbacks because except during the pandemic, nobody likes the farming industry. But I'm curious about to learn from you is what keeps you going. I mean, you must also have an opinion, probably some pushbacks.

 

01:17:56:08 - 01:18:05:11

Christian Soschner

Nobody's interested in the area and you have to find companies that nobody wants to invest in, have to convince their peers to invest in these companies. What gets you up in the morning?

 

01:18:07:01 - 01:18:29:13

Doerte Hirschberg

So I think to be honest, this is a big, big privilege that I have yet to have a job where I can talk with great founders on exciting technologies and I still I still feel that this is this is really an absolute dream job. I also think we are still in the honeymoon phase of our fund. We did our first investments.

 

01:18:29:13 - 01:18:58:00

Doerte Hirschberg

All these companies still have money. We don't yet have any that is struggling and and we have to make potentially tough decisions also not to give money to some anymore. So I know that also these times will come, but it's for me it's also I'm a person I had my own software company and what I realized then was I am not good in optimizing every day the same thing.

 

01:18:58:00 - 01:19:21:16

Doerte Hirschberg

Yeah. So the sales of a software make the pitch 2% better. I'm someone who's good at managing many different topics and jumping from one to the other. And I think this is also my trick when I'm when I don't feel like yeah, so, so I can just prioritize my time and do different things and look at different companies.

 

01:19:21:16 - 01:19:45:24

Doerte Hirschberg

And there are weeks where I focus a lot on fundraising. There are other weeks where big conferences are, and it's a lot about networking, and then there are weeks when I go down, look into companies, do due diligence and look at data. And this is something that gives me a lot of energy now. But I can also have and I have a lot of degrees of freedom to to decide when exactly I do what.

 

01:19:46:09 - 01:20:10:18

Christian Soschner

That's always the question about your culture in in my community and I think also not ecosystems. You said your family still in the honeymoon phase and someday the honeymoon phase will be over and you also had the career before Lumentum What I'm curious to learn is how do you handle these times when there is no honeymoon, when the going gets tough?

 

01:20:11:17 - 01:20:20:02

Christian Soschner

How do you manage failures? What's your trick?

 

01:20:20:02 - 01:21:02:16

Doerte Hirschberg

So I think I have a lot of small sources of of energy that I can pull. Yeah. Typically I need to digest by talking to people, to people I trust. I'm not good in solving something on my own. So I could never do a single cheap fund. I need people. They want me. And then I think I'm. I'm relatively good in putting something aside and looking at it half a day, a day or a week later and getting a fresh perspective and fresh appetite to improve that and make that better.

 

01:21:02:16 - 01:21:27:12

Doerte Hirschberg

So I, I never really stop working. I'm always on. But I can also relatively easy switch off from the topics that I'm currently annoyed on. And then then what very often happens that actually after after some time where I looked at something else and this can be my kids that can be another company that's easier, then I have a fresh idea.

 

01:21:27:12 - 01:21:31:04

Doerte Hirschberg

And also the power and energy to go back to this. Yeah.

 

01:21:31:24 - 01:21:36:00

Christian Soschner

How about how about your kids? How are you? How do you manage family and business life?

 

01:21:37:05 - 01:22:05:11

Doerte Hirschberg

And as I mentioned before, I think investors have the great benefits of flexibility. So compared to finding a company or being among many other career options, I have tons of flexibility. Nevertheless, I have a lot to do. So this means I'll yeah, I'll prioritize whatever is urgent. I also work with a Scandinavian team in Scandinavia. This whole work life balance topic is very different.

 

01:22:05:11 - 01:22:30:18

Doerte Hirschberg

For example, when we did our launch event in Copenhagen, they said, okay, let's start at 6 p.m.. My colleagues were like, What? No, we start at three. At six most people would go because they have dinner with their family at home. So they're it's much more around lunches and you do the networking in the coworking hours and having an evening event is a rare exception, which is here in our community.

 

01:22:30:18 - 01:22:50:17

Doerte Hirschberg

It's almost expected that very regularly you network for it for for dinners and all that stuff. Yeah. So these are things that I do, but I limit them to a certain degree. Also travel. Yeah. Yeah. I focus on Europe. I wouldn't want to invest in a fund that, that that's invest a lot in the US or stuff like that.

 

01:22:50:17 - 01:23:10:14

Doerte Hirschberg

Yeah. So I the stuff that I know that are difficult for my family, I have a limit and I have selected a set up that allows that and then I'm very efficient. Yeah I'm, I'm, I'm very good. If I know I have 45 minutes and then I'll pick up my kids, then I get a lot done in 45 minutes.

 

01:23:11:07 - 01:23:31:00

Christian Soschner

That's that's that's true, I think. Well, what's the name of this law. I forgot it, but it goes like a task. Takes the time you dedicate to the task. If it's 4 hours, it's 4 hours. If it's 40 minutes, it's 40 minutes and the task is done. So can do you two you agree to this statement from your personal life?

 

01:23:31:00 - 01:23:31:11

Christian Soschner

Basically.

 

01:23:32:16 - 01:23:57:00

Doerte Hirschberg

For many things I do. What is also true that I as a as a working mom, what I sometimes miss is this open end working on something which is more complex, something that just requires iterations and thinking. And that's very hard for me for. So, for example, I hate writing white papers, but I've now actually decided to really not with much anymore some, some other people need to do it.

 

01:23:57:13 - 01:24:24:06

Doerte Hirschberg

And this is something that's a that's does not fit well in this. I give it 6 hours and I'm just this this is drowning me then because then I say, okay, today afternoon, I have 3 hours for it and then I'm still not done. And then this is something that I don't like so much. But I think this is also I mean, when you're getting older, you know what you're good at and what you're not good at.

 

01:24:24:06 - 01:24:34:17

Doerte Hirschberg

And it's always better to focus on your strengths than to work on your development needs. Yeah. Rather find the right team to take over the stuff that you're not left with in their careers.

 

01:24:34:18 - 01:24:36:22

Christian Soschner

A contrarian approach to the school system.

 

01:24:37:23 - 01:24:41:07

Doerte Hirschberg

Yes. Yes.

 

01:24:41:07 - 01:24:56:20

Christian Soschner

You mentioned white paper. I heard this term very often with the blockchain space. What's the important role, in your opinion, of white papers these days? Do we need them or can we can we forget about it?

 

01:24:56:20 - 01:25:28:02

Doerte Hirschberg

So, I mean, I think the core of a fund is to do great investments. What we should focus on, and I'm not I'm not a big fan of hiring a big team of communication guys who just also in the social media world who just generate buzz and stuff, just have clicks and likes and whatever. But nevertheless, when you think about a segment and the problem, we sometimes have something to say and we learn so much that it just makes sense to summarize it.

 

01:25:28:02 - 01:25:47:18

Doerte Hirschberg

And when you summarize it and publish it, you also get more impact on input on that. So, for example, I, I decided to write an article about the problems of financing first of a kind of manufacturing plants, because this is something that I spend so much time on and I and I learned a lot, but I still have open questions.

 

01:25:47:18 - 01:26:11:12

Doerte Hirschberg

So I decided to, to write down my state and what I learn and what I what I did not know. And this was very helpful. Yeah, so many people responded to it and checked in and I got additional contacts to potential investors who are interested in these type of things. So then it helps. But you shouldn't say, Oh, we as a fund, we have the target every month, we need to publish the next whitepaper.

 

01:26:11:12 - 01:26:15:22

Doerte Hirschberg

So now it's on you. You have to do it. Yeah. So that doesn't make sense.

 

01:26:16:23 - 01:26:37:03

Christian Soschner

Not to do the kind of writing helps to support efforts. It's a very important, very important task. Like I like writing a lot. I'm almost full with my with my questions. Let me ask you one question. Did I miss anything in our conversation? Is there any topic that you would like to talk about? And I didn't take it, so thank you.

 

01:26:37:03 - 01:26:37:15

Christian Soschner

So far.

 

01:26:39:02 - 01:26:44:16

Doerte Hirschberg

No, I think we covered a broad range. Yep.

 

01:26:44:16 - 01:26:57:22

Christian Soschner

So when someone is listening right now who wants to either join your ecosystem as a startup or as an MP and wants to reach out to you, how should stick to it?

 

01:26:58:11 - 01:27:23:01

Doerte Hirschberg

Yeah. So for companies, so we like companies that are in late seed or serious A so that ideally already have revenues or will have them soon and that have a really big climate impact it be this is what we like these apply on our website you can also email me but it's just it's just way more efficient because then we give it directly to the one who takes care and we have all the information that we need.

 

01:27:23:06 - 01:27:45:12

Doerte Hirschberg

So please fill in the form in the website and we will definitely look at it for people who are interested to invest in our fund. This is possible for large investors, but also for for people who only have 100 or €200,000. So this is in our setup. Also possible you can write to Hello, it's Clement Dotcom. Very simple.

 

01:27:45:12 - 01:28:06:12

Doerte Hirschberg

Hello and and we will reach that. And of course also feel free to reach out to me personally linked in Yeah I'm I'm aware also for co-investors who would like to invest with us industry experts on certain sectors always interested to be in contact.

 

01:28:06:24 - 01:28:29:01

Christian Soschner

So partner will put your contact data in the description of the podcast episode. So whenever I post something and make it it be the post on the internet, I will put your LinkedIn profile in the description so people can actively reach out to you on LinkedIn and you read your messages, I guess. And so it's a very active profile and use it for communication.

 

01:28:29:10 - 01:29:04:15

Doerte Hirschberg

Yes.

 

01:29:04:15 - 01:29:39:02

Christian Soschner

That brings us to the end of our insightful conversation. We start the year. We delve deep into the world of climate tech investing, explored the balance of family and career, and discussed the future of our planet. If you found value in this episode, please take a moment to like, share and comment. Your interaction not only helps us to reach more people, but also enables us to continue bringing in more speakers and creating more content like this.

 

01:29:39:19 - 01:29:50:21

Christian Soschner

Don't forget to subscribe to stay updated on our latest episodes. Thank you for joining me on this journey. Until next time, keep learning and keep growing.

(Cont.) #114: Doerte Hirschberg: Revolutionizing Climate Tech Investments, Empowering Women, Venture Capital