MELCHIOR BAUER

Interview by Lisa Hillers

There is a great deal of variables a fledgling startup has to deal with. Uncertainties, like timing and relevance of the business idea, the appeal of the solution to the customer, market awareness, availability of cash, the ability to make sufficient sales and a good many others can cause quite a headache sometimes-successfully launching a startup, whilst planning and managing all these challenges carefully, can prove to be a daunting task. Having someone by your side that helps you to keep track of the financial structuring can be invaluable at times.

After finishing his studies of economic science in Holland, Melchior Bauer gained early insight in the world of finance whilst working for the dutch legislator, as part of a team of constitutive economists at the ministry of finance. He soon grew tired of the monotonous and limiting nature of his work and decided to dedicate himself to a slightly different line of business. He began working in project-finance and merchant acquisition, negotiating with private individuals as well as legislative powers. Dealing with exploratory negotiations and investment banking for large firms provided the challenge he had been looking for, but it lacked a sense of purpose. He finally decided to concentrate his efforts on a worthier cause: Renewable Energy. 4 Years ago, he moved to Berlin and is now working on several Internet-based projects as well as financial advising. He is currently involved in counseling betahaus members in Berlin and Köln, concerning expansion financing and businessplan related subjects.

What are the most important aspects you are trying to communicate in a counseling-session ? Is there something specific you would like to equip your client with?

There are three integral components of a start-up. The revenue-model, the organisational structure and the financial forecast. The business world is marked with uncertainties, so, realistically, these components are subjected to constant modification. In order to ensure that the business-plan can adjust to these changes, I created an Excel-Model that combines the three constituents and promptly adapts any transition. Thus, it is a lot easier to foresee potential financial outcomes and amend graphs.

At the same time, i wanted to create a user-friendly tool, that is easily understood, even without my guidance and intervention, I thereby hope to increase my clients flexibility. Also, my previous work experience gave me some valuable insight on what a certain investor might be looking for, so I try to give as much useful advice on how to approach potential investors, as possible.

What motivates you most about starting a new project?

What motivates me are the people and their ideas. I love the human component. Startups and their success are all about the people. It is important to understand their drives, what makes them tick and their ideas and visions on what they are doing. If you don´t get a feel for that, you will not be able to properly understand a startup.

What new developments do you see in the Co-working-world? How do you imagine bethaus in 2020?

Co-working will more and more be the standard for individuals and small startups. The real growth however might come if the corporate world embraces co-working. I guess that partially depends on the growth of employees working remote . That would be an exiting development.

Betahaus could be called an ‘authentic’ or ‘unadjusted’ early-stage co-working space. The challenge is to remain like that whilst still being profitable. That can only be done by maintaining but also improving its ‘name’ in the industry. Helpful would be some clear successes /stories that underline its value.

Speaking of co-working , how has the betahaus-experience been so far?

It has been very pleasant. The lack of hierarchy helps to create a very relaxed work environment and gives me space to breath. At the same time, it sometimes makes it harder to stay on top of things. That´s why, in order to remain determined, i try to maintain some sort of rhythm through creating a set, daily routine.

Thank you for your time.

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