Hanse Ventures launches as a 'stepping stone' for European startups

Described as a “stepping stone” for enrepreneurs and startups, Hanse Ventures launches today, a new early stage fund based in Hamburg, Germany.

Its founders are Dr. Bernd Kundrun, long-term Chairman of the Management Board at Gruner+Jahr, Rolf Schmidt-Holtz, CEO of Sony Music Entertainment, Jochen Maaß, founder of SEO-agency artaxo and Sarik Weber, former member of the management team of XING.

The company has already taken a stake in 8 businesses, including founding carmio.de, hochzeitsplaza.de, 1000Kreuzfahrten.de, and toptranslation.de, but plans to invest in 6-8 startups a year over the next three years. There isn’t just financial backing on offer but also incubation: start-ups are offered a “full-service infrastructure ranging from design, programming and online-marketing specialists to office space and administrative support.”

Hanse Ventures is looking beyond Hamburg and Germany and welcomes interest from startups across Europe.

Hanse Ventures says that in particular they are looking for talented entrepreneurs with ideas, not necessarily fully formed companies or startups further down the road.

“People are the most important part of any business“, says Rolf Schmidt-Holtz. The four managers are particularly interested in working with young entrepreneurs looking for their own company, who are eager to work independently and assume responsibility. People hoping to found their own start-up with Hanse Venture’s help should bring a lot of passion and determination to the table, be able to handle criticism and, most importantly, be good team players.”

In fact, Hanse Ventures says that what sets them apart from “classic venture capitalists” is that they rarely finance existing start-ups. Instead, they want focus on “realizing their own ideas in cooperation with entrepreneurs looking to found their own business.”