Meet Alexander Zumdieck

Meet the Techstars METRO Accelerators Team:
Alexander Zumdieck, 39, Managing Director Techstars METRO Accelerator

Alexander brings a wealth of start-up experience to the team: in 2012, after more than five years at McKinsey, he founded a start-up called Payleven with two co-founders and Rocket Internet. The company helps small and medium-sized companies accept debit and credit card payments on smartphones, and is now one of the leading providers in mobile payment solutions. Before coming to Techstars METRO Accelerator, Alexander was head of pricing at Zalando for two years.

He has acquired a lot experience along the way that he would now like to share with founders who are making their way in the business. A good example of his start-up wisdom is “fail fast”: at the beginning, an idea often lacks good feedback, which is why it is extremely important to test the market with an MVP (minimal viable product) as quickly as possible, and learn as much as possible about its strengths and weaknesses. Immediate feedback on a real product translates into faster, more effective improvements. That solid base of experience then makes it easier to talk to potential investors and raise any needed venture capital.

Another important realization Alexander made from his years as a founder is, “The team is the most important thing! Find a great team and don’t shy away from tough decisions.” Good business ideas rise or fall according to how well the right team can work them out.

Later on, managing growth becomes the big challenge. Organizations with 20, 200 or 2,000 employees function differently and the transition from one kind of organization to the next requires difficult decisions and sure instinct from management.

Right now, Alexander finds ideas on using technology to simplify daily life like scheduling, for example, or stucturing how to work with several co-workers particularly exciting. We are looking forward to seeing which ideas and which Techstars METRO Accelerator start-ups pique your interest.

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