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HTGF Academy

Do you know the HTGF Academy?


Since January there is the HTGF Academy. Time for us to draw a first conclusion. “We want to support the founding teams of our portfolio at all levels to succeed their Start-Up successful. This includes training and expertise sharing, that is precisely tailored to their needs,” explains Claudia Raber. She and her team manage the international network of the HTGF and had the idea for the Academy. The participants of the first workshop series gave consistently positive feedback.

Manuel Opitz, Managing Director of Mecuris GmbH says: “With the HTGF Academy we get access to pre-selected top speakers who design workshops exactly for our needs as Start-Ups – and all this at an unbeatable price. Another benefit is the exchange with other portfolio companies that are currently tackling the same topic. We recently met again with a Start-Up to jointly address the sales pipeline.”

The offer of the Academy

Julia Rückerl is responsible for the HTGF Academy program. She takes into account the different development stages of Start-Ups. At the beginning, the Start-Up team still fits around a table. Later, the founder often leads 50 employees and more. It becomes necessary to build new competencies and to train skills. This is why the range of workshops is so diversified. It ranges from Leadership, Human Resources, Sales, Marketing, Business Development to Finance and Legal.

In the first half of the year, three workshops and a webinar were held with a total of 65 participants.

The experts and their topics

All HTGF Academy speakers have Start-Up experience. Günter Meier, successful entrepreneur and coach of numerous Start-Ups, shared his expert knowledge on sales and sustainable customer acquisition.

Dr. Gunnar Gabe spoke about how founding personalities can shape corporate culture. He is a recognized specialist in leadership and organizational development. His thesis on it:

“Founders are often special personalities: energetic, highly motivated, enthusiastic, charismatic, innovative or cheeky. These are all characteristics that make the success of startups only possible in the initial phase. Of course there are also dark sides – they overtax themselves and others, are impatient, perhaps in need of harmony.

All these personality traits of the respective founders have an extremely strong influence on the culture of the young company – the written and unwritten rules of cooperation and management. In the workshops we take the first steps with the founders, so that they get clarity about whether and which challenges for the company development can possibly be derived from their personality structures”.

How do I recruit the right talents for my Start-Up? How do I motivate employees and how do I bind them? What does good leadership mean? These are essential questions for fast growing Start-Ups. This was demonstrated by the lively discussion in the workshop of former personnel manager and McKinsey consultant Thomas Hawighorst.

It is great when a founder passes on his knowledge to other founders. Like recently Nicolai Kuban, co-founder of the HTGF portfolio company contentbird. He gave a webinar on “Search-driven content marketing strategy”.

And on we go

“We’ve been thinking for some time about starting our own HTGF Academy. Ultimately, there is already an extensive offer in the area of Start-Up training. The numerous enquiries from our portfolio and the desire to exchange ideas with each other, have encouraged us to take this step. The high demand and feedback from the participants show us: With the Academy, we offer our portfolio companies real added value and that’s exactly what counts,” says Rückerl. In the second half of the year, the focus will be on pricing, self-organization, finance and legal. And for 2020 it is certain that the range will be expanded.