In the past week I’ve had two Startupbootcamp mentors make game changing connections. They ask for nothing in return, they just want to help. I believe in Karma enough to know that I’ll add value in return one day. But it continues to surprise me how some people go out of their way to help others and it’s a testament to the special ecosystem we’re all trying to build.
The first is an American, Jim Clardy, who is an active mentor with several accelerator programs. Jim showed up at our annual Berlin Mentor Day in the Spring of last year (if I remember correctly, his son was moving to Berlin). We stayed in touch, he helped our team High Mobility with a couple of key introductions during last year’s program. Then all of a sudden I needed introductions in a new vertical and here Jim has over delivered. He’s not only made intros but has been feeding me relevant articles and links. It’s as if I’m somewhere on his radar screen, and I’m sure there are a bunch of other there.
The other is Kolja Hebenstreit who met me the day after one of Team Europe’s portfolio companies, Delivery Hero, scored an $88 million investment! He had reached out to me simply to ask how he could help. He walked away with a bunch of to-do’s which he just knocked out of the park (on Sunday…). And he even paid for lunch! Say no more.
Neither Jim nor Kolja has asked for anything in return. They’ve been in the startup game long enough that if you give first then you’re likely to get even more back. I sure as hell will try.