Last week I was invited to the Mannheim Forum and boy is that university beautiful, you have to give that to them. I wonderfully arrived in style directly on the big square in front of the palace that is the university. The team took great care of me the entire time and on friday I was able to see a few of the panel discussions. A discussion on climate change with the head of the board of directory of RWE Innogy GmbH and the head of the research institute on shore development can be fun, especially when at the end they both more or less agree that yes we do have a problem, but the hardcore line on climate change just has too much of the shore of voice and it’s not as bad as it seems.
Finance Markets and Debt had among other Professor Dr. Bert Rürup and Professor Dr. Hörisch (I’ll listen to him any time!), which was again an amazing discussion moving along the line of whether money is not really a synonym of trust and what that entails. The day ended on the note of Moral in Business with Dr. Wagenknecht from Die Linke (left wing party) who held up very well with members from banking and stocks to say the least. I really have to give it to her, chapeau. While the idea of a 100% inheritance tax on anything above 1 million EURs was laughed at, the idea of giving anything above the value of 1 million of a company that is inherited to a foundation of all the workers, didn’t get a lot of replies because it is for harder to argue against. Then again, that the US as a whole can make better decisions on giving away Bill Gates money instead of the man himself is laughable, sorry.
Then we had a great discussion on startups in the evening and I finished up talking with Ulf S. Baecker and Bjoern Herrmann from Startup Genome, whom I met for the first time in person after having invested in 2012. I actually shared a room with both of them at the Mannheimer Jugendherberge, which was a blast. Amazing place directly at the water in a park, with very nice rooms. As a pointer, your key cards also work at the lockers … but only at one specific one and you need to rub it right of the little nob. Just sayin’ ;)
Next up on Saturday Morning was our Startup Panel on Resources moderated by Ulf and together with Bjoern, Dr. (yes :)) Dominik Matyka from plista, and Robert Rudnik from Coffee Circle. We were then also joined by a Student that Ulf grabbed out of the audience, great move to be exact. We actually were a bit radical in our views but you are a startup founder for a reason. Stuff like not doing it for money, competing for time, calling it human assets instead of human resources (your employees are leveraged not used up) and the death of consulting and big companies were just some of the subjects we talked about. Judging by this comment on facebook, it seems to have worked well. I at least have to say that it was huge fun.
Mehr Impressionen vom Mannheim Forum gibt es auf Facebook (daher auch das Foto in diesem Post). Ich freue mich auf das nächste mal.