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A closer look to the Entrepreneur in Residence role

We would like to introduce to you to our EiR, (Entrepreneur in Residence), Benjamin Wochner. Benjamin is from Germany, he is a startup enthusiast and a young entrepreneur. He is part of the Nekko team and has been working at our Barcelona office for a while. In this interview we share with you his thoughts on the role of EiR.

What do you think about your EiR role at NekkoCapital?

Being a EiR it is a whole new experience to have this let’s say “unusual” position in a company. Defining my role was something that the Nekko GPs and I tried to do upfront. However, in my opinion, it is still evolving, based on the experiences we have every week. On one hand, being an EiR provides me with a high level of independence, on the other hand I always have to make sure that I maintain the connection to the team and their activities.

How is the dynamic between you and NekkoCapital team?

Basically my role is defined by desired outcomes Mercè Tell (Nekko’s GP) and I agreed on together before I joined Nekko. How these results can be achieved in the best way is something that we plan together in weekly 30 min to 1 h meetings. In my opinion, it’s very effective that I can define the “how” – which means the specific activities I focus on – as I know best where my strengths are and which learnings would be best to expand my skills. The exchange with Mercè then ensures that my activities are then also aligned with Nekko’s needs.

How does Nekko nourish your projects and aspirations?

My goals during my time at Nekko are mainly learning more about VC-financing (from the perspectives of both sides of the table), establishing a network within the Spanish start-up scene, as well as, learning more about specific digital technologies like IoT, AI, and Blockchain. All this should support my overall goal of identifying a new opportunity to start my own business again as well as improving my entrepreneurial skills. Nekko helps me a lot achieving these goals. In conversations with the GPs as well as through participating in some operational tasks I learn about the important aspects of VC-financing. By talking to entrepreneurs (also to Mercè Tell) either because I analyze their company for Nekko or because I meet them at an event, I can learn from their experience of how to start growing your own business. Especially the high variety of events I can attend here, in Barcelona, provides me insight into the start-up ecosystem, as well as, the digital technologies and expands my personal network.

What do you think is your contribution to Nekko?

I provide my knowledge in entrepreneurship, business administration, and technology to add value in the day-to-day business, I also try to leverage my previous experience as a founder combined with my “third party perspective” in order to improve the internal culture, processes and structure of Nekko – which can still be seen as a start-up itself.

This “third party perspective” is especially valuable in cases when the operational stress and routine makes employees as well as the management confused when it comes to questioning/assessing the mentioned aspects like company culture, processes as well as the roles in the team. Besides that I would like to, I will use all my learning during my time in Barcelona to create strategies for Nekko about in which companies to invest, how to approach/attract start-ups and how to add-value to portfolio companies besides the financial investment.

“I think that it is challenging to define the role of an EiR in a good way, but adjusting the responsibilities and activities frequently helps a lot and creates high value for both parties. I am happy to grow in a young company that grows with me.”

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