Meet Nora-Vanessa Wohlert, Managing Editor at Gründerszene.
Interviewed by Nadia Boegli, Head of Communications at Tweek.
What does your normal day at Gründerszene look like?
Working in the startup scene and covering news and developments within the internet economy, you never know what happens! That is normal. But there are some general processes every day. We start with a quick conference for the topics of the day. As managing editor I receive the most news and I always check my email after I wake up. Often I do some calls to find out details afterwards, and I also have a look at different media to check what they already covered. Other than that, every day is different. Interviews. Research. Meetings. Ideas. Social Media. Writing. Presentations. Checking. Planning articles. Number crunching. Developing new features. Strategy. Conferences. Networking.
What made you want to become a tech journalist?
This is my opportunity to do what I love everyday. Before I started working for Vertical Media, I worked for a startup, a big agency, several newspapers and blogs and a big consultancy company. Working at Gründerszene as a managing editor is combining everything I love to do: managing, developing strategies, networking, finding out about new ideas, opinions, writing about the internet scene, developing teams, growing and never standing still. The biggest difference between a startup (as we are a startup ourselves) and a big company is the movement.And I have a big advantage working for a startup which covers startups and is providing services for startups such as a job board, events, seminars and deals. So there is movement everyday inside and outside the company.
Have you ever thought about starting your own business? If yes, why didnt you?
Being a journalist almost nobody asks me about myself. If I would have to pinpoint a question that a lot of people have asked me before, it would be exactly this one.With a growing team of currently around 30 people at Vertical Media, my work is kind of being part of running my own business (without having shares!) - together with the greatest team ever. We all have ideas and execute them together. Right now there are tons of projects being done. But sure, in my position I see new ideas everyday and who knows, maybe one day I will found a company. The only reason I haven’t so far is that I have everything I want around me right now.
Seeing so much from the Berlin scene and having gone to the Valley in Spring, what would you say is the main difference between the two Startup hubs?
There are a few big differences, even if I like the spirit of both startup hubs. The Silicon Valley is a magical area, many things come together: ideas, talent, California and money. That is unique and always will be. Even if we tend to compare Berlin and the Valley. Both are different and this is also a benefit for Berlin. The Valley ecosystem has been growing for many decades. We have to go step by step. In my opinion the main differences are:
- The Valley is way ahead in terms of the ecosystem. Maybe the Valley will always be different - but that’s no problem.
- People in the Valley love tech. People here often just love business and money so they have to do tech.
- In the Valley people love to share knowledge. In Berlin you can see formations of groups. The Hipsters, the Rockets, the Team Europes… Sometimes they do mix up. I think these are the best moments for big ideas.
- US founders keep their exit money in the startup scene, founders here often use the money for cars, houses or different asset categories. But this is slowly changing. More and more startup founders do invest money in startups. The Heilemann brothers, Felix Haas, Eric Wahlforrs, Zoe Adamovicz - just to name a few. That is a good development.
- Berlin has much less money than the Valley and almost no big exit option within the country. But more and more international VCs are coming to Berlin - still it is important to be close to your investor and use networks.
Is there a woman you look up to? Who is she and why?
I look up to many women. For sure my mum for managing me and being herself in her job and beliefs. I also look up to all my female friends, you and my former boss Mirjam Stegherr, who taught me in many ways. If you mean someone more famous, I do look up to Arianna Huffington.
If you look at all the female entrepreneurs and male entrepreneurs you have met, what is the biggest difference between the two sexes, if there is one?
All founders, male and female, have things in common. But I have never met a female founder who didn’t love her company 100 percent and just did it for the money.So this is why I think we need more female entrepreneurs.
You can follow Nora on twitter @Noravanessa