APX is an early-stage accelerator in Berlin, nevertheless it’s not fairly your common accelerator — it’s primarily a three way partnership between big European publishing home Axel Springer and Porsche, the German automaker. Earlier this month, we sat down with APX managing director Jörg Rheinboldt to debate what makes APX totally different and the way it’s weathering the coronavirus pandemic.
Rheinboldt has fairly a little bit of expertise as each an entrepreneur and investor. He co-founded Alando.de, which was acquired by eBay in 1999 and donation platform betterplace.org in 2007. In 2013, he grew to become CEO of Axel Springer Plug and Play and through his time as an investor, he put cash into corporations like N26, Zizoo, Blogfoster and Careship.
“We began APX as a result of Plug and Play needed to develop into extra of a platform for matchmaking between startups and corporates,” Rheinboldt mentioned once I requested him in regards to the undertaking’s origin. “We, the group, loved investing in early-stage corporations so much and Axel Springer additionally loved investing in early-stage startups so much. So we determined to cease investing in new corporations Axel Springer Plug and Play. We had invested in 102 corporations — and focus[ed] on discovering fascinating groups to put money into with a brand new firm that we would have liked to discovered.”
Rheinboldt took this dialogue to his boss, Mathias Döpfner, the present CEO of Axel Springer, who inspired him to search out one other shareholder. “If it’s solely us, you may need to do what we would like — and possibly you don’t need that,” he mentioned Döpfner instructed him. In in search of a companion, Rheinboldt approached the Porsche household, which he had met at a few of his earlier investor occasions. The household was trying to diversify its portfolio, so after a number of extra conferences, together with a presentation at Porsche’s management summit, the 2 corporations determined to get into this enterprise collectively.
One fascinating factor Rheinboldt famous — and this isn’t a lot in regards to the Porsche household as a common remark — is that household places of work are sometimes immune to stepping into enterprise capital, a minimum of in Germany.