Christoph Berger Vilisto

/10/

GREENTECH:
How to
recruit the right team
for a seed round

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Today my guest is Christoph Berger, the founder and CEO of Vilisto and Planet Sustainability. 

It is a perfect episode if you want to raise seed funding and to learn

  • how to build the right team and hire the right employees
  • how to optimize your recruiting process
  • how to build a B2B greentech company with hardware and digital products

 

With Vilisto, Christoph has developed a digital heat management system with self-learning radiator thermostats which reduce CO2 emissions & heating costs by up to 32%. 

He has founded this company in 2014 directly after finishing his university degree in Energy systems. Since then, the company has 21 FTE, they are currently raising their Series-A funding round and they recently won the German Innovation Award 2020 for Climate and Environment. 

They are rated 4.7 out of 5 stars by their employees on Kununu (the Glassdoor for German companies), so they have an extremely good reputation as an employer. 

We will focus this episode on learning from his experience with his Do’s and Don’ts about:  

“How to build the right team for a seed-round!“

We will also talk about his new online event Planet Sustainability, which brings together innovators and B2B startups. 

Among others, you will also learn:

    • How to best manage equity share distribution between founders  
    • How they developed their MVP
    • How they really failed their Kickstarter campaign and what they learned from it
    • How they pivoted from a B2C to a B2B product for non-residential buildings
    • How they funded their company until now (with 4 million € raised so far)
    • How they found their first B2B client at a fair by doing something most of the startups don’t do at fairs
    • Where to find and how to attract interns and working students
    • The different types of business models they considered (performance contracting, renting model)

 

Christophe’s company info: 

  • Vilisto, the digital heat management thermostats for non-residential buildings
  • Planet Sustainability, the new online event of Christoph for B2B startups with sustainable products.
  • Christoph profile on Linkedin

The resources mentioned in this episode:

Christoph’s recommendations

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Why I (really) created this podcast

We are at a critical period for our planet and its inhabitants, and entrepreneurs and companies are going to play a massive influence on our future. 

As always, there are two sides who can pull us in opposite directions. 

On one side, there are entrepreneurs who chase and base their decisions on money, success, and fame. 

On the other side, I believe there are entrepreneurs who truly care about making a positive difference on this world. Money is a mean and not an end to these entrepreneurs: they care about their Mission First, and their goal is not fame nor a quick exit for the sake of it. I call them Entrepreneurs for Future

I want to do my best to support these Entrepreneurs for future. 

On one hand, I do that with my company GT Impact, with which I help mission-driven companies scale up with digital marketing and growth hacking. 

On the other hand, I wanted to start this podcast because I believe the best way to learn is by getting advice from those who have already done what we want to achieve

Finally, maybe a secret reason for me to create this podcast: because it is a real pleasure and inspiration to meet and learn from these entrepreneurs. 

I have indeed been an entrepreneur myself since I am a teenager, always launching projects based on my passions. 

Music, for example, has guided me through my whole life. At 20 I started a non-profit organization to run techno music festivals in Belgium, where I was djing myself, then a few years ago I co-founded my first startup in Berlin, a music tech startup called Feelthebeat (Soundbrenner now). Currently I still do music with my indie folk pop band Lapwings

Preserving nature and its wild animals have also always been one of my passions: I have been mesmerized by the beauty of the wild orang-utans I have followed in Sumatra, or by the wild dolphins I had the chance to swim with in the Golf of Mexico. 

As an entrepreneur, I have bigger plans for GT Impact than “just” making it a great digital marketing agency for mission-driven startups, and secretly, this podcast helps me to learn and prepare the future…but shhh, that will be for another episode 😉  

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