A #Pauaful Internship

Leon Wickmann

Leon, give us a brief summary about your background

After I finished my Bachelor studies at the TU Munich, I joined an early-stage start-up in Munich where I gained experiences in several roles, including Business Development, Product and Finance — which got me completely hooked on working in the start-up world! After one year, I got the chance to join another start-up as part of their team responsible for the Asia expansion, based in Hong Kong — which was simply too good to decline. Afterwards, I decided to gain some VC experience at Paua Ventures. Now, I will return to Munich to finish my Master’s but will happily remain in the Paua Family, as a Working Student at Actyx — a Paua-Portfolio company.

What was the main point that attracted you to the VC world?

After experiencing start-ups in different stages first hand, I wanted to see how it is on the other side of the table. My main goal was to learn how VCs evaluate different Start-ups, especially in the early-stages. I was intrigued by the idea of learning about different markets and business models.

How does a typical day as a VC intern at Paua Ventures look like?

The simple answer would be: however you want it to be. As an intern at Paua you are regarded as a full-time member of the investment team, and thus have a pretty broad and flexible field of responsibilities. I would say the typical day is two-folded:

  1. Dealflow: as an intern, you are responsible for finding interesting start-ups, and get to speak to a lot of founders. This is the main task and allows you to see a lot of interesting companies. If you find something exciting, you get rewarded by being involved in the whole process leading to a potential investment, where you can experience first-hand how Partners at a VC firm analyze start-ups, negotiate with founders and structure deals.
  2. The second part of responsibilities is a bit more scattered. As Paua Ventures is a very hands-on Investor, you get to meet and work with many talented founders. During my internship I supported several portfolio companies in areas such as Sales, Marketing or Fundraising. Aside from that, there is also always something to do, such as creating interesting content, doing market deep-dives, or assisting the Partners in the fundraising process. Needless to say, every day looks different and there is always something new to learn.

What were the biggest learnings during your time with us?

Being interested in Entrepreneurship and wanting to found my own company at some point down the line, I would say the biggest learning for me was to understand how VCs look at companies and which traits and habits differentiate successful founders and start-ups from less successful ones. I was also able to improve some soft skills, such as organizing myself or structuring and leading through meetings.

How would you describe our company culture in three words?

Open, Ambitious and Hands-on

If you want to connect with Leon, please follow him on LinkedIn.

You have a hands-on mentality and a passion for new technologies, as well as first experiences in fast-paced environments? We are always seeking outstanding interns who join our team on a rolling basis. If that sounds like your dream job then we’d love to hear from you.

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