Today I’m talking with Jens Hilgers, who is an investor and serial entrepreneur, and well known for his work in the esports industry. As a day job, Jens is the Founder Partner at BITKRAFT Ventures, a VC firm focusing on early-stage investments for gaming, esports, and interactive media. With Jens, we talk about entrepreneurship, fundraising and how gaming and esports will evolve in the coming years.
Jens got into eSports in the early days, through his involvement in the German competitive video games tournaments
- “One of the sites I sort of had in my network was the German Clan League. At that time we would call them professionals. In retrospectives, they were sort of far from what we have as professional teams today. These clans that played in the league would play. I think Quake and UT was the biggest leagues that we had, we would pay 200 Deutsche Marks in prize money.”
- “This competitive nature — watching others play, see them train, you could see them playing on that level, aspiring to play on the same level. I love competitive play but I was not on the level of the people we had in the league by far and that just got me excited, I think the most from the things I did and that ultimately turned into the electronic sports league, the company that set out to try to build the Champions League or the NBA of Esports.”
What made eSports possible in the 2010s? According to Jens, there are three reasons:
- Twitch and other live broadcast over the internet finally democratizing access to eSports content.
- The Free to Play business model changing how Esports would be anchored in the games industry”
- I think the generational tidal wave of digital natives people like myself, who I would call one of the first digital natives, probably that grew up with video games and a fascination for everything kind of digital communication. And that that sort of reached a critical mass.”
BITKRAFT Ventures was launched when Jens figured that he could use a fund structure and leverage his knowledge in eSports to have a bigger impact
- “[I thought that] a fund approach might be a great way to formalize [investing] and have more leverage in what you do. So I contributed all this equity in the companies I built, newly built and the companies I’d invested in, into a fund structure here in Germany and raised capital, not much, actually, on top of it, about $8m.
- “[We took a] pre-seed approach with a very hands-on sort of dynamic to build more companies and ultimately ended up building a portfolio of about 19 companies in particularly with a core focus on eSports. “
- “Fundamentally, I was expecting a disruptive moment in the eSports space, and I believe that too much capital has been deployed at maybe a bit too high valuations in maybe a bit too high expectations of growth in some business models that wouldn’t fundamentally, in my humble opinion, work out at scale. “
The main opportunity in eSports is that there would be new big eSports games getting developed and published. Tier-1 games like League of Legends.
- “I feel like a really great sports betting product for eSports still has to come across our tables. So I think there’s there’s a product that still needs to be built. And that’s something that excites us.”
How has Jens developed his investor skills and how has his decision making changed over the years?
- “You can look at investors at a spectrum of the Empathic investor and the Analytical investor”
- “I think I’m a fairly empathic one, not only with people that I directly work with, but also about the customer. Also, I’m a product centric person. I ‘feel’ very quickly. Also, just by imagination, how a product will resonate and kind of interact with the customer if in place.”
- “I think that empathy for product, team and customer has made me more of the empathic investor meaning I find a person that I chime with.”
- “As I was growing my own team, building, sort of the second fund now, and sort of surrounding myself with additional partners, I have through my team and my partners, found the complimentary other side in the sense of more of the analytical part that I think is great to sort of complete your perspective.”
How does Jens see Venture Capital as a part of building games companies?
- “What matters for us is that the company that we’re a part of, is able to put itself on that successful trajectory that they wanted to be on, and just increase shareholder value at the end of the day. We’re in the venture capital game, particularly at BITKRAFT, we’ve all been entrepreneurs before. We’ve been building companies amd selling companies. There’s never a straight line. “
- “Entrepreneurs should understand VC investors as partners, as team members. You want to have the people that fit your culture, you want to have people that share your vision and the belief in what you’re building, that are aligned at all times with a vision, and that will happily be able to challenge you as well.”
How Jens helps founders?
- “[The ideal scenario is that a founder] will approach you with meaningful requests, and you will be able to help them meaningful way because you somehow knew, sort of, which are the areas that he needs support in.”
- “Well structured updates on the company can go a long way.”
- “If a founder wants us to help him with a particular deal, even with a particular project, or a business development opportunity, we’ll kind of step in as BITKRAFT as the entire team.”
How should founders work with advisors?
- “Proper advisory is something where as an advisor, you’re able to dedicate the time to the company that you’re supporting. And the company that you’re supporting knows that that’s a small window of the time that an advisor typically has available.”
- “[There should be] the commitment that we can get a one or a call? with you every week, while we sort of be able to get like a physical meeting every two or three months, can you coach my team in certain best practices, just write it down.”
Joakim Achren 2:25
To kick it off, what do you think about the peak games deal with Zynga, what are your thoughts?
Jens Hilgers 2:40
Well, initial reaction is a very positive one, obviously, for I think many reasons. Number one, sort of it’s, it’s a big transaction in the video game space. That is fantastic. To begin with. And number two, it’s a public company that bought a private company. Great. Number three, it’s A company out of Europe. It’s a company out of Turkey even which is one of the sort of more emerging markets in Europe. And I think that’s great to see validation out of sort of more emerging markets that they can produce winners, winning games companies and tremendous values. It’s I think, great for to the VC, venture capitalists here, we had a German fund that had a large position in Peak Games, and that have been seeing great returns on their investment and kind of rewarding their belief and support for the company. Now, that’s great for sort of, I think venture capital and those who are investing in games such as us. So overall, I think it’s a fantastic event in a time where you feel like these go a long way.
Joakim Achren 3:49
Yeah, it’s not something that will go away anytime soon. If you get these kind of deals, especially in Europe. Yeah, it’s gonna be a big positive wave for sure. Let’s go back in time. How did you make your way into the game industry in the early days and eventually to go into venture capital and found BITKRAFT?
Jens Hilgers 4:12
Well, my my way into the games industry was a, I’d say was passion and instinct driven huge fascination for computers, software technology, and sort of everything technical around it, and thereby quickly getting exposed to games when I was pretty young. I think I thought my parents wouldn’t buy any kind of a computer from me when I was like eight or nine years old. So I played at sort of the neighbor’s computer he had a C-64. My parents refused to buy me one so I can have every opportunity to add it would go over to the neighbor’s sort of friend and neighbouring friend and play on his C-64. Ultimately, I got an Amiga computer, my first truly owned sort of personal computer and that was when I was 10 or 11 years old. I think. So I did of course, I played with that machine, but I would also use it to just get creative with a computer and try to programme stuff do graphics, do sound with it. Like I really used it in many creative ways. And I think the Amiga was a great machine for that. I think then I had a year of break from anything computers I don’t like I think that was when I had my civil service here in Germany as well. And then I came back to the PC world when I sort of restarted the engines. And I also had a very large fascination for everything sort of remote communication. And I was dabbling a lot with sort of kind of trading games over telephone lines and whatnot. You remember those days, maybe sort of hijacking telephone lines with different women on the line frequencies. So I was a bit on the darker side of things that they kind of have been in sort of the demo scene for a while. And I have to add, I was never a fantastic developer. And it might be just because I failed at truly becoming good at assembly language that I might just have been choosing the entrepreneurial path, but like all this fascination kind of drove me to multiplayer video games like that fascination for sort of work and play over remote distances with other people. Fascination with sort of video games in particular, sort of deeper virtual worlds and it was a game that’s called Quake that really inspired me to become professionally active in the video game space at a time where I was just finishing my studies. I’m a trained software engineer, and basically started building websites and services for my favourite video games. In a strong belief at that time that video games were the greatest form of entertainment. I strongly believe like there’s no greater sort of art form with video games combining all the different traits of arts and artistic expression into into one format. I believe that the interactive component of what video games were fundamentally greater than sort of what would be motion picture. I just thought like what that’s that’s the industry I should work in and just use my skills, just build stuff for the video games that I loved and it happened to become fairly successful like I built this network of video games websites here out of Germany. Sort of born and lived at that time in Cologne, Germany and it was a network of about 120 websites that would cover all sorts of different video games Quake and Half-Life and Command And Conqueror and Unreal Tournament and whatnot like all these multiplayer games, offer content services around those and it was that was really like building stuff like and at the same time I have my first ever and only ever kind of full time job I was kind of a software engineer in a in a sort of ISP here in Cologne. I’m not here because now I’m not in Cologne anymore and I’m Berlin but like in Cologne that time and basically my night life was developing my stuff you know, and what I loved most was kind of how the sites that I developed that more and more traffic people will turn to it and like looking at server locks was like the most satisfying thing for me like when I was there kind of geeking away on my, on my computer screens and kind of IRC was basically the means for me to communicate with my team.
Jens Hilgers 8:18
My team, by the way, was all volunteers to begin with, right? I had 20 people that were all just passionate about, like building stuff for these games. And I would communicate just like you do today in Slack or mostly for professional reason or Discord. I would use IRC to basically do that. Right. So we’re all IRC organised. And from there, we built this is network, the gamers network became one of the largest sort of networks for video game sites in Central Europe. And that was how I got started. I just I just did kind of stuff for with the things that I learned for the games that I loved. And one part caught my attention the most, which was going to this competitive thing. One of the sites I sort of had in my network was the Deutsch Klan-League, the German Clan League about 200, at that time would call them professional in retrospectives, they were sort of far from what we have as professional teams today. But like these clans that played in the league would play. I think Quake and UT was the biggest leagues that we had, would pay 200 Deutsche Marks in prize money. And kind of this competitive nature watching others play kind of see them train, can you see them playing on that level, aspiring to play on the same level, which again, I would not come close, I love competitive play but I was not on the level of the people we had in the league by four and that just got me excited, I think the most from from the things I did and that ultimately turned into the electronic sports league, the company that set out to basically try to build the Champions League or the NBA of Esports.
Joakim Achren 8:33
Right. And then from there, you built your business up from the ground, and then eventually you went into venture. Can you talk about that phase of your life?
Jens Hilgers 10:06
Yeah. So I think with sort of when I got started with all this competitive multiplayer thing, and eSports was also kind of looking back fairly early, right? It’s like the early 2000s, late 90s even was a time where, yes, games, were basically becoming multiplayer games were basically becoming truly networked and then kind of jumping on to the internet as an infrastructure to kind of scale more quickly, but for eSports, to really kind of become what I believed it should become, and what I wanted to see it become kind of filling up stadiums with people and fans and driving large viewership in the millions that would take much longer than I anticipated actually. It was really only sort of, I’d say 2012, 13, 14, 15 that the true kicker for eSports finally set in. And that was, I think, kind of three main drivers one hand side like Twitch and to the live broadcast over the internet finally democratising access to eSports content, which was great second, kind of the Free to Play business model really changing how sort of Esports would be anchored in the games industry as well. And lastly, I think the generational tidal wave of digital natives, people like myself, who I would call one of the first digital natives, probably that grew up with video games and a fascination for everything kind of digital communication. And that that sort of reached a critical mass. Now that said, though, 2013 after having lived for two and a half years in Beijing, China and sort of building our Asia presence around ESL and with ESL, I returned to Berlin. I was sort of, on the one hand side, part of structuring an exit process of ESL, we wanted to sell the majority of the company to a new strategic investor. And with that also see a larger liquidity event for ourselves as founders, as well as sort of the investors that were with the company for partly more than 10 years needed a liquidity event at some point as well. So that exit process was one thing that was starting in 2013.
Jens Hilgers 12:29
And the other part then, while that was taking place, was like myself, thinking what’s, what’s next really. And somehow I felt evermore excited about the prospect of eSports and video games at large because it was becoming clear that we’ve reached that sort of that point where video games were becoming centre of society, they we’re becoming pop culture, by the number of people playing video games by the sheer amount of people being familiar with video games, universes, and anchoring it very centrally in society. And that excitement, translated in a big desire to build more assets in eSports and gaming.
Jens Hilgers 13:10
And first, I was very focused on the eSports thesis in its core, that’s where sort of my roots are in the first place. And I was deeply convinced that sort of eSports should become a dominant driver of sports entertainment, like what is currently traditional sports and we know as soccer, basketball, hockey, football and what not. And I would believe more than ever, that eSports will take a big part of that kind of entertainment landscape in sports. And we were still, and we are still fairly at the beginning. Now, if the bold thesis, that eSports will become a big part of sports entertainment, holds true, then there’s a lot of infrastructure, there’s a lot of technology, there’s a lot of kind of ecosystem companies that would need to have be built, need to be built that would come forward and provide good business opportunity. And I was getting very excited when I sort of truly realised kind of at that point, what gigantic opportunity there still is in front of the eSports space. But at the same time, I sort of reflecting on sort of building eSports for 20 years with ESL, it was clear to me like this, this additional growth will not happen overnight, it will still take a decade, two or three to truly unfold that large potential that that sort of I was seeing it for myself.
Jens Hilgers 14:31
So but still, I was getting a bit of FOMO (fear of missing out) myself, FOMO because I thought like, what, like, why is there no this company in the space? Why is nobody done that? Like, why is nobody doing this? Because it has to be built. Like if this ecosystem comes together, if this here will become such a kind of big part of sports entertainment, somebody’s going to build these companies. I was like, Well, let me just start doing this because I don’t see anybody doing this or that and sort of I started incubating companies, a bit like building them myself. I think it was three companies where I was fairly active and one in particular, in building them up and kind of building these assets in the space. And I started privately investing in teams that I thought would build great stuff in eSports, which were not that many, five years ago, or six years ago, seven years ago, say entrepreneurial talent was fairly shallow. It always was, but it still was at that time. I think it’s improved significantly in the last years, but it was still hard to find great entrepreneurs building stuff in eSports that provide great value and where it would feel like, Well, here’s a winning team with a winning vision. So that’s how it really kind of started in a more formalised way to really to put money, un fortunately, I have to say first my own money into companies and ventures in the space and built these assets. And that’s turned then in 2017 into my first venture fund called BITKRAFT eSports Ventures that actually a person in Silicon Valley inspired me to when I was fundraising for one of the companies. He said, like, yes, this eSports thing fascinates me kind of I look at my kids like, and I see what’s happening. Just have a hard time investing in this space. Like, why don’t you just build this, build what you do as a fund, I could invest in your fund. And then I got my eSports stuff covered, I could co-invest with you, I could follow on and I was thinking about that when I returned to Berlin. And it was like, yeah, that actually makes sense. And it seems that we’re still having a bit of FOMO. I’m like, I have to do more, I have to be faster. Like I think sort of this here is the moment for your experience and your vision to have even bigger impact than with what you build on the past and then I thought like this fund might be… A fund approach might be a great way to sort of formalise it and have more leverage in what you do. So I basically contributed all this equity in the companies I built, newly built and the company I invested in a contributed that into fund structure here in Germany and raised capital, not much, actually, on top of it, about 8 million US dollars. And so they took a pre-seed approach with a very hands-on sort of dynamic to build more companies and ultimately ended up kind of building with this pre-seed fund about a portfolio of about 19 companies in particularly with a core focus on eSports.
Jens Hilgers 17:23
That’s that’s how I got to really start formalized investing and now we’re sort of a generation ahead, we run a venture fund now. That’s a significantly larger, the new BITKRAFT Venture fund has invested in more than 30 companies already with an average check size of about 2 million US dollars, and sort of has broadened its mandate a bit we invest into sort of not only the core of eSports, but our larger vision of what we like to call synthetic realities. But before I go on further on that path, I’m going to take a break here because I feel I’m expanding way more on your question.
Joakim Achren 18:02
I’ll ask about like your recent events that have been happening around the world as the traditional sports have basically stopped, all team sports. Pretty much everything has stopped. And from your perspective, thinking about the Coronavirus and its impact. What are you excited about the changes coming forward? And how do you see that impacting the whole industry of eSports? And, and especially teams and players who are coming up. Like, what are you excited about there? What’s happening in the short term, what is happening because of this for the long term?
Jens Hilgers 18:39
Fundamentally, I was expecting a bit of a, this more disruptive sort of moment in the eSports space, and I believe that too much capital sort of has been deployed at maybe a bit too high valuations in maybe with maybe a bit too high expectations of growth in some business models that wouldn’t fundamentally in my humble opinion, kind of work out at scale. And where it’s coming from, is not that hard to understand. I think that a lot of investors particularly from the sports, entertainment, sports space, digital entertainment space, look at eSports. And they understand the grander tectonic shift behind what eSports stands for, and what kind of entertainment that is and how the young generations kind of enjoy this new form of entertainment. And they see the larger change, they see the disruption that it brings along, but they probably, here or there, overestimated the time of which this change will come. And that has not always been healthy for eSports. I think if you’re sort of at a longer time period, where sort of investment continues to pour in the wrong form or shape or not necessarily the ideal form or shape, and I believed there’s going to be some sort of trigger event that would be healthy for eSports. Now it comes in the form of health crisis, which that’s nothing that I could sort of anticipate in any way. And nothing that I ever wished for, obviously. But I do think it is an event that was sort of necessary from resetting a bit to the people’s expectations, and also the entrepreneurs mindsets, what sort of eSports there is to direct impacts on the negative side, if you look at the core of eSports and that’s number one. Well, we also can run offline events, right. And eSports the most beautiful moments that you will be able to witness in eSports are being inside of that stadium like the iconic moment for me is obviously in sort of the Lanxess Arena in Cologne, which we call the Cathedral of eSports. And sort of inside of that stadium, it’s filled up with people waving their support for their favourite teams and those final games in that stadium with that crowd. There’s nothing that beats that moment, right. And even though we, unlike traditional sports can shift to online, those moments can be replaced by it can be replaced by anything online. So that’s a challenge. The second one is that the esports sort of ecosystem still has a pretty high dependency on advertisement revenues and sponsorships, which any sort of financial crisis and economic crisis sort of puts a damper on. I’ve been sort of working through to a financial crisis in my entrepreneurial history with building sort of Esports and I’ve experienced that two times. And it’s, it’s hard, and I do believe that this is a sort of negative For eSports and sort of slows eSports development down here or there and puts companies under pressure, not not all of them, but but quite some of them, particularly teams and leagues. So that’s the negatives. The positives of the crisis is that we fill a certain void left by traditional sports that as you correctly point out, has not been taking place anymore at all. And that was an is a great moment for eSports I believe that we regardless of what traditional sports does, or does not do, we have been able to basically form a lot of new fans for eSports with the time that people had at home, getting exposed to video games, enjoying video games, particularly with their friends enjoying the social moments, these adventurous moments, these adrenalized moments and and and games and eSports providing them a great time and a great place. experience. And I think that’s something that eSports will still benefit from in the long term, even though I think much of that entertainment time has to come down again to the level that is likely not going to be a just the level it was before the crisis, but higher, but it will go down again. Right. But like we’ve been exposed and showing the grades eSports entertainment, products and services to so many people that enjoyed them in those times. I think that that’s that’s a huge net positive now for the ecosystem at large investment space. I think but that doesn’t only imply apply for eSports. I think it was helpful, it is helpful, that we turn around and say like, well, to have the reality out there is not a reality where you go out there and you’re serious seed is a $2 million round and you sort of you raised that that valuation and that’s just how business works. No, it doesn’t work that way. I think there’s been in the very founder friendly financing environment the last 234 years, there might have been a bit of, I think, a bad way of education about how to build a company been setting in. And I do feel like these two right now sort of set the stage again for fundamentally stronger, more core to your business and core to your product kind of building. And I think that’s, that’s very healthy, not only for eSports, but for sort of any other sector as well.
Joakim Achren 24:32
Think about the opportunities for generating revenue now in eSports. From your perspective, from investing into eSports What are kind of like the areas where you have interest, the tech the consumer facing products, and select thinking about like how, what what are the kind of startups that could expand the market of Esports for making, making money and not just for No big game publishers.
Jens Hilgers 25:01
So the biggest, by far the biggest opportunity in games and eSports is creating that new grade eSports discipline that new grade eSport, right that new game that will become a tier one we call it like highest level of Esports appeal game. Just like like the next new collections League of Legends is probably the gold standard of Esports game out there on the highest level with the biggest audience. And the beauty about operating an Esports game is unlike sort of something that doesn’t have that sort of competitive event driven nature to it that the audience and the ecosystem that builds up around your game drives your game forward for decades. I mean, look at the big eSports games. They’re from a entrepreneur from a an equity owner perspective, it’s gold. Since you have This huge nested community and ecosystem that supports and kind of drives forward your game IP for a very long time if you fundamentally understand how to operate eSports game and run games as a service.
Jens Hilgers 26:13
So that said, That’s obviously kind of what is of the kind of very large excitement to us. And then we’re going to look forward to but not surprising, also the toughest ones to probably get, right. Yeah, the a couple of other examples would be sort of, I think sports betting in and around eSports is something that excites me quite a lot at the moment we see sports betting generally getting regulated in the US in a positive sort of way. You saw a sports betting company basically going public DraftKings, the grades trajectory over the last month. There’s a lot of excitement around this business, to business that sort of legitimately regulated in Europe for a long time. Time already and the European sports betting market is more mature and more developed already. But like this, the US as a driver probably accelerated through this crisis right now in terms of regulation is something that’s like a lot of people and I think eSports are a great new dimension for sports betting and the crisis has actually helped a lot with that. So that’s an area I’m I’m pretty excited about. And I feel like a really great sports betting product for eSports still has to come across our tables. So I think there’s there’s a product that still needs to be built. And that’s something that excites us.
Jens Hilgers 27:38
Is it a true venture case? Not always and I’m talking here about like more local based gaming. Yeah. Like I have a huge amount of fascination for gaming as part of becoming pop culture and eSports and influencers are so much at the forefront of that game. Gaming finds its way into sort of sophisticated offline locations in physical locations we at BITKRAFT we invested in a facility called Level, which launched here in Berlin. It’s, in my opinion, powerful expression of what I believe is fantastic local entertainment that rallies audiences that provides great entertainment and experiences for video gaming eSports, fans, enthusiasts and community. I think there’s something and like that kind of this more local experiences bring along and forward with eSports. I’m excited about, again, not necessarily a core venture case for everybody and at all times with all the different models, but it’s something that I think has a quite significant impact overall on eSports and gaming. I think that’s sort of some of these examples of what we look at when we look at eSports in particular, which represents us a big part of our investment thesis at procraft nowadays, but also what I think is driving eSports forward in the next years as some of these examples.
Joakim Achren 29:08
Thinking about your investor work, how’s your investment decision making process evolved over time from, from your first investments that you made when you still didn’t have really a team, like the BITKRAFT function that you now have, is totally different than when you said you started off? How is your decision making changed from those days to the recent decisions that you’ve been making?
Jens Hilgers 29:37
Yeah, I can clearly see a sort of development, but also a recognition of kind of how I would invest to begin with. So I think fundamentally, I think you can look at investors at a spectrum of the Empathic investor and the Analytical investor and nobody’s kind of it’s not kind of what is either of those, it’s kind of it’s a scale and I feel I belong more to the Empathic investor scale. It’s a bit like how I also just built my business. I’m a very intuitively driven, I’m driven by intuition. I’m driven, I think I’m fairly empathic on not only sort of the people that are directly work with, but also about the customer. So I’m very product centric person. I “feel” very quickly. Also, just by imagination, how a product will resonate and kind of interact with the customer if in place. I think that empathy for product team and customer has made me more of the empathic investor meaning I find a person that I chime with a click with and I find like okay, peace. That’s the product, and I can feel intuitively the excitement, or even seeing myself interacting with the products I fall for a company potentially and I would I will not spend a lot of time on analysing markets and audience will buy like, if that’s the thing it’s going to work out. No, I wouldn’t I wouldn’t then try to deconstruct Is this a 200 million businesses this 100 million business to begin with, I would have a, I think, a generally correct view of what the general category of potential is, but like I wouldn’t garden and calculator all down. So um, I think this is how I how I started and also made my angel investments. Also the angel sort of investments that I did besides of Esports portfolio, I think about 15 to the investments we’re not really games related, and it was mostly emphaty driven.
Jens Hilgers 32:00
At the same time when it started, particularly with sort of the esports. And kind of the the fear I had myself that I told about you told you about before, of like, why is nobody building this and nobody believed that I had this puzzle in my mind like of things that had to be built. And I had a fairly, I want to say, portfolio construction approach. I was like, well, somebody is going to build this and this and this like, and I want to, I want to have the puzzle pieces in place because I thought like, well, it needs to be built. And from that perspective, I’ve put a lot of effort into getting a certain piece of the puzzle in place, but I would prioritise a bit too much, maybe here or there on having that piece of the puzzle in place over is that necessarily the sort of best team I could back now sort of instead of potentially saying, well, there’s just no team that will do this thing that you think has to be done and has incredible potential and you could be transformative and making happen. But there’s just nobody who’s really good at executing on this, I would probably still search a bit too much for making it happen. Now, that was, I think, particularly in 2015, 16, 17 time that I think I had a bit too much of that approach. And as I was growing my own team, building, sort of the second fund now, and sort of surrounding myself with additional partners, I have through my team and my partners, found the complimentary other side in the sense of more of the analytical part that I think is great to sort of complete your perspective. Which, by the way, I think the vast majority of investments we would still make, even having the analytical view which is good news, but like it’s very healthy. And sometimes you would prioritise the analytical view at stages or situations over the empathic view. So I think there’s, it’s not that I changed my approach for myself, I am aware of where my, I’d say sweet spot is, I am aware of what kind of investor I am. I just complimented BITKRAFT with people that are maybe on the scale a bit more also on the analytical side, I think that’s, that’s what happened, really. And on the portfolio construction kind of approach. It’s just like, I think I learned a bit more over time as well that also as our scope and mandates sort of broadened, and we started to invest more outside of core eSports and into the digital entertainment at large and video games. I feel like that part is just naturally kind of been looked at in a different way by myself. So there’s probably like, two three companies that I would think about. more closely before ever doing the investment again, but it’s it’s a pretty tiny number. So I think that’s how I would look at myself or the way that my thinking evolved. And the way that the way that I was in the beginning, last point, did a bit more incubation in the beginning incubation is very, very different from just pure venture capital investing. And, and that naturally stopped as we progressed into a later stage fund away from sort of the pre seed kind of company building approach that we had a bit with the first one. That’s really I think, how sort of the evolution came across BITKRAFT and myself over time then to where we are today.
Joakim Achren 35:39
Do you think there’s a space now for exit like this incubation for, like really bringing up those teams and those, like, the early stage for gaming often is that you know, you have a really experienced team that builds something but there’s not that much of an incubator, working in gaming. Well, what do you think is the the role of incubators in the future in gaming?
Jens Hilgers 36:05
I’m not really sure if incubation as an individual sort of avenue is an avenue that I’m the most excited about, at large, regardless of, I think, the industry like institutional incubation of companies, I feel that with a more sophisticated, general startup ecosystem, including like everything from kind of remote working infrastructure, also to kind of physical working infrastructure through co-working spaces. I feel that kind of setting up companies, getting to the right people, getting to the right tools, getting the right experiences, so much better accessible now, and mentorship that feels some of the value proposition of incubation probably has been falling apart, particularly for eSports. I think we’re at a time where a lot of the opportunities in and around eSports have been tapped into now, I think there’s few that I feel like are really kind of individual models that should still be brought forwards to with a product or service, kind of supported by investment. But I think an entire incubator just around eSports is nothing that I would feel excited about. And even in the BITKRAFT Seed Fund, it was like, I think of the 19 companies in the portfolio, six where companies we sort of incubated, more or less, so it was the smaller part of the portfolio, and a dedicated incubator I would advise against for eSports. I think at that time, I would have done and I would strongly do it today.
Joakim Achren 37:56
Really interesting thoughts. I think it’s it’s also fact about like, you know, you have angels and advisors and people who’ve been successful in gaming or sort of like decentralising the help that you can bring to the early stages as well, like, kind of like not incubating but more or less getting help from all over the place.
Jens Hilgers 38:18
Yeah, I mean, an entrepreneur with a level of accessibility to information to resources to tooling, to mentorship that you have to venture capital that you have today. Like an entrepreneur that can’t make it that way will probably not make it at all, like incubation really is something that is needed in that environment. Yeah. Again, like not not feeling strongly positive about it.
Joakim Achren 38:42
Yeah. I want to continue a bit about the decision making process there what you’ve seen, like usually what, what I’ve seen personally, is that VC works really well when you have a certainty of follow on round happening or a bigger round. Eventually happening, where the company valuation goes up. VC ownership will of course go up as well into company. Do you think that process it is good for companies?
Jens Hilgers 39:13
I’m not entirely sure if I follow your concern or the way you put the question the right way. I mean that the game of, of venture risk capital into companies the game of increasing the price of a share and liquidating that you’re at a higher price at something before likely 10, 11, 12, 13 years because that’s sort of the typical sort of term of venture funds. Now, the debt does not require a follow on round like the happiest venture capital fund, at least I can say for myself is the one where the company doesn’t require follow on capital and still is able to grow the company value through successful product or service, and you don’t get diluted through additional capital, you don’t have to invest more capital yourself.
Jens Hilgers 40:11
What matters for us is that the company that we’re a part of, is able to put itself on that successful trajectory that they want it to be on, and just increase shareholder value at the end of the day. And we all know, because we’re in the venture capital game, particularly at BITKRAFT we’ve all been entrepreneurs before. We’ve been building companies when selling companies like there’s never a straight line. And just because a year was a bad year, it doesn’t mean that you will not necessarily be able to arrive at the right goal. If you see that the team is going about it in the wrong way. And they’re in the right way. So I don’t really feel your concern there if I understood your question, the right way.
Jens Hilgers 40:59
But I do believe that entrepreneurs should really understand venture capital investors, as partners and as team members. So you recruit people to be part of your team. They’re kind of important stakeholders in your company, your team, that you have that, build your product, build your service, operate it, distributed these, particularly in the early stage, but at any stage after really like, you want to have the people that fit your culture, you want to have people that share your vision. That’s your belief in what you’re building, setting out to build, that are aligned at all times with a vision, even if things go a different direction at times that kind of know what you think and what you want to accomplish next, and that will happily be able to challenge you as well. Like you want your team a good team as a team. That can challenge you in a good team. As a team, we have people that we know, like, this guy knows much more about performance marketing that I do. And that’s why I hired him to begin with, right. So having an equity partner in your company is nothing else, but a different group of stakeholders in a different kind of part of your team. But I believe you as an entrepreneur, you should be thinking about it in the same way, then you should be thinking about your staff, your team that builds product, because number one, you’re likely going to kind of hang out with the guys in your cap table for a long time. So you better pretty have somebody that shares your culture just makes life so much easier. And it makes it so much more fun and so much more exciting. You want to choose somebody that really really shares your vision, truly. And you also need to understand that that person just like your team that builds product and service, wants to know what’s going on. Like he would like to understand what’s in your mind right now. Like what do you want to do next? What is your priorities? Because they’re excited about what you do they want we as BITKRAFT, other VCs would like to support you in the right way. And oftentimes, and hopefully that means we go out of your way. Yeah, that’s the best of all situations. But then there might be situations where you appreciate the support of your investors because they have a certain set of experience or resources that are really helpful for you, particularly in times where not everything went exactly as planned. And you’re at a period where like, you question yourself and every good entrepreneur questions himself like every second week, like how do you deal with a defeat on a feature, a rollout campaign, even staff member loss and that people in your in your investor pool can be very helpful in kind of overcoming those challenges. So if you communicate with them, if you make your progress transparent. If you make your milestones transparent, they will be a great support for you in this company.
Jens Hilgers 44:11
But to begin with, you’re really going to make sure that I think there is a there is a good culture fit as well and not look as your VC investors just like as a source of capital to begin with. I think that that is something that I have a bit of a different view on.
Joakim Achren 44:26
Yeah, I totally hear where you’re coming from. It is in a sense, like the founders who would jump into fundraising without knowing all the facts. Clearly early on, they can end up doing a down round. One day, they raise too early. They raise too late.
Joakim Achren 44:47
There should be an alignment, right? Because like fundamentally, because, yes, you’re setting out to build a vision. But more often than not, somebody’s not only building that vision that he’s really passionate about, but he also wants to see financial rewards, it wants to see a reward in terms of, well, the product or service I’ve envisioned became true, it’s popular, it’s successful, like it’s probably the leading one out there. And that is a great rewards for an entrepreneur, but at the same time, financial rewards, is of relevance and of desire for the larger part of entrapreneurs. And a big part of why they’re going about things as an entrepreneur they’re doing with a lot of stamina and persistence. So there is a big alignment. There’s a there’s an alignment on, hey, we all want to increase the share value here in this company. And ideally, you have a VC that, again, is also really excited about what you’re building there. That’s what we feel like with BITKRAFT, at least we’re sort of we’re sort of maybe here or there a bit different than a generalist VC because we truly love games, right? We sort of been in the space for such a long time. And we’ve built companies in this space for that very reason. We We love the products and services that come out of it and our biggest own customers. I have to add, though, I miss too much of PC playtime. Because my two boys that I have at home right now, they’re a lot of fun as well. But like, fundamentally like, I mean, the product from our companies gets me so excited. And and that’s, by the way, a bit of the challenge for somebody like myself, I have to be careful. Because I’m such a great video games geek and nerd and eSports fan that I don’t kind of fall in love too easily with the platforms out there, right. It’s something that I’m very conscious about and have to be careful about. But that’s that’s sort of a additional challenge you have if you just invest sort of in your passion subject to begin with.
Joakim Achren 46:55
Yeah, definitely. Let’s talk a bit about the founder here. Thinking about like, you seeing a founder, who has a really great idea. How neck deep do you get with the founders you work with? Like when they only have an idea versus they’re further they have a product out? What’s your thoughts there?
Jens Hilgers 47:16
Ideally, do you have a founder that he, you know, exactly, he will approach you with meaningful requests, and you will be able to help them meaningful way because you somehow knew, sort of, which are the areas that he needs support in. That’s, that’s the ideal scenario. Because from as somebody who’s not as an investor working on a day to day basis in the company, you there’s a there’s a risk that you’re stepping into the flow of a team that’s executing in a way right and you want to minimise that risk. So as long as things are in flow as things are long as the founder is on, sort of, on velocity and velocity you ideally you don’t To interact with him for two, three months, and you know, things are going fine and you get a great reporting and you see like, holy shit, that’s a great reporting like it’s transparent, it’s well structured, you know, the guys in charge, he’s on top of things, and he may progress and he sort of lands on target and what you wanted to achieve probably overachieved. That’s the most beautiful of situations I think you could end up with. Sometimes the situation is oftentimes situations that you need to support a bit on how do you get to this beautiful kind of status of such an interaction. And I think in many companies, we saw that we could be helpful in establishing this sort of reporting rhythm. I sort of being an entrepreneur myself, like in the beginning when when I took capital in my first company, like the reporting to investors was feeling like a burden. And I like how do I really do this, like, I mean, like, just about, trust us, you see what’s going on and whatnot and just gone on websites. Like, the reality is like, the actual reporting framework and thinking about things in a structured way for reporting with your stakeholders actually puts you in a certain rhythm that’s actually helpful and healthy, if done in the right sequence with the right rhythm. Finding that putting the structure in place to do this, right, I think is is actually something that’s very helpful for companies. And we recognise that that sort of founders realise if they hadn’t realised before, intuitively or by, by former, by training from before, that this is actually something that’s useful. So if a founder wants us to help him with a particular deal, even with a particular project, or a business development opportunity, we’ll kind of step in as BITKRAFT as the entire team. And whoever can help from bit craft may that be the guys in Los Angeles, in New York, in London, or in Berlin here from big craft, we’ll, we’ll get on it and we’ll, we’ll get our hands dirty, and then we enjoy that to some extent. On the other hand side if they just executed it. They don’t need our support makes us makes us incredibly happy. Hmm.
Joakim Achren 50:03
Do you think like, then, like, you guys invest into the company. So you’re basically partners. But then you have people who are working as mentors, advisors for startups. They could be friends of the founders, whatnot. But how would you advise founders to approach hiring or bringing on it advisor to get the most benefit out of that kind of a relationship?
Jens Hilgers 50:31
Well, there’s what’s what’s the reasons to get an advisor on the like, I feel like some companies are sort of building a Rolodex of advisors just for simply having the name on your cap table. And if you go about that, then well, if you wanted to use the name that’s fairly simple and straightforward. There’s nothing much to add to that. But like, I see that oftentimes there is a situation where you’re getting advisor to board to to help you with a particular area. Then, in the beginning, the advisor would kind of do something, but then he would kind of wait for you at all times. I think proper advisory is something where as an advisor, you’re able to dedicate the time to the company that you’re supporting the company that you’re supporting knows that that’s a small window of the time that an advisor typically has available. We just talked about that before, right? Like, Hey, I would love you to support me in marketing, my IP, like your, I don’t know, performance marketing expert, like help me, right, my, my game is going to go live in about three months from now. So that’s the time where I need your most and then, like, discuss what will be the actual areas that he can support you with? Write it down, just put it on a paper and say like, Listen, this is what we discussed. I summarised that here, does that feel about right to you? and exchange that email? also maybe get a feeling for what do you think how much time is that for you? Like will we get like, at least kind of the commitment that we can get a one or a call? with you every week, while we sort of be able to get like a physical meeting every two or three months, can you coach my team in certain best practices, just write it down. Because at the end of the day, the deal is, somebody gets advisory shares, or a discount or a nominal even sometimes, in exchange for services, like it’s fairly straightforward, right. And even from a tax perspective, like if you do it properly, you have to write into that advisory agreement, kind of what you’re somehow actually delivering as an advisor, because you get a value in return. And like, it’s sort of, there’s nothing really delivered, then it sort of is actually considered a gift that is going to from a tax perspective, even even a thing in many countries, not that sort of somebody necessarily pays a lot of attention to that in the authority side. But like principle, if you want to do the right, just noted down, make it part of the advisory group and they get an nx right in there. Here’s the bullet point list. It’s about the commitment. So we have an advisory return here off, I don’t know, three or four years of vesting. So that’s the time period that really we would like to see your supports. And I think a good advisor, if he doesn’t hear from the company three or four months, he just doesn’t say like, Well, I’m glad that I didn’t hear from them in three or four months, because like, I have more time to sign up for 10 more advisory geeks know he will check in because he is having a vested interest now in the company and T shirt. Can I be proactive about like, hey, I want to make sure that company has my inputs, so that my advisory shares also appreciate more in value, right. That’s how things should be. Hmm. I do think there is a bunch of people out there that are on the business of hoarding advisory shares. I think that’s a that’s an awkward practice. So I suggest go buy it the right way and get reference calls. Right. That’s something that’s so easily overseen. If that advisor has been working with other companies, just check in with the mentor like, how’s the support thing? Like how did how did he support you in the past There’s like 5, 10 or 15 minutes of conversation that can go a very long way and help you along your decision making
Joakim Achren 54:06
Really good advice, then thinking about the encouragement for a founder to grow, to look for, you know, think big. How do you approach that when you see a founder who might be maybe thinking to locally, not thinking globally yet, is it? Should it come from the founder? Or should people who are helping like investors give a push once in a while?
Jens Hilgers 54:32
That’s an area where it’s very, very hard for a push to have an impact, like somebody who is not kind of thinking in broader strokes in in a bigger picture in a larger vision to begin with. It’s, it’s very hard to kind of with a bunch of feedback to all of a sudden become a larger thinker. That’s something that is that is a bit more about how your brains wired. I believe it takes a long time to change that vantage point or that, or that approach to things. I. So it’s something where if we feel we see somebody that’s thinking too small to begin with, to, doesn’t see the larger picture to begin with, we would be concerned to begin with, and we would know that that’s something that might be actually hard to change with. It’s something about the level of ambition, the level of out of the box thinking and grander thinking of an entrepreneur that is like, we should definitely not be the people who think we should not be investors who think like, well, everything’s great. He’s just thinking too small. Well, we can fix that, right. So let’s invest still, like we will probably not do that. At the same time. I think spending more time with the entrepreneur is something that helps us so much to understand, whereas the areas that we truly believe we can be helpful and worse the areas where we think Even though that might be orange flag in our diligence on the company and how we view it, like, here’s a weakness, there is a deficit. The more time we spend with the entrepreneur, the more we understand if we can actually help to fix that point, or if we can be helpful in in kind of overcoming the deficit in that area. So, and since that is something where sometimes that’s something that’s challenging for the founder, we like to spend rather more time with entrepreneurs than less time with entrepreneurs, I get a bit of eerie feeling when I sort of see these approaches while get investment in 24 hours or whatnot. Whereas like, when an entrepreneur approaches and that’s something particular to me, I don’t speak for all the craft, but I do think it’s something that we feel a bit stronger at because like when something approaches Well, we have around coming up like you have a week to make a decision like it’s already oversubscribed, like all the senate things that were like, on men, like if it’s really so fast, and maybe like you should just go because we don’t want to be in your way, but like I really like to spend time with people, because we’re going to hang out for, I mean, likely more than five years here. I mean, we all wish, like for, let’s say the financial outcome, hopefully less, because you’re so tremendously successful in such a short amount of time and the like, and statistics speak for us spending between five and 15 years here together. Like I really would like to get you to know you a bit more, because you’re ending up with me one way or another here, likely for a long time. Let’s, let’s make sure we understand each other. And we ideally in instead of that research and diligence process that we actually also have a controversial discussion. I think this is it’s always so easy. When everything looks beautiful, and everything goes right in those early weeks that you sort of are in your due diligence phase. But like when the first problem comes on the table and it will take for 99% of all companies like how do you solve a challenge sophisticated challenge? Collectively, how do you overcome that? What is the dynamic then between people at the table that tells you if you’re with the right people or not. And it’s hard to find out how that could potentially look like if you’re hanging out for a week. So that’s something where I feel we like to spend a bit more time with people. We don’t want to abuse people’s time. Don’t get me wrong here, right? We’re not like, Well, I mean, like, they got to spend like three days with us a week for the next four weeks. That’s not what we’re asking for. But I don’t think we want to be in a situation where well, here’s the term sheet. That’s how it looks like and like, Well, you’ve read enough about me that’s, that’s that’s not how we like to invest. Yeah, life’s too short to get into situations that are sort of have such a I think, potential of having spent time together but not getting to know each other well enough before.
Joakim Achren 58:49
Yeah, make sense. Some quick questions here to finish off with like, what’s, what is an industry opinion that you’ve recently changed your mind about?
Jens Hilgers 59:01
I feel like I’m getting there on the blockchain part.
Jens Hilgers 59:06
I think there’s two things that keep it busy in my brain spinning like when sort of the time if there’s ever really a time, it’s a bit like VR, and it’s a blockchain, which are two big areas that I think the last 3-6 years spend a lot of brain cycles on. Particularly because both have been hot investment themes and themselves, right. I mean, the capital that has been pouring into VR, I think it was 14, 15, 16 and 17 was that was the hardship for a time. Were just me being that empathic investor. Like I was, I was buying myself an Oculus Vive and it was kind of unboxing like, it stopped there for me, I did the unboxing and later the setup and I like, I can’t go mass market is like, who can use this is not an experience. This is like troublesome. So even though you have a great video and what not, and like It’s, it’s it’s a surprise, positive, great moment. And yeah, I can see the future but like, no, I can feel it on a daily basis. Right. So if but there’s something to VR, that’s larger than the initial problems, and it was sort of, I think, hardware generational issue, to a big extent I feel we’re getting there. And I’m getting increasingly excited and sort of, I think we’ve sort of gone through the sort of the valley of, we’re kind of in the depths of the valley of realising and sort of, I think there’s something in front of us. We have one VR investment in our portfolio right now that’s connected to music, which I think is sort of the way that this is going with VR in the consumer space. To the extent you’ve seen Beat Sabre, I think that that’s sort of a bit of the proof that that sort of the combo of sort of music, entertainment, concerts and what not with VR is actually a powerful interesting one. On the blockchain side, I guess most investors, many investors have made that experience that I’ve just been overrun with. Companies that like, ultimately went to do an ICO that were doing everything better because it’s the blockchain and where you’re like, well, like, couldn’t this be done without the blockchain to begin with? And like, why am I having it as a user a better experience because it’s on the blockchain. And there was a lot of plays in eSports. And I think in gaming where it was, it was just so obviously so wrong. And so obviously such a hassle for customers. Like me, if you think of the process of setting up the crypto wallets, particularly 2, 3, 4 or five years ago, it was just a nightmare. But I think that the blockchain as a storage of value, and as a validation of ownership, proof of ownership is sort of great technology fundamentally. And just like I think that the relational database as technology and with the software implementations on top of that concept has changed. software technology to a big extent I think blockchain is kind of doing the same thing. We’re here as well coming out of the valley of realisation into actual value and how it’s being deployed in gaming. And I do believe that we will see an increasing amount of virtual assets, meaning in game items, cosmetics, I would like to actually find its way on a blockchain. And I think there is fascinating repercussions that will carry and I do even see that major publishers will move a part of their items to the blockchain at some point. We’re still early but it’s coming together in my mind conceptually now. And sort of here’s here’s where I changed my mind from where I was like three years ago where every single blockchain like like, I think I had a filter in my inbox even at some point in time, if there was the word Ico or crypto in an email, they just went straight to spam So I removed that.
Joakim Achren 1:03:04
Yeah, it’s sort of, for me feels like often require that game, that hit game that couldn’t exist without that technology.
Jens Hilgers 1:03:14
That’s where I think a bit different because I don’t think that the technology will enable a game design that was not really possible without it. I think it will enable interaction with items of value in the game that have you have not seen before. And that will potentially give you a different experience for the value that you create, purchase or get transferred to in the game. I’m not looking for a game that I don’t think there will be a game that excites me that is so much more fun because it’s a blockchain game. Think the blockchain will, if you use it as a storage for in game assets, it will potentially help you with marketing and virality of the game because your items might circulate in other platforms. You might get somebody who says like, Well, look, I have all these. I don’t know, let’s start with CS GO because if someone had an economy going and open one, like I have all these knives here, all these AK-47s, 20 of them, and like, why don’t I just kind of I could drop them and I could get that interesting sword there with that character I saw on Open Sea and it looks like a game that could excite me, like, just swap some items, and all of a sudden it has something for that game already. So that’s sort of marketing impact, right.
Jens Hilgers 1:04:49
And so I think that’s one where you can actually get exposure to your game by circulating in game assets in marketplaces that is potentially interesting kind of application. At the same time, sort of there is, I think a feeling where if you acquire an item in a game like that, you that you have a transportable value to to that and not everything you do in the game is lost lost in apostrophes like is siloed within that one installation of software called on your computer, right? And that might change purchase behaviour to some extent.
Jens Hilgers 1:05:31
The best way to go about it is by having these hybrid economies where you actually start putting some of your items on a blockchain of whatever form or shape ideally one that sort of be used fairly broadly out there. And has your items float on different marketplaces and around different destination sites, and and wallets. I can start with that by actually doing it for some of the assets of the game only right Ideally, those that you feel like if I experiment with those, I can’t really mess up too much because balancing your economy with items that are an open market and open and tradable. That’s, that’s hard, right? I mean, you need to learn a lot. And I think the entire ecosystem needs to learn a lot about how that dynamical play go. And no, I feel like that’s the way that will go like I think, increasingly so a part of items will end up on on on blockchains and various different sort of sides. And this is the way that will make it into the gaming industry logic, if you like, it’s a gradual process rather than sort of, well, here’s the blockchain game and everything’s on the blockchain and like, that’s how it is, you know,
Joakim Achren 1:06:36
yeah, makes sense. Hey, oh, what’s your favourite book? And why?
Jens Hilgers 1:06:42
Sort of? It’s embarrassing for me to answer because like, what I do is I buy books by getting recommendations and feeling excited about what they convey. So I order them so I have like, think right, I have a stack of 60 right here, that right behind me on this shelf that you look at here, and zoom in I’m proud because it feels like Well, good that I have this bar, right. And I really find the time to read it, but then I end up not being able to read it. And so I, the challenge for me, in sort of, I’d say the last 234 years of how I work with what I’m building with, with BITKRAFT instead of sort of companies. I’m Walters that I’m a bit of a deficit, sort of lack of sort of attention, or attention deficit disorder guy, which I hate about myself, like I have a hard time really just switching off and focusing on sort of, I don’t know 10 paragraphs of text, let yourself sink into that. And this guy who will read on Blinkist so where are you? What do you get your book in a digested? Like, here’s the bullet point summary list of that book. I think it’s to some extent because I dislike how also book writing got commercialized. Were like the most Works make for a better book oftentimes, and it’s just not you know, like just give me the TLDR and that will be great. The books where I still find myself and it’s by the way, same thing for video content to some extent where I really find myself sinking into his actual biography stuff or sort of documentaries about actual people and entrepreneurs like I I just love watching when it’s about history, which I’m a history junkie it’s a lot about people and characters, their actions their impacts. I love documentaries like like the Formula One documentary on Netflix was like mind blowing such a such an awesome piece of of drama characters that’s not get started about Michael Jordan, on Netflix right now, that’s that stuff where I love sinking into Yeah, and instead of also getting inspired by, but like, when he would ask me like, have you read I don’t know Raph Koster, his latest book about game design theory the answer is not I’d rather just call him it’s one of our portfolio companies playable worlds and like, give me the five minutes.
Joakim Achren 1:09:12
That’s Yeah, good. It was for book creators. gems. Thanks so much for your time. As the final question, like if entrepreneurs want to talk with you or your team, what’s the best way to reach out to you?
Jens Hilgers 1:09:26
Well just reach out to really I mean, I’m, I’m on all the usual channels. My email address is not surprising. It’s Jen’s have been crapped on VC or bid craft dotnet. That pose arrives that’s that’s not a secret. Now. There is there’s LinkedIn that I still read, but I think general advisors make it meaningful. I mean, like, like, what turns me off is somebody’s like, hey, and I have this idea and I would like to get on a call with you. Like, I dislike such approach. And I do believe my team feels about it the same way because yes, we would really try to kind of be open and communication to Everyone but make your first impression really matter in a positive way. So you know, on the other hand side is somebody that wants to make himself accessible to everybody and he’s not going to be able to meaningfully respond to you or qualify. If you don’t make your first kind of appearance, a valuable one, like there is nothing bad about sending a slide deck about your company. Like in the first approach, it’s actually great because I believe that there’s a lot of the reflection of horror and entrepreneur things sits inside the slides he’s able to put together I can see if somebody thinks in a structured way I can see how somebody somebody’s love, or attention for detail or like, like, like the beauty of a design or not, or like Is he a numbers cruncher? Not like it reflects in a presentation and that’s awesome. So can you send over of what exactly you want, and you might just get an email back and that I’m sorry, but like, it’s currently not our scope or we honestly don’t believe in this kind of business model or whatever. But that will be a solid To the point answer that will provide people with. So again back to the point where accessible fairly easily for anyone at any time in the different regions that were available IT teams distributed through North America and Europe and just make sure that the first interaction that you have is a meaningful one so that the other side like us can actually kind of respond to you in a meaningful way. We will not just get on the phone call if we don’t know what it’s about or not.
Joakim Achren 1:11:25
Yeah, that’s really good advice. Thanks again for coming on the show. This was awesome. Hope you have a good day there.
Jens Hilgers 1:11:33
Thank you so much for your time!