Women Business Angels’ seven lessons training course on How to Take Off as a Business Angel? brought to life in the framework of the WINGATE project has the goal to develop and train women entrepreneurs and women business angels across all Europe.
The second event of the training series took place on the 31th of March, and had as an expert guest Matt Wohlmuth.
Matt Wohlmuth is the CEO of Coding Sans. Coding Sans is a full-stack web development agency building complex, market-ready products from design to delivery. Coding Sans emerged from a venture-funded startup in Budapest, so they experienced the ups and downs of building tech products. The core team has been working together since 2013.
Despite being a young company, they have decades of combined design and coding experience building successful products.
We asked Matt about his experience as a startupper, but we were also curious about his thoughts on angel investment. Enjoy our short interview with Matt.
Women Business Angels: If you’d have the opportunity to start your career again as a startupper, what would be the key focus points you’d follow when building your company? Please share with us some practical insights startuppers in CEE should follow.
Matt Wohlmuth: Focus on your market, not applying for grants, no EU tenders, no competitions, just customers/users. No exceptions in the beginning either, it gets engraved in the cultural DNA of the company.
WBA: Are there specific challenges for those who would start a startup company in the CEE region? What is your experience?
MW: Finding Marketing and sales talent/experience is still difficult. We have world-class tech talent, but soft talent is really hard to find. Although the situation is much better than 10 years ago, a good marketer or salesperson is still a black swan.
WBA: You are also known as an angel investor. Would you share the key lessons you have gained from your investments with us?
MW: How interpersonal conflict between co-founders can be a big headwind for teams, and how effectively managing those conflicts can really make a difference. Market and customer-focused entrepreneurs win.
WBA: When starting an angel investment, are you working with a team? Who are the key people, and what are the key areas you focus on to help a startup grow? Are there specific challenges for those who would start an angel investment in the CEE region?
MW: I’ve never done an angel round alone. Working together with other angels has been the key to our (initial) success.
- Balazs Komár – CEO of xLabs, co-founder of ISEEQ – exceptional in talent acquisition and arguably has a better network than me.
- Steve Ruszina – CEO of Invention Factory – they did org dev at the early Hungarian exits Ustream, Balabit. He is the best coach that I’ve seen.
- Szabolcs Erki, CEO of Hard Code, the agency of smart things.
- Gergely Hodicska – Felhő – ex-VP of Engineering at Ustream and Bitrise. He is a technically minded organisation builder and good to have on the team.
In the CEE region, fewer company operators are willing to invest in startups, and the ones willing have significantly less capital than our western counterparts.
WBA: What are the most important values an angel investor can bring to a startup in the CEE region? (Based on your experience) Can you share with us a success story?
MW: Expertise and network. What was surprising even for me was when I was able to help a portfolio company find a dev in Kazakhstan – that was pretty random 😀