Michael Wieser is Partner at the Helvetia Venture Fund managed by b2venture.
Michael was born in Berlin but grew up in Vienna, which has left him ambivalent about where he calls home. “When it comes down to it though, I’ll take Currywurst over Schnitzel,” he says.
Trained as a lawyer, he was the first in his family to study at a university. However, he says “I was really bored with my studies, and as the first dotcom wave was starting to build, we founded an Internet Service Provider (ISP). At first things went really well, then several competitors cropped up. We didn’t want to raise outside funding to scale the business, so I left.”
He finished his law degree and continued his studies in Singapore, gaining a Master of Law (LLM) at the National University of Singapore, where he also met his wife with whom he now has three children.
“It’s not really about money but partnership. What can I add through my experiences as a founder and investor. A good investor is an asset for founders”
After a few years in private equity doing restructuring and turnarounds, Michael founded his second business, a renewable energy startup that offered solar energy storage for households. After several years of hard work, he left the company after the birth of his first daughter and joined the High-Tech Gründerfonds (HTGF), Germany’s flagship public-private venture capital firm.
“As an entrepreneur I witnessed first-hand how important outside capital can be to scale a business and wanted to see it from the other side of the table. Plus, I was convinced that HTGF could have a major impact and help build up the tech ecosystem in Germany, which was very important at that time.”
After 3 years as an investment manager there, he joined b2venture as Partner managing Helvetia’s Venture Fund in 2017.
He relishes working closely with the teams he supports and says finding the right investor is crucial. “It’s not really about money but partnership. What can I add through my experiences as a founder and investor. A good investor is an asset for founders”
Michael’s entrepreneurial drive was honed early in life. His father built a business himself. “He worked very hard, but died very suddenly when I was fifteen,” says Michael. “I was an only child and felt very responsible for my mother, so I gravitated to answering the question: what can I do that would have an outsized impact? Then I went all in.”
He says he has stayed true to this philosophy today. “Conviction is one the most important things when building something new, both for the entrepreneur and investor.”
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