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Angel investing insights with Christoph Deckert, Strategy Expert at Personio & a16z scout

A discussion on growing a European unicorn, and finding your path as an angel investor by naturally supporting founders grow their companies.

Join us as Tom Wilson from Seedcamp and Anthony Danon from Cocoa talk to Christoph Deckert, Strategy Expert at Personio.

Christoph has a unique mix of operating experience with +7 years of working with Personio, the European HRTech unicorn. Personio now has +2000 employees across 7-8 different European and US offices and a portfolio of more than 12K customers.

Christoph joined the company very early on and took on different responsibilities to take Personio’s customer growth to the next level, shape the organizational culture and structures, and hire the right people to support this mission.

His passion and journey towards angel investing became very organic after having different conversations with other founders. After one particular talk that he enjoyed, he decided to support that startup without being fully aware of what angel investment is.

Watch it here or add it to your episodes on Apple or Spotify 🎧


  • 00:36 From Personio to Angel Investing

  • 03:43 Memorable Deals and Investment Philosophy

  • 06:22 The Personal and Professional Growth from Angel Investing

  • 09:18 Chris's Angel Investing Strategy

  • 17:43 Networking and Collaboration With VCs and Other Angels

  • 21:02 Core Learnings from Angel Investing

  • 26:05 Building and Leveraging Networks

  • 31:19 Closing Thoughts and Future Aspirations

Insights from Christoph’s Journey in Angel Investing

  • Transition from Operational to Investment Role:

    • Chris’s journey goes from being deeply involved in the operations at Personio, a European HR tech unicorn, where he played a crucial role in scaling the company, to diving into angel investing. His transition was driven by a combination of his operational experience and his network, highlighting the importance of leveraging professional experiences and relationships in the investment landscape.

  • Investment Decision Criteria:

    • Investment decisions are significantly influenced by the founders' commitment and vision, potential value addition through personal expertise, and the strength of existing networks. This insight stresses investing in teams with a robust mission and the capability to execute, rather than solely focusing on the business idea.

  • Portfolio and Strategy:

    • Managing a diverse investment portfolio includes not just startups but also small fund investments. Chris is not limited to a single sector, which allows him to keep learning and stay engaged with various aspects of business and technology. Moreover, his strategy includes significant contributions to his investments by actively engaging with founders and sharing his operational expertise.

  • Personal and Professional Growth Through Angel Investing:

    • Angel investing offers personal growth and professional fulfillment through interactions with innovative entrepreneurs and active participation in their business journeys. Building and maintaining a strong network is essential for discovering new opportunities and enhancing investment outcomes.

  • Balancing Investment with Personal Life:

    • Effective time management between investment activities and personal commitments is vital. It's important to strike a balance that allows for both supporting a diverse investment portfolio and maintaining quality personal relationships.

👋 Upcoming in-person events we’re hosting

There’s nothing we like better than getting Europe’s best and brightest together with good food, drinks, and conversations that go truly deep.

Fund Modelling Workshop & Mixer | 5th of June | 🌍 Berlin, Germany | Join waitlist.

European VC Awards | 4th of June | 🌍 Berlin, Germany | Get tickets.

📅 Upcoming virtual events

From time to time, a podcast is just not enough. Check out our roundtables and live events below.

🏆 Firesides with the winners of the European VC Awards

Fireside with the Newcomer of the Year Winner | 13/6, 12-1:30 PM | Register here. Hundreds of new VC funds come to market every year. But only ONE will win Newcomer of The Year. This is your chance to meet the winner firsthand.

Fireside chat with the Winner of the Hall of Fame | 25/6, 12-1 PM | Register here.
Hear firsthand from a true giant upon whose shoulders the European tech ecosystem stands tall.

🗓️ The VC Conferences You Can’t Miss

There are some events that just have to be on the calendar. Here’s our list, hit us up if you’re going, we’d love to meet!

0100 Conference CEE 2024 | 📆 14 - 16 May | 🌍 Prague, Czech Republic

Iceland Innovation Week | 📆 15 - 16 May | Reykjavik, Iceland

EBAN Congress Tallinn 2024 | 📆 20-22 May | 🌍 Tallinn, Estonia

SuperVenture | 📆 4 - 6 June | 🌍 Berlin, Germany

Nordic LP Forum & TechBBQ | 📆 September | 🌍 Copenhagen, Denmark

North Star & GITEX Global | 📆 14 - 18 Oct | 🌍 Dubai, UAE

GITEX Europe 2025 | 📆 23 - 25 May 2025 | 🌍 Berlin, Germany

Trying to get in front of European VCs and LPs? The 2024 EUVC Media Kit is out - check it out here, and let’s talk. 💌

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