Ragnarson Invest Podcast
Ragnarson Invest podcast is dedicated to startup founders and investors. We help them to better understand the latest developments in the impact ecosystem by interviewing various stakeholders.
#53: Think big or go home - the story of becoming a partner
May 18, 2023 • 20 MIN
Throughout this episode, we encourage you to think big and explore opportunities when becoming a partner. Kasia shared her personal story so you can find out the background of this decision, the deal’s organization, and all things you should take into consideration. Never mind if you want to become a partner or thinking about someone else joining the partnership – after listening you will have some things to study and a lot of noted tips! Maybe your journey of becoming a partner in a company begins just here!
#52: From scaling to worrying – how to deal with business growth?
May 4, 2023 • 26 MIN
Scaling a business comes with its own set of challenges. In this episode, we discuss the difficulties that arise when a company grows, based on our own experience. We focus especially on: - communication issues, - new roles and the meaning of HR nowadays, - company culture and how to make people understand it. Tune in to learn more about it! We don’t give you ready-made solutions, but this uplifting feeling that you’re not alone in this. Even if in other companies everything looks great on social media. Trust it – it’s just social media.
#51: First: distance yourself - how to stay sane in a business community
April 20, 2023 • 21 MIN
When you have your own company or are deeply devoted to your work, it’s easy to become a workaholic. In this episode, you will learn how to avoid this way but stay highly performed at the same time. As an entrepreneur or founder, running a business can often feel like a never-ending battle. That's why it's crucial to have a routine and healthy habits in place to help you stay productive and focused. Kasia and Maciek share with you their everyday must-haves, which support their careers. It’s all about this famous work-life balance, but we’re way more specific. If you are a newbie in the business world or just become an entrepreneur, you can’t miss it. Tune in to episode #51 and discover the reality of being an entrepreneur, practical tips for managing your stress levels, and strategies for achieving a healthy work-life balance. Start improving not only your work life but your overall well-being too. Now!
#50: How to create a perfect fit with an accelerator?
April 6, 2023 • 32 MIN
The founder's perspective is our daily reality. An accelerator's perspective brings new insights into the start-up market, which we share with you through a talk with Gabriel from Elemental Excelerator. They have developed a mentoring program that takes a personalized approach to help founders reach their goals and achieve success. And of course, they’re climate-focused! In this episode, we explore their unique approach to mentoring, the process of selecting companies for the program, and the values that both parties receive and contribute. It's a very people-based approach, focusing not only on numbers but all contexts and the desire to grow together.
#49: From policy to the carbon rating company - the story of Tommy and BeZero Carbon
March 23, 2023 • 34 MIN
What can work against greenwashing look like? Quality carbon credits are the answer. BeZero Carbon focuses on quality carbon rating, helping companies become transparent and have a positive impact. In this episode, we talk with Tommy about his personal career which led him to BeZero Carbon, some industry insights, the importance of the quality in this sector, and non-voluntary options as well. We also make some space for advice aimed at newbies, who don’t know how to focus just on one part of their sector. Of course, you will find out something more than “follow your heart” ;)
#48: Post-fundraising reality
March 2, 2023 • 35 MIN
Are you a founder who's successfully convinced investors to trust in your startup? Congratulations, you've taken a significant step towards fulfilling your dreams! However, the hard work doesn't stop there. Once you've secured the funding, you'll need to learn how to manage your investors effectively to ensure a successful business relationship. Svenja Tegtmeier, from Saiz, had to learn this the hard way. Investor relations turned out to be more challenging than she anticipated. Managing multiple viewpoints and interests while making effective use of your time is no small task. As investors in Saiz, we can attest to the importance of effective investor management. We're excited to share our experience and learnings with you. In our latest episode, Svenja opens up about the challenges and surprises she faced after closing their first round of funding. Providing regular updates and creating space for feedback is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to effective investor management. Tune in to our latest episode to find out more.
#47: It’s hard to complain. How impact investing is maturing according to Simpact
February 9, 2023 • 25 MIN
You can often hear complaints about how the impact investing scene could be better. But that depends on your perspective. The state of impact investing looks a lot different when you’re the first one on the scene. That’s exactly the wide point of view that Wojciech Majewski has. Dealing with investors and founders from Poland and the CE region, Wojciech has seen impact investing evolve and mature over the years. At first it was a struggle to get any funding and having to explain time and time again what impact investing is. Now he and his company see a lot more interested founders and organizations who are more aware that generating impact can help them scale their business. That’s a whole lot of good news! Tune into our podcast with Wojciech Majewski from Simpact to learn more about how the impact ecosystem has changed and expert advice on how to sell impact.
#46: Can beta versions be more beneficial while developing software?
January 26, 2023 • 32 MIN
For companies that work in software development, diving right in to build a complete software product seems like a natural course of action. That’s exactly what Jamie Dujardin and his team at Altruistiq did. Until they learned the hard way that sometimes the best way to move forward in the tech world is to go analog. Because what’s the point of investing tons of time and energy in software features that then turn out to be unnecessary to most users and clients? Why not instead manually provide features for specific clients, giving the builder time to implement feedback? Because feedback doesn’t need to come from surveys after a product launch. It can come from real time collaboration while using the product that’s still in the works. Transparency with the client is key. If they know they’re working with a beta stage product they can be both more willing to provide feedback as well as suggest ideas of their own for more features. Tune in to our podcast to learn more about why sometimes the best way to build software is to not build it at all.
#45: Goodcarbon: Offering nature as a service
January 12, 2023 • 34 MIN
When you think of carbon credits, companies reactively and unconsciously buying up credits to offset carbon emissions might come to mind. Thankfully, those days are becoming a thing of the past. That’s not only thanks to a shift in mindset and evolving regulations. It’s also thanks to companies like goodcarbon that are paving the way for a new way of looking at carbon credits. By building a technical, Web 3-based platform, they cut out the middleman and allow project owners and companies to connect directly. Project owners can tap into the funding that they need to get their projects off the ground and companies can benefit from taking long-term climate actions. And these aren’t just any projects. As companies lean in more to understand the impact they have and communities are increasingly concerned with biodiversity, goodcarbon has an astounding 170 criteria that it looks at before judging a project to be of appropriate quality. If that’s not an example of taking climate action seriously, we don’t know what is. If you want to learn more about how it’s not just about planting trees, but more about planting a forest, tune in to our interview with founder Jerome Cochet.
#44: The ESG talk - finding the common ground with investors
December 8, 2022 • 29 MIN
ESG is a framework that helps companies to manage risks and opportunities related to environmental, social, and governance criteria. This aspect is increasingly important among investors during startup evaluation and due diligence processes. One of the primary responsibilities of both parties is to align what ESG means in the context of a particular startup. For example, environmental risks would be more relevant to a startup focused on mining various ores than building new accounting software. Tune in to our podcast with Hannah Leach from VentureESG to learn more about how to talk with investors about ESG and what the reporting looks like after the investment.
#43: The ripple effect: How influencing the individual can influence sustainability
November 24, 2022 • 32 MIN
Impact is a global issue, there’s no doubt about that. We talk a lot about involving entire industries, countries, and regions in the battle with climate change. The problem with that is that it’s quite hard to do. In fact, it might be much more efficient starting off at the micro level with an individual instead. Here’s the scenario: you get a person to willingly change their habits for the better with customizable, short-term pledges they’re held accountable for. Let’s say they consciously use less plastic or switch to LED light bulbs. These people, in turn, become advocates for these new habits and encourage others to do the same. Soon one new habit turns into a community of new habits which then turns into a growing, global trend. That’s exactly what Do Nation is striving to achieve, one pledge at a time. Tune in to our interview with Hermione Taylor to learn more about how small shifts in behaviors can cause a ripple effect of change.
#42: Got oat milk? How impact can be profitable
November 10, 2022 • 31 MIN
When you think of oat milk, the word “revolutionary” isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. And yet that’s exactly what oat milk can be if you have the right approach. Imagine taking all the water out of oat milk, leaving behind only the 10% plant base and selling it as a powder. That means a lot less CO2 emissions and significantly less packaging waste with no negative effect on taste or quality for the consumer. What’s more, customers seem to be hungry for this new alternative. Now imagine potentially scaling that concept in an industry that sells 220 billion liters of milk globally every year. See what we mean by revolution now? Tune in to our podcast with Philip von Have from Blue Farm to learn more about his impact-minded, powder-based oat milk that is making a fresh splash on the market and why making a brand impactful and profitable can go hand in hand.
#41: A new look at LCAs with Earthster
October 27, 2022 • 35 MIN
When it comes to Life Cycles Assessments, many founders hit one of two brick walls. Either they need to practice a whole lot of patience waiting for a consultant that comes with a hefty price tag or they can use complicated software that doesn’t necessarily show founders all they want to know. Does that mean that founders just need to grit their teeth and bear it? Fortunately, not anymore. We sat down with Gregory Norris, a scientist-turned-entrepreneur, the man behind Earthster, an LCA tool that combines the complex data collection of consultants with the easy to use flexibility of software. The most interesting thing is that Earthster isn’t just another piece of LCA software, but more of a different approach which moves away from simple reporting and instead facilitates learning, finding insights, and visualizing the future. Tune in to our podcast with Gregory to learn more of how powerful these “living” Life Cycle Assessments can be. PS. You can now sign up for our newsletter! Link in the comments below
#40: Building credible transparency in the food industry
October 13, 2022 • 35 MIN
In today’s market, transparency is taking up more and more of the spotlight. For companies to keep up with the growing trend and legal pressure, they need to implement transparency measures in their supply chains. It’s the same for any industry, including food. But it’s not just laws keeping companies accountable. More aware consumers want to know where their products come from and are willing to pay more for products from sustainable and credible brands. It’s also a case of risk management. If companies know and understand their supply chains from end to end, they can react to risk much more quickly and efficiently. But building transparency isn’t a simple case of just opening up your company doors and letting people peek inside. It’s about understanding and presenting the right information in the right way. That’s what we investigated along with Ana Selina Haberbosch from seedtrace. Tune in to our podcast to find out how to build credible transparency and why ignoring it might spell trouble for your company in the long term. PS. You can now sign up for our newsletter! Link in the comments below.
#39: Speak then build. Mastering product-market fit
September 29, 2022 • 34 MIN
There are few things as exciting and enrapturing as creating a product. You put your blood, sweat, tears, and time into it, coddling it and nurturing it until finally you’re ready to go to market. Or at least you think you are. Oftentimes instead of going headlong into success, founders crash head on into a brick wall when it turns out that the market is less than enthusiastic about their product. That’s exactly what Mandeep Soor, the founder of Bendi, had to face. Because product-market fit isn’t just something you hash out with your team in your studio, but a process you go through along with the market and your customers. It’s about adapting to market feedback and finding the right incentives for stakeholders. And that takes time and a whole lot of learning. Tune in to our podcast to find out how Mandeep hit and overcame various roadblocks on the way to improving the impact of sustainability in the difficult fashion industry.
#38: How investment democratization can help founders fundraise
September 15, 2022 • 22 MIN
Struggling to find a good funding option? A lot of founders do. Especially when they believe that they only have the simple choice between retail and angel investing. But there’s another interesting solution on the market. One that brings the best of both investing worlds, in both Europe and the United States, to the table. All for the relatively small price of selling co-ownership in the company. How’s that a small price? Because what you’re really doing is letting existing customers become co-owners and evangelists as well as getting new investors in the door who can become new customers and spur commercial traction. That’s music to any founder’s ear. Tune in to our interview with Asbjorn Holmlund from Wefunder to learn more about how their platform and community can supercharge your funding options.
#37: Expanding internationally? Get in touch with the ecosystem
September 1, 2022 • 31 MIN
What do you think of when you think of international market expansion? Metrics? Capital? Risk? You wouldn’t be wrong. But there’s something important missing. What about the more human side? A lot of real business is done on the ground floor and that’s where personal relationships and shared goals take center stage, not numbers and graphs. Intricate knowledge of the local business ecosystem right down to local business etiquette can make or break a deal. This isn’t just a case of good market research. Founders need to be willing to adapt to the specificity of a given market and its way of doing business, just like they would with their product. Otherwise, they’ll just go belly up and fast. Tune in to our interview with Mario Steinbuch from 36Chambers where we talk about the soft skills and intricate knowledge it takes to really be ready to expand internationally.
#36: Can private capital and nature align?
August 18, 2022 • 35 MIN
In today’s day and age, a lot of companies use carbon credits to pat themselves on the back and make themselves feel good about impact. But take a look around you, the environment isn’t having it. We need to transform our mentality when it comes to how we treat nature. But that can’t be done without the help of private capital. But how do you make the two starkly different worlds of private capital and nature come together? By aligning interests and adding additional incentives. By proving that investing in nature is a high-yield asset class. Tune in to our podcast with Simon Torras of Bageera to learn how private capital and nature projects can mutually benefit from each other and why carbon credits aren’t the be all, end all of impact investing.
#35: How vegan cheese can help the dairy industry adopt regenerative farming
August 4, 2022 • 33 MIN
You’ve probably heard of the high emissions of the meat industry. But did you know that the dairy industry is as much of a culprit, accounting for the highest emissions just after lamb and beef? In fact, the emissions given off to produce the cheese consumed in Europe is equal to the emissions of Belgium. Yet, for Willicroft the most important stakeholder in producing cheese is the planet. Our guest, Brad Vanstone, talks about how plant-based cheese can not only introduce a tasty and nutritious alternative to dairy cheese, but also pave the way for zero-emission, regenerative farming. And it’s cooperation with farmers through transitioning and progressive financing that’s key to making regenerative farming a growing trend that’s here to stay. Find out more details on how plant-based cheese can improve the food industry, offer a better outlook for farmers, and drastically cut carbon in soil one ingredient at a time by listening to this episode.
#34: How to keep your company culture teal in the long run?
July 21, 2022 • 34 MIN
No matter who you are in a teal organization, one day you’ll find yourself saying these words—brace yourself, change is coming. And in all honesty, you either embrace the change or lose your head. Why? Because as the organization grows, so does its complexity. So you automatically ask yourself the question—how do I keep the company culture I worked so hard to build alive in an evolving environment? To make things worse, the tensions you don’t see can be far more dangerous than those out in the open. After all, look around, the picture isn't pretty. Most founders micromanage, hierarchy inevitably squeezes out every other structure, new hires end up feeling lost and detached from the organization, and trust and cohesion between coworkers naturally disappear as the organization grows. We asked Ewa Bocian what she says to the god of dying company culture. She said—not today. In the second part of our interview, we deep dive into these issues revealing what exactly causes them and how to keep them from taking over. The crazy thing is, you don’t need a revolution to maintain a healthy company culture. Just one small step at a time can do wonders.
#33: Laying the cultural groundwork for teal startups. Part 1
July 7, 2022 • 29 MIN
When the organisation is small, it’s relatively easy and intuitive how to work together. But the bigger the company gets, the less obvious it gets, especially in terms of building a company culture in teal organisations. Recently we had a case, when one of our portfolio companies reached out to us with exactly this kind of problem - they needed advice on how to do that, and we decided to take a deep dive into topics of transparency, teal and self-management in the latest episode. That’s why our guest is Ewa Bocian - a specialist in all the topics related to self-management, helping organisations with establishing new, alternative methods of working. Based on her experience, she explained what exactly the teal organisation is, how to build it and when. Find out more in the latest episode.
#32: Extending the lifetime of clothes with a B2C marketplace with Layla Sargent from The Seam
June 23, 2022 • 37 MIN
Sustainable fashion is a thing now. Retailers put “made from recycled materials,” “organic,” and “sustainable” labels on their clothes and collect worn-out apparel for recycling. But from the customers perspective, making sustainable choices is not a no-brainer. Apart from order returns, the pure evil of the industry, as customers we have a really vague understanding of how our fashion choices matter. And that’s because we don’t understand the underlying problem. To shed some light on it: it takes 7600 litres of water to make a pair of jeans and 2700 to make a t-shirt. This means that your basic outfit ( jeans and t-shirt) “cost” the environment over 10 000 litres of freshwater! If you look at your wardrobe’s content from this perspective, you’ll get the scale of the problem we’re facing. Together with Kasia Zalewska and our guest - Layla Sargent - we took a deep dive into this problem in the latest episode of the Founding Impact podcast. We talked about the advantages of altering and repairing clothes and explored the biggest problems of the sustainable fashion industry. We also discussed how software connecting customers wanting to alter, repair, or make clothes to measure with skilled makers can contribute to extending the clothing lifecycle and solving the underlying problem. Enjoy the show!
#31: How business model innovation and software boost regenerative agriculture? |Guest: Robert Gerlach from Klim|
May 26, 2022 • 55 MIN
#30: Measuring impact for early-stage startups
May 12, 2022 • 44 MIN
Founders talk about impact measurement a lot. Most of the time, they complain about not knowing how to handle it. Frankly, though, there are many frameworks like life cycle assessment (LCA) that help startups make the first step towards it. In the latest episode of the Founding Impact podcast, we explored this topic with Marie Bos - Managing Partner at M&H Advisory and Investments. If you’re looking for a way to start measuring your impact and building an impact management strategy, check out the full episode.
#29: Non-profits vs. for-profits with Sabrina Konzok from Kiron Digital
April 21, 2022 • 45 MIN
As an entrepreneur, why would you want to have both a for-profit and non-profit organization? It makes complete sense in many scenarios. One of them is when a part of your company focuses on solving social problems. Our guest - Sabrina Konzok, Managing Director at Kiron Digital Learning Solutions - knows the non-profit - for-profit transformation secrets as nobody else. Together with her team, she started Kiron as a non-profit organization offering free online learning opportunities to refugees and underserved communities. At some point along the way, she realized that the platform they built had the potential to act like a for-profit, and they created a daughter, for-profit company. In the latest episode of the Founding Impact podcast, @Sabrina shared the story of this transition. Together with Kasia and Maciej, they discussed how impact-driven organizations can follow this pattern and convert non-profits to for-profits (or the other way round) and explored the biggest challenges and possibilities. If you want to find out more, check out the full episode!
#28: Sustainable Software Development | Guest: Tom Greenwood
April 7, 2022 • 40 MIN
What’s the carbon footprint of software solutions? At a glance, its impact might seem minimal. Software development is responsible for “just” around 2.1 to 3.9 percent of global GHG emissions. But when you compare this number to 2.1 percent produced by aviation, you quickly realize how big this problem really is. In this episode of the Founding Impact podcast, Kasia Zalewska and Maciej Gałkiewicz talk to Tom Greenwood from Wholegrain Digital who is an expert in the field of sustainable software development. If you want to learn what's the negative impact of software solutions, and what are the ways to fight it, check out this episode!
#27: How to successfully combine science and business? Guest: Michael Mitsakos from EVIG Group.
March 24, 2022 • 45 MIN
The food production sector is one of the biggest CO2 emitters worldwide. There’s a huge room for improvement in this area. To reach zero emissions and stop climate change, we need bold founders with visionary ideas. The guest of this episode of the Founding impact podcast is Michael Mitsakos from the Evig Group. Working closely with scientists trying to find innovative solutions in the food sector, he has first-hand experience on how those bold founders can rapidly change the whole food industry. If you want to find out more, check out this episode!
#26: How people set their salaries at Ragnarson and why transparency matters - interview with Maciej
March 10, 2022 • 42 MIN
Is transparency a perfect foundation for the company culture? For us at Ragnarson, it turned out to be a game-changer and allowed us all to better understand each other. It doesn’t mean that it’s a perfect, all-in-one cure for every problem, but it’s a great first step towards changing your company for the better. If you want to explore the most important advantages of transparency and learn about its downsides, check out this episode of the Founding Impact podcast.
#25: Why being partnership-ready is more important than investment-ready with Leon Reiner from ImpactHub
February 24, 2022 • 46 MIN
Being so close to the Berlin impact startup ecosystem, our podcast guest has a clear view on how drastically it improved over the course of past 10 years. The guest of this episode is Leon Reiner - Co-Founder and Managing Director of Impact Hub Berlin, a unique place helping people and organizations to co-create innovative solutions for people and the planet. When Leon’s impact journey started, no one knew what social entrepreneurship or impact even is. The whole concept was unknown and looked up on very critically. Today, the situation is completely different. If you want to learn more about how the impact ecosystem changed over the past decade, check out the whole episode.
#24: Going beyond sustainable agriculture with Borris Foerster from Amathaon Capital
February 10, 2022 • 44 MIN
In this episode of the Founding Impact podcast, we’re talking with Borris Foerster - Managing Partner at Amathaon Capital. As Borris said, they’re “not an impact investor focused on agriculture, but an agriculture investor with a strong focus on impact." Their unique approach combines a clear vision of “where the food industry needs to go” with a strong emphasis on smart money. Check out the whole episode to learn: - Why the agriculture and food share a common supply chain. - What did Borris’s journey towards the agrifood space looked like? - What does portfolio synergy mean and how does it work in practice? - Which direction the agriculture industry needs to take? - What are the most overlooked and underdeveloped aspects of the whole ecosystem? And much more!
#23: Regenerative Agriculture, food waste, and food industry transformation with Mark Durno from Rockstart Agrifood
January 20, 2022 • 50 MIN
The food industry has changed rapidly during the last 10 years. Many elements triggered this change - like open-minded entrepreneurs and the influx of money to this sector. Today, topics like regenerative agriculture, food waste, urban and vertical farming are popular, but not everyone knows what challenges agtech founders have to face. In this episode of the Founding Impact Podcast, Kasia and Maciej talk to Mark Durno, Managing Partner at Rockstart Agrifood, who is an expert in this field. What are the most interesting solutions on the market? What sectors of the food industry are still underdeveloped? What are the biggest challenges that the entire sector has to face? You’ll find answers to those and many other interesting questions in this episode!
#22: Sharing carry with your portfolio. Guest: Michael Fairbairn from 8 Dimension Ventures
January 6, 2022 • 46 MIN
In this episode of the Founding Impact Podcast, Kasia and Maciej talk with Michael Fairbairn. He’s a partner and founder at 8 Dimension Ventures - a leading impact Health & Wellness fund investing in companies that have the potential to make an impact on people’s lives and world health. Their offer is very unique. 

 Apart from being invested in, founders from their portfolio become the fund shareholders. This creates a community in which all startups from their portfolio care about each other. It’s more than just owning some shares. It’s a circle of support, bringing motivation and fresh perspective. 

Check out the whole episode and learn more! 

#21: How investors help startups grow sales - interview with Katrin Häuser
December 16, 2021 • 44 MIN
This episode's guest is Katrin Häuser - the CEO and co-founder of TheGreenSpring. Her company combines business and sustainability expertise with a hands-on approach. Together with their clients, TheGreenSpring shapes ideas into sustainable business models and match them with their trusted network of sales partners, clients, and investors. In this episode, we talk about the biggest challenges and opportunities around building actionable go-to-market strategies in impact-driven companies. In addition, we discuss how investors and agencies can support founders with knowledge and expertise and help them to develop various areas of the business. Check out the whole episode and explore this topic together with us! ________ Links: 👉Katrin's Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/katrinhaeuser/ 👉TheGreenSpring website: https://www.thegreenspring.de/ If you have any questions, feel free to contact us at foundingimpact@ragnarson.com 👉Kasia's Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/zalewskakasia/ 👉Maciej's Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/mgalkiewicz/ 👉Our website: https://ragnarson.com/ ________ Check out other episodes👇 https://ragnarson.com/founding-impact
#20: Steward ownership - securing the purpose of your company. Guest: Achim Hensen from Purpose Economy
December 2, 2021 • 60 MIN
Have you ever heard of the steward ownership model? It addresses the concern of many founders: “How to secure the company’s values, so they don’t deteriorate over time.” How? There are 2 basic rules we call the principles of the steward ownership model: 1. Shares can’t be sold. 2. The majority of profits get reinvested or donated. As a result, no one can get the power by putting money on the table anymore, and the inheritance rule stops working. Instead, the majority of the voting power stays with people in the company, or closely connected to it. And that, as the examples of Bosch or ZEISS showed, secures the company’s mission and independence. In this episode, we talk with Achim Hansen about the steward ownership model and the opportunities and challenges around it. If you’re wondering what its pros and cons are, check it out. The book that Achim mentioned: - Reinventing Organisations by Frederic Laloux: https://bit.ly/2ZPeuvI Purpose Economy Website: https://purpose-economy.org/en/ Achim’s Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/achim-hensen-54664758/
#19: From startup to impact investing - Finn Wentzler's entrepreneurial journey
November 4, 2021 • 55 MIN
Taking someone’s business over is difficult. It’s even harder when this “someone” is your relative, and even more so when they are gone. Our latest podcast guest - Finn Wentzler - had to face this massive challenge when his father passed away. Somehow, he not only managed to keep his father’s legacy alive but also started his business journey and became a mature entrepreneur. In the latest episode of the Founding Impact podcast, he shared the story of how his business adventure started, from the moment of making the first steps as an entrepreneur up until now. We shared our thoughts about sustainability, climate change, challenges of running the business, and most importantly, got to know Finn by listening to his story. Now we invite you to go on this journey with us. Check out the full episode and find out more.
#18: From missing classes to helping tech companies do good. Guest: Daniel Di Giusto
October 21, 2021 • 56 MIN
Why is everyone so crazy about communities these days? It's a great way to meet interesting people. As the guest of this episode said, it became his addiction at some point. But it's not only about that. People bring new possibilities. In this episode, we talk with Daniel, the co-founder and Head Of Tech For Good Community at Tech To The Rescue. His story began with the local startup community. He leveraged it and found his sweet spot in the impact space. Now, he's on the mission of matching non-profits with tech companies to solve the world's problems. If you want to learn more about his story, check out the whole episode!
#17: Fashion, sustainability and sharing economy. Guest: Rune Orloff from POOL
October 7, 2021 • 35 MIN
“No one ever picked a product purely out of the impact story behind it. The impact story might have triggered attention to this brand or the product. But at the end of the day you are putting your credit card in, because you like the product and you feel that it fits and it feels good” This might sound exaggerated, but it totally makes sense when you think about it from the fashion perspective. Our purchase decisions rarely depend on whether or not the product is sustainable, but looking at how the fashion industry affects the environment, it should change. Ou guest - Rune Orloff - decided to pursue the challenge of bringing sustainability to this sector and together with Kristian Rix, founded Pool - an impact rental service for high-end menswear. In this episode, we uncovered the biggest challenges, difficulties, misconceptions and mysteries of the fashion industry. Take a listen to find out more!
#16: When do I need a CTO at my startup? Guest: Grzegorz Kołodziejczyk from Ragnarson
September 23, 2021 • 28 MIN
When is the best time to hire the CTO for your project? Is it at the beginning when you’re looking for the product-market fit? Maybe later, when your team grows a bit? Our guest - Greg Kołodziejczyk, heard this question from startup founders multiple times over the last few years. Does he know the answer? Listen to this episode and find out!
#15: How business can help with nature conservation? Guest: Adrian Dellecker from Luc Hoffmann Institute
September 6, 2021 • 51 MIN
There’s a constant pursuit of new, innovative business models to bring new revenue streams to the nature conservation sector. According to our guest - Adrian Dellecker - head of strategy and development at Luc Hoffmann Institute it’s a massive challenge, but also a great opportunity for ambitious startup founders. In this episode, he explained that regulations and governments presence are not the only difficulties in the nature conservation area. Kasia and Maciej had the pleasure to go on a deep journey through the challenges and opportunities around this topic and they invite you to join them by checking out the full episode.
#14: Sustainable supply chains. Guest: Christian Dietrich
August 23, 2021 • 34 MIN
Why exactly are supply chains so complex? Why is it difficult to innovate them? To answer these questions we have to envision that even a simple product consists of many pieces. All of them come from different suppliers, who again have their own suppliers that often change depending on price or quality. This dynamic makes gathering and verifying data about the whole chain extremely difficult, sometimes even impossible. Our guest Christian Dietrich specializes in bringing sustainability to supply chains. In the latest episode, he told us about potential solutions and explained how to develop a sustainable supply chain. Don’t miss out! Check out the whole episode!
#13: How to approach family office investors? Guest: Stanisław Kastory from Firlej-Kastory
August 12, 2021 • 42 MIN
The society’s wealth in Poland started growing after 1989. That’s when many individuals had the chance to build and sell companies, becoming rich. The next generations took over the family businesses and to keep growing them, started reinvesting their profits in other companies, startups, etc. That’s how the first family office investors in Poland were established - and now they’re one of the most flexible groups on the market. In the latest episode, Stanisław Kastory - co-founder of the Firlej-Kastory family office investor firm - told the story of their investment journey to Maciej. He also shared some details about how family offices work and advice on finding the best family office investor for your startup (as well as approaching and working with them). It’s a must-watch for every startup founder looking for funding! If you’d like to find out more, check out the whole episode.
#12: From marketing to impact investing - Kasia's story
July 29, 2021 • 41 MIN
Every career path is different. Many entrepreneurs don’t know which way to go. Even with the career path planned step-by-step, they sometimes ask themselves if what they do is really what they want to do. There’s a lot of uncertainty. In this episode, Kasia shared her story of looking for the direction to pursue, with all the decisions, dilemmas and choices she made along the way. If you’re an entrepreneur wondering which way to go, then you should definitely check out the whole episode.
#11: Is impact in services even possible?
July 15, 2021 • 19 MIN
There are two ways we do business at Ragnarson. On the one hand, we invest in impact-driven startups, on the other, we act as an agency with technical expertise, helping other businesses build different kinds of products, like software as service solutions and online marketplaces. Those two pillars, however, differ a bit. While it’s relatively easy to focus on impact-driven startups on the investor’s side of the business, the thing gets a bit trickier when it comes to the agency. We’re looking for ways to innovate our offer and to bring the impact to the table also on the software development side, and that’s exactly what we discussed in this episode. If you want to find out more, listen to the whole episode.
#10: Why founders can’t ignore their mental well-being? Guest: Joshua Haynes from Masawa
June 24, 2021 • 36 MIN
Investing in startups involves a huge risk. Investment analysts spend hours analysing every detail of startups before the fund, or an angel decides to invest and take a financial risk. It’s a tremendous surprise to see that the whole community - both founders and investors tend to shut their eyes to one of the greatest risk factors of all - mental wellness. The majority of startup failures are caused by human-related elements and around 50% of founders may struggle with the challenges of mental health. If the mental resilience of an entrepreneur is not at its peak then the entire venture can fail. In this episode of the Founding Impact podcast Kasia Zalewska, Maciej Gałkiewicz and Joshua Haynes from Masawa talked about the importance of mental wellness in startups and discussed how investors can support founders and build awareness of mental well-being for the sustainability of their investment portfolios.
#9: How hard is it to reduce companies' emissions? Guest: Tobias Matetschlaeger from Global Changer
June 10, 2021 • 35 MIN
The number of impact-focused ventures in the European market is growing rapidly. It’s an indicator of growing awareness of global problems. One of them is excessive carbon emission. And that was exactly the problem we discussed in this episode together with our guest - Tobias Matetschlaeger from Global Changer. If you want to find out how you can play the role in reducing carbon emissions, listen to the whole episode.
#8: It's time for women to invest! Guest: Terezia Jacova from Lumus Investment
May 20, 2021 • 30 MIN
“We can’t build a world that values women equally if women aren’t a bigger part of the building.” The impact startup ecosystem talks about diversity all the time. And yet, one of the most important parts of the startup environment - angel investors - lacks a female presence. This has many consequences and impacts the entire startup ecosystem. And that’s exactly the topic we focused on in this episode. This time, our guest is Terezia Jacova - co-founder of Lumus Investment, an organization that educates, supports, and connects women to investment opportunities, operating in the CEE region. Check out other episodes and stay tuned for more!
#7: Does Estonia have what it takes to become an impact frontrunner? Guest: Erki Ani from Cleantech ForEst
March 24, 2021 • 26 MIN
If any European country can be considered as a startup super-factory, then it’s definitely Estonia. With growing awareness and more and more companies turning green, it has a great foundation for an impact-driven startup ecosystem. There are many reasons that account for that, like Estonian Startup Visa Program, low corporate tax rate, or affordable living conditions that make this country a perfect go-to destination for European startup founders. And it’s not a surprise that many founders actually decide to go to Estonia, because it really has all you can dream of. It’s a perfect example of how the right approach can boost a startup ecosystem. "#estonianmafia" - because that’s how the Estonian startup community is called - is eager to grow, but also to give back to the community by helping others, mentoring, etc. This, combined with good relations with the government and growing awareness makes the whole country a giant startup incubator. Together with our guest, Erki Ani from Cleantech ForEst, we discussed all the important aspects of the Estonian startup ecosystem and talked about the new impact possibilities growing in Estonia.
#6: Exploring the impact startup scene in Romania with Vlad Gliga from Rubik Hub
February 24, 2021 • 34 MIN
A few years back, Romania wasn’t the primary destination for impact investors looking for interesting projects so far, but it’s changing now. That is because the Romanian startup ecosystem is growing fast. There are more and more impact-driven startups present on the market, willing to make a change and to solve the pressing problems of today. In this episode, Kasia Zalewska and Vlad Gliga from Rubik Hub talk about the tremendous change that has been happening on the Romanian startup scene for the last few years.
#5: Water as a foundation of our economy with Nicola Lei Ravello from White Stag Investing
February 9, 2021 • 40 MIN
Water is one of the Earth’s priceless resources and, being involved in almost every aspect of our lives, it’s the foundation of the world’s economy. This means that a global water problem is a serious threat to almost every business sector. That’s the reason why protecting this natural resource is one of the most important priorities in fighting climate change. In this episode, Maciej Gałkiewicz and Nicola Rei Lavello from White Stag Investing talk about the impact that the global water problem may have on the entire world and discuss the new investment possibilities in this area.
#4: Public money? Sounds easy with Jonas Schorr from Urban Impact
January 20, 2021 • 12 MIN
The most common sources of funding for startups are venture capital and private investors. There is, however, one more very interesting alternative source. It’s the public sector. There are dozens, if not hundreds, of public support systems providing smart money for Impact-driven companies. In this episode, Kasia Zalewska and Jonas Schorr from Urban Impact discuss how startups can benefit from public support. Check the episode and find out!
#3: Mistakes to avoid in your pitch deck
January 7, 2021 • 7 MIN
On average, investors review dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of pitch decks in a year. During the review, they want to find out what the business is all about, what the target group is, and learn about the key stakeholders, vision, and much more. That’s why a pitch deck needs to make a good first impression and contain all the important information. In this episode, we talk about the most common mistakes founders make when building a professional pitch deck.
#2: The relationship between founders
December 16, 2020 • 7 MIN
Investors consider many factors when making an investment decision. One of them is the team - they expect it to be solid, hands-on, and motivated to deliver what the startup promises. That is not always the case. As investors and entrepreneurs, we know that founders face many challenges, and one of the greatest issues is building and maintaining a professional relationship. In this episode, we share our insights on establishing one, provide tangible examples of the most common problems, and advise how to avoid them.
#1: How to ask for intros to investors
December 2, 2020 • 8 MIN
Getting a referral to an investor is one of the best ways to speed up your fundraising process. But you need to follow a couple of rules when asking for a referral. The first and most important one is to always be prepared. Investors might not know which person from their network could be the best fit for you. So if you know who exactly you want to reach, you’ll make the introduction easier for the investor - and more likely to happen for you. Second, you should be aware that if a VC or business angel decided not to invest in your startup, they might not be willing to introduce you to someone else from their network. You can find more examples and practical advice in this episode.