Starting up in Munich - the first two months

It’s been about 2 months of working full time on Alyne for Stefan and myself, with Manuel and Matthias joining full time in July and I think it’s time to make some initial observations about starting a tech business in Munich.

Founder Network

Initially, I didn’t really think that a local startup network would be of that much value - after all we’re talking about a web business that should be able to be run from anywhere on the planet. It turns out I was wrong. There’s a highly active startup community in Munich that has been immensely helpful in putting us in touch with the right people, discussing legal issues and just simply sharing experiences. Just to name a few, Isarnetz, LMULab, Techfounders and the Munich Chamber of Industry and Commerce have been great.

Not your typical startup

While help from the networks has been great, we have also noticed that in many ways we are not a typical startup. As all of the founders have been executives at previous employers, we have a bit more business understanding than many startups with a purely technical background or more inexperienced founders. We’re also not dependent on initial seed funding or funded workspace, as we have started our venture with our own capital. We have found that some of the startup infrastructure and support is more geared toward the classic technologist-straight-out-of-university scenario than Alyne’s situation.


Founders working at the Lake in folding chairs

Probably the biggest personal change has been the added flexibility to our lives. Most of the founders worked out of town for considerable parts of the last decade. Working in one place and being able to determine your own schedule has therefore been pretty mind blowing. Additionally, one of Alyne’s operating principles is avoiding local, physical assets at all cost. This has also allowed us to move the office to some pretty tempting locations on some hot summer days.

4 men standing on a swimming pool

Every day is like Saturday

At the moment I’m beating Morrissey by one day, as getting up, every day is like Saturday. Admittedly, being more upbeat than Morrissey is not saying much, but it is a pretty amazing feeling when you are doing something you are passionate about that doesn’t feel like work and will hopefully pay the bills down the line.

Overall we are pretty much on track with our development plan. None of us are naïve enough to think that we won’t hit any obstacles down the road, but I’m convinced we’re on the right track. We will keep you posted.

Karl Viertel

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