Natascha von Laffert

Natascha v. Laffert started her career in 1994 for the international strategic services of French television group TF1 in Paris, from where she moved to the German operations of Viacom’s TV channel Nickelodeon. In 1997 Natascha joined the Axel Springer Group, where she was instrumental for the development of the company’s international activities.

In 2002 she became responsible for Condé Nast International’s strategic partnerships and license activities in Europe, CEE, Africa and MEA. Since 2016 she acts as an operational advisor to Start-Ups. She is also a regular speaker and co-host of initiatives bringing together entrepreneurs and investors.

Natascha is a graduate from ESCP Europe and member of its international student recruitment jury. Ever since the start of her career she has mentored students and graduates as well as business-angeling young professionals. Natascha is equally an avid writer of essays and articles.

A good VC should be transparent to its investors and support its portfolio operationally in difficult phases as well.

  • Expertise in / interest in the following areas: Media & Creative Industries, International Business Development, Mentoring & Coaching, Journalism

  • Previous experience:

    – Axel Springer, International Publishing Director (Hamburg, Berlin, Prague)
    – Condé Nast International, Director Licenses & New Business (London, Munich)
    – Business angel and operational advisor to Start-Ups
    Forstbetrieb Klessener Zootzen, management of a family forestry business

  • Favourite quote: “Nowadays people know the price of everything and the value of nothing.”(Oscar Wilde – The Picture of Dorian Gray)

Q -What has been the most important "learning" of your career?
NvL -Always believe in your own inner compass.
Q -What makes a really good founder?
NvL -Curiosity, humility, vision, persistency, entrepreneurial spirit.
Q -What is a "deal breaker" for you?
NvL -Dishonesty and arrogance.
Q -What qualities are you looking for in a founder/team, what is important to you?
NvL -Passion and the ability to self-reflect.
Q -What attracts you to venture capital/angel investment?
NvL -To get an idea up and running.
Q -Can Europe keep up on the global stage? Where do you see opportunities?
NvL -There is definitively a chance to keep up on a global stage if in Europe for once we recognize, nurture and care our unique and exceptional resource: the intellect. Europe is an unparalleled ‚brain lab‘ and creative heaven, but its potentials often only unfold elsewhere in other markets. We seem to lose talents and ideas due to rational passionless parameters and low funding and investment volumes. Traditional companies and entrepreneurs should develop a greater sense of curiosity as well as an intrinsic feeling of responsibility towards the avoidance of a brain drain. Promoting, funding and engaging into this unique brain lab is Europe’s opportunity and only future.
Q -Which startup inspires you most?
NvL -Flaschenpost: door-to-door beverage delivery and collection service. Rapid growth, clear business model with high scalability (also internationally).

Tourlane: planning tool for individual trips. Vertically integrated. Personalized and customized travel routes with visualisation tools.
Q -What should a VC do and what not?
NvL -Operationally support its portfolio also in difficult times. Assure transparency vis-à-vis its investors.
Q -What are the indispensable tools in your everyday life?
NvL -Two ‚Apple products‘, a bike and books in paper format (inspiration through optics and haptic).
Q -What are your favorite online information sources?
NvL -The Economist, FT, Guardian, Bild.de, Spiegel.de as well as the obligatory scrolling through social media.
Q -What are your three favorite podcasts/books?
NvL -There are so many 'favourite books', but at the moment:
- Ordinary Virtues (Michael Ignatieff)
- Der Apfelbaum (Christian Berkel)
- La vida perra de Juanita Narbona (Angel Vazquez)
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