Q -What is a "deal breaker" for you?
PUD -When I see signs of a lack of integrity, I will not deepen the contract further (personally or privately). I want to trust the people (including founders) with whom I interact.
Q -What qualities are you looking for in a founder/team, what is important to you?
PUD -I look at how the team has improved over the last few years. This can be within their venture or in their previous career. As a founder it is a key quality to deal with unknown obstacles and to learn from these, therefore, I like to see founders that have become more successful over time. This does not mean that you can’t have failed, but they should have learned from failure and improved through experience.
Q -Which technology or trend inspires you most?
PUD -Fitting my background in neuroscience and AI, I have an affinity to these topics. In particular, I am excited that AI will gradually disappear from the daily hype and become part of a huge number of applications, making our environment more intelligent.
Q -Can Europe keep up on the global stage? Where do you see opportunities?
PUD -I think all regions around the world have their advantages in certain areas, shaped by the different cultures and existing industries. For example, Switzerland has a very strong pharmaceutical and education industry, and therefore strong advantages in these fields (as does the Boston metropolitan area). Similarly, Germany has great expertise in mechanical and automotive engineering, therefore, I expect many innovations in industry 4.0 from there.
Q -Which founders do you find most inspiring?
PUD -Founders who have the very rare combination of vision, ambition and intelligence (especially emotionally). To both imagine how they can change the world in 2, 5 or 10 years, and make that vision reality, despite all the obstacles. It is often said that execution is everything in startups, I don't agree with that statement and believe that founders who are not just pure “implementer’s” but can also plan years ahead and think strategically will enrich the world most. These founders also inspire me most.
Q -What are your favorite online information sources?
PUD -I start the day by reading a combination of startup, tech and business articles (such as Techcrunch, Wired and the Economist).