How we invest
We identify non-obvious, market-changing business opportunities and collaborate with outstanding founders. We then launch startups jointly that address business problems at least 5X better than the status quo.
Problems need to be falsified
We get a lot of large, real-world customer problems from within BEUMER Group. These aren’t 1:1 blueprints for product solutions, but they are golden starting points.
Within Beam and our expert network, we also analyze logistics developments in global markets, winning formulas in other industries, and potential software technology applications that would dramatically improve existing logistics business models. All of these are minted into hypotheses which we then try to falsify as quickly as possible – together with potential founders. We have a bias for B2B business models with a clearly visible break-even.
Opportunities need to pass all our nine questions before we pitch them to you:
- The non-obvious question: Have we identified a unique opportunity that others don’t see?
- The unfair advantage question: Is the problem highly relevant for customers that especially BEUMER Group has access to?
- The timing question: Is now the right time to start this particular business?
- The superiority question: Is the solution to the problem at least 5X better than the status quo?
- The monopoly question: Are we starting with a big share of a small market?
- The defensibility question: Will our market position be defensible 10 and 20 years into the future?
- The vision question: Compelling answer to: How big could this idea / the company become if our founders executed very well? € x00 million? € billions?
- The engineering question: Can we create breakthrough technology instead of incremental improvements?
- The distribution question: Would we have a way to not just create but deliver the product?
We are looking for hungry overachievers with a deep-rooted need to win. Partner with us and we will contribute a very good path to monetizing your skills.
Are you an independent thinker, defiant, resolute, creative when perpetually confronted with a lack of resources, hands-on, and team-oriented? Do you also shine in both communication and execution? That’s a very rare set of skills.
If we managed to convince you of a huge opportunity and of working with us, then you are invited to take charge of validating it – or rather: of falsifying the hypothesis that would turn it into a startup.
You need to be the one driving the problem vs. solution fit phase (see next image). The startup opportunity needs to become your baby, not ours. Rest assured, we will provide you with everything you need – 24/7.
Bottom line: Leave the echo chamber. Only customers know the answers. So how do we get going with you?
- We will normally start with a kickoff workshop to structure and condense our working hypothesis regarding the business case.
- We then meet several very experienced industry professional and potential customers for in-depth interviews to assess e.g. how pressing the problem is for high-level decision makers (B2B) or personas we believe to be our most profitable customers (B2C).
- We also need to check which kind of solution would add the highest value before we think about the MVP.
We have launched companies ourselves. We agree that between product, market and team, a large addressable market is most important. But team comes a close second. (Find the beautiful reasoning in “The only thing that matters” here.)
We won’t back a single-founder setup. That’s why we have a structured, objective process in place to help our founders build a well matched founding team – both in terms of skills and character. The co-founder relationship is as intense as a marriage. We want to avoid stress for all of us. We are very transparent about this and share our insights and assessment (only) with you at all times.
There is a large number of factors that influence company culture, but by far the most important is founders’ behavior – e.g. how hard you work; whether you do what you say you will; your tolerance for sub-par work. Great founders develop a strong rhythm of setting ambitious but achievable deadlines and hitting them. You want to be aligned on this.
A great founding team covers both functional (e.g. waste logistics know-how) and execution (software design and architecture) expertise.
If an idea is successfully validated and at least two founders are on board, we incorporate a startup and provide up to € 250 k pre-seed money. The founding team is then fully independent and properly equipped to build an MVP – and pivot as necessary. Beam is on standby to provide all the operational and strategic support you request. It’s now your company and you can count on us to help wherever needed.
Our term sheets
All business is people business. People work best on trust. The more trust, the less communication necessary. So we do our best to build a lot of trust with you early on by being fair and transparent.