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Tanja Koch, co-founder Amplo, Swisspreneur Podcast

EP #351 - Tanja Koch: Your First Startup Team

Tanja Koch

November 2, 2023

6:44 - Why the founder team is the key ingredient

13:30 - Starting entrepreneurship part-time

15:50 - Splitting shares among founders

24:03 - Attracting senior people to your startup

31:30 - Closing a round amid a crisis

About Tanja Koch:

⁠⁠Tanja Koch⁠⁠ is a co-founder at ⁠⁠Amplo⁠⁠, a no code platform that makes AI easy and accessible to service and operation departments. She holds a MSc in Mechanical Engineering from ETH Zürich and previously worked for companies like LEVITRONIX and 9T Labs before starting Amplo in 2021.

When it comes to finding the right co-founders, Tanja has some advice to give:

  • Your founder team should hold similar values but have different skill sets.
  • Starting a business with a romantic partner can be a good idea or not depending on your personal preference — Tanja personally wouldn’t do it.
  • The optimal founder team size is between 3 and 5 people.
  • The founders should hold equal shares in the company, provided they’re putting in equal amounts of work.
  • The shares/salary split should be set up so that founders don’t have to worry about things like the cost of eating out, but also aren’t living a life of luxury. For Switzerland, try to aim between CHF 3-5K per month.

Amplo raised a CHF 1.6M pre-seed round back in September 2022, in the midst of a complicated fundraising environment. This is Tanja’s advice on pulling a round like that off:

  • Ask your existing investors whom else they know who could invest in your following rounds.
  • Do the regular fundraising tasks: create a long list, then a short list, get intros, go to events, etc.
  • Keep the investors you’re talking to on a tight schedule. Tell them by which date you want a term sheet.
  • Create FOMO, even if accidentally: during the fundraising process, Tanja went to Berlin to visit a friend, and inadvertently made her Swiss investors concerned that she was talking to Berlin VCs. 

Memorable Quotes:

"Ask your existing investors who they know who could invest in your following rounds."

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