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Tobias Gunzenhauser, Léa Miggiano & Flavio Pfaffhauser, co-founders yamo, Carvolution and beekeeper, Swisspreneur Podcast

EP #311 - Tobias Gunzenhauser, Léa Miggiano & Flavio Pfaffhauser: Going Big, In Switzerland and Abroad

Tobias Gunzenhauser, Léa Miggiano & Flavio Pfaffhauser

March 30, 2023

6:48 - Entering an American vs a European market

12:55 - Do Swiss companies need to go international

16:45 - Compromises when going international

20:04 - Bootstrapping or fundraising

25:49 - When talent doesn’t come to you

About Tobias Gunzehauser, Léa Miggiano & Flavio Pfaffhauser:

Flavio Pfaffhauser is a co-founder and CIO at Beekeeper, a frontline operating system which helps companies ditch paper and manual processes to improve employee engagement, retention, and performance. Tobias Gunzenhauser is the co-founder and CEO at yamo, an omnichannel FoodTech company creating the healthiest and tastiest products good for people and planet. Léa Miggiano is co-founder and CMO at Carvolution, the biggest car subscription service in Switzerland.

All agree that when going international, branding is very important, because:

  • A lot of products, like kid’s food, have strong emotional connotations. If parents buy them, it means they’re trusting you with their kids' nutrition. Establishing a strong brand helps you with creating trust, and trust means sales.
  • It facilitates hiring, at a time when you’re not yet widely known, and so great talent is not actively searching you out.

What differentiates success in the US market and success in the Swiss market?

  • In the US market you have to be bold, and make yourself seem bigger than you actually are. It’s also useful to have someone in the team move there.
  • In Switzerland, however, boldness is not advisable. Your brand should seem down to earth and local. That’s what Swiss people like and trust.

Flavio and Tobias recommend not to compromise on the hiring process when going international. They advise you to actively look for people at recruiting fairs, LinkedIn, or even by browsing through master’s theses and contacting the authors whose work most closely relates to your industry. Tobias also adds that at this stage, you should both hire and fire fast.

Memorable Quotes:

"I don’t think there’s such a thing as feeling ready for the next step, in a startup context. Running a startup means being constantly out of your comfort zone." (Tobias)

"The war for talent is on fire, regardless of where you hire." (Léa)

"It’s always good to have a plan, but sometimes you have to take the opportunity when it presents itself." (Flavio)

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