1:55 - Being a medtech entrepreneur
9:57 - Managing 2 businesses and 3 kids
17:05 - Setting company and family goals
29:17 - Why not start a company together
36:19 - The right to disconnect
Anne Richter is the founder and CEO of Knecker, a startup which produces vegan protein-rich snacks. She got her MA in Economical Engineering from the Technische Universität Berlin and afterwards worked for a series of energy companies, before starting her own venture in 2020. Tobias Richter is the founder, former CEO and current Chairman of TRI Dental Implants, a Swiss emerging leader in innovative modern implant dentistry. He got is BA in International Business Studies from the International School of Management (Germany).
In 2011, after a decade of working in a corporate environment, Tobias took the leap and founded his own business. Tobias chose medtech entrepreneurship to have the best of both worlds: though he grew up in a family of doctors, he felt studying medicine would be too limiting, so he studied business instead and later focused on the medtech industry, specifically dental work — which, being very digital, benefits a lot from integrating AI components.
Together Tobias and Anne have 3 children. Life with 2 startups and 3 kids can often get very hectic, so the couple has developed a system:
- They have an Au Pair who lives with them, which really helps;
- They keep a joint timetable, to always know what the other will be doing. This is especially important for events happening before 9am or after 6:30pm, when the kids are at home;
- They organize two weekly "family meetings": one with the kids, the other one without them. The meeting with the kids, called Basilikum, is a half-an-hour get-together where the family discusses the previous week ("What was good?" "What was bad?") and plans for the week ahead ("What are your expectations regarding next week?"). Often the deal is sweetened with some sweets or chips for the kids, facilitating their cooperation.
Tobias and Anne also utilize a tool called The Wheel Of Life, which allows you to reflect on the previous year and plan for the year ahead by having you evaluate your life according to 8 different aspects: health, finance, career, family, personal development, spirituality, your romantic relationship, and social life. The results are shown on a "spiderweb" type of graph, which easily allows you to spot weaknesses. For instance, when their kids were younger, Anne and Tobias tended to neglect their romantic relationship, so they decided to institute a weekly lunch just for the two of them: the "Love Lunch." By constantly reflecting and thinking ahead, the couple is able to remain focused on what matters most to them.
"I wanted to be in control of my own destiny, so I became an entrepreneur."
If you would like to listen to more conversations about entrepreneurial couples, check out our second episode with Dorina Thiess.
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