Meet the NEXT mentors: Gregor Gross

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Gregor_Gross

We are officially entering the hot zone: TODAY we kick off our NEXT program, which of course means for you to meet yet another one of your great mentors, who will provide knowledge and tipps for those of you who got a ticket!

It is our honour to introduce to you Gregor Gross, owner and CEO at alpha-board gmbh, a company producing printed circuit board. They put a lot of emphasis on service and innovation.

 

To get to know you a bit better: Tell us a little bit about yourself. Where are you coming from, what did you do and what did you study?

Gregor was born Anno Domini 1973, shortly after the late Bruce Lee died. Whether a transmigration of souls took place is still up for debate. A mere 34 years later, the path of his life led him to Brisbane, Australia, where he learnt alot about the creative problem solving monster that was buried deep in his mind.

Since Australia, Gregor is interested in creative problem solving for Lean Startups (blogging about it at his own blog at denkpass.de) and how to organize and delegate tasks in a way that it doesn’t impede the creativity of his colleagues (blogging about it at imgriff.com). Educated as bricklayer, civil engineer and MBA, he spends his career working in marketing and sales. He is working on applying Lean Startup principles to existing and new ventures, ranging from electronics design (alpha-board.de) to children fashion and children room interior design http://lieblingskaro.de) and location based eLearning as well as some areas even he has not yet heard of.

Gregor always tries to work in a way that makes him smile while working, loves to procrastinate with baseball statistics and thinks his risotto is epoch-making. On sunday mornings at 5:32 am, when his sons wake him rudely, he longs for a time management that gives him time to sleep.

On a professional level: How do you define success in business? What was your biggest success?

Success in business means our customers are happy with what services or products I deliver, our work days at the company are not hectic and overloaded with tasks, my colleagues and I manage to get home early enough to spend time with family and friends. At the same time, me and my colleagues get paid fairly.

What do you want to teach people attending SW Next?

How to develop the right products for the right customers, while not doing and talking any useless crap and having a pragmatic approach to everything. Make them get out of the building.

In your opinion, what is the most important thing to focus on as a young founder?

Customer Development: talk to potential customers to validate the customer/problem fit, the problem/solution fit, and finally, the product/market fit.

What do you hope for your mentees to take away from Next and your mentoring?

That Gregor was a cool guy who never talked nonsense to us and kicked our asses to get things done and talk to customers.

How do you want to help your mentees to succeed?

By never talking nonsence and kicking their assed to get things done and talk to customers.

What would you say was the trickiest thing you encountered in your job speaking in terms of innovation in a well established company?

Getting them out of their established thinking patterns, and get them out of their seats and out of the building to see how the world looks like outside.

 

Are you getting excited yet about NEXT? Well, you should! And make sure to get your ticket. If you like us, you can like us on Facebook to also get the latest info, follow us on Twitter and tell your founder friends about us!

 

All the best,

Your Startup Weekend Berlin Team