Interview with Foundum Co-founder

Daniela ArensThe entrepreneurial ecosystem in Europe is very fragmented but a new online platform is trying to offer better connectivity to help facilitate relationships among entrepreneurs, investors, and everyone else along the way. I recently caught up with Daniela Arens (@danielaarens), co-founder of Foundum, to learn more about the launch of this new project.

In one sentence, what is Foundum?

Foundum is an online platform creating the local, national and global entrepreneurial ecosystem by connecting innovative high-growth entrepreneurs and their startups with relevant private investors, advisors, service & funding providers that will fuel their growth and accelerate their success.

Who is Foundum and when did you start?

Foundum has an entrepreneurial team of 10 people working out of two offices in Barcelona, Spain and Ostrava, Czech Republic. You can find more details about our team here.

The founders are myself, Daniela Arens (CEO), and Christopher Pommerening (non exec. Co-founder), both of us are from Germany and are located in Barcelona.

We launched a first private Beta version in October 2011 and began collecting and addressing feedback from our first members. We went publicly live on the 6th March 2012.

Where did the idea come from?

I’ve been working with startups, social media and online community building in the past years. Christopher being a Venture Capitalist and passionate Venturepreneur is regularly advising many entrepreneurs who often have similar questions and issues while in the process of growing their startups. Together, we identified an important and repeating flaw in the entrepreneurial life cycle: lack of specialized information, relevant and direct contacts, and streamlined resources, are seriously hindering entrepreneurial growth.

Foundum is our (Christopher and mine) life project, which has the aim of helping as many entrepreneurs as possible, all over the world. Those who have created their own companies now have access to all the information, resources, and contacts they need in order to grow their startup.

Our vision is to enable the next generation of entrepreneurs to grow, become more successful & increase their positive impact on the world during their different entrepreneurial stages. We believe that Entrepreneurs make this world a better place as they create jobs, generate taxes and inspire people with their very own vision and values.”

What is the benefit for entrepreneurs?

Foundum helps entrepreneurs connect with other entrepreneurs, private investors, advisors, funding and service providers who specialize in helping high growth potential startups turn innovative ideas into breakthrough businesses.

What can Entrepreneurs do on Foundum?

● Establish your presence in your ecosystem

● Display your experience and promote your startup

● Identify private investors, advisors, service and funding providers who can help advance your business

● Connect with like minded entrepreneurs

● Meet members of the local startup community

● Get answers to your questions and share your knowledge

● Find out about important entrepreneurial events

● Display your unique entrepreneurial activity and relationships.

● Add your criteria or preferences to your profile as co-founder, advisor, private investor, mentor or speaker.

● Post your needs & leads into the ecosystem. Foundum will match you with the right contacts and resources that will help address your needs.

What is the benefit for investors?

Foundum helps private investors and other funding providers like VCs, soft loan or subsidy providers to:

● Identify promising entrepreneurs and opportunities early in the startup lifecycle

● Add your investment criteria and preferences to your profile and increase the quality and quantity of deal flow with the most promising startups that meet your objectives.

● Find potential co-investors for your existing portfolio

● Filter startups by stage, industry, location and other valuable criteria

● Display your unique activity as a private investor.

● Post your needs & leads into the ecosystem. Foundum will match you with the right contacts and resources that will help address your needs.

What’s next? What can we expect to see in the next few months?

The Madrid ecosystem will be launched shortly. Also, several new features are soon to come on the website:

● A new homepage design has just been released

● A new resource section presenting the most valuable resources for entrepreneurs to learn from

● Improved search engine

Anything else you’d like to share?

We’re looking for ambassadors and role model entrepreneurs (serial entrepreneurs) in every larger city who would be interested in fostering their own local entrepreneurial ecosystem. Please create a profile on Foundum and let us know if you’re interested.


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