Founders of ETRIBES
TAREK MÜLLER, NILS SEEBACH & ALEXANDER GRAF
FIRST OFF, CAN YOU GIVE US A BIT OF BACKGROUND INFORMATION ABOUT YOURSELF?
TAN (Alex, Tarek, Nils) have now started 20 companies (the latest business was founded on August 3rd) together and are active e-commerce entrepreneurs in Germany. Out of their portfolio they have also realised several exits. Alex and Nils both have two kids while Tarek is slowly settling down :). Alex takes care of all market and sales aspect while Tarek is heavily operationally focused. Nils takes care of the boring rest - financials, structures and so on.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR CURRENT BUSINESS.
Tarek has set out to change the European fashion e-commerce world with his Otto Group joint-venture Collins. http://www.project-collins.com/ While Alex and Nils are operationally focused on Spryker in order to provide enterprise clients with modern e-commerce technology. All three also are heavily involved with their true love eTribes - eTribes is a digital consultancy with various co-owned agencies. http://etribes.de/
HOW DID THE IDEA FOR YOUR BUSINESS COME ABOUT?
We always have new ideas and implement new ventures on a regular basis. We focus on the problems our clients tell us or that we identify in the market. Once you have a problem you generally have a good idea to solve it.
WHAT THREE PIECES OF ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO COLLEGE STUDENTS WHO WANT TO BECOME ENTREPRENEURS?
1. Join EYES
2. Find partners
3. Be smart and extremely opportunistic
HAS EYES PLAYED ANY ROLE IN YOUR VENTURE?
Nils actually met Alex on an EYES sailing trip. In his contact database he still has a note saying: EYES sailing trip in 2009. Alex eventually introduced him to Tarek and Nils moved from London to Hamburg in early 2011 and ever since these three EYES members have been building businesses together. So without EYES this would not have happened. In addition, we have found investors, business contacts and most importantly many new friends through EYES.
HOW DO YOU GENERATE NEW IDEAS?
See above - find a problem; have an idea. Expose yourself to many, many new industries, client problems and you will get a lot of inspiration.
WHAT IS THE BEST ADVICE YOU HAVE EVER BEEN GIVEN?
Stay focused. If you do something do it and forget about anything else.
WHAT HABITS HELPED MAKE YOU SUCCESSFUL?
Making sure that our families support us and that we constantly surround ourselves with people that are significantly smarter than we are.