2014, Tina Deutsch co-founded the startup KLAITON (an online platform matching top consultants and coaches with companies) with 5 employees and a few first investors on board. Today she can look back on several successful capital increases and a significant strategic investment. In April 2019, KLAITON became Haufe Advisory and is now part of the German Haufe Group with 22 employees (and growing).
Quite impressive but even more so when you consider that Tina’s daughter was only 10 months old when she decided to leave her well-paid corporate job to launch her own startup. Just back from maternity leave, she had the business idea for KLAITON and got a work colleague on board as partner: “I knew that I wanted a co-founder. From a skills perspective, it was not the smartest choice as we have both a similar background and work experiences. But it was more important to me that we share the same mindset and can trust each other. Even though it meant that we had to hire a CTO for the technical side of KLAITON.”
>>> Insight #1: The same values and vision are more important for co-founders than complimentary skills.
They found a CTO and worked with external developers to launch their platform which makes it easier for organization to find the right consultant. “There was a competitor on the market which started around the same time as we did. Within 6 months they had already 2.000 consultants on their platform whereas we had only 200. That was intimidating but we knew we wanted only the best people on KLAITON and therefore had a strict selection process in place.” So strict that even a potential investor who applied as consultant was declined – what truly convinced him to invest in KLAITON!
>>> Insight #2: Keep an eye on your competitors but stick to your guns.
In general, Tina is a strong believer in quality over quantity: In the fast-moving startup world where 80+ hour weeks are more the rule than the exception, work-life balance is not just a fancy buzzword at KLAITON. Despite her role as managing director Tina tries to limit her work time to 40 hours per week on average, same goes for her co-founder. For their employees, they offer “Vertrauensarbeitszeit”, flexible working hours based on trust, which works really well.
>>> Insight #3: The number of hours you work is not an indicator for success.
It was a pleasure to have Tina Deutsch as a guest and hear her entrepreneurial insights.
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