Marius — 28 — Co-Founder & MD — The Do’er
Hi there! Today we would like to introduce you to Marius Vennemann. Next to Jan, he is one of the four founders that brought edyoucated to life almost a year ago.
You would love to get some information about the very first steps of edyoucated? Keep on reading! Marius will leak a few details about the story behind our company, tell us a bit about the various tasks associated with his role and share his top tips for learning a new skill.
Hi Marius :) We know you’ve been excited to do this — so, today is your lucky day! After Jan already [did tell us a bit about himself] we are keen to get some more intel into the life at edyoucated and the people behind it.
Please start by briefly introducing yourself!
Hi everyone, I am Marius! At edyoucated, I’m known for statements like “oh no, it’s already Friday again” or “no problem — next Monday we’ll just work an extra day”. I am pretty sure my colleagues keep a list with all the things I said over the years so they are probably able to give you some more “best of’s” but I guess those two are among the “classics”.
I am one of the few non-techies in our team and a huge nerd about productivity, learning, and venture building. I am a very analytical person with a tendency towards impatience and thus a strong passion for doing. I am also part of the group of undercover-introverts-hidden-as-part-time-extroverts. Normally, I am traveling between Berlin (where I live), Copenhagen (where my girlfriend lives), and Muenster (where most of our team is based). Friends, family, and health enjoy probably the highest importance on my list of priorities outside of my work.
You are one of our four co-founders. Could you leak one or two insights regarding the very first few steps of edyoucated? How did you guys meet? Who had the initial idea?
David and I go way back (2011) when we first entered university and met during our trainee phase at a student consultancy. We did several projects together over the years and experimented with different ideas to pursue in 2017 before we ultimately ditched all business-related ideas and started a non-profit organization with the mission to change digital education for students. Together with a bunch of colleagues from the student consultancy we started to build learning tracks in the fields of Data Science, AI and Web Development and built a program around it that we called TechLabs.
Jannik joined our TechLabs team as one of our very first mentors for the students in our program. That’s when I got to know him closer. Soon after starting TechLabs, David and I discussed ideas on how we can support personalization of the learning experience of our learners at TechLabs — that’s where the initial idea to edyoucated (at the time it was edyoucated.ai) first came up — completely seperate from a B2B context. We just wanted to create the ideal learning experience for our learners.
Our very first “official” team picture in June 2019. (Credits: Lukas Hoppe)
Over months, we finetuned the idea together with Jannik & Jan (whom I then met through Jannik). In the end, we decided that redesigning the way employees learn new skills is worth putting a lot time and effort into. So we ultimately went on to quit our jobs and started building edyoucated full-time. That’s basically our story. :-)
How would you describe your role at edyoucated? What areas do you typically take care of?
My role at edyoucated is luckily pretty diverse — I oversee investor relations, sales, marketing, and manage our board meetings. I have a lot of interaction with David on strategic and product-related topics and with Jannik on operational ones. I bring together market, industry, and customer insights to provide relevant input for the development of our product and offerings. My litmus test is to think about whether the rest of the company is able to focus effectively on providing the greatest product experience for our clients. If that’s the case, I’ve done my job well.
At the current stage of edyoucated, most of my work is (still) very hands-on and involves talking to various people: clients, industry experts, our product & dev team, investors, hiring candidates. I am doing customer calls, customer discovery interviews, update our sales deck, or create inbound marketing materials. Additionally, I spent a lot of time working on strategic topics. So I guess I am lucky to say that absolutely no day is the same (which was basically my number one job requirement since school 😉).
Looking back, what would you say did you personally learn from working at edyoucated over the last couple of months?
Way too much to write it all out here. I previously thought I had seen steep learning curves by working for consultancies, private equity, or venture funds. But the journey as an entrepreneur is something completely different and way more intense than what I experienced before. But in a good way.
The biggest learning is probably that at every given point in time, there is still so much to learn — so don’t get comfortable with what you already know and focus on how to improve your learning process. The world is constantly changing and so should you. Creating constant feedback loops and a fast iteration process has been absolutely crucial.
Since we are a company dealing with the topic of lifelong learning everyday — what is the one advice you would give someone when starting to learn a new skill?
Generally speaking, I’d say go and find an expert that understands the nuances of the skill you want to obtain and ask him or her about the 3 most important parts or ingredients for success in that particular skill. Focus on mastering these parts first. Focusing on learning the right things is one of the most important points to keep in mind when learning a new skill.
The other advice that’s basically equally important is to create feedback loops while learning. We are all guilty of doing things that we are already pretty good at because it feels good. Feedback loops help you to understand where you need to improve — focus on these areas. Generally speaking: if your learning process does not make you feel just a little uncomfortable, you are leaving a lot of potential on the table.
We’ve asked Jan what he would like to learn in case he’d have some free time to spend. Let’s mix it up a little. What skill do you already possess that no one knows about?
It’s probably not no one, but whenever I bring up the fact that I was a dedicated and competitive gamer back in the day, most people don’t believe me…
And thats a wrap! Thanks Marius.
Any time :)
You would like to become part of our team as well? Check out our open positions! 🚀