Changes to our Team: Opportunities - by Jörg Rheinboldt

Over the last year and a half we have build something special here at Axel Springer Plug and Play: An environment creating great opportunities for our portfolio companies that is stable and fast changing at the same time. Change is an integral part of our organization although we need to have some consistency in our team and organization in order to being able to get the best results for the every three months changing Teams at Axel Springer Plug and Play Accelerator. Our organizational rhythm is to have a core team that works with us in reliable time intervals: Our interns stay with us for six months, our Trainees work with us for some weeks and our core team members have a commitment for at least 24 months. In these intervals we believe you can learn a lot and make quite a lot of impact.

Luise and Robin – who have been the starters of Axel Springer Plug and Play have been building our core, foundation and organization since day one in 2013. I met them in April 2013 when they invited me to be part of the selection committee for the second batch of startups. In October2013 I started as CEO and have been working with Luise, Charlotte (also around since the start) and Robin every day in making Axel Springer Plug and Play a success for our startups and shareholders. We all believe that you need a constant change in life so the setup of our organization is to have the core team be "on board" for two to four years and then move on to do something new and exciting either within our organization or within our network of shareholders, partners and startups.

 Robin Haak - Image by Dan Taylor -

Robin Haak - Image by Dan Taylor -

Six weeks ago Robin and I talked about the opportunity for him to join Jobspotting, one of our portfolio teams as their COO.

I immediately thought that this is a tremendous opportunity for both Robin and Jobspotting: They get a great Co-Founder and Robin can go the next step in his life.

Luise, Charlotte and me use the opportunity to re-organize and adapt our accountabilities and responsibilities and will add a new member to our team in the following weeks.

We really look forward to working with the new COO of Jobspotting, having our new Mentor Robin around to share experiences with the startups and for us to work with our new organization to do what we aspire to do: create the perfect environment for our portfolio companies to grow better and more successful than they could ever do without us.

By the way: the application deadline for our next batch is August 29th and you can apply here.

Here is our official release:

BERLIN, GERMANY – Thursday, 31 July 2014

Axel Springer strengthens its digital portfolio investment with new managing director

Berlin – Starting on September 1, 2014, Robin Eric Haak will take on the role of managing director, chief operating officer (COO) and co-founder of Jobspotting GmbH, a Berlin startup founded in October 2013 as part of the Axel Springer Plug and Play accelerator program. Haak will primarily be responsible for heading the company’s financial affairs as well as driving its internationalization and client acquisition.

Previously, Haak was active in co-starting and building up the Axel Springer Plug and Play Accelerator for Axel Springer SE and American investor the Plug and Play Tech Center. In so doing, he played an integral part in the publishing house’s digital transition and helped select Jobspotting as one of the first investments chosen by Axel Springer Plug and Play. “This management gain for Jobspotting demonstrates that the evaluation criteria in our selection process are on point, and represents a further strengthening of our portfolio. I am pleased that Robin Haak’s new career step will be taking him into one of our investment ventures,” says Jörg Rheinboldt, CEO of the Axel Springer Plug and Play Accelerator.

Jobspotting is a job discovery website founded by three former Google employees. It employs custom search algorithms and machine learning to serve suitable job offers aggregated from across the web, including job portals such as Stepstone and Monster. Users receive not only a greater amount of suitable job openings, but thanks to search technology that is continually being improved, they will also get notified of jobs that are not found by conventional search requests.

“We found a perfect match with Robin, he has played an integral role in building the company up to now and we are thrilled to welcome him onboard as we embark on the next phase of our journey together”, says Hessam Lavi, Founder and CEO of Jobspotting.

After its three months in the Axel Springer Plug and Play Accelerator programJobspotting, secured a round of syndicated follow-up financing from angel investors as well as Axel Springer Plug and Play. In total, the startup gathered a total of half a million euros in investment capital. Amongst the investors are Dr. Stefan Gross-Selbeck, the former CEO of XING and eBay Germany and currently the Managing Director of Boston Consulting Group Digital Ventures.