Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Find Co-founders with different skills than your own

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Sabine Elsässer
Sabine Elsässer is founder and chief editor of the StartupValleyNews Magazine. She started her career at several international direct sale companys. Since 2007 she works main time as a journalist. While that time she learned more about the Startup Scene, what made her start her own Startup Magazine the StartupValleyNews.

Grandhood solution for occupational pension plans for SMEs

Please introduce yourself and your startup Grandhood to our readers!
Bio of Jon Lieberkind, CEO & Co-Founder at Grandhood:

Located in Copenhagen, we now have 11 employees in our office and the founding team consists of CEO & Co-founder Jon Lieberkind, COO & Co-Founder Jens Kam and CAO & Co-Founder Mathias Bredkjær.

Money20/20 win
Grandhood wins Money20/20 best startup pitch 2018 on main stage in front of 5000 people in the Rai, Amsterdam:

Grandhood is on a mission to simplify and capture the European market for occupational pension plans for SMEs. We have a strong socio-economic purpose, which is to even out third age income inequality by helping people start saving early and smarter.

Pension is broken for small businesses. Today, small businesses are left with expensive, complicated and time consuming pension products. As a consequence, many employees have chosen not to realise their savings potential.

Grandhood will change this. Grandhood is a 100% digital B2B pension solution, which allows us to have low onboarding, administration and advisory costs and a more simple and direct customer acquisition strategy. We are building a seamless pension solution for SMEs and a personalised experience for the employees.

Market size
Pension is one of Europe’s largest and most profitable markets!
€ 7.0 trillion in assets: Europe’s pension funds manage more than € 7.0 trillion in combined assets
223.6 million people: There are 223.6 million employed persons in the European Union
22.7 million companies: There are 22.7 million companies in our target segment

What is Grandhood?
Grandhood is adulthood, just better. 
We created the name ‘Grandhood’ since our UX research suggests that ‘retirement’ was associated with negativity and frustration. Well, with Grandhood it’s not! So, we created a new word for it. Our name cherishes the third part of your life. You have a childhood, an adulthood, and now you have a Grandhood too. Grandhood is not a place to grow old, but a place to make new memories. It’s not an old life, it’s a gold life. Simply a grand life!

We founded Grandhood with the ambition of reinventing the way people perceive pension. With a visionary approach Grandhood constantly challenges the highly complex pension industry with the ambition to bring people a grand life, their whole life.

We discovered one critical yet essential pitfall in the market; pension was simply too complex for people to fully understand and 
rely on. This factor created anxiety and distress among most hardworking business owners and individuals – a feeling Grandhood help people avoid by making pension easy to understand and operate. Keen on changing the complexity of pension and nurturing people’s peace of mind Grandhood was founded.

How did you get the idea to Grandhood?
I learned that pension is broken for small business owners and individuals alike. I experienced the black box that is pension myself. The lack of transparency in every aspect of being a pension customer and the daunting task of gathering old legacy pension pots cries for improvement. Furthermore, it was clear to me that current pension plans provided by incumbents are not tuned for the future labor market that is the gig economy, where jobs are more flexible and so should pension plans be. People might be retiring differently in the future. Rather than completely stop working, people might just work less and more flexible and hence their pension savings will be part of their third age earnings rather than an annuity nest allowing them to be on vacay everyday all day.

At Grandhood we have a strong socio-economic purpose, which is to even out third age income inequality by helping people start saving early and smarter.

How difficult was the start and what challenges you had to overcome?
Every beginning is difficult. Making the transition from being a Vice President and Investment Strategist at one of the world’s largest banks, Bank of America Merrill Lynch in New York, to sitting in small coffee shop in Copenhagen day in and day out and building the first pitch deck that turned out to be the embryo of what is today known as Grandhood was indeed challenging.

Furthermore, you need to build the strongest imaginable founder team, hire top talent, attract venture capital, board of directors, advisory board, nail the vision, mission and why. Oh, and then you need a bank partnership, an asset manager license, several LOIs from interested companies, a solid business plan, product market fit, proof of concept etc. etc. etc.

Fortunately, most of these items are falling into place as we develop and progress.

Who is your target audience?
SMEs and entrepreneurs.

What is the USP of your startup?
✓ 100% digital onboarding
✓ Voluntary participation
✓ Low cost
✓ Independent and data driven advice

Simple, transparent and clear communication. Grandhood is a no frills pension solutions that takes pension out of the black box. A seamless pension solution for SMEs and a personalised experience for the employees.

Can you describe a typical workday of you?
No day is alike. However, a day for me could look like this:

6am: wake up
8am: Drop off my 2-year-old daughter in day-care
9am: emails
10am: daily standup
10.15-11.55am: focus on business critical items
12.00-12.45: lunch and ping pong / fussball with the team
13.00: Read and research sector related material
14.00: Meetings
15.00: Strategy and planning
16.00: Emails
17.00: Go to the gym
18.30: Dinner with my family
20.00-23.00: Execute on my to do lists

Where do you see yourself and your startup Grandhood in five years?
I still see myself as the CEO and Co-Founder of Grandhood. My ambition is that Grandhood by then has expended to at least two other countries, and is a strong and healthy going concern.

What 3 tips would you give other Start-up founders on the way?
Make sure that your idea has high barriers to entry
Find Co-founders with different skills than your own
Include tech as part of your core team early on

More information you will find here

Thank you Jon Lieberkind for the Interview

Statements of the author and the interviewee do not necessarily represent the editors and the publisher opinion again.

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