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Cornelius Menke

  • Seed/Early

Out of the million things you could do with your time, why do you care deeply about this problem?


Growing up in a small city in Northern Germany, I was always intrigued by technology—particularly cars. At the age of 18, I worked for a summer at Daimler, staring eyes-wide open at the lightning speed of robots assembling the S-Class, the epitome of the automotive world.

While inspired by the technology, the sheer size and organizational complexity was overwhelming. During my first semester in my Bachelor studies, I came across a founder conference. The inherent curiosity and the “Day 1” mentality left its mark on me. Fueled by this spirit to rethink industries from first principles, I embarked on several different stints with startups across various stages: rethinking educational degrees and upskilling with Udacity; delivering care scalably at distance with KRY; and radically simplifying the e-commerce experience at Klarna—one of the generational companies (and early Sequoia investments) in Europe.

Curious to better understand technology, I embarked on more technical coursework in my Masters within machine learning and network analytics. Over the next years, I got to apply my technical training at BCG first in a data science role and later by working with software companies. I learned every few weeks about a different technology from CDNs, to headless CMS to OS for edge computing. My curiosity for always exploring new industries and opportunities led me to develop a deep empathy and respect for the founder’s journey, and a willingness to continuously ask why.

On the lookout for

Curiosity and velocity. I am inspired by founders’ deep understanding of the voice of their customer and their relentless pursuit of the root cause of the problem they are looking to solve. Curiosity is what lets you build the right foundation, while velocity is the catalyst that allows you to capitalize on the opportunity over others. It is the delta between two meetings with a founder over a few months that provides a meaningful proxy for the long-term speed of execution of a team.

I am excited about the non-obvious opportunities that require deep/novel insights. One such area, particularly in Europe, is the world of manufacturing and automation which is undergoing massive tailwinds, from re-onshoring of production towards more localized supply chains, pressure towards more climate-conscious production coupled with a massive blue-collar labor shortage. Among the many other opportunities, I am excited to partner with exceptional founders leading this transition.

Get in touch with Cornelius

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Current Companies

Company Name  Short Description Current Stage  Founders First Partnered  collapse
Guided EnergyGuided is an AI fleet and energy management platform to power renewable, electric fleets.Pre-Seed/Seed
  • Eric Daoud
  • Anant Kapoor
Pre-Seed/Seed (2023)Collapse
RobcoRobco rethinks how products are made, using modular robot systems.Growth
  • Constantin Dresel
  • Roman Hölzl
  • Paul Maroldt
Early (2022)Collapse
TactoTacto is an AI-based operating system that future proofs supply chains.Early
  • Nico Bentenrieder
  • Johannes Groll
  • André Petry
Early (2023)Collapse