Cyriac Roeding is a full cycle entrepreneur who has been launching his own ventures since he was a teenager. He sold one of his companies for $250M, and has since helped lead two new healthtech startups which have raised tens of millions of dollars.
During our interview on the DealMakers podcast, Cyriac Roeding shared his experiences as a young entrepreneur, making your own job obsolete with tech, working with Reid Hoffman, what it means to have a great board member, and helping to build two startups at once.
Roeding was originally born in a tiny town in the south of Germany. When he was two years old his parents moved to a town of 5,000 people near Frankfurt. It was still a small village atmosphere, where he would go on his bicycle to pick up the milk from a local farmer.
It was a far cry from Silicon Valley, but that didn’t stop him from hustling, and ultimately working with some of the biggest brands in the world.
By 12 and 13 years old he was delivering newspapers and advertising flyers. Then he did a summer job in the advertising department of the newspaper, where he basically shuffled paper. He pitched the idea of replacing all that with software to his boss, who thought he was crazy (it had always been done this way, and computers were new). Six months later, they called him back, and Cyriac sold them his first computer program at age 15. He replaced his old summer job with software.
Eager to experience America for himself he applied for a student exchange program. He told them he wanted to be in the sunshine. So, they sent him to southeast Texas. He says that his first exchange family were alcoholics, but the second one was wonderful. There he attended high school at West Orange-Stark, and ended up as one of 7 male cheerleaders and 15 female cheerleaders. He ran the school flag during Friday Night football.
Back in Germany in high school, Cyriac began working in software in the afternoons after school. He split this time between advising an architectural firm and writing code for Hewlett-Packard.
In college, at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (“KIT,” Germany´s version of MIT), Roeding found himself working at night as a radio reporter and DJ for radio stations. While living in Tokyo to study Japanese management, he worked in consulting in the Japanese office of European consulting firm Roland Berger.
He then pursued his studies in industrial engineering, and ended up at McKinsey, where we also wrote his diploma thesis Creating Killer Ideas for Radical Business Growth, based on a new creativity framework developed by McKinsey that he describes as “much, much more efficient and effective than brainstorming.”
He ended up authoring a book for McKinsey called Secrets of Software Success based on interviews with 100 software companies around the world, which was published by Harvard Business School Press. That led him to Silicon Valley in the process. He says he fell in love with it from the moment he first landed. Yet, he ended up launching his first venture out of Munich, Germany.
Creating A New Industry
Everything aligned for Cyriac to launch his own venture, and he handed in his resignation to quit consulting, and throw himself into creating 12snap.
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