I love entrepreneurship (and life). I use crowdfunding and angel investors to fund my dreams. I once grew a personal shopping service to 50 employees and sold it last year. We just found a new office in the Red Light District of Amsterdam. I bike there with my dog and girlfriend/cofounder. AMA!

Kasper Brandi Petersen
Feb 13, 2018

I'm doing this AMA to be inspired and challenged. Full disclosure; we are always looking for new talents, so feel free to reach out to me if you are ready for an adventure (it's me on the golden reindeer).

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Aside from the fashion industry, have you tried venturing into other industries as an entrepreneur?

Feb 19, 12:37AM EST0

I'm sticking with fashion and ecommerce because I have built up specialist knowledge. I wouldn't mind going into "hotter" areas that all VCs are in love with. For most investors ecom and fashion are as unsexy as it gets. But hey this is where I have a competitive edge, and I love it, so I will stick with it for now. 

Feb 19, 9:53AM EST0

What exactly is an angel investor? how are they different from normal investors?

Feb 18, 5:23PM EST0

An angel investor is a private person who invests his private money (or the money of a group of friends). They enter early, often before you have real traction, and their main reason for investing is that they think you and your cofounder are big talents that will work crazy hard and create something sellable. 

Don't confuse angel investors with advisors though. Many of them have spent too much time away from the game to give you practical advice. 

Feb 19, 9:50AM EST0

If a person is into business, entrepreneurship, food, and fashion, what degree will help him/her to be diversified? Any suggestion?

Feb 17, 11:57PM EST0

A degree provides you with a structured and analytical approach to problem solving. That's very valuable. But it teaches you little of practical use. 

The best way to differentiate yourself is ALWAYS to get as much relevant work experience while studying. Not just internships, but real part-time student positions with actual startups where they let you execute. Preferably paid, but otherwise offer your help for free and grow into a paid position by showing your worth. 

Feb 19, 9:33AM EST0

You mentioned working in shipping lines before starting businesses. Was it difficult to make the transition from a suit and tie job to being an entrepreneur?

Feb 17, 9:55PM EST0

Not really. I believe most people in high-powered corporate jobs learn plenty of skills that are appreciated by startups. For many joining a startup feels like being unleashed - suddenly there's no red tape and no stakeholder to ask for permission. You just execute on the spot. It's exhilarating and scary and addictive. 

The only thing I was ill prepared for was the constant pressure of being 100% responsible for everything. 

Feb 19, 9:30AM EST0

Who is the biggest source of support in your life?

Feb 16, 5:26PM EST0

The support of parents are sometimes hugely underrated in the startup scene. I take chances because I know my parents are always there with a guest room or to spot me a few grands when my own funds occassionally dry up. 

If it were not for them I might have been more risk averse. 

Feb 19, 9:28AM EST0

How can one spot dangerous entrepreneurship advice? A lot of contradictory advice given, e.g. they say you just have to start up even though you don't know the business. Next moment they say most business fail because people don't know how to run the business. How to identify what is right and what's not applicable?

Feb 15, 6:41PM EST0

Excellent question! There's no universal advice. And there's always ambiguity.

So whenever people make it sound like they have rules that works for everyone you should stop listening. I focus on telling my opinion and back it up with my own experiences. It is meant to inspire, not as rules.

The best advisors I've had are the ones who focus on asking questions and telling anecdotes - instead of telling me what to do. 

Feb 16, 9:20AM EST1

Excellent question! There's no universal advice. And there's always ambiguity.

So whenever people make it sound like they have rules that works for everyone you should stop listening. I focus on telling my opinion and back it up with my own experiences. It is meant to inspire, not as rules.

The best advisors I've had are the ones who focus on asking questions and telling anecdotes - instead of telling me what to do. 

Feb 16, 9:20AM EST0

What would you tell your younger self, knowing what you know now? 

Feb 13, 2:04PM EST0

I'm not good at that exercise. I guess I would say "don't worry". 

Feb 14, 4:10PM EST0

As an entrepeneur: What has been the most exciting moment in your career?

Feb 13, 10:05AM EST0

There's been a lot of high and lows. The biggest high was probably the first time we raised €1.2m from a seed fund. It's the weirdest feeling when such an amount hits your bank account and you know it's go time. It feels wonderful for several minutes, and then it hits you what the expectations are and how hard you have to work in the months to come. 

Feb 13, 1:04PM EST0

Should the basics of being an entrepeneur be thaught at school?

Feb 13, 9:28AM EST0

Yes! Because it's the basics of life. Every one would benefit from being able to do basic accounting, Facebook ads, a little link juice, calculate unit unit economics, how bank loans and funding works, etc. 

I would find it lovely if the exam in such an entrepreneurial class in middle school would be to see how much traffic or revenue your end assignment could generate. I would definitely sign my (unborn) kids up for such a school! :) 

Feb 13, 1:03PM EST0

Do you think entrepreneurship can be taught or is it more of an innate skill?

Feb 12, 11:36AM EST0

It can be taught, but not by sitting in a class room for 5 years. It has to be a mix of theory and execution. Plenty of new startups in the education space have novel approaches to this. As an example we ONLY hire marketeers from Talent Institute and Growth Tribe in Amsterdam, because they combine academic performance and actual paid work in partner startups. 

Feb 13, 3:15AM EST0

What's your best entrepreneurship advice to become a successful entrepreneur for the youngsters in their mid-20s?

Feb 12, 4:37AM EST0

Understand that it's hard work 99% of the time. The highs are great, but it's the lows that are unbearable for most people and hence make them unfit to run a startup. 

And be aware that running a small business and a startup are two very different jobs. The best definition I've seen of a startup is Steve Blank; "a startup is an organization formed to search for a repeatable and scalable business". 

Feb 13, 3:13AM EST0

Do you have any mentor with whom you share your ideas and take advice or feedback on your ideas and discuss future goals?

Feb 9, 1:38PM EST0

I would love to have a personal mentor with great war stories to learn from. I never did the groundwork to find and befriend the right type of mentor, so I've ended up seeking guidance from my angels, which in some cases can be problematic. 

Feb 13, 3:09AM EST0

How and when did you approach angel investors for your startup?

Feb 9, 3:20AM EST0

I ask people in my network for intros, and I cold-message angels via LinkedIn and Angelist. I never ask for money or indicate that I'm fundraising. I'm merely asking for advice and offering to share my views of the areas in which I hold expertise. 

Last edited @ Feb 9, 8:45AM EST.
Feb 9, 8:44AM EST0

While working in the start-up industry what are some of the coolest startup culture hacks you've heard of?

Feb 8, 2:50PM EST0

I'm excited about all the co-traveling and co-living I see. So many early stage startups are traveling around South America and Asia, crashing in AirBnB pads and hanging out in cool co-working spaces. Cost is lower than in London/Amsterdam/SanFran.

Last edited @ Feb 9, 8:44AM EST.
Feb 9, 8:44AM EST0

How long did it take you to realize the niche in your environment and unleash the entrepreneurial spirit in you?

Feb 6, 3:04PM EST0

When I was 20 years old friends of mine received a seed investment from a Skype founder.

Back then being an “entrepreneur” was not a thing. We found it silly that some rich guy gave our friends a pile of money based on 15 PowerPoint slides.

We started hanging out a lot in the huge apartment they worked and slept in.

It was a big inspiration to see how they and all their entrepreneurial contacts were looking at the world like one big buffet of opportunities.

Soon after I launched my first startup. And those friends became my first customers.

Feb 7, 1:53PM EST0

How can an investor know that the firm being invested in remains in compliance with legal and regulatory statutes?

Feb 6, 9:07AM EST0

That's actually very hard. The paradox is that it actually works to fake it as a startup. To a certain extent at least. Investors are reducing such risk by investing in many startups and targeting returns that enables them to make a profit even if 9 out of 10 investments go bust. 

The best way for investors to reduce risk is to only invest in founders with clear ethics and no "get-rich-quick" mindset.

Last edited @ Feb 7, 1:49PM EST.
Feb 7, 1:49PM EST0

What could you say is unique about your business?

Feb 6, 8:37AM EST0

LABFRESH is unique because we are the first startup in Europe to build a dedicated supply chain for the development of stain+odour+wrinkle repellent clothing in 100% cotton.  

Feb 7, 1:47PM EST0

To what would you attribute your past and growing success?

Feb 6, 1:38AM EST0

I'm not particularly intelligent or charming. I guess my main force is that I obsess. I think building companies is more fun that sports or tv-shows. So I get a lot done. Every time I have a beer or coffee with someone my mind is working hard on figuring out what I can learn from that person, and how we might be able to help each other (the best way to get favours is by helping others without expecting to get anything in return). 

If you obsess and spend a lot of time on something chances are you will develop decent skills within that area. 

Feb 7, 1:46PM EST0

What special ways do you use to advertise your business?

Feb 5, 6:43AM EST0

Nothing special, just Google and Facebook. We experimented with tons of other stuff, but these two channels always end up being the base revenue. 

Feb 5, 9:56AM EST0

Do you in all of your businesses use the services of a professional accountant or attorney?

Feb 5, 4:12AM EST0

Always. Partly because your time is better spent on growing and building. And partly because finances and legal docs are too important to be done by an amateur. I pay my account a flat fee per month and my lawyer a flat fee for every liquidity event. 

Feb 5, 9:55AM EST0
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