primeCROWD is one of the largest startup investor networks in the DACH region and includes more than 2,500 investors as well as numerous incubators, accelerators and VCs.
primeCROWD acts as an interface between investors and start-ups with a focus on early-stage and growth financing in the areas of technology, healthcare, digital economy and sustainability. The declared goal is to accompany start-ups throughout the entire investment process. Since its foundation in 2015, investments in 32 start-ups and in the amount of more than EUR 20 million have been realised (2 exits).
Tell us about yourself?
Markus Kainz has been active in the Austrian startup scene for 12 years, he is part of more than 30 startups (like Courseticket, Corplife, 1000things, Carployee etc.). He also has founded two startups himself, including primeCROWD, which is now one of the largest startup investor networks in the DACH region and includes more than 2,500 investors as well as numerous incubators, accelerators and VCs. Kainz holds a degree in Entrepreneurship and Innovation by the University of Economics, and since 2017 he has been a lecturer at the same institute. He is also active as a voluntary mentor at the Founder Institute UAE.
What is the inspiration behind your business?
As I build up my own startup, I noticed how hard and time-consuming it is for the Founders to get access to startup-investment. That’s what we want to change: Our mission is to make startup investments accessible for everyone. We enable investments from as small as 10,000 euros, we designed the entire process to be highly transparent, and we connect the startups directly with the investors. Behind this process is a dedicated team that screens the startups in detail and examines the business models. With all of this, we want to greatly professionalize startup investments.
What is your magic sauce?
Our network of more than 2,500 investors is our secret sauce. We are constantly helping our portfolio companies to get connected with the right people on a European level.
Where do you see your company going in 5 years time?
Our primeCROWD vision is to be the most trustful partner for investors to meet, invest and contribute to startups. We want to professionalize investments in startups, drive innovation, and thereby make the asset class more accessible and attractive.
What has been your biggest setback so far?
Creating the legal framework, to make investments with primeCROWD possible.
What is the next big challenge for your business?
Expanding primeCROWD to further European countries.
—> Increasing our Female Investors to 25%
—> Finding a fitting strategic investor for this next step.
We have a couple of challenges in front of us that we want to tackle, like expanding our Network further to other European countries. Another challenge that we are tackling with our Female Investors Network is to increase the number of female Investors to 25%. Our third challenge is connected to solving the first two, which is to find a fitting strategic investor for these challenges.
How do people get involved/buy into your vision?
Everyone who is interested in Startup-Investment should join primeCROWD and becoming part of our Network.
As for now, Europe is behind the USA and China when it comes to innovation and startup investment, we want to play our part in this and create a better European Startup-investment Culture.
We want to make startup investments accessible for everyone.