Jakob Stein

Berlin, Associate

Jakob is one of our Associates based in Berlin. He follows an agnostic approach but is especially passionate about vertical SaaS and B2B marketplaces.

As a teenager, I used to babysit a severely autistic child every Sunday on the terrace of Tegel Airport. I stood there week after week, year after year, looking at planes. Over time, I developed such an enthusiasm for it that I can now tell relatively reliably from the ground which aircraft flies there, which models the 300 largest airlines have in their fleet, and say with about 95% accuracy which airlines would be able to fly which pairs of routes. It’s not surprising that I wanted to do a dual study program at Lufthansa since I was 15. When I finished school, however, I had just started dating my girlfriend and wanted to stay in Berlin for another year before joining Lufthansa. With my school-leaving certificate and suit, I went to 15 companies and asked for an internship until Deloitte took me on.

The Berlin team in the park

However, Lufthansa discontinued the program in the year I would have been able to join. I enrolled at the University of Mannheim, followed by a Master’s at LBS. After university, I went for internships at Creandum to learn VC and cargo.one to learn product. Start-up life became addictive, and I canceled my offer with McKinsey three weeks before I was supposed to start, stayed at cargo.one, and moved to the US to launch North America. In the first six months, we faced many headwinds and we fell short of all expectations. Because of Covid & visa restrictions, I couldn’t fly home and sat alone with my team in a suburb of Chicago. After a year, we turned the market around, things started to go well, the goals were achieved, and at some point, I felt we had solved the task of getting North America from 0 to 1.

Ginger, Hanel, Lisa, and Jakob all the way up

When Creandum offered me the chance to come back, I didn’t need to think twice. I realized over the last few years that I derive great fulfillment from helping others achieve their full potential. It’s what gets me up in the morning. It is not about me — and I like it that way.

Cozy times for Jakob, Ginger, Iris, and Lisa on the night train to Stockholm

Besides that, one of my biggest hobbies is organizing trips to remote locations like Paraguay, Kazakhstan, Zambia, or Iraq. Once a year, I plan those trips for my closest friends without them knowing where we’re going. I organize everything from flights to visas to vaccination appointments. For me, the team spirit that grows with every struggle faced locally creates memories that we’ll carry with us throughout our lives.

Iris and Jakob

Launch day for cargo.one US interrupted by a fire alarm