Learn from founders – how Vincent went from employee to co-founder of Feather
When is the right time to found a company? Vincent Audoire offers some valuable insights into the founding story of Feather.
3 min read
Insurance in Germany can be a very complex topic, especially if your German level doesn’t cover complicated insurance-related terminology. That’s why Vincent Audoire and Rob Schumacher founded Feather: to offer guidance and help navigate through the world of German insurance. We spoke to Vincent to learn more about his motivation, learnings and advice.
How did you go from iOS engineer to founder?
I graduated from engineering school in Paris in 2013 and later moved to Berlin, where I did a bunch of jobs in iOS development. At one point I quit my job and started my first company, which wasn’t successful—which is only natural, as it was my first company. But I gained a lot of experience, so when I interviewed for N26 and was asked what I wanted to do in 3-4 years, the answer was easy: I said I want to start a company again, which I did.
When I left N26 after two-and-a-half years, I knew I wanted to focus on starting my own fintech company. I then joined Entrepreneur First, an incubator based in the coworking space Factory, where I met someone who perfectly matched my skills—Rob Schumacher. You need to make sure you find the right partner!
How did you know it was the right time? Were there any favorable conditions apart from finding the right partner?
Yes. First off, you need to have some savings. I’m still young and don’t have to support my family financially. I only need to take care of myself, which makes it a lot easier. Founding a company can be very stressful, so you don’t want to have additional external stress factors.
You founded two companies already. What do you find particularly appealing in being your own boss?
I like to make my own decisions. Even when working as a software engineer I was always questioning why things were done a certain way. It’s just more enjoyable to be in the driver’s seat. I’m not the type of person who is content with just being good at one thing, but prefers to learn and do a lot of different things.
Looking back, is there anything you would have done differently?
I was worried and stressed about a lot of things and comparing myself to other startups, which is very toxic. You should focus on your own thing and not worry too much about what others do.
What were some of the big moments with Feather?
Of course the first great moment was when we made our first money with a customer. We had a hypothesis and managed to prove it worked within a day. People started to use our product so quickly and it really blew my mind—I still remember the name of our first customer.
How are your future plans looking?
We’re currently in the process of hiring and also have a lot of things in the pipeline. We listened to our customers’ feedback and have some exciting iterations on our product in the pipeline. So there will be some big projects coming up this year.
Other than the importance of finding the right partner, what advice would you give people that want to found their own company?
That’s a tricky question, because it depends on what kind of company you want to found, what your background is, and much more. There’s not one correct way of founding a company. What worked for me was looking for a suitable partner through an incubator , but that might not work for everyone.
You just need to start and do what you think is right, follow your intuition. Most likely your intuition will lead you somewhere. I’m not saying that you will be successful immediately, but it’s going to lead you somewhere and you’re going to start learning.
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