Christian Magel doubles as the managing partner and co-founder of Venture Lane Studio and the founder and CEO of Venture Lane. While Venture Lane Studio is a bespoke traction accelerator for B2B software startups, Venture Lane is a leading startup hub for early-stage B2B tech companies in Boston.
Christian is a formidable entrepreneurial change agent who focuses on advising, mentoring, supporting, and investing in early startup founders. Over the past two decades, he has co-founded and founded other startups in the U.S., Australia, and Europe across diverse industries, such as media, e-commerce, and telecommunication.
Three of these startups resulted in successful exits—LetsBuyIt (IPO), Simyo (exit to Royal Dutch Telecom), and Amaysim (IPO). Throughout his entrepreneurial journey, Christian has left a footprint of digital transformation, clever go-to-market, and outstanding values/culture.
He has been a dedicated member of EO Boston since 2017 and contributes his wealth of experience toward the growth and development of a new crop of founders and innovative ideas. In this exclusive interview, Christian shares some priceless details on his journey so far and what other entrepreneurs can learn from it.
How Did You Become an Entrepreneur?
I always loved work and business as a way to grow and learn. I held down dozens of jobs and positions and always felt like an entrepreneur, even if I technically wasn’t one. It took me losing my job after the insolvency of my startup employer to start my first marketing and media consulting business in 2002.
Ever since, I have been a founder or co-founder in the tech space. The freedom to create, start things from scratch, figure out all the puzzle pieces, and make a fundamental difference to the people around me is an integral part of my daily life as an entrepreneur. I wouldn’t want to miss it for anything.
My greatest challenge as an entrepreneur on the professional side was learning not only to work in but also on the business. That step was huge but also demanding to navigate. I always found it difficult and let the business side interfere too much with my family and social life. Striking the right balance still seems impossible.
Besides three exits (two IPOs and one acquisition), I am most proud of the impact we had on our teams, customers, and markets. The core of my actions is to transform and facilitate change successfully. This is my happy place.
After working and starting in industries like media, e-commerce, and telecommunication, my current business Venture Lane had its foundation in the startup community. In the last 4.5 years, we organized over 500 of our own network events, from workshops to panel discussions, CEO groups, and social events.
I add on meetups, socials, dinners, and pitch events from other facilitators of the Boston startup ecosystem. And, of course, I like to hang out with my EO people. My attitude is to be open to anyone with a great story or background and be very focused on talking to people with good advice, expertise, or a company background I am interested in.
Who Have Been Your Strongest Mentors?
My best mentors are usually people with strong professional backgrounds (“have done it”) combined with mastering the art of listening, being empathetic, and offering me experiences that fit the situation. I have many mentors, from friends to business mentors and one-off subject matter experts.
I moved to Boston in 2017 and was switching from EO Sydney, where I met fantastic people and had a really great time. So, transitioning to EO Boston was a no-brainer. My forum and chapter gave me countless possibilities to adapt rapidly to the US culture. I made incredible friends in my forum, who grounded me, gave me perspective, and helped me develop as a person, husband, dad, friend, and business partner. Most of all, EO gives me perspective and makes me see all parts of life through the different angles of my forum mates.
What’s Next for You?
After launching the leading B2B software startup hub in Boston and our successful accelerator, we want to start an early-stage fund to combine our go-to-market/scaling expertise with our investing skills. So, in the next months, we will launch our accelerator-based fund and continue to give back to the awesome Boston tech community with mentorship and founder support.
What’s the Best Piece of Advice You Can Give Up and Coming Entrepreneurs?
Focus and tenacity are your friends as an entrepreneur, especially in tech. If you follow the Pareto Principle (80% of consequences come from 20% of causes), you will achieve your desired outcome faster than your peers. Combine that with tenacity, courage, a strong spirit, and the ability to display mental and moral strength in the face of challenges. You’ll be unstoppable.
What Do You Have to Say About the Role of Entrepreneurship in Our Society?
Entrepreneurship can play a major role in transformation in a bipartisan world with many inequalities, a lack of necessary change, and many economic and social challenges. We, as entrepreneurs, bring something to the table that is strongly needed in our society: the willingness and ability to create something outcome-focused. Let’s all use this superpower beyond our companies for the common good.
Ready to Join EO Boston?
If you’re an entrepreneur, you don’t have to go it alone, and you shouldn’t. EO Boston’s Accelerator Program offers early-stage entrepreneurs an extraordinary opportunity to scale your business growth. The EO community consists of various cadres of entrepreneurs, including upcoming and seasoned experts.
If you’d love to network with experienced minds like Christian Magel and learn from industry leaders, take the bold step to join EO Boston today. Click here to see if you qualify for EO Boston membership.