While growing up in Rome, Italy, Jan caught the entrepreneurship bug early. After a series of misadventures, Jan set up his first "real" company at 15 with a rag-tag gang of employees from his school. The company provided IT support, sold hardware and later built custom software for clients. The "business" stayed afloat throughout university and spun out a number of projects including a video sharing site, football betting arbitrage, a bunch of websites (and a series of club nights).
Jan never really worked in a major company. Alongside his studies at HHL, he interned and worked at start-ups and VCs in Berlin starting from the late '90s – even pausing his studies for one year to help start a venture. Many of his co-interns and colleagues from that time still form a key part of his network today. Besides different startups Jan also interned at two investors, sparking an early fascination with VC.
During a PhD at WHU (which remains uncompleted), Jan started an e-commerce marketplace, Hitmeister. During his seven years as co-founder at Hitmeister Jan was primarily responsible for IT & product development. Hitmeister was later sold to the METRO group. Today Hitmeister is one of the leading German marketplaces, with over €600m in GMV.
Jan became active as an angel investor, supporting fellow entrepreneurs. A couple of years later Jan joined one of his investments, Wooga, as COO. During his seven years at Wooga the company grew from 30 to over 300 people. Jan ran various teams at Wooga, with a strong focus on Marketing and Growth, and also HR. At Wooga Jan was (among other things) responsible for a €20m+ annual, platform partnerships with Apple, Facebook and Google, building the ad monetization business, opening an office in Tokyo etc.
One of Jan's career highlights was launching a game called Jelly Splash at Wooga. In 2013, the game received over 1 million downloads in its first week, and more than 10 million in the first two months. It reached the #1 spot in the download charts in nine countries, including the US. This success made Jan fall in love with the power of software products and instant global distribution.
I HOPE I CAN BE A PARTNER AND RESOURCE TO THE FOUNDER, ESPECIALLY WHEN THE GOING GETS TOUGH – WHICH IT ALWAYS DOES.
__ Jan Miczaika