“Take the leap and just do it”: How this accilium alumni (acciluminati) started his own entrepreneurial journey after consulting.

Just a year ago, Leonhard, former Senior Manager at accilium, decided to embark on an entrepreneurial journey, co-founding the startup aborise. His story stands as a testament to how a foundation in consulting can be the perfect springboard for multiple high-flying career paths. Join as Leonhard shares insights from his journey, the transition from consulting to entrepreneurship, and how his experiences at accilium have paved this way.

Leonhard, a little bit more than a year ago you decided to move on from consulting and become a founder. What was your most memorable moment on the journey from leaving accilium to founding aborise?

Transitioning from a consulting role to navigating the uncertainties of entrepreneurship was a significant leap for me. But the most significant memory from that time was the genuine encouragement and support I received from my colleagues during this transition, underlining the collaborative spirit of the professional community I was part of.

Before we delve deeper into your journey with aborise, can you share with us your role at   accilium and some of the core responsibilities you held?

At accilium, I had the privilege of being an integral part of the management team. Not only was I deeply involved in major decision-making processes, but I also had a significant impact on our growth story, helping to expand our team from 25 to over 75 dedicated professionals. A key aspect of my role was serving as the project lead for a large-scale digital transformation initiative within the automotive sector. The experiences, particularly in project leadership and strategic planning, were vital in navigating the multifaceted challenges and responsibilities inherent in starting aborise.

What challenges did you face in the early stages of aborise?

One of the first challenge was navigating through the bureaucracy associated with setting up a legal entity – the paperwork and processes took ages. A challenge up to this day is finding product-market-fit which requires continuous iterations. Finding the right Co-Founder was another also a significant challenge, since we were focused on finding someone who not only shared our vision but also had the expertise and passion to bring it to life. Lastly, the prevailing investment climate isn’t very favourable at the moment.

Thinking back to your time in consulting, what were some of the key learnings from that you believe became instrumental in setting up your own venture and dealing with obstacles?

There are several key learnings which have proven instrumental in establishing my own venture. Firstly, the rigorous work ethics taught during that time ensures, that I maintain diligence and perseverance, even when faced with the most challenging situations.

My leadership skills, enhanced through handling diverse projects and teams, are invaluable when uniting my team at aborise towards our common goals. Through accilium, I gained deep insights into the company building process, which now helps me make decisions in my own startup. Additionally, the structure and discipline of consulting taught me to organize and systematize processes, ensuring efficiency in our startup operations.

Lastly, presentation and communication skills became cornerstone assets. They enable me to articulate our vision, negotiate effectively, and ensure clarity in all our stakeholder interactions.

What advice would you give to someone who is considering making the leap into entrepreneurship?

If you’re planning the entrepreneurial journey, my advice is simple: take the leap and just do it. Don’t let fear hold you back; instead, embrace and learn from failures. Stay flexible in your approach and cultivate a problem-oriented mindset, focusing on solutions rather than obstacles.

How do you envision the future of aborise? Are there any exciting projects or expansions in the pipeline?

Envisioning the future of aborise fills me with excitement and optimism. Having successfully navigated our initial inflection point, we’re currently back in building mode. We soon launch a mobile app designed to consolidate and manage streaming subscriptions all in one unified platform. While this app is in its MVP stage and won’t scale, it’s pivotal for us. It presents a strategic opportunity to find our niche, actively engage with and receive feedback from users, and lay the foundation for sustainable growth.

Lastly, if you could go back in time, what would you tell your younger self at the beginning of your consulting career, knowing what you know now about entrepreneurship?

Always keep looking for problems worth solving and solve them.

Leonhard Kühne-Hellmessen

Co-Founder, aborise