EBS Alumnus Max Laarmann, Founder of Emma Matratzen and Member of the Advisory Board at Bettzeit
What has been the biggest challenge in your entrepreneurial career so far?
One of the biggest challenges was certainly to take the first step into starting a business. Back then, in the last semester at university, we already had a very concrete idea with a business plan and investors, but in the end, we were too scared to take that step. Looking back, however, it became increasingly clear that fear was unnecessary and that the risk was manageable, especially here in Germany.
What advice would you give to young entrepreneurs?
Instead of raising a lot of money right from the start, I would recommend testing your product as intensively as possible on the market to understand your customers as well as possible. At Emma we have had very good experience with starting small, testing a lot and growing organically. This probably takes a little longer but is often more sustainable.
Which mistake would you have liked to avoid?
There are a lot of them, every day in fact. It is important to have a very positive attitude to mistakes and to reflect on them in order to avoid them in future. It helps immensely to surround oneself with people who have already made many mistakes and to learn from them.
What brought you to EBS Universität back then?
Coincidence, to be honest. I enjoyed my time in the Rheingau region very much.
To what extent did your studies at EBS Universität provide you with added value for your work?
Especially the high percentage of practical and international work as well as the internships were very helpful subsequent years.
Your best memory of EBS Universität?
I found a great many friends for life. But the parties were always great, too.
What does the alumni network offer you?
I am always meeting other EBS alumni in the most diverse situations and we are happy to help each other out.
Do you have a (daily) routine you always keep to?
Nothing regular, unfortunately, but I try to walk to and from my office every day now. It takes more time, but it gives me the chance to structure my thoughts for the day a little bit.
Who is your big role model?
Jeff Bezos, I have half a book of questions I would like to ask him.
What are your goals for 2019?
Having left Emma at operational level at the end of last year, there are many new things on the agenda in 2019…
30 Under 30 // Europe 2018: Retail & E-Commerce
More information about studying at EBS University can be found here: