Sebastian Merkhoffer studied Business IT at Frankfurt School of Finance & Management between 2008 and 2012. During the course, his internships took him to various departments at Deutsche Bank. After graduating from Frankfurt School, he kicked off his career by working for various business startups. Later, he also took a Master in Management degree. After a brief stint working for a major German venture capital fund, Sebastian Merkhoffer founded Fitvia, a purveyor of “functional teas”. Only in 2021, he took on new ventures and founded a new company, called Excelling Ventures, which specialises in e-commerce investments.
To what extent did your academic studies prepare you for the challenges of your current job? What did you find especially useful?
I learned to think in a more structured way and gained IT skills and business management expertise during my studies at Frankfurt School. I also count a number of fellow students among my close friends today.
Looking back, how important was your time as a student at Frankfurt School in the greater scheme of things?
Because my time was so short due to my combined studies programme, I was obliged to work in a very disciplined way and make the most of what limited time I had. I’m now working in very similar settings as an entrepreneur! I also acquired relevant skills and knowledge while I was studying. That’s why I was able to set up the first version of our website entirely on my own.
What’s your favourite memory of your time at Frankfurt School?
Spending my semester abroad at university in Australia was a fantastic experience. I immersed myself in a new culture and learned to surf!
How important are alumni for a business school? What do you think alumni can do for their alma mater?
Alumni networks are very important. It was through our Alumni Network that I found a mentor while I was launching my first company, and I continue to benefit from his experience.
What’s your favourite motto?
„Destiny is no matter of chance. It’s a matter of choice. “(W.J. Bryan)