Thema New Work, smartvillage

Autor: smartvillage
Veröffentlicht 27. Dezember 2021

Fellow CEO’s, here’s why our founder can travel the world and still be part of the company




“Big news”. That’s how they called it in the meeting description. Not surprisingly, the rumor mill within the team was buzzing. Everyone had a few guesses, but a hot tip was searched in vain. So, there we were. A bunch of clueless people sitting in our Loftkitchen – an emotional cocktail between positive excitement and crushing tension in our hands.



We were quite astonished when the news was finally announced: Lukas – our current CEO and founder – will leave his CEO role to realize a long-awaited dream to go traveling for one year. Before speculation arises – our current Finance Manager Thomas Rumann will take over as Managing Director and CFO from next year onwards. Furthermore, Lukas leaves the company in a good condition and with a well-experienced and deeply motivated team that’s following his vision. And since he believes in the company and his team so strongly, he will remain shareholder and continue working for smartvillage in an advisory role during his travels.


Our reactions? A mixture of astonishment, support, gratitude, and a common feeling that he should pursue his dream. The overall belief, that we – as a New-Work company – will make it work, that a founder, who travels the world, will remain part of everything. Even if it’s in a different way.




When we think back to the last four years, there is one thing that characterized Lukas in an unmistakable way: he – always with a twinkle in his eye – had an incredible talent for igniting a spark of enthusiasm whenever he starts talking about smartvillage. A spark that he felt from day one, and that he passed on to many.


Lukas, who had met his cofounder Gerd by accident at a coffee bar during a Munich founder’s event, had a major impact in smartvillage’s early days and – undoubtedly – brought our company on the road to success.


At the same time, all friends, and long-term companions of smartvillage might know that we have been through a lot in the last few years – from a constantly fully-booked location in 2019, that was characterized by many inspiring events and exciting projects, to two years that were strongly influenced by the corona pandemic. To sum this up: the last four years have been a rollercoaster drive, but Lukas always joined the ride.


Lukas's first trainee Caio at his graduation.
Lukas’s during his first trainee’s graduation in the summer of 2021.
In the last year, Lukas and his co-founder Gerd built some strong partnerships.
In the last year, Lukas and his co-founder Gerd built some strong partnerships (e.g. with VANK, OBJECT CARPET, or Weframe).





As one of the pioneering influential figures in smartvillage’s starting phase, Lukas made a lasting and strong contribution to smartvillage’s identity, development, and culture. Besides founding the company with Gerd, he spearheaded the digitalization of the company and built all our sales structures from scratch. Since Lukas was well-connected in the Munich-based startup ecosystem, he also brought his founder’s network to smartvillage and established our location as a hotspot for startups, SME’s and bigger corporations. With the “Reversed-Pitching” event, he initiated an innovative event format in Munich, that was well-known in the local startup scene and beyond.


Simply stated, he contributed greatly to the diversity of our community and has seen many companies start and grow within smartvillage`s walls. Besides his negotiating skills and his deep understanding of “legal” stuff, his greatest strength was in constantly making our daily processes and structures more efficient. One of his last official acts: making smartvillage a greener and more socially responsible company. Following his initiative, smartvillage will be climate neutral from 2022 onwards.


Looking back to our 1000th visitor at smartvillage!
Looking back to our 1000th visitor at smartvillage!




We asked Lukas about his personal highlights when he thinks back on the last four years! Here’s what he said:


Lukas, our current CEO
Lukas, our current CEO and one of smartvillage’s founders

“My highlights? I guess, it was the opening party of smartvillage in 2018, as well as the whole year 2019, when our location was – from one day to the other – overrun by guests and I realized that our concept is truly special and inspires people. I also remember the day, when someone dubbed us as the „hottest club in town for B2B“, and I – driving back from work – just couldn’t stop smiling about his statement and turned up the music in my car. I will also never forget last year’s Christmas gathering, where my co-founder Gerd and I got a rap videotape from our team as a present, where even I couldn’t hold back my tears. Last but not least, I will forever remember the positive and supportive reactions from the whole team when I announced my wish to take time off.” 



Our last year's Christmas present: A smartvillage rap videotape for the founders Lukas and Gerd.
Our last year’s Christmas present: A smartvillage rap videotape for our founders Lukas and Gerd.




While I was writing this article, some people within my team passed by, and we randomly started talking about the past 4 years with Lukas as CEO, friend, and co-founder of smartvillage. Here are some stories, that I’d like to share:



Unser Gründer uns Geschäftsführer Gerd
Gerd, Co-founder of smartvillage


“A key moment for me? When Lukas and I – knowing that everyone was somehow against it – checked out the smartvillage location for the first time and he recognized the same potential as I did. This might sound cheesy, but at that moment I was sure that he was the right partner to make smartvillage really successful together.” 





Laura talking about our current CEO and founder Lukas
Laura, our hospitality-Queen!


Once we had an early shift together and finished very quickly, so we had some time to chat. I told him about my passion for black tea and tea culture in general. A few days later, there was a bag of tea at my desk, with the following inscription: My favorite black tea from Sri Lanka.“. It became clear to me that he’s a person that’s really listening.“ 





Thomas, our future Managing Director and CFO
Thomas, smartvillage’s future CFO and Managing Director


“When I look back on the relationship with Lukas, we undoubtedly went through different stages – from being a friend in my personal life, over being a fantastic and empowering boss and mentor in my professional one (even if he is younger, I learned a lot from his entrepreneurial mindset) to now becoming my business partner. We can now build on a strong foundation that we have established in the last years together. I’m really looking forward to the new challenges ahead!” 





Furthermore, we collected some facts about him, that you probably didn’t know yet:


7 things that you didn't know about Thomas!
7 facts that you didn’t know about Lukas’s personal life!


A newspaper article about Lukas's producer times - A relic of the past
A newspaper article about Lukas’s producing times – A relic of his past.





Globally, people in leadership positions are one of the slowest groups to take advantage of remote work. But as we all know, the trend is beginning to change. And since smartvillage considers itself as a New-Work company, it’s not surprising, that we will be ahead of the trend. Our team is allowed to work from everywhere, – including workation for some weeks – so there are no doubts, that our founder can do the same.


Dear Lukas,


We wish you many unforgettable experiences during your trip, and the constant belief, that you’ve done a fantastic job in the past four years. You did not only inspire the team but literally everybody that got the chance to meet you. One thing is certain: You’re leaving a deeply motivated team that’s dedicated to follow your vision of smartvillage – no matter if you’re physically available or not.


All the best for your adventure ahead! Thank you for everything!


The smartvillage team says goodby to Lukas! Our last Christmas gathering was a blast.
The smartvillage team says goodbye (for now!) to Lukas!