photo: Truckoo

Women in Tech: Julia Unützer of Truckoo

In 2019, Julia Unützer founded Truckoo together with Max Füchsl. The Munich startup has developed a platform for buying and selling utility vehicles like transporters and construction vehicles. It organizes the deals digitally through established workshops for utility vehicles. In our interview, we asked what motivated her to start a company and which industry she would bank on in the future.

Munich Startup: What motivated you to found a company?

Julia Unützer: On the one hand, my motivation came from my great passion for defining and implementing projects myself. On the other hand, Max and I have had the “good fortune” of gathering knowledge about the practices and processes of the utility vehicles business since we were kids, in our parents’ company.

The utility vehicles business as it stands now is faced with enormous challenges. That’s what motivated us to become the first player in the market to break new ground and to now represent the digitalization of the utility vehicles industry with Truckoo.

‘Legal’ and ‘tax’ expert, all on the same day

Munich Startup: What do you now wish you had known before founding your first company?

Julia Unützer: I wish I had known what being self-employed “feels” like some days. But even before we founded the company, I had a lot of glimpses of the life of a founder among my acquaintances. What stands out mostly is the “roller coaster” of emotions between frustration and euphoria, success and defeat. Then there is the fact that with every new employee, your sense of responsibility grows and that the variety of tasks forces you to become a ‘legal’ and ‘tax’ expert, all on the same day. Every day you learn to solve problems—no matter how challenging.

Munich Startup: How have you funded your company so far?

Julia Unützer: We are financed by Global Founders Capital (GFC), and angel investors like the Flixbus and Sennder founders, among others. The who’s who of the new mobility scene.

Munich Startup: When and where do you have the best ideas?

Julia Unützer: I often have the best ideas come to me when we are brainstorming as a team. For instance, we’ve made a really creative “Christmas” video series over the past 2 years—you can see it on YouTube. With larger issues, it helps me to put some distance between me and the problem when I think about it, for example while hiking in the mountains or jogging.

Munich Startup: What are your three favorite work tools?

Julia Unützer: For our communication—especially when working from home—our team couldn’t do without Slack. We use Notion for brainstorming, to-do lists and as a product management tool. And for a really cool collaboration and design tool, I think Figma is very good.

Munich Startup: What is your top tip for pitching?

Julia Unützer: My tip is to be prepared to really only have 30 minutes to pitch your company to investors in the initial meeting. In fact, it’s usually even a little less than that.

“Everyone knows that ‘business as usual’ cannot be the future.”

Munich Startup: Do you think now is a good time to start a company? Why?

Julia Unützer: We are currently proving ourselves in a market environment that is very tense for everyone in it. The lack of chips is causing enormous supply delays, which is driving up prices for used vehicles, but not in a lasting way. E-mobility and hydrogen mobility are coming fast, and with them challenges for dealers and above all workshops.

Everyone knows that “business as usual” cannot be the future. As the only player in the industry with a scalable digitalization product, we are engaged in some very promising cooperation talks with all of the major players in the business.

Munich Startup: What technology or industry would you bank on when founding your next startup?

Julia Unützer: I would always bank on an industry that you know and in which you as the founding team have strong expertise. Founding a business is already difficult enough. So it helps to be very familiar with your subject matter, to require very little outside expertise, and to get a “kick start” from your existing network.

Munich Startup: What do you think could still use some improvement in Munich as a startup location?

Julia Unützer: The way I see it, Munich is already doing a lot of things right. The Werksviertel or your magazine Munich Startup are good examples that things are happening here. Also, there are lots of good performers who see a career in a startup as an alternative. We appreciate that. But we also conduct a lot of interviews with international candidates from the software or product environment who prefer to live in Berlin or other cities. For young talent, Munich would have to become a bit more hip and attractive.

Munich Startup: What founder would you like to meet in person some day? And what would you ask them?

Julia Unützer: I would like to get together with all of the founders of the new “electric mobility”—a kind of round table. Then we could talk about how we can bring hydrogen or electric trucks to the secondary market. Usually, the export market is years behind in terms of development. We feel this is a challenge that should be discussed in every mobility forum.

Regina Bruckschlögl

Nach eigenen Startup-Erfahrungen blickt sie als Redakteurin von Munich Startup nun aus einer anderen Perspektive auf die Münchner Startup-Szene – und entdeckt dabei jeden Tag, wie vielfältig das Münchner Ökosystem ist. Startup Stories, die erzählt werden wollen!

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