UCL Entrepreneurship Guest Lecture 2011/12: Nicolas Hantzsch, Groupon UK & Ireland
By news editor, on 19 December 2011
The eighth lecture of this series took place on 8 December. UCL Classics student Carolina Mostert summarises the talk below.
Nicolas Hantzsch’s talk did not feel like a lecture. It sounded more like an adventure story, something very unique and unusual. Nicolas completed a degree in informatics in Germany, moved on to financial studies and joined Pacific Stock Exchange. He then worked for a Dutch investment bank, an experience which left him with mixed feelings. After joining My City Deal, which can be described as a “Groupon copy”, he quit and enrolled in a Master’s degree at UCL. Fed up with academia, in a very ‘Bill Gates’ fashion, he dropped out of the course: he was going to be an entrepreneur. Then, the adventure with Groupon began.
“It’s been a roller coaster”, are Nicolas’s words to describe his experience. When he started at Groupon, he started at the bottom: what’s important at the beginning, he explains, is to learn the value chain at the heart of Groupon. “We are like a newspaper”: on a daily basis, Groupon has to offer new deals. Some of those will make the headlines, the bigger ones, and the other ones – although they’re not as flashy – must still appeal to people. Every Groupon deal, however, has an aim: to offer its customers the opportunity, and excuse, to always try something new.