Overview for founders

The Opportunity

Micro-businesses are at the core of the European Economy, employing around 50 million people and accounting for over 20%  of Europe's GDP.

Micro enterprises suffer from systemic weaknesses, placing them at an unfair disadvantage when competing with more highly organized players. The most common problems are high fragmentation, weak bargaining power, and reduced investment ability. In addition, they are characterised by poor managerial and entrepreneurial skills and a lack of knowledge and tools necessary for digital transformation.

We believe that the best way to unlock this potential is to:

  • Partnering with ambitious, experienced entrepreneurs, giving them all they need to hit the ground running without crashing or burning;
  • Enabling the growth of these micro-businesses to deliver economic opportunities to millions of people across Europe and outsized returns to its investors.

Our Focus

The Mamazen Startup Studio builds startups that revolutionize customer experiences and the running of poorly digitized micro and small businesses. We create plug-and-play solutions that simplify processes, improve customer experience, and create cross-cutting tools for digital transformation. The goal is to reduce inefficiencies and enable micro-businesses to attract, manage, and retain customers.

Whom are we looking for?

We are actively searching for curious, brave individuals. Together, we can build a brighter future with fewer carps and more dragons. 

Are you willing to commit five years to change the world? You are in the right place!

While there is no magic formula that defines the perfect Founder, certain ingredients are crucial for our Startup Studio, so you must fall into one of these categories:

Our Ideal founder: 

  • You have a track record of building and selling a product, raising €500k+, or generating €500k+ revenue as a Founder or Co-Founder
  • You’ve served as a CXO in a High Growth Startup or as an early employee at a high-growth startup
  • 5+ years of experience as a Senior Growth Hacker, Product Manager or service designer in a startup or a scale-up
  • You have worked 4+ years at a “big 4” consulting company

What makes a successful founder

Hey, have you ever wondered what makes a successful founder?

A successful founder needs to energize and build morale around stakeholders like employees, customers, and investors. You need to be a source of energy!

You need sales skills, and you got to be adaptable. Markets change, technologies change, and what was great yesterday might not be so great today. 

A must is to be an innovative thinker, not someone copying others or coming up with ideas that are a day late and a dollar short. Be intellectually honest: be the one who calls a spade a spade and doesn't try to fool others.

You must be a clear thinker who can get from point A to point B with simplicity. Own your failures, and don’t blame others. Someone who owns their failures also has the invaluable capacity to learn and improve.

You got to see potential in others because a founder's job is to motivate everyone. Surround yourself with a great team with diversity in strengths and weaknesses.

And last but not least, You need to have a strong sense of economics regarding value exchange and creating win-win situations.

Founders of startups know how hard it is to get things done. We are not looking for a manager! You'll work hands-on and full-time alongside our team during our next venture's MVP, testing and prototyping, design, validation, and scaling phases.

From the beginning, you will be part of a startup journey with our startup-building experts, evolving your skills and contributing to creating a new startup.

What does it mean?

  • Develop a viable business model from a 10-slide pitch deck and have the guts to commit your time, passion, and all you got for 5 years+
  • Bring talent to the new venture to get the ball rolling
  • Led a team of high-potential individuals toward product-market fit

Are you ready to be a founder? Are you Sure? Here you will find a shortlist of the jobs startup founders so all at the same time:

  • Sales & Marketing
  • Product
  • Customer Support
  • Operations
  • Legal
  • Accounting
  • Public speaking
  • Human Resources
  • Public Relations
  • Content
  • Finance
  • Janitor

If you find it fun, it means this is the right path for you, but if you find it overwhelming, you should steer clear.

Here's what you get:

A pre-validated idea:

Every successful startup we create begins with an internally generated idea. In a pre-validated startup, revenue and an MVP have been developed. Why? We want to see Founders ride on the saddles of projects that are guaranteed to soar.

Expenses and shares

Every startup gets an initial 100K€ investment from our investment firm. This initial money is to pay all the company expenses for the first six months (the founders' salary, covering costs and overheads, and the marketing budget).

Co-founders receive 70% of the equity in the company (usually, we prefer two co-founders).
Are you celebrating? You are the right person. 

How do you pay for everything since your salary is super expensive? You are not the right person; please exit here

Team and Network

From the moment you join our dream team of front-runners in the marketing, sales, product, finance, press, and legal departments, to name a few. You’ll also be introduced to our network of experts so you can benefit from their experience and build your venture quickly.

Fundraising Power

Aside from obtaining liquidity for all operational costs and salaries, we can follow up on our initial investment of up to €700K if the startup gains the appropriate traction. We will define milestones and KPIs at the beginning, so there will be no surprises.

Our Studio Process

1. Explore the Market

Our dedicated team will start identifying unmet market needs and aligning and perfecting the business idea during the thesis development phase of the process.

2. Opportunity Identification

We’ll define the market, refine the product or service offering, and create a real, actionable plan to bring the idea to life.

3. Validation of Keys Assumptions

By testing, proving, and tailoring our roadmap and approach, we’ll ensure we understand exactly what works and what we shouldn’t be wasting our time on.

4. MVP Development

We help you build a prototype of the new product. By testing whether the proposal meets our newly discovered opportunities, we will confidently secure the MVP.

5. Early Growth

Now that our start-up is firmly rooted, we need to make it grow. Here, we’ll tap into a network of professional connections, adjust and realign any potential issues, and do what it takes to make the start-up a resounding success.

6. Seed round

We aim to take every start-up we create to the first seed round and make it independent from the Studio. Since this is the last step of the internal start-up process, we treat it as such!

The recruitment process

  1. You can apply on our website or Linkedin for a specific business idea, then fill out the form to help us get to know you better.
  2. After filling out the form, the selected co-founders will receive a one-pager with the details of the business idea, and we will set up a call with the Studio management team (about 30 min)
  3. The 3rd step involves preparing a presentation to show us why you are the right founder and what you want to achieve in the first 12 months of the startup.
  4. Is it a match? Rather than leaving your job immediately, we'll do a one-month trial (using your spare time) to ensure we click (several meetings, launches, and beers, it'll be fun).
  5. Upon receiving a green light from both parties, we will create the new company together.

The deal

From day one, you’ll have full access to ideation, research, validation, product development, legal, coaching, and more from the Mamazen studio team.

At the foundation, the Equity split will be the share capital of the LTD Company (Società responsabilità limitata) will be 10.000€

  • Mamazen receives 30% in common stock by providing 3.000€
  • Founders (usually two) get 70% in common stock by providing 3.500€/per person
  • IH1 will invest 100K€ at 900K€ pre-money (10%) to cover the development costs until your startup gets funded
  • IH1 has the right but not the obligation to invest up to 250K€ in the first round. This investment usually targets 10% of startup equity (2,25 mln pre-money)
  • IH1 will keep 450K€ to use as follow-up investments in the most-performing startups

Founders agreement

Founders get their shares upfront, but there is a five years lockup. If you leave the company during the lock-up, there is a right to repurchase that diminishes as time passes with a good leaver and bad leaver clauses:

  • Good leaver (Repurchase at a market value)
    - Death, permanent invalidity
  • Bad Leaver (Repurchase at nominal value)
    - Fraud
    - Dismissal for goss misconduct
    - Violation of non competition clause

IH1 Investment Agreement

Term-sheet fundamentals

  • Tag along
  • Drag along with a reinforced majority
  • 1X Liquidation preference (non-participating)
  • Non-dilution clause  (broad-based weighted average)if you raise the next round at a lower value
  • Information rights
  • Confidentiality
  • Sales Mandate to sell the startup after 5Y+

Board of directors

  • One of the Co-Founder will act as the CEO
  • One board member elected by Mamazen 
  • One board member elected by  IH1

Pool Option

  • 10% stock option pull for early hires and key people

How your day will look like

Once you are on board, we will work together, cheek to cheek, for six months, reaching milestones, talking to customers, and doing everything needed to get results. We are looking for people ready to get their hands dirty. 

As a founder, you must wear many hats to keep the company moving forward:

Business development: In the early stages of a startup, talking with customers and doing the product work is the main focus. You will spend a lot of time talking with customers, improving the product, and testing new ideas.

Marketing and sales: You will also spend a lot of time working on marketing and sales efforts, such as creating content, reaching out to potential customers, getting their feedback

Fundraising: You will spend a lot of time working on fundraising efforts, such as preparing pitches, networking with investors, crafting business plans, and negotiating terms.

Operations and logistics: You will also be responsible for managing the day-to-day operations of the company, such as managing finances, hiring and managing employees, and handling legal and compliance issues.

Overall, your day-to-day life in the early stages of a company can be very demanding, but it can also be gratifying as you work to build something from scratch and see it grow and succeed.

How we work

We use scrum methodology to work. This methodology focuses on execution, speed, and pivots, emphasizing flexibility, collaboration, and rapid iteration. This methodology is effective when it comes to Startups.

I want to cut through all of the noise out there and focus on something that will absolutely change how you run your teams, your companies, or even your own life.

How our sprints works?

Our sprint is two weeks sprint during which the team works to complete a specific set of tasks or goals. During a sprint, the team will typically hold Sprint planning and sprint grooming meetings to check in with each other and discuss progress. 

At the end of the sprint, we will review what has been completed and what still needs to be done. 

This process helps the team stay focused and make progress toward their goals.

Who you will work with

  • Nicolo Vinci, our Product Manager. Graduated in Management Engineering at Politecnico di Torino, he also earned a Master in Product and Process Management at SAA and a second one in Management of Enabling Technologies 4.0, Nicolò is the former Data Analyst at Pony Zero. Nicolò is snoopy and detail-oriented person. He is a product geek, His mission? Understanding and analyzing businesses using KPIs, no decision is made unless it is data-driven. Optimizing processes, creating new products with limited budget and make them work on the market are in his comfort zone. He also enjoys dealing with investors during due diligence. Nicolò loves motorcycles and his mantra is "At work, as on the motorcycles, you have to keep your focus on the destination".
  • Andrea Arditi, our Growth Marketer. Born in '81 and scribbler from '82. Since he pressed the first random buttons on an Olivetti to give life to "SvjwenT98csd", his first short novel. He has a passion for nerd culture. Former social media manager who still loves Facebook, but rejects viral posts. Over time he has become a Digital Strategist who becomes infatuated with the most absurd tools and who has established a passionate relationship with KPIs. He worked as a Funnel Marketing Coach for Funnel Company and as a Digital Strategist for NewErreDi. For three years he embarked on a freelance career taking care of the strategic and marketing part of various realities‍
  • Roberto Beragnoli, our No-Coder specialist. In love with everything related to creativity and technology. After his graduation in Philosophy, Roberto started working in the field of rapid hardware and software prototyping. His career began with a collaboration with WASP (3D printers) and with PNAT, a spin-off of the University of Florence, directed by prof. Stefano Mancuso. This latest experience culminates with the exhibition of the Jellyfish Barge project (a floating, technological and self-sustainable greenhouse) during EXPO 2015 in Milan, in which he takes part in the prototyping of on-board sensors. In 2015, with the same team, he founded MoveOnApp, a startup that works in the field of medical devices for rehabilitation. After this experience as head of hardware prototyping, he moved mainly to software (with particular attention to the nocode world) and artificial intelligence. Using the same tools, when the sun goes down he is transformed into a digital artist. Under this identity he has collected several exhibitions both in Italy and abroad.
  • Manuela Maiocco, Business analyst. Graduated in Economics and Commerce from the University of Turin, with a master's degree in Business Administration, she specializes in corporate finance. Art and colors, numbers and precision fit together perfectly in his mind, he keeps the accounts of the company and takes care of all the calls for which we decide to compete. His is a job of great responsibility but despite his young age he manages to make ends meet and also work on the decks for investment rounds.

Strategy and Advisory

  • Alessandro Mina, Marketing manger. He developed and launched an E-cig franchise and then became an investor and Chief Brand Officer of Pony Zero (exit towards CIGIERRE). He works pro-bono as a mentor in B-Heroes and Junior Achievement Italy. He has ten years of entrepreneurial experience. He graduated in Digital Design at the European Institute of Design in Turin; he owned a consulting firm in communication and marketing for SMEs.
  • Farhad Alessandro Mohammadi, Mamazen’s CEO. Farhad is a serial entrepreneur with over 14 years of experience in the digital field. Previously managed Bakeca.it internal and external sales team. He coordinated the Glamoo.com sales team as Commercial Director (exit to Italian Yellow Pages). Former Co-Founder of Pony Zero, from zero to 6 million in annual revenues in 5 years (Exit2018 to Cigierre SPA). A Business Angel, a member of Club Degli Investitori. He is also a Board Member of Studiohub, the largest European Startup Studio network. He also wrote a helpful and dense White Paper dedicated to Venture-Building (one of the few White papers focused on this argument worldwide).

External Advisors

Mamazen has a wide range of advisors and investors, so if you need any help, contact someone we can help you. Asking for help is not a bad thing but also, working your ass off is a MUST!


Building a startup is exciting; it means doing 100 MBAs simultaneously; every year you spend in a startup is like ten years of experience in any other job you might get, but...

Launching a startup is not a walk in the park; it's not just about committing full-time. 

You must be able to adapt to change and make difficult decisions. It's about having the grit and determination to see it through. It's about handling the ups and downs and not giving up when things get tough. 

It's a lot of hard work, not for the faint of heart. If you are up for the challenge, it can be a gratifying experience.