Find your Passion, Execute with power, live in Balance.
I started my first business on my 18th birthday. In the 5 years that followed, I launched 5 companies. Unfortunately, none of them gained real momentum—but when you are passionate about what you are doing, you don’t give up, right? In 2005 I founded Frokost.dk, an online platform that delivers lunch to companies. Today, it maintains a solid profit and more than $20m in revenue.
In 2006, together with three friends, I started the “company factory” Rainmaking. Since then, all of my professional activities, including Frokost.dk, have been rooted in Rainmaking. We have launched 20 start-ups so far, exited 5 of them, closed 5, and are presently running a portfolio of 10 companies across our offices in London, Copenhagen, and Berlin. We have approximately 200 team members and yearly revenues of $40m.
From 2010 to 2013, I was mainly working on a brainchild of mine—a crowdfunding platform for charities called BetterNow.org that is now operating in more than 10 countries. I then had a failed attempt at improving the book publishing industry with Pine Tribe. Today, I am turning my focus back to the "mothership", Rainmaking. Our aim is to expand our co-working spaces, start our own Academy, harvest synergies across our activities, and much more.
We have always been told that “success requires sacrifice”. I have never felt comfortable with that mindset, and neither did Canadian entrepreneur and writer, Jordan Milne. In 2010, we started searching the globe for a new kind of role model: those who had found a way to build wildly successful companies, while simultaneously living happy and balanced lives.
After interviewing and learning from 25 such role models, we felt truly inspired. We gathered all that we had learned, and what resulted was our book Winning Without Losing. Structured in 66 short chapters, Winning Without Losing shares 66 tangible methods or insights that will help the reader get the most out of both their professional and personal lives.
During 2013, leading publishers had Winning Without Losing published in 30+ countries. The English version is published by Profile Books, and it can be ordered on Amazon here. In 2013, the book won the prestigious "Management Book of the Year" award in UK.
In 2014, I released something quite unique: an entrepreneurial fairytale for children. The purpose of The Great Idea is to plant the first entrepreneurial seed in our next generation—all through an entertaining and child friendly medium. The Great Idea can be ordered at Amazon here.
Values & Purpose
As you might have already sensed, my actions–both personal and through Rainmaking—are extremely value driven. The day we founded Rainmaking, we formulated and signed a manifesto that still stands to this day. It is based on three W’s: Warm hearted, Whole person, and World focused.
Warm hearted: I only want to work with people whom I truly like and enjoy spending time with. Why would anyone accept less than that? When I am going to work in the morning, I want to experience the same feelings as when I was a kid and went to play with my friends after school. When approached by someone who wants to join my team, the first question on my mind is, “How would I feel if were to fly to Berlin with this person?”
World focused: My motivation comes through missions that are a part of the solution in this world—not the problem. My primary objective is not to make money—even if I had a billion dollars, I would live and work exactly as I do today. That’s why we at Rainmaking have chosen to start a school in India, co-found a charity, and host large charity dinners.
Whole person: Life has many great things to offer. Above all of my ambitions and business goals, I want a wholesome and happy life. That’s why Jordan and I wrote Winning Without Losing—and it’s the reason why I travel the world, run marathons, watch all the movies with an IMDB score above 7, and spend lots of time with my loved ones.
I enjoy sharing what I have learned through the experiences and ideas I have come across. There are 3 topics that I speak passionately about, and they inspire and entertain almost any audience:
Entrepreneurship: Since I was 18 years old, I have co-founded more than 20 companies. Around half of them have failed, and that has resulted in a lot of learning experiences and engaging stories—other times, I have been luckier. Throughout my endeavors, I have spent time thinking about which factors actually determine whether a new venture will be successful or not. It’s these determinants that I share with my audience.
Winning Without Losing: How can we live a great and wholesome life, while doing something as challenging as building an impressive career or a big and profitable business? This is a challenge for the most of us, and an open-ended mission. I have done many talks on the topic, and believe I have arrived at a message that is both applicable, inspiring, and entertaining.
Leadership and innovation: Many leaders, managers, and big companies find it much easier to fine-tune their operations, rather than be disruptive. As a previous strategy consultant for McKinsey & Co—as well as having been a part of the management team for a big company—I know the challenges of corporate life. Through my own experience, I have proven my own ideas on how to overcome these obstacles.
Tremendous! "Winning Without Losing" is a wonderful book that will inspire a new wave of entrepreneurship. Read it – and be prepared for a better way of life.
– Stephen M.R. Covey
Martin is one of those rare people who thinks x100 bigger than everyone else. He's the driver of values at Rainmaking and he's making the world a better place now, not later.
– Alex Farcet, Co-founder and Managing Director of Startupbootcamp
Martin delivers practical, useful, and honest advice with great enthusiasm and charm. Our audience at the RSA were thoroughly engaged, inspired, and energised.
– Mairi Ryan, The RSA, London
10 facts about me
I was born in 1976, in a small village in the middle of nowhere, Denmark.
My parents had their own company and, for as long as I can remember, I have assisted them in their endeavor.
As a teenager, I was highly active in sports—particularly badminton and karate.
On my 18th birthday I started my first business that sold colour photocopies to companies.
Before the age of 23, I launched 5 start-ups; none of which were particularly successful.
At 23, I became frustrated with being an entrepreneur and decided to enroll as a student at Aarhus Business School. Two years later, I graduated as a Master of Strategy & Management.
I worked as a Strategy Consultant at McKinsey & Co, working on different projects in Copenhagen, Stockholm, and Kuwait City.
I hated working for McKinsey—due to their lack of work-life balance—but stuck with it. That was until I reached a point where, after 15 months, I couldn’t sleep anymore. I left the world of consulting behind, and started an incredibly fun and worthwhile job as a part of the management team at the big Danish food conglomerate, Meyer Gruppen.
After a year and a half with Meyer Gruppen, it was time to be an entrepreneur once again. I founded Frokost.dk, which shortly became the starting point for Rainmaking.
Private life: I spend tons of time with my loved ones. I do sports 4-5 times a week, watch lots of movies, read and write, travel the world 6-8 weeks a year, run marathons, and I always make sure to have fun. I live in what I believe to be the best place in the world, on Frederiksberg Allé—very close to the heart of Copenhagen.
Get in touch
If you want to get to know me better, I invite you to engage with me via Twitter or Linkedin. You are also very welcome to send me an email—I always love to help. Before you do, please take notice of the following:
I only get involved with start-ups through Rainmaking. I don’t make any individual investments, or take on board positions, outside of Rainmaking. If you have an idea for a company, or want to co-found a business with us, please read more here.
I am happy to do interviews, as long as it is about the topics described on this website.
To be of service to as many people as possible, I have tried hard to gather all of my advice and insights in my books Winning Without Losing and The Great Idea (for children). Unfortunately, I can rarely find the time to give one-on-one mentoring/coaching sessions.