About me

About me
  • I started Waterglass, a 'micro PE' fund that focuses on niche software businesses
  • I incorporared and managed a corporate venture with €3.8M in total funding
  • I launched Facebook's first startup accelerator in Germany
  • I organized an international technology conference in Vienna (Austria) with speakers from Facebook, Microsoft, Google and more – twice
  • I bootstrapped a company to €20k+ MRR and worked with globals brands including Uber, Danone and the UN on business messaging with our in-house WhatsApp Business API which processes 13.5M messages in total
  • I co-founded an NGO more in 2012 that supports students in starting their startup career

Connect with me on LinkedIn, Twitter (X) or via bernhard@hauser.io.


We buy & scale niche software businesses

Founder • 2024 – ongoing • Vienna (Austria)


Waterglass is a 'micro PE' fund that builds a self-sustaining portfolio of cash flow optimized B2B SaaS businesses. The goal is to acquire niche businesses that solve relevant problems for business customers.

One of the main reasons why I’m building Waterglass is to challenge the conventional startup narrative of rapid, investor-fueled growth at the expense of sustainability and long-term value creation.

The truth is, the cost of starting and running software businesses has significantly decreased, and Generative AI further supports the lean and cost-effective operation of digital businesses.

In my opinion, there has never been a better time to strategically buy, operate and scale software businesses for independent entrepreneurs than now!

Learn more on Waterglass.io or read the announcement blog post

Free subscription: Get behind-the-scenes insights into Waterglass.


Reach your drivers reliably on the road

Founder and CEO • 2022 – 2023 • Vienna (Austria) and Berlin (Germany)

Team Heylog (November 2022)

Heylog is a communication solution for modern logistics that connects all relevant stakeholders along the supply chain – with a special focus on driver communication over WhatsApp.

The company originated as a corporate venture of Schmitz Cargobull AG (Germany), LKW WALTER (Austria) and 9.5 Ventures (Belgium) with a total funding of €3.8M.

I was hired in 2021 to support the founding process of the new company especially in the product and business case context. After a positive investment decision has been made, I stepped in to become the founder and CEO of the new venture.


Throughout my time at Heylog, I drafted and executed the product, sales & marketing and business development as well as operational and HR strategies respecitvely. The team grew to eleven members across Vienna (Austria) and Berlin (Germany).

At its core, Heylog closes the communication gap between all relevant stakeholders along the supply chain. We specifically focused on the communication with drivers on the road. Both, freight forwarders and carriers are considered the target audience of Heylog.

Close to my second year in the company, I decided to take on a new role after bringing the company from formation to first revenue in less than 12 months.

My takeaway: Working in a corporate venture allows you to leverage your existing experience without the need to secure funding. Yet, as someone who has founded a startup in the past, I advise against pursuing a corporate venture if retaining autonomy and complete control over your business matters to you.


Product Management & Business Development

Founder • 2018 – 2022 • Vienna (Austria) and Berlin (Germany)


From 2018 until 2022, I was working with a diverse set of clients on consulting projects to support with challenges around product and business development.

Clients I worked with included (in no particular order)

  • VOGEL Communications Group (Germany)
  • Müller Medien (Germany)
  • YND Berlin (Germany)
  • Erste Bank (Austria)
  • Österreichische Post (Austrian Postal Services)
  • Deutsche Post/DHL (Germany)
  • atms Customer Dialogues (Austria)
  • The Ventury (Austria)

...and many more startup clients

My takeaway: Consulting offers a unique chance to collaborate with a varied clientele, applying your skills to tackle different challenges in different indutries. This experience has also supported the development of enduring business relationships that extend beyond the boundaries of individual projects.

Facebook (Meta)

Program Manager • 2018 – 2019 • Berlin (Germany)

Facebook Startup Growth Program

As Program Manager at Facebook Berlin, I was working on Facebook’s Startup Growth Program (now: Facebook Accelerator) in Germany aligning with global cross-functional teams in Menlo Park, London, Paris, Lagos and Tel Aviv to deliver a customized experience to growth stage startups.

I drafted and executed Facebook's very first acceleration program in Germany in partnership with the local investor APX  to support consumer-oriented growth stage startups on their way to become leaders within their industry.

Mark Zuckerberg visiting the Berlin team

The first batch of the program has been carried out from May until September 2019 with nine startups of different B2C industries, ranging from crypto to ecommerce.

We worked together with amazing mentors and experts from Facebook and APX to deliver relevant workshops, mentoring sessions and individual support to help the startups grow their businesses.

More infos: Facebook Newsroom announcement (German)

My takeaway: Collaborating with startups has consistently been a key focus for me and leveraging Facebook's resources enabled me to develop a program specifically designed for growth stage startups. This role also allowed me to engage in cross-functional collaboration with Facebook teams in product, marketing, and sales as well as with the WhatsApp team.


Connecting Businesses and Customers on Messengers

Co-founder and CEO • 2015 – 2018 • Vienna (Austria)

Team oratio
Team oratio (Spring 2018)

My co-founder and I started workin on oratio in early 2015 after we discovered that messaging services such as WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and Telegram were increasingly used by business to stay in touch with their customers.

Soon after we built an MVP, we started workin on an unofficial custom-made WhatsApp API to access WhatsApp for our customers. By early 2016, we were able to offer the most robust and flexible WhatsApp API on the market and scaled the company to:

  • €20k MRR
  • €25ok total revenue, and
  • 13.5M processed messages

At its peak, oratio enabled businesses to connect with their customers on messaging services such as WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Twitter, Viber, Telegram and Kik.

oratio supported individual users as well as teams, a wide range of messaging networks and enabled businesses to either connect personally with their customers or with help from smart chatbots.

We worked with companies like Uber, Danone, Pretty Little Thing/Boohoo, the United Nations and many more companies around the world.

oratio screenshot

Seedcamp, a London-based early stage fund, invested in oratio in early 2016 followed by the Vienna Business Agency in 2017.

My takeaway: oratio was an exceptionally ambitious venture that we established from scratch with limited resources. This journey taught us the importance of prioritizing effectively and adapting swiftly.

Read more about oratio in my article Ending oratio


Organizer • 2016 – 2017 • Vienna (Austria)

ChatbotConf 2017

Through oratio we started our first international conference on everything messaging, AI and chatbots in October 2016.

The latest edition ChatbotConf 2017 was hosted at Erste Campus in Vienna on 2nd and 3rd October 2017 and featured more than 26 international speakers from Facebook, Google, Twitter, Slack, Microsoft, Amazon and many more relevant startups from the messaging and chatbots industry.

In total, we attracted more than 1,000 guests over the course of two years of ChatbotConf. In 2017, we set out to extend the event to cover two full day: the first day, 'Community Day', featured events all over Vienna organized by and for the community. The second day, 'Conference Day', was dedicated to talks and discussions from industry experts.

We made all talks and panels available online! Watch talks from the Main Stage and the Master Classes for free on YouTube.

ChatbotConf 2016 aftermovie
ChatbotConf 2017
My takeaway: For me, connecting people has always been a personal priority. Leading a technology conference provided an avenue not just to evolve the company, but also to carve out our niche as thought leaders in the industry.


Workplaces for Creatives

Co-founder • 2014 • Vienna (Austria)


What started as a side project quickly became Austria's most important platform for coworking spaces, office spaces and more.

sharedspaces.at was initially a proof-of-concept to learn more about bootstrapping a two-sided marketplaces.

We initally faced the problem of neither having spaces on the platform, nor having any visitors because of the inital problem of not having any content. To overcome this problem we started to source spaces ourselves and put them on the platform on behalf of the owners.

Once we put an initial ~20 spaces online, the platform became self-sustaining in a way that more users became interested in finding spaces which led to more owners wanting to be listed on sharedspaces themselves. SEO was the most important driver of traffic.

sharedspaces is still online and run by David Pichsenmeister, having close to 500 listed spaces from all across the country.


Re-thinking online discussions

Co-founder and CEO • 2012 – 2014 • Vienna (Austria) and Berlin (Germany)


The very first project – and later the first company I founded – was also named oratio. It all started during my studies at the University of Graz when I started to teach myself coding PHP, MySQL, HTML and CSS in my free time.

Instead of running coding examples over and over, I wanted to work on an actual project. My idea was that online discussion could be much easier structured if questions ('Statements') and reactions to them would be displayed side by side, either on Pro or Con.

In 2014, Berlin-based accelerator Axel Springer Plug and Play invested in the company which allowed us to start working full-time on it.

After some iterations we eventually decided to not continue working on the idea, but with that project we laid the foundation for every future venture I have been working on ever since.

IdeenTriebwerk Graz

Co-founder •  2012 – 2014 • Graz (Austria)

IdeenTriebwerk Graz

While I was studying at the Univserity of Graz, I co-founded the non-profit organization IdeenTriebwerk Graz with three other friends. Its goal is to attract more students to consider startups as a viable career option.

We organized events of different sizes – from informal monthly meetups to weekend-long hackathons – to make it easy for everyone to dive into everything related tech and startups.

IdeenTriebwerk Graz is now run by a team of 25+ members (and an 80% female board!) and is still going strong as ever. I'm delighted to see what a bunch of ambitious youngsters was and still is able to pull off.

Through my work at Ideentriebwerk Graz, I was able to start working as a Project Manager for the nation-wide initiative AustrianStartups after moving to Vienna.