My name is Manuel Gerlach and I was born in Dachau, Germany. I grew up in Garching, which is a suburb of Munich, Germany’s third biggest city.
At the age of 14 I taught myself how to write HTML and CSS and startet building my first websites. Ever since websites and the internet has been a big part of my life. I also tried myself selling buying and reselling stuff on eBay, which caused some legal issues because I did not have an official business. But I learned a lot and made important experiences.
In 2007, when I was 16 years old, I moved to Winona, MN, USA for one year and went to high school there. Every since English is a language I understand with ease and I am happy to be able to speak a second language fluently. After I graduated high school back in Germany (Abitur: 2.5) in 2010 I started going to university in Munich.
In 2011 I created my first own Facebook fanpages, that soon gained up to 25.000 Likes. That is when I saw the potential of social media marketing and also developed a big interest for the whole online marketing area. While my knowledge especially in social media marketing got better, I was asked to take care of a website and online channels for a local company. That is when I got self-employed in early 2013.
Next to university and working at several companies I also ran my own projects. In early 2013 I officially started my own business and got my first customers for online marketing services.
12/2008 - ongoing
In 2008 I started PartyMunich as a website for party photography. At first I only took photos at my high school parties, later at college parties, then in 2011 even in public clubs. Party photography was very time consuming and with a lot of competitors in Munich it was hard to gain any money with it. So in 2013 I switched the content from photography to information. I wrote about clubs and events and used my knowledge from my job at plan.net to optimize my page until it ranked very high at Google. PartyMunich received more than 10.000 users each month in 2014 via Google.
05/2015 - ongoing
Early 2015 I was found through my Xing Account by two students who were looking for some others to team up for a start up. They had the idea of developing an app that finds you teammates for recreational sports and makes the organization easier. As we are all bavarian we named our project sportln which means as much as „doing sports“. In November 2015 we released the first version of our app.
While going to university I also had a bunch of jobs that helped me gain lots of experience and knowledge.
In December 2010 I started my first serious job as a working student at OSRAM, one of the biggest producers of lamps and luminaries worldwide. I worked in the B2B Marketing area until June 2013.
In July 2013 I started working for the plan.net GmbH, which is part of one of the biggest marketing agencies in Germany, Serviceplan. Even though I only stayed for seven months I learned pretty much everything about search engine optimization. This job helped me gaining a lot of knowledge that I used for my own projects and customers.
In August 2014, after a little break from employment, I started working at the PAYACK GmbH, which is Germany’s largest loyalty program. I did social media marketing there, which consisted of Facebook Marketing only. Here also I learned a lot about Facebook advertisement and how to create „ideal“ posts. I stayed at PAYBACK until January 2015.