Rolf Schmidt-Holtz, CEO of Sony Music Entertainment in New York, is one of four investors of the newly founded company Hanse Ventures based in Hamburg.

His partners are Dr. Bernd Kundrun, former CEO of the publishing company Gruner+ Jahr, Jochen Maass, founder of the SEO (search engine optimization) agency artaxo, and Sarik Weber, former VP of sales for openBC, which is now Xing.

It is a private investment and had nothing to do with Sony Music, according to Schmidt-Holtz.

Maass and Weber will be responsible for the operative business, Kundrun and Schmidt-Holtz are advisers for the strategic area, said Sarik Weber, managing director of Hanse Ventures.

Hanse Ventures reports that they have already stakes in eight companies and are looking for another six to eight companies to invest in over the next three years.

Hanse Ventures did not want to talk about the whole investments, but confirmed investments in the German automobile parts finder Carmio in Hamburg and wedding planner Hochzeits Plaza in Munich.

"The company will combine the elements of talent, ideas, resources, network, and values in a unique way and uses it to create start-ups with an extraordinary potential for success," Weber tells Billboard.

"We are particularly interested in working with young entrepreneurs looking to start their own company who are eager to work independently and assume responsibility. We expect to match their own business ideas with capable management teams, but they haven't ruled out experienced execs with good ideas of the their own."

Schmidt-Holtz adds, "[Anyone] who wants to start with Hanse Ventures in his own business should have a lot of passion and enthusiasm, be able to meet challenges, support criticism and mostly be a good team-player."