Partner at Benchmark
Fireside Chat with Benchmark Partner Matt Cohler and Confluent Founder Jay Kreps - 23.03.21, 17:00 CET
Matt Cohler has been a partner at Benchmark since 2008, serving as a board member and investor at numerous Internet and enterprise software companies. Prior to Benchmark, Matt was among the first employee hires and a member of the management team at Facebook and LinkedIn. Matt serves on the investment committee at Chan Zuckerberg Initiative and the Yale Investments Office, and as a board member at Environmental Defense Fund and the San Francisco Symphony. He studied music at Yale University.
Godmother of Silicon Valley &
Fireside Chat: Lifelong Learnings from the Godmother of Silicon Valley - 25.03.21, 16:30 CET
Esther Wojcicki is famous for three things: teaching a high school class that has changed the lives of thousands of kids, inspiring Silicon Valley legends like Steve Jobs, and raising three daughters who have each become famously successful. What do these three accomplishments have in common? They are the result of TRICK, Esther’s secret to raising successful people: Trust, Respect, Independence, Collaboration, and Kindness. Simple lessons, but the results are radical. Esther Wojcicki is a leading American educator and journalist. Mother of YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki, Fulbright scholar Janet Wojcicki, and 23&Me founder Anne Wojcicki, as well as a teacher and mentor to James Franco and Lisa Brennan-Jobs, Esther is widely heralded as the most successful parent and educator in the United States. Esther offers essential lessons for raising, educating, and managing people to their highest potential. She is the author of Moonshots in Education (2014) and best seller How to Raise Successful People (May, 2019). She is co founder of Tract.app (2020) an innovative way to empower students by gamifying education using a peer to peer model.
CEO Deutsche Bank
The Double Digitization: How Banks Can Transform Themselves - and Support the Transformation of Their Clients - 26.03.21, 17:10 CET
Christian Sewing, born in 1970, has been a member of the Management Board since January 1, 2015. He has been Chief Executive Officer since April 2018. Before graduating with a diploma from the Bankakademie Bielefeld and Hamburg, he completed a bank apprenticeship at Deutsche Bank in 1989. From January until June 2015, he was responsible on the Management Board for Legal, Incident Management Group and Group Audit, and assumed responsibility for Deutsche Bank’s Private & Commercial Bank between July 2015 and April 2018. He was Head of Group Audit from June 2013 to December 2014, prior to which he held a number of management positions in Risk. From 2012 to 2013, he was Deputy Chief Risk Officer. From 2010 to 2012, he served as the Bank’s Chief Credit Officer. He has worked in Frankfurt, London, Singapore, Tokyo and Toronto. From 2005 until 2007, Christian Sewing was a member of the Management Board of Deusche Genossenschafts-Hypothekenbank.
Serial Entrepreneur & Bestselling Author
Fireside Chat with Prof. Dr. Miriam Meckel: The Importance of Female Entrepreneurship in Europe - 24.03.21, 17:15 CET
Verena Pausder is one of the leading figures in Germany's digital education landscape and has founded several ventures herself, the biggest one being HABA Digitalwerkstätten. 2016, she was announced a "Young Global Leader" by the World Economic Forum for her ongoing commitment to providing all children with equal access to digital education. Her initiatives in this area, like the hackathon #wirfürschule (translated: we for school), have earned recognition all over Europe and her newest book "Das neue Land" has won several awards.
Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG & Mercedes-Benz AG
Ola Källenius was born on 11 June 1969 in Västervik, Sweden. After graduating from the Grammar School in Danderyd (Sweden), he did his military service in the Swedish army in 1988/89. From 1989 to 1993 he studied at the Stockholm School of Economics (Master in Finance and Accounting) and as part of the CEMS programme (Master of International Management) at the University of St. Gallen. In 1993 he joined the international junior research group of the former Daimler-Benz AG. Källenius has been a member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG since January 1, 2015 and became the Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG in 2019. He is also Chairman of the Board of Management of Mercedes-Benz AG and Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Daimler Truck AG.
Co-Founder & CDO Quanergy
Sensing From Outside In - 25.03.21, 18:30 CET
Tianyue Yu co-founded Quanergy (a unicorn) and serves as Chief Development Officer. She has a strong technical foundation with extensive experience in high resolution imaging, 3D laser scanning and microfabrication, high throughput sensing, nanotechnology and advanced electronics materials. She oversees the company’s product design, architecture, engineering and construction. She holds more than 15 patents in sensing, nanotechnology, and system design. Dr. Yu earned a Ph.D from Cornell University with concentration on nanomaterials and nanotechnology and a Bachelor of Science degree in chemical physics from University of Science and Technology of China.
How to Pivot at an Early Stage - 25.03.21, 12:05 CET
Holly Liu co-founded Kabam, a mobile gaming company in 2006. They made hit games such as Marvel Contest of Champions, Marvel Strikeforce, The Hobbit: Kingdoms of Middle Earth and Fast & Furious. While at Kabam lead the design for their flagship franchise Kingdoms of Camelot, grossing over $250M USD. She then went to oversee the People and Culture function where the org grew 500% in one year. She later was Chief of Staff and Chief Development Officer, developing key relationships in China, which led to the sale of Kabam in 2017. Kabam sold to Netmarble and FoxNext for a combined total of a billion dollars. Since exiting, she has been an early stage investor at YC and Mozilla. She now writes a newsletter for founders.
Fireside Chat: TBA - 27.03.21, 17:00 CET
Michael Seibel works at Y Combinator as a Group Partner and Managing Director of YC early stage. He moved to the bay area in 2006 and was co-founder and CEO of Justin.tv from 2007 - 2011 and the co-founder and CEO of Socialcam in 2012. Socialcam sold to Autodesk Inc. for $60m in the fall of 2012. In 2014, Justin.tv became Twitch, and under the leadership of Emmett Shear and Kevin Lin sold to Amazon for $970m. Before moving to the bay area, he spent a year as the finance director for a US Senate campaign in Maryland. In 2005, he graduated from Yale University with a bachelor's degree in political science. He is 38 years old and lives in San Francisco his wife Sarah and son Jonathan.
Founder & CEO StoneCo
Fireside Chat with Florian Schweitzer (btov): The Founding Story of LatAms Biggest FinTech - 27.03.21, 15:25 CET
André Street de Aguiar founded 5 companies, which include: StoneCo Ltd., Netcredit Promocao De Credito SA and Braspag Tecnologia de Pagamento Ltda. Currently, he occupies the position of Chairman at StoneCo Ltd. (which he founded in 2014), Chairman for Stone Pagamentos SA (which he founded in 2012) (a subsidiary of StoneCo Ltd.) and Partner & CEO at Arpex Capital Investimentos SA. He is also on the board of Lojas Americanas SA and Founding Partner of Acp Investments Ltd. (he founded the company in 2011). In the past André Street de Aguiar was Chief Executive Officer at Braspag Tecnologia de Pagamento Ltda. (he founded the company in 2005).
Fireside Chat with Jochen Wegner: TBA - 26.03.21, 173:30 CET
Ingmar Hoerr founded “CureVac, the RNA people“ together with colleagues in Tübingen, Germany in 2000. His entrepreneurship was motivated by his surprising discovery during his doctoral research that naked mRNA can be expressed in vivo without the risk of rapid degradation, while exhibiting the ability to generate strong specific immune responses, in contrast to what had previously been believed. During his time as CEO until June 2018, Ingmar initiated with CureVac the first clinical human trials testing mRNA therapeutics, thereby contributing to the development of the mRNA industry. During this time, he and his colleagues raised approximately $500 million in equity and significantly grew the company.CureVac today has several potential therapeutics in its pipeline for the protection against infectious diseases, the treatment of cancer and for protein replacement. It has entered into various collaborations with multinational corporations and organizations, including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Elon Musk’s Tesla Grohmann. Since August 2020, CureVac is listed on Nasdaq.
The Community Playbook for Brands and Businesses - 25.03.21, 19:00 CET
Tina Sharkey has driven innovation in media, commerce, and community for more than two decades, pioneering the development and adoption of pivotal consumer brands and platforms that bring data and technology together. A C-suite executive, board member, founder, and change agent, she has created, led, and scaled global brands and businesses transforming the way we communicate, shop and share.
Co-Founder & CEO Adyen
Fireside Chat: The Growth Story of One of Europe's Biggest FinTech Startups - 26.03.21, 12:30 CET
A leading expert with over 15 years of experience in the payments industry, Pieter van der Does was the CCO at Bibit before co-founding Adyen in 2006. Since then, Adyen has grown from a start-up into a global operation, averaging double-digit annual growth since 2007. Adyen is the payments platform of choice for many of the world’s leading companies, providing a modern end-to-end infrastructure connecting directly to Visa, Mastercard, and consumers' globally preferred payment methods. With 24 offices across the world, Adyen serves customers including Facebook, Uber, Spotify, Casper, Bonobos and L’Oréal.
Lecturer Stanford GSB and Founder & President Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen Foundation
Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen is a founder, educator, and best-selling author who empowers women to pursue leadership roles and people to create greater impact - in their communities, workplaces, and society - by giving their time, expertise, networks, and resources. She is the founder and chairman of the Stanford Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society (Stanford PACS), and the Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen Foundation (LAAF), and founder and chairman emeritus of the Silicon Valley Social Venture Fund (SV2). For 20 years, Laura has developed and taught original courses on strategic philanthropy, women in leadership, and accessible leadership at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. Laura's New York Times Best Seller, Giving 2.0: Transform Your Giving and Our World, encourages people of all backgrounds to give with greater intent and impact. Laura holds an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business, as well as an MA in Education, BA, and MA in Art History, all from Stanford University.
CDO & VP of Engineering LinkedIn
Panel: Data and Human Bias: How Can We Foster Fairness in Recruitment and the Workplace? - 23.03.21, 19:00 CET
Igor Perisic is the Chief Data Officer and VP of Engineering at LinkedIn. In the past, he has worked as a Senior Product Manager at Microsoft, Chief Scientist of Entopia's research program, Statistical Consultant at Turn, and CTO at Healthline.com. Igor holds a bachelor's degree in mathematics from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL) and a doctorate in statistics from Harvard University. His current interests are in the areas of statistics, data mining, social networks, search, semantic engines, unstructured data analysis, information retrieval, distributed systems and data infrastructure. Additionally, Igor is part of START Global's ROSE Framework Advisory Board and has been supporting its development since 2019.
Distinguished Affiliated Professor at Technische Universität München, Advisor Lakestar
Panel: The Need for Patient Capital in Europe - 26.03.21, 16:30 CET
Prof. Dr. Dr. Ann-Kristin Achleitner is a Distinguished Affiliated Professor at Technische Universität München and Advisor to Lakestar. As a former lecturer at the HSG, she is still involved in her alma mater, for example as chair of the jury of the ACA Prize in Financial Governance of the Institute of Accounting, Control and Auditing. Since 2001, she has been a professor at the Technical University of Munich, where she held the Chair of Entrepreneurial Finance from 2001-2020. Prof. Dr. Dr. Ann-Kristin Achleitner is also a trustee of the Deutsche Startup-Verband and an active investor in both European and American start-ups. Additionally, she is a member of the supervisory board of MunichRe and Linde.
Co-Founder & CEO Supercell
Fireside Chat: Creating an Innovative Work Environment - 26.03.21, 15:00 CET
Ilkka Paananen is the CEO and co-founder of Supercell, the Finnish mobile games developer behind Clash of Clans, Hay Day, Boom Beach, Clash Royale, and Brawl Stars. Founded in 2010, Supercell’s games have been featuring in the global top 10 for years after launch and are played by hundreds of millions of people every month. Supercell is the first European technology start-up to have reached a valuation of $10 billion.
Fireside Chat: TBA - 23.03.21, 17:00 CET
As president and chief executive officer of Logitech, Bracken P. Darrell is responsible for Logitech’s strategy for growth and profitability, for the vision for the brand as well as for the company’s operations. Mr. Darrell joined Logitech as president in April 2012, and assumed the role of chief executive officer in January 2013. Mr. Darrell brings to Logitech more than twenty years of experience in business management and brand management in successful global consumer companies, including Whirlpool, Procter & Gamble and General Electric. His broad executive management experience has spanned manufacturing, supply chain, product innovation, consumer services and marketing – targeting customers in mature and emerging markets. He has led growth and reinvention for iconic brands such as Old Spice, Gillette, Braun, KitchenAid and Whirlpool.Prior to joining Logitech, Mr. Darrell was executive vice president of Whirlpool Corporation and president of Whirlpool EMEA, where he guided the company through the economic downturn of 2008. Previously, Mr. Darrell was with Procter & Gamble, most recently as the president of Braun, the home appliance business. In addition to a total of twelve years with Procter & Gamble – in executive management positions as well as earlier years in brand management – Mr. Darrell served with General Electric Company for five years, most recently as the general manager of Consumer Home Service. Mr. Darrell began his career with Arthur Anderson and then PepsiCo.Bracken Darrell holds an M.B.A. degree from Harvard Business School and a B.A. degree in English from Hendrix College in Arkansas.
Co-Founder & CEO ada Learning
Fireside Chat with Verena Pausder: The Importance of Female Entrepreneurship in Europe - 24.03.21, 17:15 CET
Prof. Dr. Miriam Meckel is Professor of Communication Management at the University of St. Gallen, Switzerland, and Co-founder and CEO of ada Learning GmbH. Previously, she was editor-in-chief and publisher of WirtschaftsWoche, Germany's weekly business magazine, since 2014. For one legislative period, she was government spokesperson and State Secretary for Media, Europe and International Affairs in the North Rhine-Westphalian state government. Miriam Meckel was a Faculty Associate at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society for several years as well as a Visiting Professor at the Singapore Management University, the University of Vienna and the Université de Neuchâtel. She conducts research on the transformation of communication through new technologies, disinformation on the Internet, data simulation and decision management, and quantum computing. Miriam Meckel has received, among other awards, the Cicero Speaker Prize in the category of science and the Order of Merit of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia. Her bestseller "Letter to My Life" was filmed for ZDF in 2015.
Co-Founder & Co-CEO Brex
The Explosive Growth of the LatAm FinTech Unicorn Brex - 22.03.21, 17:30 CET
Henrique Dubugras is Co-Founder & Co-CEO of Brex — a company reimagining financial systems so every growing company can realize their full potential and take control of their spend and business as they scale. A Brazilian entrepreneur, Henrique built payments company Pagar.me — the Stripe of Brazil — when he was sixteen years old, with his co-founder Pedro Franceschi. In just three years, Pagar.me grew to $1.5 billion in volume of transactions processed. In the fall of 2016, Henrique and Pedro sold Pagar.me and enrolled at Stanford University. Henrique and Pedro founded Brex in 2017 to give small businesses access to the financial tools and services they need to grow and succeed.
Co-Founder & VP EightSleep
How to Get Fit Through Sleep - 23.03.21, 20:10 CET
Alexandra Zatarain is the Co-founder and VP of Brand and Marketing of Eight Sleep, the world's first sleep fitness company. Eight Sleep has raised over $65M in venture funding and has helped over 30,000 people get sleep fit with its hardware and digital products. In 2017, Alexandra was named by Forbes to the 30 Under 30 list in Consumer Technology, and in 2020 she was named by Inc as one of the top 100 Female Founders. Alexandra is also an angel investor in female-founded companies as a scout for Cleo Capital. She was raised in Tijuana, Mexico and now lives in Miami.
Co-Founder & CEO Confluent
Fireside Chat with Benchmark Partner Matt Cohler and Confluent Founder Jay Kreps - 23.03.21, 17:00 CET
Jay Kreps is the CEO of Confluent, Inc., a company backing the popular Apache Kafka messaging system. Prior to founding Confluent, he was formerly the lead architect for data infrastructure at LinkedIn. He is among the original authors of several open-source projects including Project Voldemort (a key-value store). Apache Kafka (a distributed messaging system) and Apache Samza (a stream processing system).
Founder & CEO wefox Group
Fireside Chat: How Data Regulation Can Be Europe's Advantage in the International Innovation Competition? - 26.03.21, 18:35 CET
Julian Teicke is an entrepreneur with a passion to fundamentally change the status quo. After his studies, he co-founded "DeinDeal", a leading e-commerce platform in Switzerland, which he led to a dominant market position and was successfully sold to an international media company. He is also a founding member of EMPAUA and successfully mentors a series of ‘game changing’ startups. Julian is the founder of wefox Group and holds responsibility for ‘its purpose and vision’. He started wefox in 2015, the digital platform connecting brokers to their customers and insurers and grew it into a unicorn-startup. He further established the company's own insurance in 2018, the first fully-digital European Insurance carrier. Today, Julian holds the position of Group CEO, with a view to rapidly scale the wefox brand globally, whilst building a third business to connect insurers and distributors through an open API. Julian graduated with a BA in Business Administration in St. Gallen, where he received the Startup@HSG Founder of the year award.
Co-Founder Ratepay & Banxware
Fireside Chat with Thomas Jarzombek (Member of the German Bundestag): TBA - 26.03.21, 19:15 CET
Miriam Wohlfarth is Founder and Managing Director of Ratepay and Co-Founder of Banxware. In both companies she is responsible for the areas of Innovation, Marketing and Sales. With almost 20 years’ experience in online payment, she was most recently Country ManagerGermany of the international payment service provider Ogone (Ingenico Payment Services). Prior to that, she played a significant role in establishing the electronic payment transaction business for the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) and its payment services subsidiary Bibit in Germany.
Co-Founder & Executive Chairman Strava
Mark Gainey has been building successful companies for nearly 20 years. He currently serves as the co-founder and executive chairman of Strava, the leading social platform for athletes and the largest sports participation platform in the world. Founded in 2009, over 76 million athletes worldwide have joined Strava for the competition and camaraderie found in tracking and sharing their fitness activities. Mark also co-founded Kana Communications, an enterprise software firm, in 1996 and served in various capacities, including CEO, president, and chairman. He has offered his expertise to a wide array of companies over the years, joining the boards of Alter-G, BoardVantage, Daum, Clari, and Coaching Corps. Mark holds an AB from Harvard University.
Mountaineer & World Record Holder
Anja Blacha is a mountaineer and polar explorer. She set the world record for the longest solo and unsupported polar expedition by a woman. She is also one in only eleven women worldwide to summit K2, the savage mountain, without supplemental oxygen. Before that, she already stood atop the highest mountain of each continent, including Mount Everest, as the youngest German ever to do so. As the Vice President of Youth at the Project Management Institute, she advocates for the involvement and influence of young people in business and society.
Co-Founder Siri & Viv Labs
Fireside Chat: Lessons from the Founding of Siri, Viv Labs and Sentiment - 24.03.21, 19:00 CET
Adam Cheyer is an inventor, entrepreneur, engineering executive, and a pioneer in AI and computer human interfaces. Adam has been a co-founder or founding member of four successful startups, including Siri (sold to Apple, where he led server-side engineering and AI for the Siri assistant), Change.org (the world's largest petition platform), Viv Labs (sold to Samsung, where he led product engineering and developer relations for Samsung’s voice assistant), and Sentient (massively distributed machine learning). Previously, Adam was VP Engineering at Verticalnet (enterprise software) and Dejima (mobile software). Adam also spent more than a decade at SRI International, where his most recent role was as Chief Architect of CALO/PAL, the US government's largest funded AI project. Adam has authored more than 60 publications and 38 patents. He graduated with highest honors from Brandeis University and received the “Outstanding Masters Student” award from UCLA’s School of Engineering.
Co-Founder Planetly & Outfittery
TBA - 23.03.21, 18:05 CET
Anna Alex is the founder and CCO (Chief Customer Officer) of Planetly, a climate technology company that develops digital tools to help businesses analyze, reduce and offset their carbon emissions. Their goal is to make the business world carbon neutral. From 2012 to 2018, she built the personal shopping service OUTFITTERY. Anna Alex retired from operations at the end of 2018, but continue to support the company as a board member.In 2019, she joined the climate initiative "Leaders for Climate Action", which was launched by more than 100 digital entrepreneurs in Germany. Inspired by the goals of the initiative and driven by the desire to actively and entrepreneurially deal with the climate crisis, she founded Planetly together with Benedikt Franke. She is convinced that data and technology have what it takes to provide companies with the transparency of their Co2 footprint that leads to actionable steps to reduce it. Anna Alex studied economics, sociology and psychology in Freiburg and Paris and started her career with the start-up incubator Rocket Internet. Over the course of her career, she has been voted Europe's Inspiring Fifty, Most Inspiring Women in Tech, and Young Elite - Top 40 Under 40.
Chairman of the German Council of Economic Experts
Panel: The Need for Patient Capital in Europe - 26.03.21, 16:30 CET
Lars P. Feld holds the chair for Economic Policy and Constitutional Economics at Albert-Ludwigs-University of Freiburg since 2010 and is the current president of the Walter Eucken Institute. His research focuses on economic and fiscal policies, the emerging field of New Political Economy, and the economic analysis of law. After his studies in economics Lars P. Feld graduated from University of St. Gallen in 1999 and qualified for a professorship in 2002. From 2002 to 2006, he worked as a professor of economics, with a focus on public finance, at Philipps-University Marburg. From 2006 to 2010 Feld held a similar position at Ruprecht-Karls-University Heidelberg. He is a permanent guest professor at the Center for European Economic Research (ZEW) in Mannheim, as well as a member of Leopoldina (the German National Academy of the Sciences), the Kronberger Kreis – scientific council of the think tank Stiftung Marktwirtschaft –, and the Mont Pelerin Society. On November 2nd, 2017 Lars P. Feld was awarded an honorable doctorate degree from the University of Luzern. Since 2003, Lars P. Feld has been a member of the Scientific Advisors to the Federal Ministry of Finance. In 2007, he was named an expert to the Bundesrat and Bundestag commission for the modernization of federal financial relations (Federalism Commission II) and contributed as an advisor on the subject of the new German debt brake measures. In March 2011 Feld was, at the recommendation of the federal government, appointed to the German Council of Economic Experts; in March 2016 he was appointed for another tenure till 2021. In the end of 2013 Lars P. Feld was elected member of the advisory board of the German stability council.
TBA - 26.03.21, 15:30 CET
Rolf Schrömgens conceptualized trivago in 2005 and has served as a managing director of Trivago GmbH until 2019. Since 2005 trivago grew into a Tech-Unicorn and into one of the worlds biggest hotel-booking websites. Prior to that, Mr. Schrömgens was Founder of Amiro.de and later the VP of ciao.com, a consumer review website. Mr. Schrömgens was the President of the Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) and also holds a diploma in management from the Leipzig Graduate School of Management (HHL).
Director of Platform at BMW i Ventures
Investing in Purpose-Driven Entrepreneurs Building High-Performance Companies - 23.03.21, 18:30 CET
Sohaila is the Managing Director of BMW i Ventures in Europe. In addition to this role she also serves in the global team as the Director of Platform with a focus on developing and implementing strategic growth initiatives for BMW i Ventures’ portfolio companies. Leveraging the unique strengths of the BMW ecosystem the goal of these efforts is to establish transformative partnerships and help the portfolio companies succeed and scale. Before joining BMW i Ventures Sohaila worked as a Senior Innovation and New Business Manager within the Telecommunications and Media industry as well as a Management Consultant. Sohaila is a mission-driven leader and a strong advocate of sustainable and responsible Venture Capital investing.
Co-Founder & Partner btov Partners
Fireside Chat with Andre Street (StoneCo): The Founding Story of LatAms Biggest FinTech - 23.03.21, 17:00 CET
Florian co-founded btov Partners in 2000 as an online matching platform for Business Angels and startups. He has led the company since then to become a unique European venture capital firm, closely collaborating with professional business angels to support the growth of entrepreneurs and their startups. He serves on several technology startup boards and is one of the partners in the btov Digital Tech Fund. While studying for his MA in finance from the University of St. Gallen, Florian was also responsible for developing the entrepreneurial student organization START which he today supports as member of the foundation board. He also serves on the board of Fondation Botnar, a Swiss-based foundation that champions the use of digital technology to improve the wellbeing of children in urban environments.
Co-Founder & CEO Mambu
Fireside Chat: From the Philippines to Berlin - How Mambu Climbed to the German FinTech Top - 26.03.21, 15:00 CET
Eugene is the co-founder, CEO, and driving force behind the rapidly growing Mambu SaaS banking platform. Eugene leads a team of 500 Mambuvians in over 20 countries while growing Mambu to be one of Europe’s most valuable enterprise SaaS companies. Eugene brings his background in computer science, design and entrepreneurship to find impactful opportunities for technology in banking and financial services around the globe.
Founder Altimeter & NYT Best Selling Author
The Secret to Exponential Growth - 24.03.21, 17:00 CET
For the past two decades, Charlene Li has helped people to get a better understanding of what the future might bring. She is an expert in digital transformation, leadership, customer experience, and the future of work. She is the author of six books, including the New York Times bestseller "Open Leadership" and co-author of the critically acclaimed book "Groundswell". Her latest book is the bestseller "The Disruption Mindset". She is the founder of Altimeter, a disruptive analyst firm acquired in 2015 by Prophet. Charlene is a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Business School and was named one of the most creative people in business by Fast Company.
Founder & Co-CEO Chrono24
Fireside Chat: How Karlsruhe Became the Leading Global Marketplace for Luxury Watches - 23.03.21, 18:25 CET
Tim Stracke is co-founder and co-CEO of Chrono24, an international marketplace for high-end watches. At START Summit 2021, he will share the experiences he has collected as an entrepreneur for more than 10 years.
Founder & CEO Nuritas
Paving the Way - When Your Business Idea Has Never Been Done Before - 25.03.21, 19:45 CET
Nora is a mathematician with a PhD in Molecular Evolution and Bioinformatics. Throughout her career, Nora’s ambition has been to disrupt the status quo in areas that have been void of technology by introducing new ways of thinking, big data, and new algorithms. Previous to Nuritas™, Nora was the first scientist to show gene transfer between multi-cellular species. This groundbreaking find put into question many of the phylogenetic methods currently in use today. Nora founded Nuritas with the mission to improve the lives of billions of people globally. Using revolutionary AI methods, Nuritas is discovering life-changing peptides with huge potential to improve global health in a sustainable and healthy way. Nora has won multiple awards including the EU Women Economic Forum Woman of the Decade. She was inducted into the World Economic Forum’s Young Global Leaders class of 2019. Over the next few years, Nora plans to lead the Nuritas team in their goal of reaching billions of people with their life-changing ingredients.
Co-Founder & COO Karma
Panel: Leveraging Technology to Reduce Food-Waste (in a Post-Covid World) - 22.03.21, 18:30 CET
Elsa is an entrepreneur, passionate about creating a motivated and high-growth organisation to galvanize the first Zero Food Waste Generation. Karma has now been running for over 4 years since she co-founded it with three other entrepreneurs. The company is energised around a collective goal – to lead the way towards a truly circular economy and ultimately solve global food waste. She was featured in Forbes 30-under-30 list in 2018 and Karma has been featured in both Fast Company’s Top 10 Most Innovative Companies in Europe and the top 100 hottest startups in Europe by Wired UK.
Co-Founder & Partner Earlybird VC
Panel: The Need for Patient Capital in Europe - 26.03.21, 16:30 CET
Hendrik Brandis is a Co-founder and Partner at Earlybird who is based in Munich, Germany. Hendrik’s current domain focus is deep tech and enterprise productivity for startup companies with corporate-division software and hardware products, as well as selected high-tech topics. Hendrik currently serves on the boards of Earlybird portfolio companies aiven (Helsinki, Finland), B2X Care Solutions (Munich), Instamotion (Munich), Isar Aerospace (Munich), MyDataModels (Valbonne, France), Onefootball (Berlin), and Simscale (Munich). Hendrik has served as an EVCA (European Venture Capital Association) board member and Chairman of the EVCA Venture Capital Platform Council. He brings over 25 years of investment, operational, and entrepreneurial experience. Hendrik has been the driving force behind multiple sales: as a board member of element5 AG, the sale to Digital River (NASDAQ: DRIV); dooyoo.de (Berlin) which was sold to leguide.com; Dianoema which listed on the Borsa Italiana (Milan: NOE.MI); as well as NFON AG which listed on the Frankfurter Boerse. Before establishing Earlybird, Hendrik was a Partner with McKinsey & Company where he led McKinsey's small- and mid-sized company initiative and actively supported the creation of McKinsey New Venture. Hendrik gained his own entrepreneurial experience as Project Manager in the Technology Department of Messerschmitt-Boelkow-Blohm (now part of Airbus), focusing on the design and innovative manufacturing processes of composite aircraft structures. He attended the Technical University of Munich and holds a Dipl.-Ing. (MSc equivalent) and a PhD degree in Aerospace Engineering.
Partner at btov Partners
Panel: The Need for Patient Capital in Europe - 26.03.21, 16:30 CET
Christian Reitberger has worked with btov since 2008 as a lead investor on numerous deep tech transactions. He joined the btov Industrial Tech Fund as a founding Partner in 2018. Christian has been investing in deeptech companies for the last 22 years, covering semiconductor, photonics, quantum technologies, resource efficiency, industrial AI / robotics and computer vision companies, from small pre revenue startups to large buyouts. He served as a Partner with Wellington Partners since 2009. Prior to that he spent nine years with Apax Partners as a Partner in the Tech Team. After obtaining a PhD in Physics sub auspiciis praesidentis from the University of Vienna and stints at CERN and a number of corporate research labs, Christian gained his first professional work experience with McKinsey starting in 1995.
Co-Founder & Principal 5th Century Partners
Jessica is a co-founder and principal of 5th Century Partners (5CP), a purpose-driven private equity firm that partners with leading lower middle-market businesses to accelerate growth by harnessing diversity as a strategic advantage. Prior to founding 5CP, Jessica was a partner at Andreessen Horowitz’ Cultural Leadership Fund where she focused on bridging culture and technology by bringing more black investors, founders and talent into the tech ecosystem. Jessica started her career as an investor and operator of consumer businesses. She has worked with and advised companies at all stages of growth including starting her own company. Jessica received an MBA from Stanford Graduate School of Business and a BBA in Finance from Howard University. She lives in Oakland with her husband, Andrew, and two kittens, Doubles and Mochi.
Co-Founder Lillian Augusta
Nana co-founded Lillian Augusta, a startup that produces plant-based braiding hair. This lightweight, toxin free alternative to synthetic braiding hair makes for a much more comfortable experience when wearing braids. Earlier this year Nana completed her master’s in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology at the University of Michigan. As a graduate student, she began to explore the intersection of Black haircare products and sustainability and has been on that path ever since. Before her master’s program, she studied Plant Science and Agricultural Science at Cornell University. .
Corporate Communication Director DJI Europe
Barbara Stelzner leads DJI's communications team in Europe. She is responsible for the company's external communications and media relations. Her passion for drones began many years ago when she taught journalism, media, and communications management at the Macromedia University of Applied Sciences. There she focused in particular on the use of drones in sports communication. Barbara Stelzner holds a degree in film and television studies from the Polytechnic of Central London and a Ph.D. in Film and Art History from the University of Bonn. She is a professor of media management and journalism. Before joining DJI, she worked for over 25 years as a journalist for the BBC, European Business News, Sky News, and CNBC.
Practice Leader, Human Development, Africa at World Bank Group
Fireside Chat: Entrepreneurship as a Key to Poverty Alleviation - 24.03.21, 19:25 CET
Dr. Rebekka Grun is Practice Leader in the West Africa Region of the World Bank, resourcing and mentoring the Human Development team, while operationally integrating countries and sectors across the matrix. Earlier, she was assistant to the president, covering Human Development, Economics and core global partnerships. She has so far worked in high-, middle-, low income and fragile countries, in Africa, Europe and Central Asia, Latin America and the Middle East. Before joining the Bank, Rebekka was an adviser in the UK Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit, which she joined from private sector strategy consulting. Rebekka holds a PhD in Economics from University College London, exploring the impact of violence on investment and displacement in Colombia, and a lic.oec. from the University of St. Gallen.
Partner at btov Partners
Andreas Goeldi is an Internet technologist, serial entrepreneur and startup investor with over two decades of experience. Before joining btov in 2019 as a partner, he previously co-founded and helped build several successful technology startups in e-business services, social media analytics, video marketing and online content in both Europe and the United States. More recently, he was the Chief Technology and Strategy Officer at video marketing AI start-up Pixability in Boston. His varied and well-traveled career has also seen Andreas excel in previous roles as a developer, CTO, head of consulting, board member and CEO. He has also been an active angel investor for over 20 years. Andreas holds masters degrees in technology management from MIT and the University of St.Gallen, as well as four U.S. patents. He lives with his family in St.Gallen, Switzerland and enjoys movies, gadgets and high-end audio.
General Partner CREANDUM
TBA - 24.03.21, 20:10 CET
Simon is a developer at heart and a venture capitalist in mind. German born, Simon gained operational experience building three companies for Rocket Internet between Asia, Latin America and the US before starting his Investment Career at Earlybird Venture Capital. He joined Creandum in 2016. Fintech is one of his major focus areas and throughout his VC career, he led the investments in N26, Taxfix, Billie, and Tide. Simon holds a Bachelor's degree from the University of Münster and a Master from the University of St. Gallen – with time spent at Virginia Tech and the University of Toronto.
Chief Fintech Correspondent Reuters
Anna Irrera, Chief Correspondent, Fintech – ReutersAnna Irrera is a Chief Correspondent at Reuters in London where she covers the financial technology sector and technology-related developments at some of the world’s largest financial institutions. In her role, she works on stories on topics at the intersection of Wall Street and Silicon Valley, including cryptocurrencies and their underlying technology blockchain, peer-to-peer lending, digital payments and online investing. Anna was previously team leader for financial companies coverage and fintech correspondent for Reuters based in New York. She joined Reuters in 2016 having previously covered fintech at Financial News, a Dow Jones newspaper in London, where she played a key role in the publication’s expanded fintech coverage. She joined Dow Jones in 2012 as an online reporter for Financial News, having moved to the UK from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil where she worked at Reuters’, English language international service. She holds a M.S. degree (with honors) from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in New York and a graduate degree in law from the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore in Milan.
Growth Marketing Manager Northern Europe Google
As Google’s Growth Marketing Manager for Northern Europe, Yacine has been with the global tech company for almost a decade. A career that has trained an analytical mindset, Yacine helps companies navigate and succeed in a constantly evolving digital landscape, through data-driven decisions. As an experienced practitioner of business organisational leadership, she supports leaders to harness the digital evolution through high-impact, cross-functional strategies. With roots in both Senegal and Finland, Yacine has lived and breathed the path of diversity. Currently, she holds the position as a Diversity and Inclusion Lead at Google as well as a board member role at Åbo Akademi and an Advisor role at the non-profit organisation Ambitious Africa. In the past, she has been recognised, not only for her female leadership by the Finnish Chamber of Commerce but also on the cover of the business magazine, Talouselämä, bringing to light the need for greater workplace inclusivity. Yacine exercises her passionate belief in the value of diversity by championing the connections to an organisation’s long-term, financial success. Yacine is an advocate for entrepreneurial projects that drive the democratisation of technology and innovation. She leverages her public speaking and media influence to create solutions for building stronger and more productive societies. Yacine holds an Executive MBA from Aalto University, which has refined her geopolitical and macro-economic understanding of how to effect sustainable change to our societies.
Founder & CEO Merantix
Build Ecosystems Instead of Strategies - 26.03.21, 18:55 CET
Adrian Locher is the founder of Merantix, a Berlin-based research and venture lab in the space of Artificial Intelligence. Merantix conceptualizes, builds, and scales machine learning ventures. He built his previous venture to more than CHF 100M sales and 200 employees. Prior to that, he has built several B2B software companies, some of them successful, some of them not. Adrian graduated with a degree in business and economics from the University of St. Gallen (HSG), where he started his very first business as a software developer. He was awarded "HSG Entrepreneur of the Year 2012", "Swiss E-Commerce Champion 2015" and was ranked "40 under 40" by Swiss Bilanz magazine.
Founding Partner Cherry Ventures
Christian is a Founding Partner at Cherry. After some years at The Boston Consulting Group, Christian joined Zalando as their first CMO. Christian was responsible for building up and managing the group’s marketing efforts (i.e. performance marketing, CRM, PR, TV and brand marketing). He then joined the Management Board of Peek&Cloppenburg and was responsible for the company’s online business. He holds a diploma in business administration from WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management. He has lived and worked in the U.S., Spain, Brazil and South Africa. Christian gets excited about founders that are as passionate about execution as they are about building a strong and sustainable brand. He has a particular focus on logistics and mobility as well food technology companies.
Co-Founder & COO Nova Credit
TBA - 25.03.21, 19:30 CET
Nicky Goulimis is the COO of Nova Credit, which she co-founded with Misha Esipov and Loek Jannsen when they met as graduate students at Stanford University. The company began as a research project in 2015 and has since evolved into the premier cross-border credit reporting agency. Before founding Nova Credit, Nicky was a consultant at Bain & Company, where she served a number of distressed European Retail Banks on their transformation and liquidity strategies. Nicky began her career in the international development space working for a Ugandan NGO, and later Ethiopia’s Ministry of Agriculture on its smallholder farmer financial access initiatives. Nicky is originally from Greece and grew up in the U.K. She holds a BA from Cambridge (1st class) and an M.B.A. from the Stanford Graduate School of Business, where she received the Miller Social Change Leadership Award, which recognizes social innovators in the program.
Chief Product Officer HubSpot
Fireside Chat: Starting Products from Scratch - 23.03.21, 17:45 CET
Christopher O’Donnell is the Chief Product Officer at HubSpot, where he drives product management, design, and user experience for HubSpot’s suite of products.Prior to this role, Christopher led the product team building the HubSpot CRM and HubSpot Sales Pro. Upon joining HubSpot Christopher led the re-write of the HubSpot Marketing product, culminating in HubSpot Contacts and the release of HubSpot3 in 2012. Previously, Christopher was Director of Product at Performable before it was acquired by HubSpot in 2011. He has also been a startup founder, advisor, and product/UX leader.In his free time, Christopher pursues his decades-long passions for building technology products, producing music, and playing guitar. Christopher graduated from Brown University with a BA in Computers and Music.
Chairwoman of the Board SBB
Monika Ribar studied business administration at the University of St. Gallen and completed executive programs at Stanford University and Harvard University in the USA. After holding professional positions at BASF Österreich GmbH and the Fides Group in Zurich, she joined the Swiss logistics company Panalpina in 1991. She worked there until 2013, most recently as CEO of the globally active company from 2006. Monika Ribar is a member of the Board of Directors of Sika AG (since 2011) and Chain IQ (since 2014). She joined the Board of Directors of SBB AG in 2014. Since June 2016, Monika Ribar has been Chairman of the Board of Directors of SBB AG.
Director Product Management at Zoho Corporation
TBA - 23.03.21, 16:40 CET
Rajalakshmi Srinivasan, or Raji as she’s fondly called, is a Director of Product Management at Zoho Corp. In her 21 years journey with the company, she has gained extensive experience ranging from database scaling and network monitoring to application performance tracking and end-user-experience management. She currently leads the application performance monitoring section in Site24x7 - a cloud-based all-in-one monitoring product from Zoho Corp. Her greatest asset though is the profound wisdom that she has gathered through the years on how to innovate and improvise on an idea, how to rally a team around it, and how to execute it to perfection consistently ahead of the competition. She has an engineering degree in Computer Science from The College Of Engineering, Guindy (CEG), Chennai. She is a fitness freak. When she is not working, you can spot her running marathons, participating in clean-up drives, and traveling places along with her 3 little ones.
Lea is a seasoned executive with over 17 years of investing and operating experience. She is a partner at Antler, a global early stage VC and a founding partner at Ozone X, focused on investing in underrepresented founders solving big problems. Before returning to venture capital, she was the Co-founder, President & COO of Averon, the world's strongest and easiest mobile identity platform. Lea's career began with investment banking and private equity at Morgan Stanley, and she has spent the last decade investing, including five years with Northzone, one of Europe’s leading VC funds. While there, Lea focused at the fintech, mobile and marketplace sectors, and made investments such as iZettle, Trustpilot & Artfinder. Over the past few years, Lea has served as an angel investor, board member, and advisor in San Francisco where her portfolio includes Zesty, Boosterfuels, Qapital, Superpedestrian, among others. She also advises select funds. A Kauffman Fellow, Lea holds a Harvard MBA and an MSc in Business Administration from Stockholm School of Economics and HEC Paris. She has served on a variety of corporate boards as well as on the Board of SVCA (the Swedish Venture Capital and Private Equity Association). Lea is a mom to a vivacious daughter, nutritionist, former fitness instructor, and a performance hacking hobbyist.
Markus Witte is founder and Executive Chairman at Babbel, the world’s number one language-learning app. Markus began his career at NYU, and later lectured at Humboldt University in Berlin, where he discovered his passion for teaching. Following his time as an academic, he managed the online and systems teams at music software company Native Instruments. Coming back to learning and teaching, he founded Babbel with three others in 2007 and steered the company as CEO until 2019. He has taken an unusual route from academia to the tech industry and later entrepreneurship. Independent study, however, has been the constant theme uniting these disparate paths. Markus’s passion for autonomous learning was sparked by teaching himself programming in 1984 on an Olivetti L1 M44 computer in order to fund the purchase of his first drum kit. Since then, he views continuous learning as an approach to life.
Co-Founder Lillian Augusta
Jannice co-founded Lillian Augusta, a startup that produces plant-based braiding hair. This lightweight, toxin free alternative to synthetic braiding hair makes for a much more comfortable experience when wearing braids. Jannice is a social entrepreneur creating sustainable solutions in hair and beauty. She has a background in environmental science and conservation ecology. She has done research in wetlands, agro-ecosystems, and diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in the environmental field.
Partner VI Partners AG
The Explosive Growth of the LatAm FinTech Unicorn Brex - 22.03.21, 17:30 CET
Daniel Gutenberg is Venture Partner of VI Partners, a Swiss venture capital firm. He joined the company in 2003. Subsequent to selling Gutenberg Communication Systems AG to the Telindus Group in the year 2000, Daniel Gutenberg became a very active business angel and investor in numerous startups. His focus is on Technology and he has been taking board assignments for various public and private companies as well as for YPO Young Presidents’ Organization, a network of young global business leaders. He also acts as the president of the Swiss Technion Society and as a member of the Circle of Investors of BrainsToVentures.Daniel Gutenberg was awarded as a business angel of the year in 2011 (SECA). He is fluent in English, French and German
CEO Swissnex San Francisco
Gioia the CEO of swissnex San Francisco. Switzerland’s innovation outpost in the Bay Area located at Pier17. A public-private partnership, swissnex builds programs and offers services to Swiss universities, startups, corporate and creatives to accelerate their innovation capacity and fast-track their access to the Silicon Valley ecosystem. Gioia’s professional journey has taken her to various countries, from Switzerland and Colombia to Palestine and Brazil , before bringing her back to her country of birth, the US. Starting her post-university career in microfinance and sustainable investing working for small and large investment firms, Gioia has dedicated the last ten years to fostering cross-continental collaborations with a view to inspire and strengthen Switzerland’s innovation ecosystem. Before setting out to build the first Latin American swissnex office Brazil in 2013, she headed the Startup and Innovation team at swissnex in San Francisco, where she returned to as CEO, in July 2017. A curated innovation platform hosting 40+ startups, designers, scientists and corporates, swissnex’s Bay Area office at Pier17 acts as a convener for thought-provoking conversations on how technology and innovation shape our world, and fosters international connections and collaboration for meaningful action. Gioia is an Advisor to the women-led incubator DART Labs, which focuses scaling human-machine interfaces, as well as a Co-Founder & President of the cancer survivor storytelling platform MySurvivalStory. She holds a Master’s degree in International relations from the Graduate Institute (IUHEID) in Geneva, Switzerland, and a second Master’s in Law and Diplomacy from the Fletcher School in Medford/Boston, USA. Last but not least, Gioia is the proud mother of two half-Mexican, half-Swiss, born-in-the-Americas toddlers.
Editor in Chief ZEIT Online and Co-Host at "Alles gesagt?"
Jochen Wegner is editor-in-chief of ZEIT ONLINE and a member of the ZEIT editorial board. A physicist and philosopher by training, he researched the chaos theory of the brain before switching to journalism. He is co-host of "Alles gesagt?", one of the most listened to German-language podcasts. Wegner was awarded "Editor-in-Chief of the Year" and "Digital Leader" in gold, received the "Scoop Award" for digital journalism and the "Grimme Online Award".
Founder & CEO Mutschler-Ventures AG
Sylvie Mutschler von Specht has been the managing director of the Mutschler Group since 1999. She holds various advisory board mandates at investment companies (Mobbot, WeddyPlace, Watchmaster, Invenda and more). Since 2007 she is Managing Director and Chairman of the Board of Mutschler Ventures AG (investments in start-up companies like Auto1, McMakler, Loanboox, Sygnum, Watchmaster, Medbelle, Adyen and others). She also has investments in the private bank Bergos Berenberg and is a board member. She has been a member of the Supervisory Board of Auto1 since 2021. Sylvie Mutschler von Specht studied at the University of St. Gallen (HSG).
Founder & CEO Enfore
Marco Boerries is a German entrepreneur with a passion for making ideas work. Enfore is his fourth start-up and was founded in 2009 as NumberFour AG. He founded his first company Star Division, inspired by a Silicon Valley school exchange, as a 16-year-old back in 1985. The company created the popular office suite StarOffice and later OpenOffice.org. Star Division was sold to Sun Microsystems in 1999 and Marco stayed on as Vice President. He started his second company Star Finanz as a joint-venture with the Deutsche Sparkassen Organisation in 1996, to re-invent online banking with StarMoney – that became the leading product in Germany. Marco sold his share in StarFinanz to his joint venture partners in 2001.
Former Finnish Premier Minister
General Manager France at Entrepreneur First
Coralie Chaufour is the General Manager of Entrepreneur First (EF) in France. At EF, her mission is to invest in top technical talent to help them create deep tech startups from scratch. She joined EF from McKinsey & Company, where she was an Engagement Manager, after previously starting her own company and working as a corporate lawyer at Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP, a leading U.S. law firm. Coralie was educated at Sciences Po Paris, Wharton and Harvard Law School and is a member of the New York Bar. Outside of EF, she rides her horse 4 times a week and competes in eventing and showjumping.
Chairman of UK Finance, Author "Born Digital"
Bob is Chairman of UK Finance Ltd, Vesta Global Holdings Limited and Bink (Loyalty Angels Ltd. He is a Non-Executive Director of the Qatar Financial Centre Authority (Chairman of its Audit Committee) and of Symphony Environmental plc and Queens Club Ltd (ends March 2021). He is a member of the Advisory Boards of Secure Broadcast Ltd, The CityUK, blockchain.com, Privately SA, Cancer Research UK and Remora Ltd. He is a member of the Panel on Takeovers and Mergers. He is a Visiting Fellow of Oxford University’s Said Business School and an Honorary Fellow of Cambridge University’s Judge Business School. He is Adjunct Professor of the University of Queensland. He is Vice Patron of the Royal Marines Charity and a Founding investor in Margot Restaurant, Covent Garden. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants and has a BSc in Business Administration and an Honorary Doctorate from Bath University. He is a Companion of the Chartered Management Institute. He is an Officer of the Order of St John. During 2018/19 he was a Founder Commissioner of the Blockchain Commission for Sustainable Development. During 2016 and 2017, Bob was Chairman of Victoria Beckham Ltd, developing a growth plan and securing an equity investment of £30m to fund it. Between 2015 and 2018, he was a Non-Executive Director of Nordengine Capital Ltd. Between 2013 and 2018 he sat on the Council of the Royal College of Music and chaired its £40m More Music Campaign. He was a member of the International Business Advisory Board of British Airways from April 2012 to Dec 2014. Between 2009 and early 2014 he was Chairman and led the restructuring of Yell (renamed hibu). He was an Ambassador for UK Business for the Prime Minister in 2011. He chaired the Green Investment Bank Commission for the Chancellor of the Exchequer during 2009/2010 which reported in July 2010. In 2008, he chaired a panel of leading London financial services company CEO’s for the incoming Mayor of London, Boris Johnson producing a major report on how to maintain London’s competitiveness in global terms for the decade ahead and now sat during this period on the Mayor’s Panel of Economic Advisers. In 2007, he authored a report for the then Prime Minister on how to improve school governance using lessons from the corporate world. He is a Past Master of and Member of the Court of the Worshipful Company of International Bankers. Between 2006 and 2009, Bob was a member of the Court of the Bank of England and of its Risk policy and Audit Committees, prior to which he was a Non-Executive Director of Royal Mail Group plc and Chairman of its Audit Committee for 3 years. Between 2010 and 2014, he was Chairman of Expansys plc until it was taken private. Between 2009 and 2011, Bob was the European Financial Services Operating Partner of Advent International. Between 2009 and 2011, Bob was Chairman of the National Education Employer Partnership Taskforce. From 2009 until its takeover by Grainger Trust plc in 2010, Bob was Chairman of Sovereign Reversions plc. Between 2004 and 2010, he was Deputy Chairman of Business in the Community (the UK’s leading corporate social responsibility organization). Between 2009 and 2015, he was a member of the Cranfield School of Management’s Doughty Centre for Corporate Responsibility. Previous roles included being a Trustee of Terence Conran’s Design Museum for 7 years and a Trustee of the children’s wheelchair charity Whizz-kidz for 6 years. In January, 2009, Bob resigned as Chairman of Merrill Lynch Europe, Middle East and Africa following the completion of the takeover by Bank of America. Since 2004, Bob had chaired Merrill Lynch’s EMEA Region Executive Committee with responsibility for a business with c$6bn of revenue, c$3bn of pretax income and 8,000 employees in 23 countries. He also sat on Merrill Lynch’s Global Operating Committee and Client Coverage Council. During this time, he was a member of the Senior Practitioner Committee of the Financial Services Authority, the FSA’s nominated representative on the Market Consultative Panel of the Council of European Securities Regulators, sat on the boards of LCH.Clearnet plc (Chairing its nomination committee) and Euroclear plc (and its strategy committee), was a member of the Chancellor’s “wise men” group representing key financial stakeholders in London, was a member of the Chairman’s Committee of the London Investment Banking Association, a member of the Panel on Takeovers and Mergers (and its remuneration committee) and on the EU Advisory Panel of the London Corporation. Previous roles at Merrill Lynch included Chairman of European Investment Banking, Global Head of Telecoms, Media and Technology Investment Banking, Head of UK Investment Banking and Head of Corporate Broking. Prior to joining Merrill Lynch, Bob was a Director of Deutsche Bank and previously of Morgan Grenfell where he spent the first ten years of his banking career.
Co-Founder & CEO Kolibri Games
Daniel is CEO and Co-Founder of Kolibri Games. In four years, he has grown their Berlin-based team to over 100, generated 125+ M downloads with their game Idle Miner Tycoon, and sold the company to gaming giant Ubisoft at a valuation of 160 M EUR
Co-Founder & CMO Yokoy
Melanie Gabriel co-founded the AI and FinTech startup Yokoy (former Expense Robot) in 2019, after having previously gained valuable experience in the tech industry. Expense Robot leverages artificial intelligence to fully automate expense and company credit card processes. Melanie holds a master's degree in business management from the University of St. Gallen and is also a member of WE SHAPE TECH.
Partner Squirrel Ai Learning
Squirrel Ai Learning is the first Educational AI SaaS company in China to develop an AI adaptive learning system for K12 schools with independent intellectual property rights. Squirrel Ai is committed to providing one million K12 education and training institutions and 360,000 primary and secondary schools with AI virtual teaching services, evaluation, homework, data management and other SaaS services. Joleen has been spoken at World Summit AI together with Yoshua Bengio. She also had many EdTech/AI talks, such as ACM UMAP, IJCAI, Tsinghua-Uni, Tech Crunch, BETT, O’reilly, Slush. Joleen is the founder/director of AI+Adaptive Education International Conference (AIAED) focusing on important trends emerging from AI-tech applied to next-generation education and how these advances can impact adaptive human learning at scale. Joleen is a Ph.D candidate at Intelligent Science&System, MUST.
Since 2018, Felix has led NZZ as CEO through the transformation process to a modern media group with a focus on quality journalism, digital information services and conferences. Felix has held various management positions at McKinsey, Swisscom, Teleclub, CKW and Axpo. He holds a Master's degree in physics and chemistry and a PhD in physics from ETH Zurich. In 2007, he was named a Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum (WEF).
Managing Partner at TechFounders & COO at RESPOND Accelerator
Miki Yokoyama is a former Management Consultant & startup enthusiast. Miki holds a Master in International Relations and Communications from the Boston University and a Bachelor in Communications from the Ludwig-Maximilians University. After developing and implementing the BMW Group sustainability strategy for different divisions, she worked at BCG focusing on the automotive, mobility and transportation industry. Miki is currently COO at RESPOND Accelerator, a program by the BMW Foundation operated by UnternehmerTUM, to accelerate highly promising, and purpose-driven tech startups. Miki also covers the role of Managing Partner at TechFounders.
Member of the German Bundestag
Thomas Jarzombek has been a member of the German Bundestag since 2009, and since July 31, 2019, he has been the Federal Ministry of Economics' Commissioner for the Digital Economy and Startups. Dialog with the players in the digital economy and exchanges with startups are the focal points of Thomas Jarzombek's work as Commissioner for the Digital Economy and Startups. His goal is to further open up the digital market for startups and SMEs as well as to improve the framework conditions for an international market. As the German government's aerospace coordinator, Thomas Jarzombek coordinates and bundles the German government's measures to strengthen the international competitiveness of German aerospace in the areas of research and development.
Serial Software Entrepreneur
Bettina Hein is a serial software entrepreneur that has built technology companies in both Europe and the United States. She is most recently the founder of digital health startup juli, her third software company. She is also the founder of Pixability, a video advertising company in Boston. Prior to Pixability, Bettina co-founded SVOX, the Swiss-based speech technology company which was acquired by Nuance Communications (NUAN) for $125 million. Bettina has received numerous awards and recognitions such as the 2018 Immigrant Entrepreneur of the Year Award, World Economic Forum Young Global Leader, L’Oreal NEXT Generation Award, and The Boston Business Journal’s “40 Under 40 Award.” Bettina holds an MS degree from MIT, a law degree from the University of Constance, and a business degree from the University of St. Gallen. Bettina holds two software patents and is the co-author of Video Marketing for Dummies. She is also a “shark” on the Swiss version of Shark Tank called “Höhle der Löwen Schweiz.”
Founder & CMO Thred Media
Jenk is a 15-year-old social entrepreneur, professional actor, DJ, public speaker, presenter and social change activist as well the Founder & CMO of Thred Media, a social enterprise focused on Publishing, Consulting and Production aimed at Generation Z. Thred Media is a social enterprise focused on Publishing, Consulting, Media and Production of content aimed at Generation Z. The central tenet of the business is the social change focused website Thred where they write on all aspects of youth culture seen through the lens of social change. It reaches teens and young adults in 130+ countries a month. (UK US India) and has won several awards including four W3 Awards, an International Davey Award, Amazon AWS Activator Award and been a finalist for a global KidScreen award. Jenk has been seen in West End theatre, TV, commercials, music videos, short films, voice overs and several commercial print & modelling campaigns. On the speaking circuit, Jenk enjoys talking about both the future of Generation Z, Young Entrepreneurship and Social Change with the hope of helping other young people develop their own impactful ideas. He has given three TEDx Talks entitled ‘Ideas Ink.’; ‘Breaking the Pattern’ and 'Can a 'Like' change the world- the power of clicktivism' as well as having spoken at such conferences as Oxford Global: Model United Nations Conference; Vox YMS NYC Marketing Conference- New York City; Oxford Global: Summit For Young Leaders- Athens 2018 & London 2020; Amazon AWS Summit- London; Brand Week- Istanbul; SES Student Employability Summit- London, NACUE Enterprise Conference, SME Beyond Borders Conference- Dubai, Arlix Meet: Young Entrepreneur Conference, and Maximum Achievement 2.0.Jenk has been featured in Forbes and Business Insider as well as having won several awards including the ‘Progress 1000: Most Influential Person- Science and Tech’ from The Evening Standard, the ‘Tech London Advocates: 25 under 25’ award, PMI 50 Future Leaders and he was voted ‘Top 20 Young Entrepreneurs To Watch’ by Start-Up magazine. Recently, Jenk received a column in London’s Time Out magazine entitled ‘Ask Jenk’, enabling young people to write in and ask questions on all things Gen Z.Jenk sits on the Marketing Board for Founders4Schools, WorkFinder App and Prospect 100 as well as being an Ambassador for The Song Academy, The Youth Group, Big Life Project and Genetic Disorder UK charities.
CEO & Co-Founder Sparrow Ventures
Felix is the CEO of the Zurich-based venture builder and growth equity investor Sparrow Ventures, an autonomous operating subsidiary of Migros, which he also co-founded in 2018. Prior to Sparrow Ventures, he was the Chief Digital Officer and the Head of Portfolio Operations of the Department Retail at Migros, where he was responsible for the strategic development of nine companies with a total turnover of CHF 8 billion. During his tenure there, he also served as an active board member in various roles, including: Digitec Galaxus, Le Shop (now Migros Food Online), and Ex Libris. He completed his Bachelor and Master studies at the University of St. Gallen (HSG), where he later also earned his PhD at the Institute of Retail Management in parallel to pursuing his career in management consulting. Since 2016, he is a frequent lecturer on the very topics of digital transformation and digital innovation at his alma mater.
CEO Mercedes-Benz Switzerland
A pure-play Mercedes manager for more than 25 years, Marc has acquired vast experience in building, managing, and turning around business and activities within the Daimler Group. Among others, he built the worldwide Fleet Sales, developed smart into the fully electric generation, and led the French and Swiss Mercedes organization to the leading position in premium Sales. His current ambition is to create a benchmark customer experience, both through digital and physical means and by breaking the rules. For example, Mercedes is the first auto brand to include public transport with the purchase of a car with the star.
Founder & CEO MorphAIs
Eva is the founder and CEO of MorphAIs Technologies, an AI-driven venture capital technology firm committed to making venture capital more accurate, more efficient and less biased. Founded in late 2019 with co-founder and machine learning scientist Jan Saputra Mueller, the company is now joined by a team with diverse scientific backgrounds ranging from behavioral science, mathematics and statistics to sociology and economics. Through the use of artificial intelligence technology, they are working towards reinventing venture capital as an asset class and making the start-up ecosystem a more capital-efficient and diverse place.
Co-Founder & CFO RightNow
Torben Antretter is the co-founder and CFO of RightNow, a fast-growing consumer claims purchasing company. Before founding RightNow, Torben worked in finance consulting at Deloitte and venture capital research at the University of St. Gallen, Switzerland, where he still teaches classes on Entrepreneurial Finance. Most recently, his entrepreneurial career has been featured in a Harvard Business School case study and he has been named “30 under 30” by Forbes Magazine.
Sebastian Schaal is Founder at Luminovo, where he is responsible for Business and Product. Luminovo builds software for the electronics industry, making processes for OEMs and EMS more collaborative, data-driven, automated. He graduated top of his class with an M.Sc. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from TU Munich and holds an Honours Degree from the CDTM. He obtained his second M.Sc. from Stanford University where he focused on Management Science and Machine Learning. Sebastian worked for Intel and researched on NILM algorithms for the energy sector before transitioning to building software with AI modules, working for the deep tech startups NavVis and Magazino on Computer Vision problems. Besides his technical experiences, Sebastian also worked as a consultant at McKinsey, focusing on IT and data strategy.
Head of Start-Ups and Next-Generation Innovators Innosuisse
More than 15 years of global experience in innovation promotion, international trade, supply chain, management consulting, negotiations as well as in art curating. Heading start-up & next generation innovators division at Innosuisse, the Swiss Innovation Promotion Agency, since 2016 and member of the executive committee.- Business studies, Masters in Economics (Econometrics), Canada + Masters in Art Gallery and Museum studies, UK- Management consultant in the US/Chicago (4 years) for A.T. Kearney- Strategic Procurement in Switzerland for a silicon valley-based company (Agilent technologies)- Art Curatorship in the UK- Trade Commissioner + Innovation officer at Canadian Embassy in Switzerland- Heading Start-up + Next Generation Innovators division at CTI/Innosuisse since 2016, member of the executive committee Innosuisse- Worked in 3 languages across 3 continents (I also have a short working experience in Malaysia and in the Philippines)
Director Federal Agency for Disruptive Innovation Germany
In July 2019, tech pioneer, founder and innovator Rafael Laguna has been appointed Director of the Federal Agency for Disruptive Innovation SPRIND. With more than 30 year’s experience, Rafael has a proven track record of success in building and growing software companies. Rafael is a long-time advocate and campaigner for open-source software and the open web. The Agency aims to foster innovations with radically new technologies and a great potential to change the market with new products, services and value chains. The Agency will operate initially for a period of ten years with a funding of 1 billion euros.
President Kairos Society Europe & Founder EWOR
Daniel Dippold lead’s the world’s largest community for youth entrepreneurship, the Kairos Society, present in over 50 countries and supported by amongst others Bill Clinton. His venture, EWOR, has helped aspiring entrepreneurs across the globe launch global companies.
Co-Founder & CEO AgriDigital
As Co-Founder and CEO at AgriDigital, Emma leads all aspects of the business’ strategy, stakeholder engagement, blockchain and talent management with oversight of the sales, broader technology and operational environments.Emma’s diverse career as a lawyer, agribusiness executive, start-up mentor and executive coach adds a wealth of strategic and operational experience to the AgriDigital team. Her knowledge of industry best practice drives AgriDigital’s innovation, product development, internal systems, and customer service. In 2017, Emma was recognized as the Female Fintech Leader of the Year in Australia and was also named a Top 25 Fintech Influencer by Finder.com.au. She is passionate about how agtech and fintech converge and ensuring democratic access to technology.Emma holds an MBA from AGSM, a LLB (Hons) and BA from the University of Melbourne and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. Emma is a former director of the Australian Digital Commerce Association and the current Deputy Chair of FinTech Australia Ltd.
Vice President Digital Solutions, Mastercard Europe
Arne Pache is Head of Digital Solutions for Mastercard in Germany and Switzerland. In his role, he is responsible for leading the development and commercialization of innovative payment product platforms and solutions that create a sustainable competitive advantage for Mastercard and its customers. He is responsible for strategic product and service areas such as digital payments including ecom, mobile payments, money transfer as well as cyber security and network solutions.Arne Pache joined Mastercard in 2003 as Vice President Chip Solutions and managed the introduction of chip technology across the European region.Before joining Mastercard, Mr. Pache headed the Product Management and Marketing Group in EURO Kartensysteme EUROCARD & eurocheque GmbH. Mr. Pache holds a Master of Business Administration from University of Trier, Germany.
Through various work experiences in Malta, Miami Beach, Lausanne and Zurich, Anastasia developed strong fascination for the hospitality industry. She holds a Bachelor of international hospitality management from Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne and is very interested in the development and implementation of sustainable practices within this dynamic industry. This led her to co-found a start-up called KITRO, which focuses on food waste management in the hospitality industry. Combining her personal interest for the environment with an industry she is passionate about has been a very fulfilling learning experience.
Patrick Degerman is like a fairy tale character written by a drunk Astrid Lindgren. Degerman eats butter soup, drinks olive oil from a bottle, wrestles with sharks, and doesn´t use gloves at -60°C. Most likely he has 50% DNA from a polar bear. Degerman is an explorer by profession and nicknamed Pata. He has a summer cottage in Greenland, 30 sleeping bags, and good friends in impenetrable rainforests. Since the 1990s, Degerman has organized dozens of expeditions to the most difficult areas of the world to satisfy his desire for adventure and curiosity. He has literally visited the ends of the earth, climbed more than 200 mountains, written books, and made documentaries for Discovery. However, the base camp is always at home in Finland with a wife and children.
Co-Founder Prospect 100
Harry Beard is the 21 year old co-founder of Prospect 100. Prospect 100 creates digital competitions for young creative talents on a global scale. They are supported by the likes of Steve Wozniak, Rico Nasty, and Sean Wotherspoon whilst also working with brands such as ViacomCBS, KERING and Checkout.com.On a personal level, Harry is seen as a leading voice for Generation Z having spoken on the topic for a Tedx talk which currently has over 1.1M views.
Chrissa McFarlane founded Patientory, Inc. in 2015, a health data analytics company, after working more than a decade in the healthcare technology industry and realizing there was a need for more personalized, secure and consumer-driven health information management solutions. From conducting microbiology research to pharmaceutical operations consulting, working with health insurance providers and hospitals, McFarlane has accumulated professional experience in an array of sectors in the healthcare technology industry. Patientory has received many accolades, including The 10 Most Innovative Digital Healthcare Solution Providers 2018 by Insightscare, the 2018 Globe Award Winner in International Trade by U.S. State of Georgia, and Top 100 Startup of the Year. One of few female entrepreneurs atthe intersection of high tech and wellness, McFarlane speaks at global industry conferences, including The Future Blockchain Summit in Dubai and the 2020 StartUp Health Festival in SanFrancisco, to educate and inspire other business women and entrepreneurs in the field.
Founder & CEO Inspire 925
Sunnie J. Groeneveld is an entrepreneur, board member, author, and speaker. She is the Founder and Managing Partner of the consultancy Inspire 925 as well as a board member of five medium-sized companies in Switzerland and the Associate Dean of Studies of the Executive MBA Digital Leadership at the HWZ University of Applied Sciences in Zurich. Previously, she worked as the first Managing Director of digitalswitzerland, Switzerland’s largest cross-industry initiative on digital transformation. Moreover, she is the author of the book “Inspired at Work” (Versus Publishing House), was named as one of the “Top 100 Women in Business”, appeared in the list “Top 50 Who is Who in Digital Switzerland” by Handelszeitung as well as in the “30 under 30” list of Forbes magazine. Sunnie graduated in Economics from Yale University.
Managing Partner Blockchain Founders Fund
Aly Madhavji 穆亚霖 is the Managing Partner at Blockchain Founders Fund which invests in and venture builds top-tier startups. He is a Limited Partner on Loyal VC and Draper Goren Holm. Aly consults organizations on emerging technologies such as INSEAD and the UN on solutions to help alleviate poverty. He is a Senior Blockchain Fellow at INSEAD and was recognized as a “Blockchain 100” Global Leader by Lattice80.He is an internationally acclaimed author, publishing three books and a monthly columnist for the leading blockchain magazine. Aly serves as a board member of CryptoStar Corp. (TSXV: CSTR) and has served on various advisory boards including the University of Toronto’s Governing Council, which manages a $2.5B budget. He is a mentor with Chinaccelerator, an elite accelerator program operated by the venture fund SOSV with $700M+ AUM and the Mobile Only Accelerator (MOX).Aly holds a Master of Global Affairs as a Schwarzman Scholar from Tsinghua University (清华大学), a Master of Business Administration from INSEAD (Singapore and France), and a Bachelor of Commerce with Distinction from the University of Toronto.
Reporter at Handelsblatt
Larissa Holzki is a tech reporter at German business daily “Handelsblatt”. She covers start-ups, venture capital, some of the US tech giants and has a special fondness for deep tech innovation topics. Before joining Handelsblatt in 2019, Larissa Holzki started her career at “Süddeutsche Zeitung” in Munich. She was trained as an editor at the Cologne School of Journalism and studied Economics and Sociology in Cologne and Hamburg.
Co-Founder & CEO Haufe-umantis
Hermann Arnold is a serial founding entrepreneur, start-up investor, and democracy reformer. He studied at the University of St. Gallen, and was shaped by the understanding of companies as „productive, social systems”. He has been co-founder and longstanding CEO of Haufe-umantis, a democratically led company supporting organizations to transform for the future. Together with his colleagues and with customers, he has experimented with leadership elections, team recruiting, spiral careers, crowd strategizing, and other ways of innovating collaboration in organizations. He is a fourfold Ironman finisher, married to the love of his life, and a proud father of three young girls (*2016, *2017, *2020).
Member of the Swiss Parliament
Andri Silberschmidt is 26 years old, a politician and gastro-entrepreneur. He started a banking apprenticeship at the age of 15 and was responsible for the management of all quantitative equity funds investing in developing countries at Swisscanto Invest until October 2019. While working, he completed the BSc in Business Administration (Dean's List) and the MSc in Global Finance (with Merit) at Cass Business School (City University of London).In 2017, together with friends, he founded a restaurant chain of which he is the Chairman of the Board of Directors and currently operates four branches in Zurich, one in Bern and one in Basel. Since May 2020, Silberschmidt has been working in a 50% position in the CFO Project Office of Planzer Support AG.Andri Silberschmidt joined the Jungfreisinnigen in 2011: He was president of the Jungfreisinnigen Schweiz from 2016 to 2019, sat for the FDP in the parliament of the city of Zurich from 2018 to 2020, and was elected to the National Council in the 2019 federal elections as the youngest member of the 51st legislature.
Science & Technology Editor NZZ
First insights into business at the University of Hamburg; graduated from HEC Lausanne. Attendance at the Georg von Holtzbrinck School for Business Journalists, Düsseldorf. The challenges posed by the Internet for publishers become the subject of a dissertation at the University of St. Gallen. Start in the professional world in 1999 by joining the business editorial department of the NZZ in Zurich. 2001 secondment to Brazil as a business correspondent for South America. From 2009 to 2019, business correspondent in New York. Since returning to Falkentrasse. Head of the Science&Technology department of the NZZ.
Principal Earlybird VC
Dr. Andre Retterath is a Principal at Earlybird Venture Capital, who were among the first investors in companies like UiPath, N26, Peak Games or Aiven. Andre is based in the Munich office and focuses on enterprise software, with a particular interest in companies building products powered by deep technologies including AI/ML and advanced analytics. He also spends time looking at developer tools, open-source software and robotics. Besides his investor function, Andre heads Earlybird’s data-driven sourcing and screening efforts.Before transitioning into VC in 2017, he gained more than 5 years experience as a process automation engineer and technology consultant with ThyssenKrupp and further insights as a management consultant with GE North America. Andre conducted his Ph.D. at the Technical University of Munich on the topic of machine learning and the value of data in venture capital. Moreover, he holds a M.Sc. in Management and a B.Eng. in Mechatronics Engineering and was previously educated at Harvard University, University of Cambridge and Georgia Institute of Technology, among others.
CEO Huayuan Sinomag
Nanxi is the CEO of Huayuan Sinomag, a joint venture between Sinomag Group, a family-led business with deep roots in the automotive industry and Huayuan International Landport Group, one of the largest Chinese state-owned entities in transportation and infrastructure building. Huayuan Sinomag focuses on a variety of areas such as B2B crossborder trade, raw materials, automotive manufacturing and industrial adhesives manufacturing. Its own incubator focuses on facilitating Sino-German manufacturing-related technology and products. Through her unique career path from working in a German law firm to heading a Chinese-German family-led manufacturing business and to being the CEO of a hybrid joint venture with a Chinese SOE, Nanxi can provide most direct insight into the heart of the Chinese economy. She seamlessly bridges a large gap between two diametrically different worlds.
Founder Jungunternehmer Podcast
With 19 years Fabian Tausch started a podcast for young entrepreneurs, in which he interviews Germany's most successful startup founders. The podcast grew to one of the largest German Podcasts within the category of entrepreneurship. During the last year, the guest list included more and more creators to show the intersection between creativity and entrepreneurship.
Editor Finance Forward
In 2019 Caspar started working as an editor for Finance Forward, a fintech magazine backed by German business magazine Capital and the marketing platform OMR. Prior to that, he wrote for various German news outlets such as Gründerszene, Die Zeit, Handelsblatt and dpa. Caspar studied journalism, politics, and economics at the Cologne School of Journalism.
Co-Founder of LookUp.live
Susan Reynolds has over 20 years of experience in digital wellbeing and youth leadership. As an educator at the Fenn School in Concord, MA, she taught her students to be forward thinking citizens in the digital age. With the same mission to empower youth to thrive, in 2019 she co-founded LookUp.live a “by youth for youth" social venture that operates at the nexus of ethical technology and youth mental health. Through their flagship StartUp and Leadership programs along and global community hub, LookUp discovers, cultivates, and mobilizes courageous youth leaders who dare to believe in, design, and advocate for a healthier, equitable, and humane digital world.
Co-Founder & CEO DyeMansion
After completing his Bachelor of Science in Business Informatics at the Duale Hoschschule Baden-Württemberg in 2012, Felix founded DyeMansion together with Philipp Kramer. The company is a global leader in industrial 3D printing finishing systems, offering machines for surface processing of 3D-printed plastic parts.
Early-stage Investor at btov Partners
Anna holds a Master in Business Innovation from the University of St. Gallen and a Bachelor in Business and Economics from Goethe University in Frankfurt. Before joining btov Partners as an Analyst in January 2020, Anna gained experience in Venture Capital at Earlybird and Redstone, as well as in business development at Foodora.
Jos Dijsselhof has been CEO of SIX since January 2018. The Dutchman holds a degree in computer science and business administration and has many years of international management experience in the financial industry. His professional career took him to Hong Kong and Singapore, among other places, for ABN Amro Bank, Royal Bank of Scotland and ANZ Australia & New Zealand Banking Group. Most recently, Jos Dijsselhof was Chief Operating Officer and CEO a.i. (2015) at Euronext in Amsterdam from 2014 to June 2017.
Co-Founder & CEO Laboratoria
Mariana is the co-founder and CEO at Laboratoria, an organization empowering women who dream of a better future to start and grow careers in technology. With learning centers across Latin America, Laboratoria is helping shape a more diverse, inclusive, and competitive digital economy in Latin America that can create opportunities for every woman to develop her potential. For her work as a social entrepreneur, Mariana has been named one of Peru's leading innovators by MIT and had the honor of sharing a panel with President Obama at the 2016 Global Entrepreneurship Summit. She holds a BSc in International Relations from the London School of Economics and a Masters Degree in Public Administration from Columbia University in New York.
CEO elea Foundation for Ethics in Globalization & President Max Schmidheiny Foundation
Andreas R. Kirchschläger is CEO of the elea Foundation for Ethics in Globalization, a leading Swiss philanthropic impact investor fighting poverty with entrepreneurial means, and President of the Max Schmidheiny Foundation, a distinguished private institution promoting endeavors towards the preservation and further development of a free economic and social order. As Managing Director and President of the St. Gallen Foundation for International Studies, he led the annual International Management Symposium St. Gallen for more than one decade. He serves as a board member of GCA Altium Corporation, PG Impact Investments AG, some of elea Foundation’s portfolio companies, and the HSG Foundation. Andreas holds a Master’s degree in Law and Economics from the University of St.Gallen and has been a lecturer at his alma mater for years.
Vice-Rector & Professor RWTH Aachen University
Prof. Dr. Malte Brettel is a Professor for Business Administration and Sciences for Engineers and Scientists at RWTH Aachen University and Adjunct Professor at WHU – Otto-Beisheim-School of Management, Germany. He currently also serves as Vice-Rector for Industry Relations at RWTH Aachen University. Malte Brettel received his doctoral degree and his postdoctoral qualification from WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management. He has worked as a management consultant for several years, is co-founder of several companies like JustBooks (ABEBooks) or Adhesys Medical, and Angel Investor to several other companies. His areas of research interest include entrepreneurial management and development, entrepreneurial marketing, entrepreneurial finance, and innovation management. He has published several books as well as in many academic journals, such as in the Strategic Management Journal, the Journal of Marketing, the Journal of Product Innovation Management, the Journal of Business Venturing, and Marketing Letters, and has presented his research at leading international conferences.
Director of Institute for Technology Management University of St. Gallen
Prof. Dr. Dietmar Grichnik is Full Professor of Entrepreneurship and Director of the Institute of Technology Management at the University of St.Gallen (HSG). He is the Initiator and Co-Director of the Center for Entrepreneurship (Startup@HSG) and served as Dean of the School of Management at HSG. Before joining HSG, Professor Grichnik served on the faculties of WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management and Witten/Herdecke University in Germany. Moreover, he held a visiting professorship at the University of Melbourne, Australia, was guest professor at Harvard Business School, USA, and taught at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) Zurich. As an advisor Professor Grichnik has worked with startups and corporations in start-up management and corporate venturing. He takes part in international start-up initiatives as a co-founder, board member and investor (US Inc500 and EU). He is ranked among the leading (TOP 100) entrepreneurship professors worldwide. He has published several books and more than 200 articles.
Red Bull FMX Athlete
Mat Rebeaud has been the Swiss face of freestyle motocross for more than 20 years. He was world champion, overall winner of the Red Bull X-Fighters, and won seven medals at the X-Games. Lately, he has opened a new chapter: He is the first, and so far only, freestyle motocross rider in Europe to fly on a machine with an electric motor.
Founding Partner - Artemia Executive
Eglantine holds a Doctor of Social Sciences and is specialized in gender and diversity issues since 2001. She is also a Senior Lecturer and Researcher at the University of Paris Nanterre since 2005. In 2013, Eglantine co-founded the association SEM Succès Egalité Mixité and Artemia Executive to promote gender diversity in the business world. The company Artemia acts in the cultural and educational spheres in order to challenge stereotypes and build a more inclusive society.
Co-Founder & CTO Merantix
Rasmus Rothe is the co-founder and CTO of Berlin-based Merantix, the world’s first venture studio for AI, and a renowned deep learning researcher. He has published over 15 academic papers with more than 1000 citations on deep learning while attending Oxford, Princeton, and ETH Zurich, where he received his Ph.D. and launched a face recognition service with 150m+ users. In 2019, he was featured on Forbes “30 under 30”. Rasmus is a founding board member of the German Association of AI, devising and implementing the national AI strategy in close cooperation with the German government.
Corporate Strategy VISA
Esther Gross is part of Visa’s Corporate Strategy team. Her work at Visa mostly focuses on new payment types, from mobile wallets to open banking. Prior to joining Visa, she worked at Boston Consulting Group, first helping build the FinTech Control Tower and supporting financial institutions worldwide with their ventures in the space before joining DigitalBCG where she worked on large digital and agile transformation projects. She made her first steps in the FinTech world at iwoca, a small business lender, and started her career as a speechwriter in the UK Parliament.
CEO Salt Mobile
After his studies in electrical engineering, Pascal joined McKinsey & Co which he left after 13 years in the position of Managing Partner Digital in Switzerland. He subsequently embarked on a 6 month around the world trip with his family before joining Salt mobile in 2018 as CEO.
Founder & CEO bitlumens
Veronica Garcia was an investment consultant at Credit Suisse and UBS for Latin American Asset Managers. After finishing her graduate studies at the ETH in Zurich she joined IBM Research Lab. She also worked as a consultant for the World Bank, IADB, and Castalia. Her research focused on renewable technologies and on quantifying investment needs to reach the country's targets for renewable power generation. In 2017 she founded BitLumens which brings solar power and water to rural areas in developing countries using the Internet of Things (IoT) and blockchain technology.
CEO & Chairman of the Executive Board Tchibo
Thomas Linemayr has been CEO & Chairman of the Executive Board at Tchibo since 2016. For the past 17 years, as CEO of Lindt & Sprüngli (USA) Inc., he strongly expanded the US business and made the LINDT brand one of the strongest in the world‘s largest chocolate market. Since 2013, Thomas Linemayr has also been a member of the extended management board of the Lindt & Sprüngli Group. The graduate in business administration worked for the Swiss premium chocolate supplier for a total of 21 years. The marketing and sales specialist began his career at Yves Rocher, after which he moved to Johnson & Johnson.
VP People at HV Capital and Talent Advisor
Anna Ott is VP People and responsible for ESG initiatives at HV Capital, one of the leading VC funds in Europe. Prior to HV Capital, Anna worked as an independent consultant for corporates, SMBs and start-ups and covering the role as an advisor to various HR Tech companies all over Europe. She has also been recognized by Finance Journal "Capital" as one of the "Top 40 under 40", as an HR influencer.
IMD Executive Leadership Coach - Founder Zengo
Gabrielle Ortais holds a Master of Science in Management from the Ecole de Management de Lyon and an MBA from the IMD Business School. For 15 years, Gabrielle advised complex growth or transformation initiatives in large multinational companies, across functions and geographies. Simultaneously, she dedicated herself to studying and understanding human nature as it is expressed individually and in systems. In 2017 she founded Zengoh to pioneer a holistic way to manage inner developments.
General Manager Services & Support EMEA Microsoft
With over 20 year at Microsoft and over 35 in the software industry, Andrew has held various leadership positions within and prior to Microsoft. The one consistent element over the last 18 years has been engagement and enablement for Startups and new business. He remains fascinated by the art of the possible, and the impact that technology can have in every aspect of life.
TEDx Speaker and Diversity and Inclusion Expert
Kamilla Sultanova is a TEDx speaker, vibrant event host, and diversity and inclusion expert based in Helsinki. Having spoken in 15 countries and inspiring countless audiences to become changemakers, Kamilla also leads the Hanken International Talent programme, a recognized programme which helps Finnish employers recognize quality diverse talent in Finland by offering mentorship, networking, and jobs to international master students. Previously a container trader, Kamilla speaks and breathes diversity & inclusion, change, curiosity, innovation - accelerating from inspiration to action. An alumna of prestigious networks such as European Young Leaders 40 under 40, Finnish Innovation fund's Sitralab, German Marshall Fund, Kamilla truly knows and shows how to collaborate in a more meaningful world navigating culture, industry, and change. Seeing is believing! From dignity-themed art projects, youth empowerment events to cross-sectoral experiments, Kamilla offers a rich understanding of inequality and encourages everyone to lead with global citizenship and a universal sense of identity. Her insights and lived experiences in the world's happiest nations Denmark and Finland offer a compelling call-to-action to rethink empowerment, cultural innovation and social capital exchange for better working, earning, and living.
Board Member Yunus Social Business
Karen Hitschke is an Impact Investor, Board Member, and Executive Coach, with two big passions: investing in and supporting young businesses that serve society and the environment, and empowering the next generation of female leaders. She is a Board Member and former Managing Director and Chief Operating Officer Funds at Yunus Social Business Global Initiatives which funds social businesses in the Global South. Joining the organisation at its inception in early 2012, Karen has built and run YSB’s worldwide Social Business Fund activities. She is also a board member at UnCap, an impact fund financing sub-Saharan entrepreneurs at scale, and acts as an advisor to Auxxo, a venture capital fund with an exclusive focus on female founders. As Executive Coach, Karen supports start-up entrepreneurs and young female professionals in their personal growth. Karen has a background as an entrepreneur, venture capitalist, and consultant, serving in various functions amongst others with Apax Partners, the pan-European Venture Capital Fund, and McKinsey & Co. Originally graduating in Biology, she holds an MBA from INSEAD. Karen speaks German, English, French, and Japanese, and she has lived and studied in the UK, France, Israel, and Japan. She lives with her husband and her two children in Munich but loves traveling (to be resumed post-Covid). In her leisure time, she likes to escape into the mountains for biking, skiing, or free-climbing.
CEO Trees for the future
John Leary is the Executive Director of Trees for the Future where he is focused on helping end hunger and extreme poverty for rural African farmers, through the revival of the forest garden. John has extensive experience living with and among the rural poor in Sub-Saharan Africa and deep knowledge of international agricultural development. He speaks three languages and has lived and worked in 13 developing countries. John has dedicated his life to creating innovative training approaches that empower farmers to rise out of poverty, including award-winning programs that are currently in use throughout the developing world.
GM Europe & CMO Tipalti
Rob Israch leads Tipalti's Europe business and the global marketing function for Tipalti, bringing over 20 years of business experience to the company. During the 6+ years that Rob has served at the company, Tipalti has experienced 25X+ growth, achieved double-unicorn status, and been recognized as one of only 24 companies to have made both the Deloitte Fast 500 and Inc 5000 lists for the last three years running. Prior to Tipalti, Rob served as VP, Global Marketing Programs at NetSuite, the leading provider of cloud-based ERP software, helping to guide the company through 10X+ revenue growth, from private company through IPO to cloud ERP market leader. Previously, Rob held a variety of management roles at Intuit QuickBooks and GE Capital.
Director & Investor Plug and Play
As Senior Venture Associate & Director, Carolin leads the investment and corporate innovation activities for the Brand & Retail vertical at Plug and Play in Munich. Besides Retailtech, Fashiontech, and D2C startups, she looks into Fintech, Deeptech, and Industrial Tech investments. She currently manages 20 portfolio companies, ranging from Series Seed to Series C including the likes of IdNow, Presize, Celus, Arbolus, Etvas, Nyris, and ZigZag. She is an active part of the German VC scene and is a mentor at Grace. Prior to joining Plug and Play, Carolin graduated as the Valedictorian of her ESCP Europe Master in Management 2019 class. During her studies, she co-founded the startup conference “Traction by ESCP Europe” in 2018. Carolin has started her career in Venture Capital and worked at the global VC firm Next47 for 2.5 years, focusing on growth investments before moving to her current early-stage focus. During her career, Carolin has worked and studied in various locations including Guangzhou, Boston, Marrakech, Silicon Valley, The Hague, Madrid, Stockholm, Berlin, and Paris.
Science Consul & CEO swissnex China
With a Ph.D. in robotics, MBA, and MSc from MIT, ETH Zurich, and the University of Tokyo, I acquired professional experiences in governmental, private, and academic sectors at swissnex China, swissnex Boston, the Embassy of Switzerland in Tokyo, Credit Suisse Life Insurance Japan, Synpulse, the Kanagawa Academy of Science & Technology, Toshiba Corporation Japan, and Egon Zehnder International Zurich. As Science Consul and CEO of swissnex China, the Science Consulate of Switzerland in China, I support the mobility of talent, research collaboration and exchange of expertise between Switzerland and Greater China. Besides my professional duties, I also founded and currently chair the Science & Technology Diplomatic Circle Shanghai and actively contribute to SwissCham Shanghai as elected Board Member and to the MIT Club Shanghai as elected Vice President. In the US, I promoted the exchange of knowledge, ideas, and talent in education, research, innovation, and art-science by interfacing between governments, universities, R&D institutions, and companies as Swiss Consul and CEO of swissnex Boston and founder of swissnex in New York. I also established the Science & Technology Diplomatic Circle Boston, contributed to AmCham Boston as a board member, and to the United Nations Association of Greater Boston as an elected board member. In Japan, I started and headed the Science and Technology Office at the Embassy of Switzerland in Tokyo, chaired the Science & Technology Diplomatic Circle Tokyo, and contributed to the Swiss Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Japan (SCCIJ) in the executive committee. Highly motivated, results-oriented, and analytical problem solver with a passion for empowering teams and for leading multiple projects within time and budget. Strong interest in trends, cutting-edge & deep-tech fields, while applying my diverse skillset to create an impact and added value. Several awards and grants underline my proactive commitments.
Investment Manager btov Partners
Jennifer Phan is an investment manager at btov Partners since October 2020. Previously, she worked as a Venture Architect at Deloitte Digital Ventures. There she took her first steps in venture capital at Global Founders Capital in Singapore. She also gained operational experience at Rocket Internet as a Global Venture Developer. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Business from the University of Mannheim and a Master in Management, with a focus on Entrepreneurship, from ESCP Europe Business School.
Consul General & CEO swissnex India
Sebastien Hug is the CEO of swissnex India and the Consul General of the Swiss Consulate in Bangalore since November 2017. The mission of swissnex India to strengthen the collaboration between both countries in the field of education, research, and innovation. Previously, Sebastien Hug was in charge of coordinating the global swissnex Network at the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (2013-2017), worked in the United States as a Project Leader for Higher Education and Partnerships at swissnex Boston (2011 – 2013) and in Canada as Science Counselor at the Embassy of Switzerland in Ottawa (2007 – 2011).
Co-Founder & CEO Equippo
In 2014, Michael Rohmeder co-founded Equippo as full-stack marketplace for used construction equipment. By offering transparent prices, transport, customs clearance and safe payment in a peer-to-peer online transaction, Equippo set out to give direct access to equipment from other parts of the world and “democratise international trade”. When the company introduced a full money-back guarantee with free return shipping, it earned the headline “Zalando for excavators”. An HSG graduate himself, Michael pitched Equippo at Start Summit in 2015 and won two first prizes.
Story Warrior & Stage Host - START Summit 2021
Jack’s first love was writing. Then he got a bit distracted marketing the sponsorships and TV rights to the Olympic Games, FIFA World Cup Football, ATP Men’s Tennis and other cool stuff. Today Jack helps companies sell more effectively, and he’s circled back to writing some wicked stories. He'’s back for the fifth year hosting the Main Stage of START Summit.
Head of Entrepreneurship swissnex San Francisco
Franziska is Head of Entrepreneurship at swissnex in San Francisco, Switzerland's Innovation outpost in the Bay Area. At swissnex, Franziska is running the launchpad for Swiss startups to the US West Coast and is creating programs for next generation innovators. Alumni from the launchpad include some of Switzerland's most successful startup exports like Dacuda, Faceshift, Ava, Mindmaze or Nexthink. As swissnex has a strong female leadership team, swissnex also strives to increase the diversity among founders and funders and is always looking for partners to collaborate on new initiatives. In her years at swissnex, Franziska has worked on various innovation projects with corporates and startups. She was also part of the founding edition of Free Electrons - a global cleantech accelerator program and open innovation vehicle. Before accelerating startups and futurepreneurs at swissnex, Franziska was co-creating patient centric solutions with hospitals in Europe. With her passion for healthcare innovation and startups she’s also on the board of Swiss Healthcare Startups - an organization nourishing the Swiss innovation ecosystem by supporting startups in the health space. Franziska studied Philosophy and Economics and holds a MSc in Economics from the university of Basel. Besides her passion for entrepreneurship and innovation, Franziska is also an avid runner, has created her own beer brand out of highschool and has been playing the violin all her life.
Head of Innovation & Startup Partnerships swissnex India
Swissnex India is the Swiss government innovation outpost located in Bangalore. Swetha and her team help Swiss startups and corporates to find meaningful engagement models and business opportunities with the Indian innovation ecosystem. Swetha Suresh is a Cambridge-educated scientist with 10 years of experience in open innovation; multi-stakeholder management across Switzerland, Germany, UK, the USA, and India; and early-stage product development. She’s the mother of an infant and a toddler who keep her on her toes 24*7.
Co-Founder & COO ada
Léa Steinacker is a journalist and the Co-Founder and Chief Operations Officer of ada, an education tech startup that equips workers with the mindset, knowledge and skills for the future. She oversees strategy, develops live experiences, and shapes content curation for the platform. Previously, Léa served as the Chief Innovation Officer of WirtschaftsWoche, Germany’s leading business magazine, where she covered the future of work and socio-technological change. Prior to joining Handelsblatt Media Group, Léa worked with social justice NGOs in Bosnia-Hercegovina, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. She was selected as a Forbes 30 Under 30 leader, one of Medium Magazine’s Top 30 Under 30 journalists, an Atlantik Bruecke Young Leader, and a Leader of Tomorrow by the St. Gallen Symposium. Léa holds degrees from Princeton University and the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and is currently a PhD candidate at the University of St. Gallen.
Managing Director Accenture Switzerland
Dr Boris Bogdan, medical doctor by training, is a Managing Director at Accenture Switzerland and globally leads Accenture’s Precision Oncology and Personalized Healthcare Practice. His passion is to envision the future of healthcare. Prior to joining Accenture, Dr Bogdan was an entrepreneur and part of McKinsey. He has published numerous publications on the pharmaceutical industry and is author of the books Valuation in Life Sciences and Medrevolution.
Associate at BV4
Vuk Vegezzi is an Associate at BV4 since September 2019. He has accumulated substantial knowledge in the field of startups through different angles as he first started at a leading European venture builder, experienced the direct investments’ side with a family office and finally joined BV4 where he has performed hundreds of startup assessment and dozens of fundraising mandates
Project Manager & Deputy Head Outpost China Swiss Post Group
Dr. Jiayun Shen is Project Manager and Deputy Head Outpost China at Swiss Post Group. With rich experience in open innovation, she is now managing the partnerships with Asian Innovation Ecosystem at Swiss Post.
Professor macromedia University Hamburg
Martin Jastorff has been a Professor of Media Management at Macromedia University in Hamburg since 2011. He studied Business Administration and worked as a research assistant for the Chair of International Management at the University of Hamburg before he graduated with a Ph.D. In 1991, he started his media career at Axel Springer AG after several years working for well-known management consultancies such as McKinsey and Mummert + Partner. At Axel Springer, he held various top management positions in online, TV, and print - most recently as Director of Strategic Corporate Planning. From 2003 to 2009, Martin Jastorff was the Publishing Director of DVZ, one of the market-leading specialist publications for the transport and logistics industry.
Stephanie is a START Alumna and built a network for young entrepreneurs while studying She founded and co-founded 10 Start-ups in the past 18 Years, amongst others C-talks, a community for the biggest multinational companies within SwitzerlandShe’s also the Director of the Executive School at HSG.
Sandra is an entrepreneur who worked in the IT space for many years. She worked for IBM in various international roles. Today she is the CEO of the successful Zurich-based Cybersecurity company Futurae (ETH Spin-off) in the area of customer authentication and transaction signing. As a board member of Startupticker or as Ambassador of the Swiss Cybersecurity Startup Map and various other engagements she is continuously fighting for awareness for entrepreneurship amongst the larger society and visibility of home-grown successes in the area of IT and Fintech.
Vaitea Cowan believes green hydrogen is the future of energy. After being named "Women Leader" in the World Bank Intern Program, and winning case competitions in University, she moved to Thailand. She met her cofounders in Chiang Mai and helped make the Phi Suea House a communication and collaboration platform for hydrogen in Southeast Asia. Shortly after, they cofounded Enapter, which scales the production of hydrogen generators. The team has grown from 11 to over 140 in 3 years. She has the clear intention of inspiring and hiring more women. She is on the Forbes Under 30 in Energy 2020 list and has won several awards for enapter. Today she spearheads the communications efforts from Berlin. As a Pacific Islander, her personal mission is to provide clean energy independence to Polynesia.
Adriana Crovetto is the co-founder and Managing Director of OASEAS.com, the fastest-growing e-commerce in Switzerland, that is changing the way people see sustainable fashion. After less than 6 months, the company onboarded more than 50 of the most renowned sustainable brands of the industry and created a community of thousands of followers and subscribers. Currently, her role in OASEAS covers sales, finance, logistics, and PR. Adriana holds a degree in Business and Marketing and has demonstrated experience working in the consumer-tech industry both in start-ups as well as corporates. She founded her first business at the age of 19 and co-founded the START Global chapter in Barcelona in2018. She is deeply involved in the entrepreneurial community and is convinced that anyone(and for sure all women) can succeed through a combination of imagination, hard work, patience, resilience, and determination.
Co-Founder Impulse Network & Student at HSG
Combining a passion for sport with ongoing business studies, Benedikt joined the Sports Business Club at the University of St. Gallen at the beginning of his studies and recently co-founded the Impulse Network, a Swiss non-for-profit organization built on top of the student intiative and focusing on the intergenerational exchange within the sports industry.
Managing Director START Fund
Sophie Bree is Managing Director of the START Fund and a student at the University of St. Gallen. In 2019, she led the START Summit Team. She has been named Digital Shaper by BILANZ Magazine for her work with START Global. Before joining START, she worked in Hong Kong and Beijing.
Head of Digital and Product Blick Group - Editor-in-Chief Blick.ch
Member of the Executive Board Blick Group, Ringier ZurichKatia Murmann drives the digital development of the Blick Group as Head of Digital and Product and Editor-in-Chief of Blick.ch. She builds bridges between newsroom, technology and data and, as a co-founder of the initiatives Edit-a-thon (which aims to bring women's biographies to Wikipedia) and EqualVoice (which aims to increase the visibility of women in media coverage and give them an equal voice), she is committed to increase the equality of women in the media.
Vice President Supply Chain Business Technology at The Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson
Massimo is responsible for shaping and driving the technology agenda for Janssen Supply Chain worldwide. These days, technology is more than an enabler – it has become an integral part of the products we develop. It is about translating technology and data into business value. Massimo's ambition as a leader is to leave behind a legacy of leaders and to change the trajectory of health for humanity using technology.
Founder, Managing Director, Change Agent at ARABESQUE LLC
Sylvia draws on a wealth of experience in robotics, communication, business and the performing arts. Previously she worked successfully in New York, Paris and London.
Andy Fitze, digital cognitive strategist, top global AI and digital transformation advisor for start-ups and enterprise boards, tactical leader,and an AI influencer. With Dalith Steiger, Andy is the co-founder of theaward-winning start-up SwissCognitive, and the CognitiveValleyFoundation. He is president of the Swiss IT Leadership Forum,member of the Board of Directors of SwissICT, and Chairman of theBoard of Directors of Service Management Partners. Andy is alecturer and Member of the Strategic Advisory Board at Bern Universityof Applied Sciences. To share his 30 years of extensive knowledge andexperience, he is often seen on global stages. He is also a passionateskipper on the oceans – providing him with a great balance for head andsoul.