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Is It Time to Go East? How CEE Hubs are Building Thriving Startup Ecosystems
Eastern European countries like Estonia and Romania are overtaking the “old” European economies in the West in terms of innovativeness and digitalization. They are home to successful startups like Bolt, Europe’s first super app and mobility platform that drove out Uber from many markets, or Uipath from Bucharest that is one of Europe’s most valuable unicorns. VC investments cumulatively reached over 4bn EUR in 2021 in CEE states and there are now 34 unicorns in the region with Estonia leading the whole Europe in terms of VC investments per capita. Yet, we still see that corporate innovation scouts and investors from Western Europe are shying away to fully include CEE into their scouting routine. In this DEEP Dive you will meet experts from CEE and learn about the opportunities and challenges to the full integration of CEE into Europe’s startup market.
Analyst: Assim Ishaque, Founder at The Entrepreneurs Trust
The Entrepreneurs Trust’s mission is to support innovators to make a positive impact in the world and prepare them for entrepreneurial challenges on their journey ahead through speaking, coaching, and consulting.
Expert: Nevena Stavreva, CEO Enterri
Enterri is a Bulgarian-based company that helps foreign entrepreneurs to set up business and build their rockstar teams in one of the most resourceful startup hubs in Eastern Europe digitally and remotely.
Expert: Michal Košina, Senior Mandate Manager, Mandate Management – Equity, European Investment Fund (EIF)
The mission of the European Investment Fund (EIF) is to improve access to finance for SMEs and small mid-caps in Europe.
World in Crisis: Where will Venture Capital Go
Geopolitical tensions, the war in Ukraine, inflation, pandemic, and supply chain disruptions are starting to affect the markets. The pandemic led to a large surge of investments in health tech; the chip shortage revives large scale plant developments like Intel’s 1bn EUR investment in Germany and the Ukraine crisis accelerates interest in cybersecurity. During this DEEP Dive you have the chance to explore how geopolitical tensions and market uncertainties affect venture capital and discuss challenges for ecosystems to adapt and grasp emerging opportunities.
Analyst: Arnbjörn Eggerz , Managing Director at Iceventure
Expert: Nicolas Schwank, Chief Data Scientist of Political Risk at Michael Bauer International GmbH
The Michael Bauer International GmbH is one of the largest international data providers that unites passion and scientific know-how to provide globally consistent and comparable geographic data.
Tech Saves the World: How Public Institutions Use Hackathons and Accelerators to Solve Societal Problems
Accelerators, fab labs and hackathons – tech tools are increasingly being used by public and aid institutions to develop innovative solutions for social good. Cities like Barcelona use open innovation challenges to find solutions to urban mobility or citizen participation, and the World Food Program even runs an accelerator to fight global hunger. One of the biggest success stories was the Hack-the-Crisis Hackathon to attack health challenges during the pandemic worldwide. However, to create sustainable innovation for development, we need to move beyond hackathons. Together, we will analyze the existing approaches towards solution of societal problems and their efficiency for creation of scalable innovation that strives toward the sustainable future.
Analyst: Harald Eisenhauer, Head of Platform, DEEP Ecosystems
Expert: Stella Deppe, Policy Advisor Digital Development/ Innovate2030, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH
The German Agency for International Cooperation or (GIZ) is an international enterprise owned by the German Federal Government, operating in many fields across more than 130 countries.
Expert: Ralph Henn, Research Associate on Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Resilience, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)
KIT is “The Research University in the Helmholtz Association.” Presently, more than 9000 people are working at KIT, of which more than half are conducting research in a broad range of disciplines from natural sciences to engineering, to economics, to the humanities and social sciences.
Expert: Ana Rosa de Lima, Initiator and Director of Meli Bees Network
Supporting sustainable practices in Amazonian traditional communities to allow both land and people to flourish.
Expert: Anna Katharina Brinkschulte, Head of Interactive Media, Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg
The Filmakademie is one of the most internationally renowned film schools. One of its major distinguishing characteristics is the close collaboration with three other educational institutions on one campus: Animationsinstitut (Institute of Animation and Visual Effects); the Atelier Ludwigsburg-Paris, an inter-university master-class on European film production; and the Academy of Performing Arts.
Dinosaurs in the Metaverse: Will Manufacturers in Europe survive the impact of the new internet?
Not only since Mark Zuckerberg called for the Metaverse revolution, the idea of a full-immersion virtual world has been seen as the next frontier of the internet. Already today, large segments of the population rely on digital connections for work, education, health care, daily commercial and social transactions. New devices combining virtual and augmented reality worlds as well as powerful AI promise the emergence of a complete new digital universe that goes beyond the static and somewhat limited experiences like SecondLife or Minecraft. Industry experts expect these technologies to quickly expand beyond the gaming industry and deeply affect consumer behavior as well as the way we interact, work, learn, and live. In this DEEP Dive we bring together technology companies, manufacturers and entrepreneurs pioneering the Metaverse to understand how Europe’s industry can get ready for this new revolution.
Analyst: Tim Robb, Associate at Iceventure
Expert: Plamen Kiradjiev, Head of Solution Architects at German Edge Cloud
GEC is a developer and service integrator for turnkey solutions and offers both proprietary and industry-specific systems.
Expert: Jonas Kirchner, CEO at Pixelcloud
Pixelcloud is a creative agency for integrated communication focused on gamification and new media.
Outcomes of previous edition
June edition brought together 90 innovation leaders and ecosystem builders from 22 countries for two days in-person event in Ludwigsburg (Stuttgart), Germany.
Participants of the Conference gathered around roundtables- DEEP Dives- to explore topics with a high potential to determine the success of ecosystems. In four DEEP Dives, the following topics were analyzed:
Is It Time to Go East? How CEE Hubs are Building Thriving Startup Ecosystems
World in Crisis: Where will Venture Capital Go
Tech Saves the World: How Public Institutions Use Hackathons and Accelerators to Solve Societal Problems
Dinosaurs in the Metaverse: Will Manufacturers in Europe Survive the Impact of the New Internet?
The outcomes of the three DEEP Dives are published as Strategic White Papers, which you can find below.
Seth started the Foundry Group together with Techcelerator Founder Brad Feld. They knew each other from Brad’s previous fund Mobius Ventures and are investing in technology companies throughout the US and Canada. His career spans venture capital investing as well as operational, transactional and advisory roles at both public and private companies.
Bernhard is Head of the Innovation Accelerator at the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP). The WFP Innovation Accelerator identifies, nurtures and scales disruptive startups and entrepreneurs that accelerate progress towards zero hunger. Previously, Bernhard co-founded the ShareTheMeal app, built up WFP’s Business Innovation team and worked as Project Leader at the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) for global tech and industrial goods companies.
Head of UN World Food Programme Innovation Accelerator
Entrepreneur with 13 years of experience in community building, Lais led the development of entrepreneurial communities across every continent. From leading 2000 volunteers across Argentina, Chile and Uruguay as the president of a non-profit organization, to selecting and training community leaders across Latam, Africa, APAC for Startup Grind and working for governments and innovation agencies in 75+ ecosystems as part of Startup Genome’s executive team.
Laís de Oliveira
Community Development Consultant at Startup Genome
As Partner at Antler, Youri leads all operations in Amsterdam, the company’s third location globally after Singapore and Stockholm. Together with the rest of the Antler team, he drives to launch variety of new innovative companies through Antler’s unique approach to talent acquisition and business-building.
Erin works regularly to support entrepreneurship in the Upstate, both as Director of the VentureSouth Spartanburg angel investor group and as the leader of the Economic and Entrepreneurial Vitality focus area for Ten at the Top.
Erin Henderson Ouzts
Upstate Entrepreneur Ecosystem Director for Ten at the Top
Pedro is a founder, CEO and jack of all trades at darwinLabs, a specialized IT consulting company focused on #lowcode and out systems. He is also a co-founder at Beta-i, a non-profit organization for the promotion of entrepreneurship. Pedro has extensive experience in the consulting, financial services, telecom, internet and mobile marketing industries.
Dominik is Innovation Consultant, Design Thinking Coach and Workshop Facilitator with 8+ years of international experience. Previously, Dominik worked as Innovation Manager for the European Institute of Innovation and Technology’s digital technology branch (EIT Digital). Additionally, he ran intrapreneurship and innovation programs at large international corporations and organizations such as Airbus, Celfocus, Deutsche Telekom, SAP and others.
Claudia has more than 16 years of experience as an international development consultant and technical adviser, working extensively in Latin America, Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. Her work has involved designing, implementing, monitoring, and evaluating multi-million-dollar development programmes, particularly focused on entrepreneurship and business development, across several government and non-governmental organizations.
Founder and Managing Director at Consulting for Growth Group (C4G)
Aneth is a Hub Network Community Manager at Tech Entrepreneurship Initiative ‘Make-IT in Africa’ implemented by GIZ. Aneth is passionate about entrepreneurship and ecosystem building having been involved in various entrepreneurship projects. Previously, Aneth led the Reach for Change incubator program in Rwanda. For the past 3 years, Aneth has supported the 2nd year seminar course as a teaching assistant at Carnegie Mellon University Africa.
Hub Network Community Manager at Make-IT in Africa
Inty is the co-founder and CEO of Ichthion, an award-winning start-up in the United Kingdom. The aim of this company is the development of disruptive technologies to extract plastics and synthetic waste from rivers and oceans. Inty is also the President and co-founder of the Circular foundation in Ecuador, an NGO with the goal of improving the life of vulnerable social groups through technology and innovation, while contributing to the protection of the environment.
Co-founder and CEO of Ichthion, Co-founder and President of Circular Foundation in Ecuador
Anna is a trained systemic consultant and heads the Berlin team of the Conscious Innovation consultancy Mandalah. She has led various national and international projects with corporations, public institutions and NGOs alike. She also is the co-founder of Welana, a social business importing fabrics from Ethiopia.
Eric is part of the founding team at Cintrifuse. His background combines corporate marketing for one of the world’s most-beloved brands (the Walt Disney Company) with the hand-to-hand combat that comes with being on the leadership team of several productive small businesses.
Marketing, technology, operations, and startup development professional with specialties in data analytics, growth, operations management, digital strategy, investor relations, product management, business development, ecosystem development, user/market research, data analytics, operations digitization, & product launch. His past clients include Startupbootcamp, Touch Surgery, Hackster.io, Incident gTar, Car and Driver Magazine, Noisebridge, Asa, among many others.
Khatuchi is a Program Manager at the Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE) East Africa Chapter. In this capacity, she provides oversight to all the chapter’s Programs . Khatuchi also oversees ANDE’s activities in Tanzania and Uganda. Prior to joining ANDE, she worked with INGOs in both Kenya and Uganda.
Program Manager at the Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE)
Alain is a senior fellow at the Marron Institute of Urban Management at New York University. He is the author of a book “Order without Design: How Markets Shape Cities.” His operational work as an independent consultant and researcher focuses on the interaction between markets, regulations, and transport infrastructure in shaping the spatial structures of cities.
Senior Fellow NYU, Former Principal Urbanist Planner at the World Bank
Lisa is the co-founder and CEO of Female Founders, the fastest-growing community of entrepreneurial women in Europe. With a 9-year track record in the tech ecosystem and especially in early stage financing, she's initiated projects all over Europe and supported hundreds of companies.
Bart is one of Europe's leading and awarded experts on the digital transformation of healthcare, and one of the most progressive forward thinkers focuses on finding alternative European strategies for the current postmodern world to create a more desirable future with greater social benefits. He is the initiator of the HIPPO AI Foundation in Berlin and co-founded the Digital Health Academy where he shares his knowledge to improve digital literacy.
Bart de Witte
Founder at HIPPO AI Foundation and Digital Health Academy
Michal is the Director of International Economic Development in Tel Aviv Global. She has an extensive experience in working with leading companies ranging from cutting edge startups to retail and consumers market leaders. She is also a mentor at Techstars and the 8200 Impact accelerator program.
Director of International Economic Development @Tel Aviv Global
Crispin is the Deputy Head of Unit for the “Industrial forum, alliances, clusters” unit within the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, bringing together a number of alliances, networks, events and financial programmes to support companies at all stages of their growth and to help them partner most effectively with each other, including the Enterprise Europe Network.
Deputy Head of Unit, Industrial Forum, Alliances, Clusters Unit, European Commission
Xavier is the Head of International City Promotion of Barcelona City Council. He has been serving the city of Barcelona since 1991 both in the fields of economic promotion and social cohesion. Since 2008 he is in responsible of attracting foreign investment and promoting internationally the city of Barcelona.
Xavier Mayo Torres
Head of International City Promotion of Barcelona City Council
Lina founder and Managing Director of Media Lab Bayern, an incubator for new ideas in digital journalism. Previous to this, Lina wrote for outlets like Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung or ZEIT and worked as video journalist for formats that screened on ARTE or Prosieben. As a side project she founded the Slack community www.digital-journalism.rocks, which is a place to share best practices and expertise from now over 1000 digital journalists.
David teaches cultural policies & international relations at Sciences Po Paris. Former Secretary General of the French National Commission for UNESCO, David is currently launching the Manufacture of Curiosity, a European initiative to foster smart innovation in cultural and creative industries.
With a background in sustainable development, Oleksandra deploys systems thinking to all problems and startup challenges. She contributed to the development of the climate change adaptation strategy and managed Earth Hour campaigns at the WWF. For the past 5 years, Oleksandra has been developing programs for startups at all stages of their journey. Across the industries and across the borders.
Benjamin is leading the Credit Suisse – Swisscontact Program (CSSC) a project that aims at identifying best practice in entrepreneurship promotion and ecosystem building. Together with local entrepreneurship support organizations and entrepreneurs, he co-creates grass-root initiatives that help strengthen the local entrepreneurial ecosystem and support local organizations through strategic and practical advice focusing on Rwanda, Uganda, Guatemala and Cambodia.
Project Manager at the Credit Suisse – Swisscontact Program
Eve is a Women in AI Ambassador. Initiator of WaiACCELERATE. 15+ years of professional experience in Growth & Innovation, Diversity & Inclusion, integrated marketing, and strategic communications. A big fan of adding a human voice to complex business ideas, data, Cloud, Artificial Intelligence, and Internet of Things. Active member of the startup & investor community in the Netherlands.
Founder Evenness & Women in AI Ambassador in the Netherlands
Gabriele is Director of Startup Services at the Vienna Business Agency, Managing Director of the Vienna Region and Member of the Supervisory Board of INITS and has been working passionately in the fields of startups, female entrepreneurship and the Vienna startup scene for many years.
Director of Startup Services at the Vienna Business Agency
Igor founded the innovation company Semente in Brazil, where he designed and managed acceleration programmes sponsored by corporates, governments and private foundations. With his investments he managed to successfully exit two early stage startups in the field of agritech and retail tech.
UN consultant on ecosystem modelling,former Managing Director of Semente (Brazil)
As CEO of Start-Up Chile, the largest and most diverse startup accelerator in the globe, Sebastián worked with more than 1,000 tech-based startups and founders from many industries and countries. He is a world-wide respected consultant to governments and industry on ecosystem development.
Sebastián Díaz Mesa
Co-Founder at DEEP Ecosystems and Head of Acceleration & Community
Erica (Ph.D. in Economics, University of Florence, 2016) is Lecturer of Management at the University of Trento. Her research focuses on innovation, entrepreneurial ecosystems, servitization strategies, product- service innovation and digitalization of manufacturing.
President of the European Startup Initiative and Lecturer at University of Trento
Thomas is building ecosystems in Europe since more than 8 years. He has set up and run numerous international startup programs, including for Microsoft Ventures in Germany and is currently investing with EIT Digital in pre-seed stage in 20 countries in CEE and Southern Europe.
Matija is the founder and CEO of Agrivi- an agri-tech startup that is creating the global agricultural eco-system with vision to change the way food is produced. With an intelligent cloud farm management solution, the company helps farmers to increase their productivity and find buyers for produced food. Agrivi is the winner of World Startup Competition 2014.
In her role as Business Development Manager & Project Leader, Katja brings together key stakeholders from business, academia, the public sector, and the startup and ecosystem scene on a national and international levels and enables the entrepreneurial and innovation exchange within this strong network and strengthen the strategic development as well as the national an international visibility for the Munich Innovation Ecosystem.
Business Development & Project Leader at MUC SUMMIT
Economist as background, Catherine has been working at the European Commission since 1994 in various services where she has been highly committed to support companies in the field of transport and energy infrastructures. Since 2015, she has further developed her experience in innovation where she has been responsible of the EIC-Accelerator evaluation process selecting highly innovative SMEs with a strong capacity to scale up.
Minerva works at the European Investment Fund managing the equity financial instruments – part of the Horizon 2020 programme, EFSI and now InvestEU –, and continuously trying to innovate alternative finance programmes in support to research & innovation in the Mandate Management Department.
Senior Innovation and Alternative Finance Manager at European Investment Fund (EIF)
Oscar is Head of VC - Digital Economy at European Investment Fund (EIF) in Luxembourg, a European institution that provides risk finance to benefit small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) across Europe. At EIF, Oscar has invested in VC funds across Europe with a focus on the ICT sector and sits on their Advisory Boards. Oscar is a seasoned speaker in VC industry events and contributor to publications in the field of venture capital.
Head of VC - Digital Economy at European Investment Fund (EIF)
Laurent is an Impact Officer - Entrepreneurship and Business Creation at the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT). He is mainly responsible for the EIT Knowledge Innovation Communities (KICs) Entrepreneurship and Business Creation activities for innovative European start-ups and scale-ups across EU-28. His current work also includes the long term Financial Sustainability of the EIT KICs, and the development of synergies with the EIC and EIB/EIF.
Impact Officer - Entrepreneurship, Business Creation and Financial Sustainability at EIT
With A BBA, consulting background, and Master's in big data, Gabor revolutionizes the transportation industry with new technologies. He's a Co-Founder of Trucksters, a company backed by leading corporations including the joint venture Porsche & Axel Springer (APX) and Grupo Undanet.
Stefano is a Lecturer of Economics of the European Union at Bocconi University (Italy) and at University of Auckland (New Zealand), and Lecturer of EU competition policy at ISPI (Italy). He is also a board member of the Italian Chamber of Commerce in New Zealand and of the NZ European Business Council. He is also an 'angel investor' in love with clear-cut differentiation and scalability.
Board member of the Italian Chamber of Commerce in NZ and European Business Council
Stephan is an Investment Partner at TS Ventures and Director Founders Education at the Founders Foundation. Prior to that, he has led the startup units at Microsoft in Germany and Europe and was co-founder of the Microsoft Accelerator in Berlin. He manages a portfolio of 20 angel investments in Germany, Europe and the US with a focus on AdTech, Marketplaces, SaaS and Climate Tech.
Investment Partner @TS Ventures and Director Founders Education @Founders Foundation
Aru runs his own data science consultancy called Arulytics, and is the Director of Data Science at Willapay, a fintech startup based in Stockholm. Previously, he has been building and scaling analytics and data science functions at HiQ, Springworks and Truecaller in Stockholm. He also has experience working as an Analyst for the Search team at Yahoo in London, and at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland.
Natalie is a sociologist and researcher on early-stage entrepreneurship in Europe. For the last five years, she has been conducting fieldwork with entrepreneurs and community builders for the project, The Startup City. Her research and experience in the startup ecosystem spans 27 different countries on nearly all continents.
Market Researcher, Content and Digital Marketing @PIRATEx
Rocio is the Executive Director of InnovaChile CORFO and former CEO at Start-Up Chile one of the biggest and most diverse startup community in the world. She has a MS in Management at MIT, is a Master in innovation and entrepreneurship and Biotech Engineer. Her passion is to help people to transform their ideas into business.
Anke has many years of experience in strategic marketing and business development in medical technology and biotechnology. Before joining the investment team of HTGF, one of Europe’s most active seed investor, she developed the product portfolios of international life science companies ensuring their future growth. At HTGF she is responsible for several early stage investments in medical technology, digital health and biotech.
Principal in the Life Sciences Investment Team at High-Tech Gründerfonds
Gergo is a Business Development leader at Amazon Web Services. In his current role, he is responsible for the strategic relationship with leading VCs and driving growth with their portfolio companies. His previous experiences include working as a Product and Business Owner at Zalando, Entrepreneur in Residence at Rocket Internet, and co-founding e-commerce companies Wimdu and WestWing.
Senior Manager - VC Business Development at Amazon Web Services
Raluca is an editor for fonduri-structurale.ro, Romania’s biggest portal on financing opportunities. Raluca co-founded in 2020 consolid8.ro – Romania’s first crowdfunding platform for social entrepreneurs and the creative industries.
Shivam Dhawan is a technology enthusiast with a vision of improving educational processes and personal development. He is a recognized innovator and loves the excitement of discovering opportunities of ideating technology solutions. His experience as an analytics expert allows him to provide data driven strategies for the execution of those ideas.
Jaber has over 25 years of experience in the technology sector. He has also invested time and funds into start-ups and young companies over the recent years in a diverse range of sectors. Earlier in his career, he worked as equity analyst covering Software stocks for ABN-AMRO, and held senior positions in global accounts management within SAP.
Perrine is Head of Partnerships and Communications at the Center for Leadership in the Future of Work at University of Zurich. She has over 15 years of professional experience in China as Director of Communications and Donor Relations at Save the Children in China.
Head of Partnerships and Communications, UZH at University of Zurich
Irina is a remote freelancer who has been involved in a broad spectrum of activities related to tech startup ecosystems in the past years. She holds a Master's degree in Technology Governance and Digital Transformation.
Rolf is an experienced entrepreneur in the fields of innovation and professional development. Building 3 companies with his latest: The Upgrade Society in which he finds, matches and supports purpose driven communities to work on sustainable impact for themselves and for the collective good.
Jenny has worked 10+ years within the IT industry followed by another 10+ years working within cross-border trade and investment promotion sphere with focus on market entry, investment opportunity matchmaking, innovation ecosystems, and tech verticals.
Senior Business Development Manager at Invest Stockholm
Martyna is contributing to the development of local ecosystem and securing the necessary capital for growth. Her broad range of interests have provided her with unique set of professional skills as well as people skills. Originally from Poland, currently in Denmark, within different projects she gained experience in the USA, China, Indonesia, Switzerland, Netherlands & Lithuania.
Vidar is a Norwegian serial startup entrepreneur, investor, educator and advisor to international corporations and organisations on innovation. In 2015, he was recognised by Wirtschafts Woche as one of the most important people in the German startup scene. His work has been featured and recognised by The New York Times, Business Insider, CNN, BBC, TechCrunch, Forbes, TechCocktail, Die Welt, DViCE, ZDF, WDR, DRadio Wissen, WiWo, and more.
As a part of the Investor services team, Verica helps international investors, VCs and CVCs find deal flows from Skåne. She focuses on the ongoing sourcing of startups and scaleups and evaluates their business potential from investors’ perspectives.
Uwe is an experienced professional in international business relations, foreign direct investment consulting and international location marketing. He has launched the startup initiative of the German City of Duesseldorf, set up the innovation and digitalization platform "Digihub Duesseldorf / Rhineland GmbH" and positioned the EUREF-Campus Düsseldorf as an innovation platform for climate-neutral energy and mobility solutions.
Markus co-founded three companies in the areas of software, hardware and fintech, invested in AI and software startups as angel investor and mentored more than 40 startups at Founders Foundation. After writing the Founders Foundation Playbook and challenging some company builder, accelerator, and talent investor concepts, he created the Climate Founders concept, won partners and founded the world's first talent investor for climate change related topics.
Christina is a Teamleader in Fair & Social Responsibility at Naturland, a farmers' association promoting organic agriculture over the world. She is also the head of research at Strascheg Center for Entrepreneurship within Munich University of Applied Sciences.
Teamleader Naturland Fair & Social Responsibility at Naturland
Benedikt is the founder of the Impact Hub Ruhr and is responsible for the program and finance department. As a project developer, he works on programs such as hackathons or summer schools and new products. As a coach he is involved in the workshop programs, especially in the area of business model innovation.
Co-Founder - Programs, Finance, Business Development at Impact Hub Ruhr
Ulrike is committed to increasing the visibility of topics such as social entrepreneurship and social innovations as the key to social and ecological challenges. Previously she has worked in Seville, Montreal and London, Zurich followed, where Ulrike became part of the Impact Hub Zurich team.
Co-Founder and Managing Director at Impact Hub Ruhr
Cyril is currently the CEO of Regtech Africa, an emergent global digital tech media platform with niche focus on regulatory technology innovations in Africa and around the world. He sits on the board of many startup companies including Latitude iBS Limited, a financial technology innovation company.
Kathy has been a co-founder of two successful companies in the gaming and health technology industries, as well as director of the Launch Incubator in Maastricht, Netherlands. She is particularly passionate about starting companies which have both aspects of profit and social good.
Background in accountancy and finance, build the community from nothing to 700 people on database. Strength in establishing strategic partnership, interpersonal skills, brand development and digital marketing.
Cristian is experienced in FMCG manufacturing with a background on Electrical Engineering and Management. Based on a rich AIESEC experience and his previous sales jobs, he has developed a strong desire to lead teams and work with people, understanding and applying engineering principles at the same time.
As part of Skåne Startups, Eirini researches and delves into the deepest corners of the internet and the community to find all the startups in Scania. From the smallest to the biggest with mission to give them the best opportunities to meet the most relevant investors and make them visible to an international audience of investors.
After a convincing performance, the Ludwigsburg municipal council elected Renate Schmetz as First Mayor of the baroque city in March 2021. The 53-year-old took up her new office on 1 May 2021. Her department includes an enormous range of tasks with the department of civic engagement, social affairs and housing, the department of citizen services, the departments of fire brigade and civil protection, education and family, sports and health as well as the staff office of the equal opportunities commissioner.
Manuel is a Senior Consultant for Business Model Innovation and Coach in the Bosch Accelerator Program. His professional background is in Logistics, SCM, and Sales in Hydraulics and Factory Automation at Bosch. He thrives for explorative innovation and has first-hand experience in starting-up a new venture.
Senior Consultant Business Model Innovation at Bosch Innovation Consulting
Jolanta is a studied publisher. She has an innovative spirit and coordinates the innovation network of the city of Ludwigsburg. Here she works with partners from business, industry and research institutions in a cooperative manner. The collaboration is intended to develop impulses for new, innovative technologies that can be tested on site under real conditions in the urban space.
Heike is responsible for operating a group of experts globally that offers advice and services on the topic of "Outside-In". Her curiosity for everything new, her desire to drive things forward, her ability to identify needs and associated business ideas and to develop them further in diverse, cross-divisional teams have led her to take over the management of a global consulting department for co-innovation and partnerships with external parties.
Dr. Heike Langner
Director of Performance Expert Service for Outside-In at Robert Bosch GmbH
Ertan is the founding partner of Multiple Capital, a European venture capital fund of funds. He has more than 9 years of experience in the venture capital industry and has invested in more than 31 early stage VC funds.
Anna is a senior lecturer at the Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg’s Animationsinstitut in Ludwigsburg where she serves as a head of the subject area Interactive Media. Working for over 10 years as a freelance designer and producer for apps, games, immersive media, and spatial communication, Anna is now working as a consultant for media production companies and agencies on supervising creative productions.
Head of Interactive Media, Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg
Christian is a founder of a mediaproduction company - eyecatchproductions. Since 2003 he realises a wide range of short, feature and business films, as well as animation driven / interactive content and live events. In January 2006 he has joined the team of Animationsinstitut at Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg, currently working as head of commissioned productions and talentinitatives.
Head of Commissioned Productions and Talentinitatives, Animationsinstitut Filmakademie
Hanno leads MANN+HUMMEL „Performance Office“ - enabling organization via focused governance and agile project management to drive key global and x-functional strategic initiatives to execution. The scope encompasses product portfolio, footprint & structure, processes & organization, digitalization & innovation.
Chief Procurement Officer and Managing Director at Mann+Hummel
Jürgen studied economics with a focus on IT in Hohenheim. After his studies, he worked as a consultant for renowned management consulting agencies for large companies, including DAX companies. But there were also some small companies he was allowed to advise at the public sector, such as municipal and national energy suppliers. Since 2021, Jürgen has been Head of the Digitalisation & IT Department at Ludwigsburg City Council.
Head of Digital Transformation & IT, City of Ludwigsburg
Ralph is Research Associate and PhD Candidate at Institute for Entrepreneurship, Technology-Management and Innovation (EnTechnon) at the Karlsruher Institute of Technology. He is responsible for the coordination of research activities in the field of Entrepreneurial Ecosystems. Ralph is a member and former marketing executive of the Pioniergarage e.V., which is the largest student entrepreneurship group in Germany.
Research Associate, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)
Oliver is responsible for the economic development of the county of Ludwigsburg since 2021. With 15 years of experience in supporting industrial companies, he is now developing strategies and initiatives for the county to stay a top place for production and innovation. This also includes building a fruitful environment for startup companies.
County Economic Development in the County of Ludwigsburg
Andrea is a Consultant at Bosch Management Consulting. Her focus is on strategy development and scenario management. In addition, she empowers customers methodically and operationally with practical approaches to achieve high effectiveness in systematic business model innovation. Before joining Bosch in 2005, Andrea was self-employed and worked for various advertising agencies.
Dr. Andrea Bräuning
Director of Corporate Strategy at Robert Bosch GmbH
Plamen has been head of the new Solution Architects department at German Edge Cloud (GEC), a specialist in edge and cloud solutions and a Friedhelm Loh Group company. The expert for the digitization of industrial manufacturing processes previously worked for IBM for 27 years, most recently as Global CTO for the area of Industry 4.0.
Arnbjörn is founder of Iceventure. He realizes strategy, business models or valuations for customers shaping innovation processes, business processes or national/local innovation systems. He combines digital business model knowledge, industry models and tech innovations trajectory with an operative and global macro view. He has 12+ years of corporate banking, startup/SME/corporate, and institutional project consulting experience in Germany, Italy, and Iceland.
Timothy (M.Sc. in Entrepreneurship and Innovation) is Associate at Iceventure, the research sponsor of the DEEP ecosystems conference 2022. He focuses on realizing systematic innovation, tech and business model strategy working at the intersection of technology & financial signals, transferring these insights into business, and market strategy. He frequently works on innovation questions in terms of technology valuations, sector analysis and market research.
Wohnungsbau Ludwigsburg GmbH (WBL) - is the housing company of the city of Ludwigsburg. It provides adequate living space and shapes the cityscape with its diverse urban development measures. For this, it was awarded the " MyFairTenant" seal of quality.
Executive Director at Wohnungsbau Ludwigsburg GmbH
Award winning Inventor of two patented products, founder of Cleantech company, a Digital Commerce platform, Sustainability consultancy, Innovation Speaker, Business Coach, Non Executive Director, Podcaster and former fundraiser for Renewable Energy projects. He is mentor for Natwest Bank, EIT Climate KIC and Creative Quarter Nottingham and working with UK Government on COVID recovery funding for small businesses. Supporting innovators with achieving their business potential.
Julia is an International City Promotion Advisor at Barcelona City Council, where she actively presents the city and its economic opportunities in order to bring economic activity through foreign investment and create quality jobs in the city. A civil servant since 2016, she is committed to the city of Barcelona and its citizens.
International City Promotion Advisor at Barcelona City Council
Michal is responsible for the management of several EIF-advised investment programmes, particularly the multi-country Central Europe Fund of Funds, the European Angels Fund and the ESIF-funded VC programmes in the Czech Republic and Croatia, helping build innovation ecosystems across the CEE space. Prior to EIF, Michal was responsible for international affairs at the International Investment Bank, which he joined from the Slovak Ministry of Finance.
Senior Mandate Manager, Mandate Management – Equity, European Investment Fund (EIF)
Dr. Ellie Amirnasr started her career as innovation project manager at M+H in 2013. She is the founder of MANN+HUMMEL first corporate startup, qlair, focusing on intelligent solution for clean air management in commercial and industrial buildings. While growing the business for qlair and crossing the chasm she realized the difference between corporate and startup KPIs and developed corporate startup governance process for M+H.