Meet top-level founders, investors and technology-experts at IdeaLab!
Adora is currently a partner at Y Combinator. She previously served as the CEO and Co-Founder of Homejoy Inc. and was on the Board of the Homejoy Foundation. Prior to Homejoy, Adora worked at Slide (acquired by Google) as a lead Product Manager where she had the opportunity to learn about startups.
When Adora left Slide to start her own company she joined forces with her brother Aaron Cheung to form Pathjoy, a startup connecting life coaches to clients online. With Pathjoy the duo were accepted to the Y-Combinator, a prestigious incubator in Mountain View. After two years the duo founded Homejoy in July 2012 and since then Adora has successfully grown the Homejoy team from just her and her brother, to a team of over 120 employees and platform that serve hundreds of thousands of households in over 30 cities across the US, Canada, UK, and Germany.
In 2005, the former basketball player for Giants Leverkusen and Brandt Hagen founded the hip-hop label "Selfmade Records" and quickly grew to an institution in the German music scene, thanks to his tough approach on entrepreneurship. Meanwhile, he founded the fashion label "Pusher Apparel" and is co-founder of the water ice cream brand "Suckit".
He currently holds the position as "President of Rap" at both Universal Music and Selfmade Records.
After having graduated from WHU in 1998, Oliver founded several companies together with his brothers Alexander and Marc. The first one was the online auctioning site Alando, which was acquired by eBay only a few months after its start for $50 million. After the sale Oliver served as CEO of eBay Europe before he went on and founded Jamba!, which was acquired by Verisign for $270 million in 2004.
Since 2006, Oliver engaged in numerous investments, including Facebook, LinkedIn, Groupon, Zalando, Funding Circle and Lazada. In 2007, he co-founded Rocket Internet and took the company public in 2014. Rocket Internet incubates and invests in technology companies with proven business models. Rocket’s active portfolio spans more than 100 companies on six continents.
Mr. Michael Stephan is the founder of Raisin GmbH and serves as its Chief Operating Officer and Managing Director. Raisin GmbH is the leading pan-European savings and investments marketplace connecting retail customers with banks looking to expand or diversify their deposit reach. Michael graduated at WHU, studied Philosophy at LMU and served as Junior Project Manager at McKinsey&Co.
Stephen is leading the product and development team to deliver and build content recommendation and a distribution platform that reaches 120 million users and counting.
Opinary helps the world's leading brands and publishers engage, understand and convert their most valuable audiences at scale. They are trusted by brands like Microsoft, Mastercard or Ford. Top Publisher like CNBC, Times, and 19 out of Germany's top 20 sites use their technology to build meaningful relationships with loyal users – the key to thriving in a platform age.
Olaf Koch started his career in 1994 as manager for finance processes and systems at Daimler-Benz AG. In 1996 he founded his own IT company, before returning to Daimler in 1998. In 2000, he became VP of Corporate E-Business, and was promoted to VP Finance & Controlling in 2002.
Olaf left Daimler in 2007 and became MD Operations at private equity firm Permira.
His career in the Metro group started in 2009 as CFO, and after only two and a half years he became CEO, the position which he’s still holding today.
Rahmyn Kress has been Chief Digital Officer of Henkel Management AG at Henkel AG & Co. KGaA since March 2017. Mr. Kress served as Chief Executive Officer and President at Digiplug S.A.S. Mr. Kress joined Digiplug in January 2011. Prior to his new role at Henkel, he has been with Accenture since 2010, where he held several executive roles from being the Chief Executive Officer & President of an Accenture digital subsidiary in digital supply chain, Managing Director. Rahmyn graduated at the American College in London and received an MBA and a PhD at the American University London.
Philipp Justus is Vice President of Google Central Europe, as well as Managing Director of Google Germany. Before joining Google, he was Chief Executive Officer of Zanox, the leading European affiliate marketing network. Previously, Philipp held various executive roles at eBay, including as General Manager of eBay Europe and Senior Vice President of US Auctions. Philipp is a graduate of WHU and holds an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.
Speaker in 2018
Scott graduated from UC San Diego in Computing in 2002, after which he went on to work as a developer for the next 6 years. In 2008, Scott and 3 peers joined forces to found GitHub. Back then, Git used to be rather obscure and difficult to use version control system, but Scott (CIO) and his colleagues went on to turn it into the dominant system in the marked, used by the majority of all developers and companies. In 2016, Scott left GitHub in order to start working on his new project, Chatterbug. Chatterbug is a language learning app which combines the flexibility of digital language apps with the effectiveness of in-person language schools.
Frank is a European business angel, serial founder, investor and TV personality. Since 1994, Frank has founded seven technology companies and his products have reached more than 200 million consumers in over 60 countries.
As of 2010, Frank has invested in a growing number of startups, such as Lilium Aviation, Wunderlist (acquired by Microsoft) or mytaxi (acquired by Daimler AG). He is also a founding member of early-stage-focused venture capital firm Freigeist (formerly e42). Since 2014 Frank also serves as a judge and investor on the famous TV show "Die Höhle der Löwen" - the German equivalent of "Shark Tank".
Benjamin has had quite a diverse university and professional experience. He first gained his Bachelors at Maastricht University before finishing his Masters at WHU. In between, Benjamin went on multiple exchanges to the United States and India where he majored in Entrepreneurship and Business Management. After finishing university, Benjamin worked as a Business Analyst at Affinitas, HV Holtzbrinck Ventures, and BV Capital.
His biggest move came in 2013 when he co-founded foodpanda. During the next four years, Benjamin helped foodpanda to cumulatively raise $318M and expand its food delivery operations to 11 global countries. In 2017, Benjamin and his team successfully led a $500M exit to Delivery Hero and he is now their VP of Consumer.
Christian is a Founding Partner at Cherry. After some years at The Boston Consulting Group, Christian joined Zalando as their first CMO. 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 a food technology companies.
Hakan graduated from Bucerius Law School in 2010 and was a participant at IdeaLab! in the early days. Later, he worked at Rocket Internet as an Entrepreneur in Residence and took over the Project Lead Mobile of Zalando.
After one year, he moved on to Home24, where he was Chief Product Officer for another one and a half years.
In 2012, he and Christian Bertermann founded AUTO1 Group after they had faced the problem of selling Bertmann‘s grandmother‘s car.
The initial idea for an online marketplace for used cars was born which connects sellers and dealers through innovative in-house developed technology and therefore revolutionised the way used cars are bought and sold.
Within 6 years AUTO1 Group has grown to an international player with activities in more than 30 European markets, with more than 3,500 employees and an annual sales volume of over 400,000 traded vehicles. This makes AUTO1 Group one of the highest valued private-held startups in Europe.
More to be announced soon