Rocket Internet incubates and invests in technology companies with proven business models. Rocket’s active portfolio spans more than 100 companies on six continents.
Cherry Ventures backs the most ambitious seed stage founders Europe-wide and supports their portfolio companies with a strong follow-on strategy. The venture capital fund counts with investments in 40+ different businesses.
Co-Founder & CEO
Meet Julian Stiefel, Co-Founder and CEO of Tourlane, the planning and booking service for customized, exclusive multi-day trips. Tourlane has raised $81 Million in funding in just over 13 months from high-class investors Sequoia Capital,Spark Capital, DN Capital and HV Holtzbrinck Ventures and already employs more than 250 people. Tourlane redefines the way people experience travel with a focus on making planning and booking exclusive multi-day trips easy and affordable for travellers. With everything from the flights to the accommodation to all on-site activities being taken care of, users have the opportunity to arrange tailor-made travel packages with their personal travel expert completely free of charge.
CEO & Managing Partner
Dr. Paul-Josef Patt is Managing Partner and CEO at eCAPITAL, a Münster-based venture capital firm with almost 20 years of experience. Their main investment focus is on cleantech, Industry 4.0, Software, IT & New materials. The tickets are usually between €1m and €10m, with more than 20 succesful exits already closed. One of the biggest successes in the firm's recent history was the exit of sonnen to Shell in March 2019, a deal which was awarded Cleantech deal of the year by the Cleantech Group. Also notable was eCAPITAL's exit of Novaled to Samsung, a deal which marked groundwork for most OLED displays today in Samsung smartphone displays.
Founder & CEO
Naren is Founder & CEO of Omio, which was previously known as GoEuro. Omio is a website and app for travel by train, bus and flight, where you can search, compare and book tickets based on what’s important for you - whether that’s price, duration or mode. Omio has an average 27 million monthly users and employs more than 300 people, including about 200 developers. Based in Berlin, the company has received almost $300 million funding from renowned investors including Battery Ventures, Goldman Sachs, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Kinnevik AB.
(Founder & CEO)
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".
Daniel Gebler joined the Amsterdam-based company Picnic Technologies in 2015 as CTO. Picnic is an online supermarket meeting all your needs with their electric vehicles straight to your door step. To this date Picninc has raised over €100m in VC money and by now supplies approximately 95,000 customers in 35 cities. Daniel studied Computer Science at the TU Dresden until 2004. In 2007 he focused on customer-focused innovation at the Stanford University Graduate School of Business, after which he completed his MBA in Economics in Dresden in 2009. From 2009 onwards he worked at Fredhopper, the European provider of software for website search, navigation and merchandising.
CEO & Co-Founder
Christoph Ostermann is Co-Founder & CEO of sonnen, the German leader in the booming market for electric home storage solutions. The company was founded in 2010, when it set out to enable people to produce and consume clean and affordable energy. This is a vision which sonnen continues to pursue up to this day. In several funding rounds, the company raised an impressive amount from notable investors such as Shell Ventures, eCapital and GE Ventures. sonnen's product lineup now includes a fully decentralized power sharing community, the sonnenCommunity, in which all sonnen customers are virtually connected to provide them with clean and affordable energy. The company was acquired by Shell New Energies in March 2019 for an undisclosed amount, and we are certain that with its powerful new backer there is a bright future ahead for sonnen!
Kathrin Nusser started her career at Scout24 Holding GmbH in Munich. Since 2012 she was responsible for the departments controlling, accounting, legal, business intelligence and admin as Vice President Finance of FriendScout24 GmbH. Previously, Nusser operated as Head of Strategic Controlling for Scout24 GmbH. In October 2015 Kathrin Nusser took over the position as Head of Corporate Finance at Westwing Group GmbH. In 2017 she joined the Management Board of Flaconi as CFO and is mainly responsible for the departments finance, legal & processes, human resources and business intelligence.
Co-Founder & President
Viola Llewellyn is the co-founder and President of Ovamba Solutions, Inc. (www.Ovamba.com). Ovamba is an award winning African “TradeTech” company that creates culturally attuned technologies to serve formal and informal African SMEs in the trade & commodities sectors. Ovamba’s solutions combine innovative Sharia compliant structures with eCommerce, logistics services, and technology to drive financial inclusion and promote growth. Ms. Llewellyn oversees technology development, strategic implementation, investor communications, and global business development for Ovamba. In June of 2018, Ovamba was selected by the World Economic Forum as a Global Technology Pioneer, securing a 2-year Ambassadorship and a place at the prestigious “Davos Summit” conference. Ms. Llewellyn’s past career includes building a $500MM life insurance investment fund for a Washington, DC based insurance investment firm where she led investor communications, and asset management divisions. She has held positions with companies such as Unisys Corporation, IBM, KPMG Consulting, BearingPoint and Rothschild’s.
Emily Cook Harris has spent the past 10 years as a top fitness professional and entrepreneur in the highly competitive markets of New York City and Los Angeles. This 3rd generation coach and former professional dancer holds a B.S. in Kinesiology, numerous certifications, is an international instructor and PUMA Trainer. Her career has spanned private personal training, boutique group fitness, corporate wellness programming, and most recently as a consultant working with global brands on digital content creation and large scale event production.
Emily founded her lifestyle and coaching brand Empowered in 2010 with the mission of empowering others with the tools to rise up and be their best, helping countless clients transform through the power of movement. Emily is also a passionate activist for education, aiming to empower the next generation through her work and grassroots initiative FitWeek, which she created and produced for the past 5 years. Her community has raised over $45,000 to fund educational scholarships for 50 girls around the world, provide essential classroom supplies for U.S. public schools, support young readers in Texas, and power an innovative physical education curriculum in NYC. Emily believes in lifting up others through the power of education and fitness so we all have the opportunity to reach our fullest potential
Group Director EMEA & DACH
Kai Herzberger is Group Director DACH + EMEA (Commerce, Transformational Retail, Travel, Finance & Fashion) at Facebook. He has been working for Facebook since 2014. Together with his team, he creates solutions that help companies achieve their performance goals on the network.Before joining Facebook, Kai worked for several well-known companies such as Amazon BuyVIP, AOL, and Google DailyDeal.
(Co-founder & CEO)
Daniel Klein is founder and CEO of leading mobile payment company SumUp. Daniel drives the company’s vision, strategy and growth. He has established SumUp as one of the leading payment companies worldwide, with a presence in 33 countries including the UK, Germany and Brazil. Alongside his Co‐founders, he has secured two double‐digit million investment rounds from partners such as American Express, Groupon, b‐to‐v and BBVA. Daniel started his career at the NATO Programming Centre in Belgium, before becoming an IT consultant in Munich and Frankfurt. He studied at the WHU - Otto Beisheim School of Management in Vallendar.
Luca Eisenstecken is a Senior Associate. Based in London, Luca is part of the investment team where he works on sourcing and due diligence of investment opportunities and portfolio management for Germany, Austria and Switzerland. He has worked with Automation Hero and Infarm.
Prior to joining Atomico, Luca spent two years at San Francisco-based private equity firm Vector Capital, where he worked on multiple growth equity investments and buyouts across diverse technology verticals, including the growth investment into CPQ software firm CloudSense. Luca began his career at MergerTech Group, a Bay Area-based technology investment bank, where he advised clients on M&A and financing processes.
Luca holds a Master of International Business with a concentration in Corporate Finance from Hult International Business School in San Francisco, as well as a BA in International Management with a concentration in hospitality management from IUBH School of Business & Management in Germany.
Founder & CEO
Lawrence Leuschner is co-founder and CEO of Tier Mobility (TIER), the Berlin based eScooter-Sharing provider. TIER is one of the fastest-growing micro-mobility company worldwide, with currently 38 European Cities active. The company has entered strategic partnerships with public transportation in cities like Berlin and Munich, and other mobility providers such as SIXT. Prior to launching Tier Mobility, Lawrence was the CEO &Co-founder of the successful startup rebuy in Berlin.
Founding Partner & Managing Director
Robin Godenrath is Founding Partner & Managing Director of Picus Capital. Picus Capital is an early-stage technology investment firm with a focus on Real Estate, Finance & Insurance, Human Resources, Renewable Energy, Mobility, and Health. At the core of their business is the empowerment of entrepreneurs with daring yet promising ideas, in order to build global technology firms challenging the status quo and shaping tomorrow. With over 50 investments since being founded in 2015, they have accelerated the growth of numerous businesses with their long-term investment focus.
Before building a business of his own, Robin worked as a consultant at McKinsey.
CEO & CO-Founder
Make all homeowners in Europe Aroundhome customers: with this ambition Robin Behlau founded his own company at the age of 23 and quickly developed Europe's leading platform for products and services around the home: 1.8 million customer inquiries per year, 500 employees and an annual order volume of 2 billion euros.
Florian Reichert is a Partner at Picus Capital. Picus Capital is an early-stage technology investment firm with a focus on Real Estate, Finance & Insurance, Human Resources, Renewable Energy, Mobility, and Health. At the core of their business is the empowerment of entrepreneurs with daring yet promising ideas, in order to build global technology firms challenging the status quo and shaping tomorrow. With over 50 investments since being founded in 2015, they have accelerated the growth of numerous businesses with their long-term investment focus.
Before joining Picus in 2017, Florian worked as a consultant at The Boston Consulting Group.
Katharina is an associate at Cherry and is particularly passionate about new ideas in the travel and next-generation retail space. Prior to Cherry she spent a few years at The Boston Consulting Group in Zurich and worked with start-ups in the US, Germany, Israel and Ghana. Katharina studied business at the University of St. Gallen and holds an MBA from Harvard Business School.
Co-Founder & MD
Sebastian Diemer is the Co-Founder and Managing Director of Farmako. Farmako is a pharmaceutical company focusing on the European-wide distribution of pharmaceutical cannabis flowers and cannabis-related products. Before that Sebastian was Founder and CEO of Kreditech. Kreditech is combining non-traditional data sources and machine learning, to provide access to better credit and a higher convenience for digital banking services.
Co-Founder & Managing Director
Dr. Constantin von der Groeben is a co-founder and managing director of DEMECAN. He leads the company’s legal and regulatory affairs department. Under his direction, DEMECAN won Germany’s tender process on cannabis cultivation licenses.
DEMECAN is the only German vertically integrated medicinal cannabis company which covers the full supply and value chain of medical cannabis from cultivation to importation and wholesale. Its mission is to cultivate and sell high quality pharma-grade medicinal cannabis in Germany.
Dr. Constantin von der Groeben is a lawyer by training with work experience at top-tier law firms in Berlin, London, and New York. In his previous roles, he served as a legal advisor to the Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy in Germany where he oversaw the management of government holdings. He also served as the personal assistant to Dr. Frank-Walter Steinmeier, the current President of Germany.
Jasmine Werner will be your host at IdeaLab! 2019.
In early 2019 Jasmine was running from Los Angeles to Las Vegas. 550 km, in a team, without rules. As a passionate runner, she knows that in marathon running, just like in transformation processes, it is important to keep an eye on your goal at every step.
As an expert for New Workspace and New Work at Axel Springer SE, Jasmine and the team find strategies on how to successfully accompany change and how more people find their way into a fulfilled professional life.
She is on of the hosts of the „happy works Podcast.“ that takes the listeners on a journey into future ways of working and what drives people in their professions.
As a volunteer Jasmine is involved in the organization Future Legends and enables young girls to acquire competences for the digital age.
Co-Founder & CEO
Finn Age Hänsel studied Business Administration in Germany, Hungary, and New Zealand. After founding the largest Australian online fashion retailer, THE ICONIC, he went on to become the Managing Director of the ProSiebenSat1-Incubator, EPIC Companies. In 2015 he founded the Berliner Berg brewery and became a Business Angel for multiple Berlin start-ups including CrossEngage, SMACC, and Einhorn. From November 2015 until June 2019 he served as CEO of Movinga. In May 2019 he founded his new startup Sanity Group. It´s purpose is to develop new cannabis-based pharmaceuticals, wellbeing products, and to build the infrastructure to make these accessible and available to everyone.
At this year’s IdeaLab!, we will welcome Dr. Sven Greulich as a speaker. Sven is not only an alumnus from the Kellogg/WHU EMBA program but also a partner at Orrick. Orrick is one of the top global law firms for young tech companies and Sven heads their German VC practice. He is an active supporter of the WHU entrepreneurial ecosystem, sits on the advisory board of the WHU MiE and has advised numerous WHU startups in the past. For example, he worked with WHU alumnus Dr. Tim Thabe, co-founder and CEO of creditshelf, from the company’s incorporation in 2014 to its IPO last year.
Tim Rehder joined Earlybird in 2018 and is currently a Principal at the Berlin office. Tim is an early Bitcoin adopter and strong Blockchain advocate. He founded Cubits, a European based Bitcoin marketplace, and lead the company as a CEO for around 3 years. Prior to founding Cubits, Tim worked as a CFO in Asia in a Social Gaming venture while having worked in the Investment Banking Division at Jefferies & Company in Frankfurt. Tim studied International Business at the University of Maastricht and holds an MSc in Finance from the University of St Andrews, where he specialized his studies in Financial Econometrics.
Jochen Ziervogel is the Co-Founder and Head of Partner Management at Enpal, which is one of the leading solar energy companies in Germany. Together with the company’s other founders, he is trying to ensure a brighter and more environmentally friendly future. Some of Jochen’s prior work places include Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank and BMW Financial Services. We look forward to welcoming Jochen Ziervogel WHU alumnus back to Vallendar soon!
Matt Turzo is the COO, EMEA of the hypergrowth scooter sharing company Wind Mobility. In just 8 month they raised $72 Million in funding. Prior to joining Wind, Matt held various leadership positions at Lyft over the course of 4.5 years, including Head of Renter Experience and Head of Compliance Operations. Matt has an MBA from Imperial College London.
Industry Manager Beauty & Care
Sandra Körs is Industry Manager Beauty & Care at Facebook. Sandra provides strategic consultancy on Facebook and Instagram solutions to clients and partners in the beauty, personal care and healthcare industry. Before joining Facebook 5 years ago Sandra worked at the Funke Mediengruppe and Axel Springer.
Co-Founder & COO
Tao Tao is the Chief Operating Officer at GetYourGuide. He leads the company’s business operations.
Tao co-founded GetYourGuide in 2009 while attending the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology. He has since led several strategic company functions, including Business Development, Supply, and Customer Service.
Under Tao’s leadership, over 30 million tickets have been booked to date via the GetYourGuide website, mobile app, and partnership network. GetYourGuide has raised over $650M from investors such as the SoftBank Vision Fund, Battery Ventures and KKR.
Tao is a native of Beijing, China, and studied economics at Tilburg University and physics at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology.
At the age of 21 Florian founded Barzahlen, which became the largest private cash payment infrastructure in the DACH region with nearly 16.000 retail partner stores such as REWE, Penny, dm and Rossmann. Its clients include Amazon, N26, DKB, E.On and the Bundesagentur für Arbeit.In 2016 Florian founded Liberty Ventures, an early-stage technology investment firm investing in Marktplaces, Proptech, Healthcare and Consumer Technology.Liberty Ventures invests in pre-seed and seed companies, empowering entrepreneurs and helping them grow their business through operational support and financing. Florian has invested in more than 25 companies like KitchenStories, Caroobi, Medbelle, Warehousing1, that have raised more than 140mn Euro in Venture Capital.
Sebastian is Founding Partner of Visionaries Club, an early stage VC fund backed by leading European digital founders and family business entrepreneurs. Prior, Sebastian co-founded and ran AMORELIE, which he successfully grew to over $60m revenue, more than 20% EBITDA and a team of 100 employees. AMORELIE was sold to ProSiebenSat.1 Media SE in 2018 at a valuation > $100m.Prior to AMORELIE, Sebastian worked as a VC for e.ventures in San Francisco and studied at WHU, St. Gallen, HKUST and Kellogg School of Management.Sebastian is an investor in startups such as Ree Technology, Choco, Sunshine Smile and Lillydoo and funds such as Cherry Ventures, Project A and La Famiglia. He also sits on the board of Cherry Ventures and Founders Pledge.
Jan is Co-Founder at Zeitgold, the Berlin and Tel Aviv based company that frees small business from paperwork.
Zeitgold is a digital business partner for small businesses. By combining Artificial Intelligence and experts, the German-Israeli FinTech startup offers an end-to-end solution for managing the financials and administrative tasks of restaurants and other service companies.
Before founding Zeitgold, Jan co-founded SumUp, the global card acceptance brand with more than €100m in revenues and active in more than 30 countries. Prior to this he was a Principal at The Boston Consulting Group, specializing in both Logistics and Global Transformation of multinational companies. He is an active Business Angel and Founding Partner of Discovery Ventures with 25 tech investments in Europe, the Americas, and Israel.