I am an entrepreneur. Each one of my 20+ years in business has been linked to that quality: create new businesses, bear the risks, and realise their achievements.
My academic background in Electrical Engineering meant that I had an early exposure to the digital economy. At the beginning of my professional career, I joined the venture capital firm Wellington Partners, where I discovered my passion for the VC industry by working with innovative entrepreneurs.
My journey also led me to ‘the other side of the table’, with roles such as managing director EMEA for the US high-tech start-up WhereNet (acquired by Zebra Technologies), and CFO of Munich-based software start-up Aloqa (sold to Motorola Mobility/Google).
I’ve always been excited about technology, but I wanted my work to have more purpose. I decided to look for something completely different, and in the process, I created a criterion for new work opportunities: would it be something I could be proud to tell my children about?
Environmental consciousness came relatively early for me through personal experience. I love to surf, but over time I noticed how the coral reefs were degrading. It became clear to me that we faced a massive problem and couldn’t ignore this deterioration.
An important role model for me is Sir Ronald Cohen. He is a pioneer in impact investing, especially understanding the importance of good business and commercial thinking in enabling a company’s impact to achieve scalability. Sir Ronald is always inspiring to listen to and has an extraordinary vision of how the market develops.
I’ve always had a passion for working with start-ups and their young, innovative, agile teams. I always felt that I could make a substantial difference, and I wanted to build something.
For many years, I witnessed the power of entrepreneurship first-hand before co-founding Ananda in 2009. I wanted to fully dedicate myself to solving significant societal and environmental problems by actively supporting entrepreneurs with the best impact ideas. Today, I focus on the overall investment strategy of Ananda, oversee transaction structuring, and the fund’s finance operations.
In venture capital, you are always surprised by new markets and new ideas, and the innovative concepts that entrepreneurs imagine and create. The unknown possibility is what excites me.
The topics I’m most passionate about are technology, education, and the environment. Technology has always been an influence, and when I became a father, my children’s future emphasised the importance of education and the environment.
Besides surfing, I enjoy the mountains as well. I am a professional snowboard and ski instructor. Mountain biking is another passion. A yearly week-long ride across the Alps from Munich to Italy is an annual adventure I enjoy. It is a personal challenge for me with only a backpack, a bike, and friends.