The Founder Institute's four-month curriculum covers everything you would expect from an early-stage startup program, including topics like "Startup Legal and IP” towards the beginning, to “Fundraising” near the end. What makes the curriculum special is the Mentors that teach it, whose passion, feedback and support helps our companies avoid rookie mistakes and set the foundation for a meaningful and enduring company.
The Founder Institute carefully recruits approximately 25 Mentors per Semester, who are normally the CEO or founder of a successful startup. Rather than specialists or consultants, we prefer Founders and CEOs to give our companies "the entrepreneur's perspective." The mentors share their experiences, best practices, and mistakes, while also providing specific guidance and feedback on the Founder companies.
In addition, the Founder Institute's unique Graduate Liquidity Pool allows our mentors to share in the equity of companies formed in each program - and, their share is based solely on the anonymous ratings they receive from the Founders both during, and after the program. In this way, the Founder Institute incentivizes mentors to take a special interest in our startups, and provide as much assistance as possible after the program.
We have a great lineup of Mentors confirmed for the Autumn 2013 Munich Founder Institute, including many from out of town. See the full list below.
Founder/CEO, Founder Institute
Adeo Ressi is the founder and CEO of the Founder Institute, the worlds largest startup-technology company accelerator. The Institute is the eighth startup that Mr. Ressi has founded or built, four of which were acquired and three of which are still operating. Mr. Ressi was also a Founding Member of TheFunded.com, an online community of 17,000 CEOs to research, rate, and review funding sources worldwide.
Investor and Mentor, bm advisors
Passionate, hands-on angel investor and mentor for people who have exciting business ideas, ready to kick-off their own company. Previously, he was Senior Partner at international Venture Capital firm Atlas Venture, heading the German office, overseeing Central European investments. Alexander has more than 20 years engineering and management experience in international technology companies. Co-founded two software companies; lived and worked in India and the US; established global business relationships
Executive Director, LMU Entrepreneurship Center
Andy is currently executive director at LMU Entrepreneurship Center having built the it to become a leading Entrepreneurial Teaching and Start up Center in Europe within 5 years.
Benjamin Thym is the CEO of barcoo - the mobile product guide that already convinced more than 11 Million Germans to scan barcodes with their mobile phones. barcoo became the biggest pure mobile brand in Germany with 0€ marketing spendings. Prior to barcoo, Benjamin worked as a strategy consultant for BCG and Deloitte. Benjamin holds a degree from Universitaet Karlsruhe.
The Pitch Doctor, Startup Consultant
Christoph Sollich is a freelance startup consultant specializing in business model generation, strategy, marketing and pitching. After writing his diploma thesis about “Virtual Communities” (old-school speak for “Social Networks”) and a detour through advertising (as a copywriter) he started working in startups in 2007, since 2009 as a freelancer. After winning a couple of “Best Pitch” awards (and no awards for his ideas!) at hackathons and startup weekends, startups started asking his advice about pitching - although only he refers to himself as “The Pitch Doctor”. He describes himself as supremely intelligent, very funny, extremely good-looking and excessively humble.
Managing Director, SevenVentures GmbH
Class van Delden is the managing director of SevenVentures GmbH, a subsidiary of ProSiebenSat.1 Media AG, which focuses primarily online investments. His previous experience includes positions at Holtzbrinck Digital GmbH and Boston Consulting Group. His educational background includes University of St. Gallen, Stockholm School of Economics.
CEO, Founder, mic AG
Claus began his career at Motorola Semiconductor in 1987 and is now CEO and Funder of mic AG (2001) which is a Venture Platform investing in and building many early stage innovative companies. Claus has founded numerous companies himself, most notably leading ADVA Optical Networking through an IPO and revenues of over 300 million after which Claus founded and became CEO of AIFOtec AG, which was later sold. Claus received a Masters Degree in electrical engineering at the Technical University of Applied Sciences in Rüsselsheim (Frankfurt am Main) and holds a speacial interest in wearable technologies.
General Manager, 99designs
Eva is currently General Manager Europe for 99designs.com. She founded and built up 12designer.com in 2008 and later sold the company to 99designs.com. She studied at the TU in Darmstadt and now lives in Berlin, Eva comes strongly recommended as a hands on entrepreneur and is very passionate about branding for startups!
Partner, Taylor Wessing
Gregor is an attorney and partner at international law firm Taylor Wessing in Berlin where he heads the firm’s media team. He specialises on all aspects of copyright and media law, IT/IP, data protection and e-commerce and he regularly advises in transactions and financings in the media and technology sector. His core areas include advice on internet portals, games, film and TV. Gregor is a frequent advisor to internet startups and VC investors. Recent clients include several UGC platforms and a global online browser game company. Gregor studied in Munich and Cambridge and he was a research fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Intellectual Property. Before joining Taylor Wessing, Gregor practised at Linklaters in Berlin and Frankfurt. He frequently gives seminars for founders and he is a lecturer at Berlin’s Humboldt University and Humboldt Innovation.
Co-Founder & CEO, European Games Group & Playata
Johannes is currently co-founder and CEO of European Games Group AG as well as founder CEO of Playata GmbH. From October 2005 until March 2009 Johannes was CEO of Computec Media AG. Previously Johannes had founded the turkish subsidiary of Warner Bros. and Warner Home Video as well as developing a a company to take over the distribution of Columbia pictures in Turkey. In addition, Johannes has also held numerous high level positions at companies such as Burda Digital, Polygram (Universal Music aft 98) German MD and intl. VP. As Artist Manager he received two Grammies in 85 with Terence Trent DArby. Due to his innovative ability and entrepreneurial initiatives Johannes was recognised as a "Top Creative" and awarded the Innovations Prize in 2012. Johannes lives in Munich and is part owner of the Glockenbach Cafe and very much likes his staircase!
CEO, Related Concepts
John is currently interim CEO at TLC Secure in San Francisco and has been delivering the "Bavaria meets Silicon Valley" Program in Munich. He describes himself as an executive with over 29 years diverse business experience, including 21 years in high-tech. Hands-on experience taking companies from startup to global enterprises (Sybase, Commerce One, Efeckta Technologies and later as a Venture Partner at WI Harper) he knows what it takes to grow startups. John has extensive international experience in both Europe and Asia and can even speak a touch of Mandarin.
Co-Founder, AppAdvisors GmbH
Michael is a proud dad of two and an entrepreneur by heart. He started his first company, the online travel agency arsmovendi.com, as a student in 1993. arsmovendi.com was transformed to travelgate AG, after telegate AG acquired a minority share in 1999. In 2002, travelgate was sold. In 2005 Michael co-founded social news aggregator YiGG which got funded by Baytech Venture Capital in 2007 and was sold in 2012. Since 2010, Michael has co-founded several startups in the app economy: the consulting firm AppAdvisors GmbH, the app marketing platform appstar GmbH and AppInvest Management GmbH, an investment and incubation vehicle. Michaels latest startup is the 2013 founded Datarella GmbH, a behavioral data analytics platform, incubated by AppInvest.
Managing director and founder, Opentabs GmbH
Nicolas is the Founder of Opentabs which helps you to order food and drinks with your mobile. Very useful if you have a venue where you have long queues. The end customer takes his mobile orders and pay his foods and drinks. When he comes to the venue, the drinks and the food is read. The customer does not have to wait in a queue.
CEO, Founder, dreizehn° UG
Norbert recently founded dreizehn° UG (www.13grad.com), a wine portal in Munich to find you that perfect bottle of wine! However, most people will know Norbert because of Lokalisten.de which he founded, grew and later sold for a 7 figure sum to Pro Sieben with involvement from Oilver Samwer. He is a local success story having graduated from TUM and lives in Starnberg and we are happy to have him join our mentors in Munich.
Partner, Hanse Ventures
Sarik Weber is a founder and Managing Director of Hanse Ventures, a new Hamburg based startup accelerator, currently holding 10 portfolio companies. Born in 1967 in Hamburg, Sarik studied European Business in Osnabrück, at the Universidad de Deusto, San Sebastián (Spain) and at the Buckinghamshire College of Higher Education in London. After finishing his MA in Business Administration he established a new Spanish specialized trade sales company for the Hettich group and turned them into the market leader. Later he was a branch manager and sales director for the Tap Group for four years as well as managing shareholder for the SEM-agency eprofessional. As a pioneer in the position of Vice President of Sales he was responsible for the worldwide distribution of openBC, now the XING corporation, and was involved in the successful IPO of the company. Before founding Hanse Ventures, he founded the cellity corporation in 2006 and successfully sold it to Nokia in 2009. For years Sarik has helped many start-ups with his keen passion for networking and entrepreneurship. As a business angel he has given them advice as well as capital. He is also a member of the Supervisory Board of the artaxo corporation.
CEO, Social Media Interactive GmbH
Steffen Matz is a serial entrepreneur and enjoys an excellent reputation in the German digital business sector. He is an expert in strategic development, online marketing as well as product and conceptual development of SaaS-platforms. He is the founder and CEO of stream5 GmbH - a business for online-based video-management and streaming. In 2011 he founded Social Media Interactive GmbH a venture promoting social media solutions from celebreties to B2C clients. Currently the most prominent service is the 10Weeks BodyChange brand - also known as imakeyousexy.com.
Stephan co-founded two significant Internet companies: HouseTrip (www.housetrip.com) in London and conject (www.conject.com) in Munich. He is a CTO and Product Director with more than 15 years experience in e-commerce, social media and Internet. Stephan is a passionate founder and consultant who builds product and tech organizations from the scratch. He is keen on agile development with a strong focus on MVP (Minimal Viable Product).
Founder, CEO, RedRigger GmbH
Ted has recently launched RedRigger through the Founder Institute in Berlin and put a team in place to hand over the reins to. Previously Ted has also launched and sold a startup and spent over 20 years in marketing communications, product development and business development/sales, mostly at Microsoft. Ted is very passionate listeing to peoples ideas and gives valuable feedback to those willing to learn.
Partner, GoodKarma VC
Ulf Kunze is partner of GoodKarma VC, primarily specializing in consultancy and investments with a technology focus on internet, mobile and biotech. Ulf has been at the forefront of digital and mobile media for more than a decade, consistently active in entre- and intrapreneurial roles and as investor in the ICT industry. In 1999 he founded neopoly AG a live massive multiplayer Game Studio for international media companies. Simultaneously, Ulf helped create iWorld plc., the first international incubator for mobile business, participating as a member of the advisory board. Then after the sale of neopoly he joined operationally and restructured and co-funded iModel Ltd. as an aggregator for mobile personalisation. After the sale of iModel Ulf joined Versign Inc. / Jamba as Head of Strategy and New Business, overseeing the M&A with Fox Mobile. Before founding GoodKarma in 2010 he headed the digital business and business development of RTL. Amongst his other roles, Ulf is advisor and juror for entrepeneurial programs like European Venture Summit / IRP, NUK, start2grow, FMER, Scout Groups YOU IS NOW incubator and Zeppelin Universitys Pioneer Port.