Swiss Competition: The Jury 2018
Victor Schmid, founding partner of Hirzel.Neef.Schmid.Konsulenten AG, holds a Ph.D. in sociology and political sciences. He was a freelance communications consultant until 1996. Until 1994 he was first vice president/head of corporate communications of Ascom Holding AG.
Until 1991, he was an advisor to Swiss Federal Councilor Flavio Cotti and press spokesman for the Federal Department of Home Affairs; before this he worked in various positions as a communications manager and journalist. Victor Schmid is president and co-founder of the Club Politique de Berne, a unique club for members only dedicated to political issues in Berne.
After having studied at University of Fribourg, University of Amsterdam / NKI and Whitehead / MIT, Manuel finished his PhD in bioengineering at EPFL in Lausanne in 2016 focusing on tumor immunology. His thesis work around the role of lymphatics in cancer immunotherapy was published in Science Translational Medicine in 2017. In parallel to pursuing his research career, Manuel became passionate about turning scientific findings into actionable products. He has thus been involved in multiple startups, co-founded and presided over Innovation Forum Lausanne, and spent 3 months in Boston as a Fellow at the innovation foundry of Flagship Pioneering. Manuel is co-founder and partner at Arven Partners and currently acts as an expert on the jury of the Swiss Economic Award, as an ambassador of the BaseLaunch accelerator, as scientific consultant at Cygnal Therapeutics and as CSO of Seerave Foundation.
Friederike von Waldenfels is CEO and Co-Founder of SwissCommerce since 2013. The company is founding and acquiring special interest eCommerce Shops and bundles them on one platform. The focus lies on segments with low eCommerce penetration rate, wherein SwissCommerce can gain market leadership quickly by opening a high professional online shop with its USP – Content, Community, Commerce Model. Part of SwissCommerce are among others the domains reitsport.ch, fischen.ch, myluckydog.ch, yonc.ch or hauptner.ch.
Friederike von Waldenfels studied Computer Science and Business Administration at the Hawaii Pacific University and received her diploma “Information Management and Corporate Communication” at the University of Applied Science in Neu-Ulm. Furthermore, she has visited an Executive Program at the Stanford University.
From 2003 – 2007, Friederike von Waldenfels took over several functions at IBM, last one as Business Development Executive for Lifescience & Pharma. Bevor she founded SwissCommerce, she was responsible for Corporate Development at Goodshine AG (deindeal.ch).
Dr. Christoph Birkholz
Dr. Christoph Birkholz (33) is an entrepreneur based in Zurich, Switzerland. He is co-founder and managing director of Impact Hub Zürich as well as Inyova.com. He has co-founded several spinoffs and initiatives in the Impact Hub network, such as Viaduct Ventures and the Global Impact Hub Fellowship. Christoph also leads Kickstart Accelerator, Europe’s largest multi-corporate tech accelerator by digitalswitzerland and operated by Impact Hub Zürich. He has received a PhD in impact investing from University of St.Gallen, and teaches entrepreneurship, innovation and intrapreneurship at University of St.Gallen, Business School Lausanne and adschool Zürich. He is an alumnus of Witten/Herdecke University and INSEAD, as well as the Global Shapers Community of the World Economic Forum. He is a member of the Sandbox Network and one of the 100 Digital Shapers of Switzerland. Christoph serves on the board of Panter AG, an international technology and engineering company.
Right after high school Carlo founded his first startup Cleverclip. Cleverclip earned multiple awards as one of the biggest information design consultancies in Switzerland. Cleverclip currently employs 30 employees all over the globe and explains complex things for customers in Switzerland and Germany. Carlo is also on the board of directors of Daktiv a live communication agency in Berne. Since 2015 Carlo is enrolled as a full time student at the University of Berne. He was honored as the European Champion of the GSEA Awards 2016.
Jeremias Meier is CEO and co-founder of bexio. Bexio’s software makes it easy for small businesses to manage everything from invoicing to automated bank reconciliation and online bookkeeping. Already more than 10’000 customers trust the best software startup of the years 2016 and 2017. Jeremias started his first business, while studying at University of St.Gallen and sold the software development company in 2015 to PwC.
Andreas is the Founder and CEO of Avrios, Europe’s leading mobility management platform for companies. Andreas worked in several startups, such as Wuala and DeinDeal and later joined the family business where he operated a fleet of cars, vans and trucks. He quickly realized that the car industry had not digitized and could thus not offer a 21st century user experience. He partnered with two friends and went on a mission to make mobility work for business. Today, 2.5 years later, Avrios provides tailored transportation to tens of thousands of employees across Europe through one simple platform.
Maurus is a technologist who believes that, in this digital age, the potential for growth is limitless but only if the company adapts itself. It is with this vision that he founded Consulteer AG, an IT consultancy specialising in business consulting and software development for digital transformation nine years ago. Since starting Consulteer, he has gathered peers who are like-minded innovators – collaborating with them to assist organisations of different industries to transform their operations and integrate into the digital world.
Natalia is Lakestar’s General Counsel responsible for the legal and regulatory oversight of all Lakestar entities. She manages the investment process of Lakestar transactions starting from the term sheet through the completion of the financing rounds all the way to the exits of the portfolio companies. On the other hand, she ensures the optimal fund structure as well as compliance of all Lakestar activities with financial regulation. Prior to joining Lakestar, Natalia has gained experience in M&A at corporate law practices and is currently completing her PhD in Capital Markets Law.
Mathis started his career in 2007 in New York and London. After that he studied business at the Hong Kong University and spent a total of 7 years in Asia. In 2012 in founded his first company organising academic tours to Northern China and North Korea. Only a short time after that he co-founded Smallpdf – an online PDF software with currently over 14 million users per month. Today, he lives in Berlin and is working on his next venture with already over 25 employees: Taxfix – the a digital tax assistant on the mobile phone.
Andreas has been Head of M&A Marketplaces & Ventures at Tamedia since 2014. Prior to joining the Swiss media group, he supported the launch and financing of a French digital media start-up, worked for one of Europe’s largest equity investment companies as well as two international start-ups. In 2003, at the age of 30, Andreas joined the company Partech Ventures, which he left as General Partner in 2013. Furthermore, he was director of several successful online companies including Brand4friends, Qype and MoneyPark. Andreas holds a BA in Economics from the Berkley University of California and an MBA from INSEAD in Fontainebleau, France.