Fritz Sitte is a WHU alumnus and at the age of 25 has lived many lives... After being a private equity investor, an Ironman (long-distance triathlon finisher) and a startup founder in Berlin and Los Angeles, he turned his life upside down to go on a life-changing adventure and cycle over 10,000km across Africa. Currently, he is working on a world record attempt, aiming to run all the way from Cairo to Cape Town (11,000km) in under 200 days. Fritz’s courage to delve into discomfort, challenge the status quo, push his limits, and find beauty in exploring the unknown is just a little of what he will share in his TEDx Talk.
Jarno Opmeer is a Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Esports Driver, and a two time F1 Esports World Champion! He started his racing career at the age of 7, working his way up through karting leagues to eventually become the youngest driver ever to compete in the Dutch and German National Karting Championship. In 2017 Jarno started racing with the Renault F1 Junior Team, before making the switch to Esports. Jarno leads the F1 Esports world today, while also posting to his 400k subscribers on Youtube. Jarno’s racing career is just beginning.
Jeremy Fragrance is the #1 Fragrance Icon in the world. Known for his trademark white suit outfit, the German entrepreneur and social media star boasts over 2 million subscribers on Youtube, 6 million subscribers on Tiktok and 700,000 followers on Instagram. Blowing up for the past several years, Jeremy has made several TV appearances, including on Late Night Berlin and the German reality show Promi Big Brother. Whether it's a one-armed pushup or a new fragrance recommendation, Jeremy never fails to surprise or impress his revering fans.
As co-founder and CPO of Boomerang, Katharina is responsible for all product-related issues as well as all sustainability topics. "The paper trash cans in city centers are bursting with waste, which we cause through online shopping, in Germany alone we're talking about over 1 million tons through single-use shipping packaging"
Katharina was in management for a large food retailer concern, but wanted a challenge that would
make a difference. That's why she's actively involved in the issues of sustainability, female empowerment, and driving GenZ's knowledge transfer.
Born and raised in Berlin, Lars Abromeit has always dreamt of discovering new worlds beyond the imaginary walls that limit our horizons. Now, as a science reporter, documentary filmmaker and book author, he regularly sets out with research teams to explore the unknown: in polar regions and oceans, deserts and rainforests, mountains and cave systems. At the German magazine GEO, Lars is responsible for the section “Adventures and Expeditions”. With 20 years of exploration experience, he is still fascinated by the endurance and curiosity of the scientists venturing out there to better understand and protect our future on planet Earth. In his TEDx talk, Lars will show how little we still know about our home in the universe - and why we have a unique opportunity and responsibility here and now to take care of it.
Philip Holzer was born in 1966 in Munich. He studied economics and earned an MBA from the Johann-Wolfgang-Goethe-University in Frankfurt in 1992.
Mr. Holzer has over 25 years of experience in international and investment banking working for Goldman Sachs in London, New York and Frankfurt in various management positions. After his promotion to Partner in 2004 Mr. Holzer took over the responsibility for Securities Division Business across Germany, Austria and Switzerland and became Co-CEO of Goldman Sachs International Frankfurt branch. Since 2011 Mr. Holzer has been a member of the Executive Board of Goldman Sachs AG as well as member of the Securities Division EMEA Operating Committee of Goldman Sachs Group. In 2014 Mr. Holzer retired from executive duties and joined the Supervisory Board of Goldman Sachs until summer 2015. Mr. Holzer is now Chairman of the Supervisory Board and shareholder of Eintracht Frankfurt
Fussball AG and CRX Markets AG.
Vanessa Cann has been Managing Director at KI Bundesverband e.V. since May 1, 2020.
Areas of responsibility include membership and partner management as well as the association development. For her commitment to the European AI site, she was named one of the 30 most fascinating people under the age of 30.
The political scientist previously headed the platforms Artificial Intelligence and Future Mobility
at the Bundesverband Deutsche Startups e.V., where she brought startups together with established companies and investors. Vanessa Cann developed her interest in artificial intelligence in political consulting, where she advised Fortune500 companies on their digital policies.
She is involved as a mentor for startups and with Women in AI & Robotics.
Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Rams
Prof. Wolfgang Rams is the Co-Founder and CFO of Africa GreenTec, a German social enterprise empowering the global south to achieve more self-determination and growth through sustainable energy solutions. Previously, Prof. Rams taught entrepreneurship and innovation management for close to 10 years before shifting his focus to Africa GreenTec, where he now has the goal of scaling and expanding the impact it has on the lives of so many people.
Rizza Licayan’s “quit your job, book a ticket, travel abroad, never look back” story is different from other travelers out there. She owns a powerless passport; she didn’t have the opportunities, so she created them for herself. Young and curious, she was courageous to deviate from what everyone was expecting her to do. She quit her corporate job as an Audit Analyst in the Philippines and traveled abroad in 2018, juggling different gigs to quench her thirst for adventures and to see that there’s an entire world out there waiting for the brave. As a writer and a travel enthusiast known for her passions for the great outdoors and solo traveling, Rizza hopes to inspire others in their journey to self-growth by chasing their curiosities, stepping outside the comfort zone, and living life on their terms.
She eventually found a piece of home in Oslo after a few years of moving around and now carving a new path in the field of Norwegian Public Administration and Management and hoping to pursue law. She’s living proof that there’s that balance between stability and a life full of adventures and that your life circumstances shouldn’t be a hindrance from going after your dreams.
Rafael Fuchsgruber is more than a businessman: Rafael not only leads and owns his own event and artist management agency, he is also a music publisher and an instructor at Germany´s Chamber of Industry and Commerce. With his own company he organized large corporate events for Deutsche Telekom and Volkswagen and is accustomed to artists like Coldplay, Ed Sheeran and the Red Hot Chili Peppers. After a suspected heart attack in 2006, Rafael found his passion for sports. He quit smoking and drinking alcohol and started running: What began with 3 kilometres at the time developed into 260 kilometres nonstop through the Sahara in 2017 or 520 km through the Australian outback. Rafael will definitely provide us with some great stories from his experiences in both his entrepreneurial and sporting life!
Jan Z. (Gewitter im Kopf)
Jan Zimmermann is part of the German Youtube channel “Gewitter im Kopf”. With over 2,2million subscribers and over 300 million viewers, the channel that Jan is a part of sheds a light on the impacts of tourette, an illness which Jan has carried since his early childhood. A hero who is sharing his life’s story, Jan embraces the social media world and all of its challenges with charm, open-mindedness and curiosity. Starting his Youtube Channel in 2019 with his childhood friend Tim Lehmann, Jan and his platform have reached new heights in terms of Tourettes awareness and in the social media world, marking “Gewitter im Kopf” as one of the greatest success stories in German Youtube History. Together with “Gisela”, the nickname given to Jan’s Tourettes syndrome, we are looking forward to an inspiring and authentic dive into his experience with the illness, the world of a young entrepreneur and his Youtube career.
After more than twenty years as one of the world’s premier management consultants focusing on monetization, Frank realized that charities need this expertise just as much as the big companies he had served. Since 2019, Frank strives to incite behavioral change to conserve nature and helps organizations with similar goals succeed through his Donanto Foundation.
Angela Roeckerath has been working in the Sales & Marketing sector for quite some years. In 2021 she successfully completed her MBA studies. The topic of her master thesis was "Narcissism in leading positions - differences between female and male narcissism". In this context, she also was part of a team of six that conducted the world's largest study on narcissism in Germany. This study even made it to the front page of the Harvard Business Manager. Angela will talk about what you should know about narcissism!
Jörn Leogrande studied German Literature at the Ludwig-Maximilians-University in Munich. Since the early 90's years he worked first as a freelance journalist and later as a copywriter and marketing specialist. In 2005 Leogrande took a position in Marketing at the Wirecard AG and became Head of Marketing. After further top positions in product development he was promoted to global EVP of the innovation department in 2017. Throughout his career Jörn reported directly to CEO Markus Braun and has worked closely with COO Jan Marsalek. He stayed with Wirecard until August 2020. In February 2021 Leogrande published the book “Bad Company” about his career at Wirecard. The publication quickly became a Spiegel-Bestseller – film rights were sold to an American studio. Jörn lives with his wife and two children near Munich. He works as a consultant and author.
Marc Gebauer is a German social media star. The young entrepreneur uses his reach on YouTube, Instagram and Twitch to create his own brand for trading in luxury items. In Germany, he has been the most popular and well-known watch dealer for several years. Collaborations with rappers, influencers and co. helped him rise to fame. For example, he worked with Nico aka Inscope 21, Tim Gabel and Sascha Hellinger from Unsympathisch TV, who appear regularly on his channel. He also made YouTube videos together with MontanaBlack. Sido, Farid Bang and Pietro Lombardi also wear a watch from him. He is probably the best-known watch retailer in Germany.
Tony Mamodaly is a former professional athlete turned sports industry professional. Although he collected two caps for the German youth national team in handball, he made the decision to quit handball and focus on a career in football, which eventually lead him to 8 caps for the national team of his fatherland Madagascar. Yet, Mamodaly ended his professional career at age 21 to move to the United States. With a MBA in his pocket, he founded a sports agency based out of Miami to help rejected, yet highly talented, academy players break out of the one-dimensional German football landscape and discover alternative career paths at American colleges and universities.
Today, in addition to his agency work, Tony is Head of International Operations at TSG Hoffenheim and oversees the Bundesliga’s side internationalization endeavors.
Greta Silver is a keynote speaker, author, brand ambassador and has her own podcast and youtube channel. As the winner of the international Speaker-Slams in New York in 2019, she encourages people in her speeches to enjoy life despite aging and as a brand ambassador opens new markets to companies, which they have not anticipated before.
Her book “Wie Brausepulver auf der Zunge” has been rewarded as a „Spiegel Bestseller“.
After studying Business Administration in Passau, Espoo and Cologne, Alex Dogariu moved on to be a Consultant at Accenture in Munich where he focused on Management Consulting and Customer Relations Management, before he became a Managing Director at logicsale Europe.
In a sabbatical in 2014 he travelled the world and wrote his first book about using Artificial Intelligence for sales, marketing and services. Alex Dogariu joined Mercedes Benz Consulting in 2015, where he lead the customer management innovation and AI department. During that time, he won the Best of Consulting Competetion by “Wirtschaftswoche” in 2017. Since 2019, Alex is Mercedes Benz´ Executive Manager for AI Strategy and Conversational Intelligence.
A blind man with Vision!
He has been blind since birth…
Despite this Hein Wagner has many accomplishments to his name. He has completed the Absa Cape Epic, ran the Antarctica Marathon, the Two Oceans and New York Marathons, completed full Ironman, , , completed the Cape to Rio Yacht Race, holds the World Blind Land Speed Record at 322.52 km/h, and recently received a golden key from the university of Stellenbosch for his ongoing efforts towards social upliftment.
Hein Wagner is living proof that despite the challenges that come our way, anything is possible. He does not allow his blindness to stand in the way of his dreams and people often refer to him as the blind man with exceptional vision.
Verena Hubertz is a well-know German entrepreneur and founder of the start-up AJNS New Media Gmb developing the renowned app “Kitchen Stories”. Kitchen Stories is a free cooking app that offers over 1200 recipe videos, and step-by-step instructions for iOS and Android. Kitchen Stories has gained a major international recognition and is actively used in 150 countries all around the world. Since the launch of the app it was downloaded over 16 million times.
Back in 2013 Hubertz, together with her student friend Mengting Gao founded the start-up AJNS New Media Gmbh and became Managing Director. Prior to that she studied at the University of Applied Sciences in Trier and graduated with a Bachelor in Business Administration. From 2011 to 2013 she completed the Master of Science in Business Administration program at WHU - Otto Beisheim School of Management.
With 2020 coming to an end, so did Verena‘s time with kitchenstories when she decided to leave the company to go into politics. As an active member of the German SPD party, she was nominated for her home constituency of Trier as she is not only passionate about her startup, but also about politics.
After studying political sciences in Marburg and Berlin, Katarina Peranic joined the German "Stiftung Bürgermut" as a referent in 2007.
is a Canadian technologist and engineer who has been building tech companies in Africa for over ten years now. He is visionary, socially engaged and will hold an inspiring speech for all of us! Featured as founder of the seventh most innovative company in Africa and in several well-known magazines, such as the Economist or Forbes.
In his most recent project, Roman Lipski developed the first digital muse for artists in collaboration with YQP & Birds on Mars, which is based on the dialogue between artist and computer.
Find his TEDxWHU talk here
Darya Yegorina, founder of CleverBooks and one of young Irish best entrepreneurs, produces personallized books for children, which are designed to teach them life skills and develop their imagination.
Find her TEDxWHU talk here
Herbert Frosch is many things at once: Author, successful coach, experienced manager and former member of the German National Ski Team. In his speech Herbert Frosch will exclusively pass on his experience as start-up CEO and talk about venture capital firms and how he sold his firm.
Find his TEDxWHU talk here
Anastasija Lukic is a Cologne based psychologist and social media influencer. Her mission is to inspire people to believe in themselves, to take risks and to follow their dreams.
Find her TEDxWHU talk here
Over the past few years Nicolette Fountaris gained fame and a faithful online community on her social media. Besides that, she entertained about 20,000 viewers on her "One Woman Army"-Tour in 2019, filling big concert halls all over Germany.
Find her TEDxWHU talk here
Andreas Thellmann has always been passionate about the future of flight. He got fascinated by the fact that, one day, everyone of us would be able to fly an air vehicle.
Aimie is a successful entrepreneur, blogger and active member in the field of women empowerment. She co-founded ArtNight, a company that has recently been featured in "Die Höhle der Löwen".
Christopher Kabakis is a communication consultant, coaches speakers and is the founder of “Infinity Institute”, a company that aims at helping people unleash their full potential to become successful.
Martin Stuchtey is the founder of SYSTEMIQ, a company that aims at connecting people, ideas, technologies, and capital to create good disruptions in critical economic systems.
Dinara Kasko is a Ukrainian "architectural pastry chef". She creates highly artistic, edible cakes using 3D printers. In her talk, Dinara will tell us how she shifted from architecture to the baking industry!
CTO and Co-Founder of Cellink, Hector Martinez is an expert of tissue engineering and 3D Bioprinting. He aims at improving healthcare treatments to patients in need with 3D Bioprinting.
As a life coach and blogger known for his passion for self-development, lifestyle design and bio-hacking, Andreas Stark wants to inspire and support others in their journey to self-accomplishment.
Pamela is known as the most famous German Social Media Influencer with 3.3 million followers on Instagram and interest in sports, fashion, and beauty. More
Christoph Kastenholz is Founding Partner of Pulse Advertising, the globally leading Influencer Marketing agency working with over 5,000 social media influencers around the globe. More
Annie Oelmann (DJ Annie O)
WHU Alumna Annie started as an investment banker at Merrill Lynch but didn’t stay there for very long. Today, you will find her at well-known clubs in Berlin & London working as a DJ. More
Andreas, Managing Partner at Hering Schuppener, advises firms in times of growth, crisis and opportunity with tailored communication solutions in the digital age. More
Daniel works as an investigative journalist and is co-founder of CORRECT!V, the first non-profit research office in the German-speaking region. He reveals the truth. More
Andrea is a well-known photographer from Oslo and Berlin. With an intimate photographic approach she explores political and social issues connected to the lives of adolescents. More
John Danaher (PhD) is an academic based in the School of Law at NUI Galway. He is studying the relation between humans and robots in an ethical and philosophical context. More
Lucas started his career as one of the youngest Investment Professionals in the Private Equity industry in London and was always fascinated by the power of networks. More
Harald can be called the father of LiFi. He invented a new technology that enables the transmission of data via light. It can shape the new data-driven economy. More
Patric is a biohacker. He has a microchip implanted into his hand to make his life easier through technology. He works with technology in the communications arena at DigitasLBi. More
Sonja studied at WHU and is now working as a social entrepreneur as founder of science-lab.org. She revolutionizes early education with her concepts as a mother of six kids. More
Lieutenant General Ben Hodges
Lt. Gen. Hodges is a Commanding General of the US Army Europe and a commander of the NATO. He talks about former leaders and what we can learn from their experience. More
Mirco was one of the youngest CEOs of a German DAX 30 corporation. Today, he owns his own company, is restructuring firms and advising international corporations. More
Zhengrong Liu is CHRO of Beiersdorf AG. He has gained work experience in various countries and therefore can elaborate on different cultures and how certain values differ. More
Tijen has dedicated herself to the topic of females in the digital industry and has founded the networking platform “Women in Digital” using her skills she gained while being in politics. More
Sara is a young influential woman with Ethiopian roots who works as a fashion model & TV moderator. She is also the ambassador for the charity “Menschen für Menschen”. More
Mark is a strategist, author, and entrepreneur. His work combines collective intelligence with networks, complex systems, behavioral science and neuroscience. More
Max is a young athlete with a very unique and diverse background. Besides being an author and following his passion as producer and DJ, he is a trainer for motivation. More
Ori is the CEO of Mazor Robotics Ltd., a company that develops and markets robotic-based surgical guidance systems and revolutionizes the medical industry. More
Social entrepreneur Annette is creating training and education solutions for international and national companies in Africa being Founder/CEO of Professional Training Solutions. More