entrepreneurship, Events

Startups on a Boat – from Koblenz to Cologne


Yesterday I had the pleasure to be invited onboard the MS Gründerschiff to moderate the startup pitches during the trip on the river Rhine from Koblenz to Cologne.

MS Gründerschiff loosely translates to MS Founders’ Ship, and it was a one of a kind networking event to bridge the startup scene of Koblenz with that of its bigger brother in the Northwest, Cologne. The event saw local stakeholders, startups and corporates – leaders and feeders – come together to talk about how to strengthen the region.



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Education, entrepreneurship, Events

Introducing the first Rheinland Pitch Finals in Duesseldorf

Yesterday saw the culmination of nearly two year’s work making the Rheinland Pitch THE biggest longest continuously  running startup pitching event in Germany and quite possibly Europe.

Standing room only! Almost 900 registered participants - Image CC by NERDHUB

Standing room only! Almost 900 registered participants – Image CC by NERDHUB

The Rheinland Pitch is a regular monthly event where regional startups apply to pitch an audience of investors, media and peers. Applicants receive professional pitch training and goes through an extensive selection process. So far over 220 startups applied, 66 startups pitched to the audience, almost 4.000 audience in total. It’s a FREE and open event for both startups and audience. Apply here: rheinlandpitch.de

And what a final it was! Almost 900 registered participants saw the mayor of Duesseldorf open the event and four regional startups pitch. And from now on we’re expanding to a bi-monthly event in Duesseldorf in parallel to Cologne – I’m very exited to make the Rheinland Pitch even bigger!

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Education, entrepreneurship, Events

Hello again, Iran – Startup Weekend Tourism Tehran called!

37I was recently invited back to Tehran, Iran in less than a  couple of months since I was last there (1, 2, 3). It seems like only yesterday I was there and I was absolutely delighted and incredibly humbled by the opportunity to come back – and so soon!

This time I was invited to facilitate Startup Weekend Tourism Tehran. And what a spectacularly extravagant event it was!

Do you know that many nationalities can get a tourist visa to Iran relatively easy and affordable these days? Why not go to Iran to see for yourself for your next holidays!?

Let’s start with the venue. When was the last time you saw a Startup Weekend in the last Shah of Iran’s palace gardens?


The last king of Iran’s palace gardens with replica of ancient stone carvings from all around Iran


The palace

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Education, entrepreneurship, Events

Going back to the epic Startup Weekend Amsterdam

This weekend I was invited to coach the participants by my organizing friends behind the legendary Startup Weekend Amsterdam, SWAMS. And what an EPIC weekend it was – once again!


For me this represents a full circle of sorts, as Startup Weekend Amsterdam was the first SW I ever participated at.

Back then in 2012 I wanted to bring Startup Weekend to my town of Cologne, so I participated (a requirement to become an organizer) at SWAMS (as it came highly recommended as one of the best SWs in Europe) to become an organizer myself.

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