Back teaching in Switzerland again


Recently I was back in Switzerland. This time I was teaching Co-operation Management and Innovation Clusters at the University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland outside of Zürich.

Unfortunately I cannot share the slides I used this time due to 3rd party IP rights.

What I can share are the six factors that repeat in successful innovation clusters, like say Boulder, Colorado:



Low costs

Supportive public offices

Quality of living

Qualified workforce

How would you rate each factor where you are situated? What could be improved? What needs to be improved? What will you start to improve? Conversely, where will you move your business if these factors aren’t satisfactory where you are today?

Education, entrepreneurship, startup

The state of NRW and startups

Speaking truth to the crowd, why NRW is a great place to found your startup                                                                                                                       Copyright: Ralph Sondermann,

I recently had the honor and pleasure to be invited by NRW.INVEST together with representatives from The Pirate Summit to present the advantages of founding a startup in our state at the Czech and Hungarian “Stammtisch” in Düsseldorf, to a crowd of regional officials and stakeholders, Czech and Hungarian emissaries and startups.

Posing with NRW.INVEST, IHK Dortmund and the Czech and Hungarian delegates                                                                                                       Copyright: Ralph Sondermann,

I didn’t use any slides for this presentation, but you can find a lot of the content in the presentation I previously held for a French delegation.


Education, entrepreneurship, Lean Startup, startup

Lean Launchpad DUS is a wrap!


The very first Lean Launchpad DUS Powered by PwC is a wrap! 9 teams entered the 5 week program – and 6 teams made it through. Have a look at the final public presentation day in the video below:

The Lean Launchpad is the world’s premier pre-accelerator program for startups. It’s an intensive 5 week, in-person, mentorship-driven 100% experience-based course to create more capable regional entrepreneurs and prepare them for their first investment round, an application to an accelerator, launching their first minimum viable product or setting them off on a self-funded, bootstrapped path.

See you again soon – Lean Launchpad is coming back to Cologne again for 2016 – so stay tuned for the dates!

Education, Lean Startup

The Lean Launchpad goes to Turkey


Presenting the Lean Launchpad curriculum to the faculty of the Dokuz Eyül Üniversitesi Izmir, Turkey

Recently I was honored and delighted to be invited to introduce the world’s premier startup entrepreneurship curriculum, The Lean Launchpad, to the faculty to one of the largest universities in Turkey, Dokuz Eyül Üniversitesi.

Here are the slides I used to introduce it to the faculty.

Teaching the Lean Launchpad in Izmir Turkey! #llp

A photo posted by Vidar Andersen (@blacktar) on

Education, Events, pitching

Rheinland Pitch Winter Finals 2015 in Cologne


And the winner is…

Yesterday saw the first ever winter finals of the Rheinland Pitch event series – and a spectacular success it was!

The Rheinland Pitch is a monthly startup event where regional startups receive professional pitch training and a stage to present themselves to investors, media and the general public – for free. I’ve been involved from the start in April 2013 and thus far I have trained over 270 startups to pitch – and counting!

Once in a while we pick the best of the best to pitch in a grand finals. This summer the first ever Rheinland Pitch finals took place in Düsseldorf and was a rip roaring success and we were very excited to bring the finals to Cologne, hosted by the wonderful Wallraf-Richartz Museum.


Quiet before the storm – The foyer of our awesome venue, the Wallraf-Richartz Museum in Cologne

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