Events, hustling, startup

Startup Ambassador @ SXSW 2016

Hanging with the legend Guy Kawasaki at the German Haus @ SXSW 2016

Hanging with the legend Guy Kawasaki at the German Haus @ SXSW 2016

I was honored and delighted to be invited back as an official startup ambassador to the state of NRW and join the German delegation to SXSW in Austin, Texas.

Last year, I couldn’t make it as I was teaching in Iran – but this year it fortunately fit my schedule. And what a blast we had showcasing the best our region has to offer of early stage startups!

And what does such an ambassador do, you may ask? For one, I help the delegation pick and persuade the best and most representable regional startups to go over there with us – and the kind of startups that also would have a strategic benefit other than vanity in gaining exposure in the US. Once on the ground, I help to make sure our startups connect with the people of their interest and help drag notable international startup people to the German events (kicking and screaming). I also serve as a door opener and “private events” radar, making sure our startups gets into the interesting spontaneous private events during SXSW.

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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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Education, entrepreneurship, Events

The Very First Startup Weekend Maastricht is an EPIC success!

This weekend saw the very fist Startup Weekend Maastricht – and what an EPIC weekend it was! This time around I was invited as a coach to help the participants flex their entrepreneurial muscle and help out my wonderful friends on the organizing team with supporting the regional ecosystem


The hands are doing the talking: The thin vs the broad side of the wedge

Visit their Facebook page for many more great photos and videos from the EPIC weekend that was Startup Weekend Maastricht!

Sjoerd Jansen, a participant on the winning team, wrote a post-event blog post. Here are some quotes:

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Education, entrepreneurship, Events, News

Introducing the free & open Lean Launchpad Düsseldorf

So I recently retired from facilitating and organizing Startup Weekend and Startup Next.

But fear not. I’m not going away and I’m not about to stop caring about entrepreneurial education for startup founders in our region. On the contrary, I’m ramping up my efforts.


That’s why I have chosen to offer the Lean Launchpad (LLP), the world’s premier pre-accelerator program from Stanford, Berkeley and hundreds of other universities and used by numerous F500 companies, FOR FREE to early-stage startups.

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