In the future, the German startup association will be led by Verena Pausder, entrepreneur, investor & co-founder of FC Viktoria Berlin, as CEO. Pausder wants to make Germany the “most start-up-friendly location in Europe” together with an “all-star team” of a total of ten founders and investors.
German startup association with woman at the helm for the first time: The entrepreneur and investor Verena Pausder was elected as the new chairwoman of the interest group. In her inaugural speech, Pausder focused on revitalizing Germany’s role as a pioneer in innovation. This requires the power of startups and an “entrepreneurial awakening”. This is based on a culture of courage in which people have more courage to take risks and try new things. “Germany must learn again to make the impossible possible. Things are currently groaning on all levels; we need new impetus. Together we want to usher in a new era of technological and economic renewal. Germany must make better use of its existing strengths in research and development and commercialize them more easily. Too often we get in our own way and squander our future opportunities,” explained Pausder. With the new board, an “innovation agenda” is planned for the decade that has begun.
A look at the USA shows how important young companies are for the renewal and further development of an economy. Despite an excellent research landscape and a strong middle class, Germany lags behind in international comparison. “Too often it’s said: ‘We can’t afford that’ or ‘It’s too risky’. Nothing is riskier than not taking any risks. And the consequences of failing to do so are often much more expensive than decisive action,” warns Pausder.
In order to sustainably strengthen German startups, Pausder believes it is essential to activate more capital, especially for deep tech start-ups and large financing rounds. It is also necessary to improve the exit conditions. “We need to mobilize more venture capital in Germany and Europe in order to remain competitive as a business location. The capital is there, but it must also be invested in a future-oriented manner,” says Pausder. This requires the interaction of everyone involved. “Failure is not an option here,” emphasizes Pausder. “If we don’t succeed, value creation will take place outside Europe in the future. In the medium term, Germany would lose its relevance as an innovation location. As a resource-poor country, we cannot afford that.”
The new management team includes:
- Verena Pausder, CEO; Entrepreneur, investor & co-founder of FC Viktoria Berlin
- Nicole Büttner, Founder & CEO Merantix Momentum
- Jochen Engert, Co-Founder & Vice Chairman Flix
- Kati Ernst, Co-Founder & Co-CEO Ooia
- Zoé Fabian, growth investor
- Hélène Huby, Co-Founder & CEO The Exploration Company
- Benedict Kurz, CEO & Founder Knowunity
- Magdalena Oehl, Founder and Managing Director TalentRocket
- Sebastian Pollok, Founding Partner Visionaries Club
- Helmut Schönenberger, Co-Founder & CEO UnternehmerTUM
“With this management team, we have managed to put together an excellently networked and diverse team that reflects the entire dynamism and diversity of the German startup landscape. Everyone in this team represents entrepreneurial drive and the will to advance economic development in our country from the startup scene,” explains Pausder. With the election, the startup association is sending a strong signal for gender equality: For the first time, a woman is taking over the chairmanship, and there are more women than men on the board. Verena Pausder and her team want to make Germany the most start-up-friendly location in Europe. Their approaches to this are:
- Facilitating access for top international talent
- Improving transfer from the research landscape (spin-offs)
- Capital activation for deep tech start-ups and large financing rounds and
- Strengthening impact entrepreneurship
- Integration of entrepreneurship into educational curricula
The aim of the measures is to bring Germany back to the top in international innovation competition. A particular focus is on the collaboration between startups and established companies in order to create synergies and open up new markets.
The Hamburg metropolitan region is one of the regions with the highest number of start-ups in Germany. The driving force behind the start-up activities is the innovative strength of the universities and non-university research institutions in Hamburg and the neighboring districts. In order to provide even more intensive support for scientific start-ups, the Startup Port brings together the activities of ten universities and other research institutions in the Hamburg metropolitan region. It forms a unifying framework around the competencies, services and networks of the individual science organizations and their partners from transfer, business and politics.
About the startup association:
The startup association has almost 1,200 members and was founded in Berlin in September 2012. The association sees itself as the representative and voice of startups in Germany: It represents the interests, viewpoints and concerns of startup companies to legislation, administration and the public. He promotes innovative entrepreneurship and wants to bring the startup mentality into society. The association sees itself as a network of startups in Germany.