The CUBE Challenge Jury

More than 200 of our startups will be pitching in the three-round CUBE Challenge! Introducing the people who decide who wins.

Jury Members 1st Round

Heiko Huber (next47)


Heiko is Principal at next47, the Corporate Venture Capital unit of Siemens. next47 invests into category building startups in the area of electrification, automation and digitalization and forms a bridge between the startup world and the Siemens ecosystem.

Prior to this he was a Senior Associate at McKinsey, worked in the automotive industry and co-founded the Munich-based fitness startup eGym. Heiko holds a Diploma in Mechanical Engineering and an MBA.

Lorenz Hartung (TechFounders)

CEO & Co-founder

Lorenz Hartung is Co-Founder and CEO of TechFounders – a 20-week high-tech accelerator program based in Munich. TechFounders brings together international startups with world leading industry partners like ADAC, BMW, Bosch, Festo, Linde, Miele and Siemens in order to overcome innovation barriers by realizing mutual business opportunities for startups as well as for corporations. Before that he founded several companies and headed an MBA program for entrepreneurs and innovation managers at the Technische Universität München (TUM).

Stefan Sommeregger (Constantia New Business GmbH)

Corporate VC

Even though I studied Mechanical Engineering, I ended up in strategy consulting, where I worked with large and medium industrial companies as well as start-ups for the past 6 years. Because I enjoy working with start-ups and love new technologies, I recently joined Constantia New Business, a corporate VC based in Vienna, where we focus on long-term investments into B2B start-ups. During my time as a consultant I also founded my own company, so I know entrepreneurs’ troubles first hand.

Fiene Berger


Veolia Stiftung

Fiene Berger is managing director of the Veolia Stiftung. The Berlin-based foundation of the german Veolia group strives for sustainable development and focuses its funding activities on environmental protection. It aims to support innovative and transferable projects in energy efficiency, circular economy and water resources protection. Being a sustainability enthusiast, Fiene holds two master’s degrees in international economics and environmental sciences.

Thomasz Kozlowski

Head of innovation


Making a difference to European innovation ecosystem by leading ideation, structuring and delivery of state-of-the-art investment solutions. Passionate about exploring how teams engage, collaborate and innovate to achieve consistently best outcomes. Blogger, alternative finance geek and nature enthusiast.

Tomasz is heading Innovation & Alternative Financing at European Investment Fund based in Luxembourg, where he is responsible for business and product development the innovation space. He has been the developer and manager of a number of successful multibillion EU backed financing programs for innovative companies across Europe. They comprise both debt and guarantee schemes as well as equity investing with tech transfer, business angel and venture capital focus.  Recently Tomasz has launched with the EU the first pan European venture capital fund-of-funds programme.

Prior to joining the European Investment Bank Group nine years ago, he had been working for seven years in Ernst & Young and Deloitte providing consulting services to the broad range of banking, financial and investment firms.

He holds a Master’s Degree in Economics from UMCS university in Poland and a Global Executive MBA from the IESE Business School in Barcelona. Tomasz is also a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA), Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA) and a Fellow of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA).

Torsten Löffler

Senior Investment Manager

High-Tech Gründerfonds Management GmbH

Dr. Löffler studied Physics with a focus optic and measurement technology at the universities of Aachen (RWTH ) and Liverpool, England. Beside numerous scientific publications he is also involved as inventor in various patents. Beside his scientific activities, he worked several years in sales in the automotive industry and was Founder and CEO of a start-up in the field of measurement technology. As Senior Investment Manager at High-Tech Gründerfonds he focuses on acquisition, evaluation and the professional development of technology start-up’s.

Amit Keren

Managing partners

Deutsche Telekom Israel

Amit joined DT Partnership team in early 2014 and brings over 20 years of experience as an international marketing, sales, business development, and operations executive. He started in his career in 1995 at Ornet DCT, an early data communications pioneer, that was acquired by Siemens. From there he moved to marketing and sales roles where he led and won multi-million dollar deals. Aside from executive experience, Amit made a couple of attempts to found startups and is an active angel investor and startup mentor. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science and an MBA.

Gabriel Matuschka


Fly Ventures

Gabriel is co-founder & General Partner at Fly Ventures, an early stage fund based in Berlin and investing across Europe. He invests in seed and pre-series A rounds with initial ticket sizes between €250k and €750k. Prior to Fly Ventures, he headed the Berlin office of Partech Ventures, which he opened in 2012.

Benedikt Herles


Vito Ventures

Benedikt joined Vito Ventures from global venture capital firm where he was part of the European early stage investment team covering various industries ranging from eHealth to FinTech. Before becoming an investor, Benedikt worked as a management consultant in a major strategy-consulting firm. For his research on the irrational aspects of economic value creation, Benedikt was awarded a doctoral degree from EBS University Wiesbaden. Prior to his doctorate, Benedikt studied Economics and Management at the WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management, as well as the Ludwig-Maximilians-University in Munich. With a passion for writing, Benedikt is also a published author. His latest book about management- and innovation-culture achieved bestselling status in 2013 and 2014. Benedikt loves traveling, sailing, skiing and good food.

Dr. Jan Alberti

Managing Director

bmp Beteiligungsmanagement AG

Since 2017, Jan is part of the management board at bmp; responsible for new investments as well as marketing and PR. In 2013, Jan started as an investment manager at bmp after building an incubator from 2007-2013 (GO:INcubator), thereof 4 years as general manager. Since then, he has funded and supported over 60 start-ups, mainly from the sectors SaaS, Big Data, Enterprise Software, Mobile and Media. Jan graduated with a Dr.-degree from the University of Potsdam in 2010 after completing research and working stays in the US, UK and China, e.g. as financial analyst at HSBC Trinkaus & Burkhardt (2006) and Siemens Healthcare USA (2004-2005). Current portfolio companies: castaclip, Metabolomic Discoveries, work-life-management, trinckle 3D, hüma, komoot and UniNow. Jan is a passionate mountainbiker and car enthusiast.

Kai Uwe Bindseil

Head of Division Life Sciences / Healthcare Industry

Berlin Partner for Business and Technologie

Dr. Kai Uwe Bindseil studied chemistry at Georg August University in Göttingen. In 1993, he wrote his doctoral thesis in bioorganic chemistry. After a post-doctoral fellowship at Ciba-Geigy AG in Basle, he moved to AnalytiCon AG in Berlin and Potsdam, where he was COO and responsible for drug discovery, marketing and international business development. In 2001, Dr Bindseil became Director of the newly founded BioTOP platform, which was the cluster management platform for the German bioregion Berlin Brandenburg. Following 9 years of sustained cluster development, with a strong focus on translation of research into growth in biotechnolgy, Dr Bindseil became Cluster Manager of Health Capital Berlin Brandenburg in 2010. In addition he is now Head of the Division Life Sciences / Healthcare Industry at Berlin Partner for Business and Technology. Dr Bindseil is one of the most experienced cluster managers in Europe and part of the founding team of the Council of European BioRegions, the Europe-wide network of clusters which works to support cluster development and partnership worldwide. He supported the German and European biotechnology as spokesman of the working group of German bioregions and steering group member of Scanbalt.

Alexander Ruppert



Alexander is Associate with Earlybird Venture Capital and based at the Berlin office. He gained diverse experience in the technology sector with a focus on software as a service, marketplace models and decentralization. Prior to that, Alexander worked for 3 years as Entrepreneur in Residence and Business Development Manager with Google, DailyDeal and Pepperbill before joining the team of seed stage VC Heilemann Ventures in early 2015, which merged with Earlybird in 2016. He holds a diploma in German Law from University of Osnabruck and Université de Lausanne in Switzerland as well as a supplementary degree in Economics from University of Osnabruck.

Prof. Dr. Jan Bernd Nordemann (BOEHMERT & BOEHMERT)

Attorney at Law (Germany) & Certified Copyright, Media and IP Lawyer

Jan Bernd Nordemann is known as one of the leading copyright and IP lawyers in Germany. In 3D printing, he is considered one of the few experts with extensive practical experience in the field. He has published articles and given talks on 3D printing around the world, example:

Best Lawyers International 2017 mentions him in the list of IP, entertainment and media, copyright, and litigation. The JUVE handbook 2016/2017 has again included Jan Bernd Nordemann as one of the leading German copyright and IP lawyers.

Since 1997, Jan has worked as an attorney at law for the IP boutique BOEHMERT & BOEHMERT, Berlin office. Humboldt University Berlin appointed him as an honorary professor in 2007. He one of the editors of “Fromm/Nordemann, Commentary on German Copyright Law “.

Benjamin Rohé (GTEC)

MD & Founder

Benjamin Rohé , an entrepreneur who co-founded a public company amongst other startups and worked in the tech, renewable energy, digital space since 1997. He started his first company at the age of 17.
Benjamin has been investing time and money into startups throughout Europe since 2007. He has given talks and lectures at different european universities as well as at various european startup and economic conferences. Those include the Economic Forum, Stockholm School of Entrepreneurship, Maastricht University, Center for Digital Technology & Management (Munich), European School of Management and Technology (Berlin) and the Zeppelin University where he also helped to create a investment fund for startups at the same university.
In 2011 his business angel investment activities became more structured by forming and bringing in a advisory board of industry experts. Benjamin also served as a Partner in the Venture Capital Funds of Redalpine Venture Partners AG in Switzerland. He is a accredited investor by the European Investment Fund (EIF – EAF).
He co-authored with Gütt Olk Feldhaus Rechtsanwälte “Angel syndicates: Efficient investment in startups with syndication and sub-share agreements” for the Book “Guide for Business Angels” published by the Business Angel Network Germany and GoingPublic Media AG in December 2012.
Since January 2015, Benjamin is heading the German Tech Entrepreneurship Center (GTEC) in Berlin. Founding Partners include European School of Management and Technology, Noerr LLP, RWE, Henkel and 2 foundation.

Prof. Dr. Christian Czychowski (Boehmert & Boehmert)

Attorney at Law

Christian Czychowski focuses on information technology, patent, licensing, contract, copyright, and trademark law. His clients include worldwide technology companies, software companies, and leading industry associations.

Christian Czychowski was a visiting lecturer at the Hasso-Plattner Institute for System Technology for many years. He has taught intellectual property law at the Faculty of Law at the University of Potsdam since 2006, and continues to teach in his capacity as honorary professor since 2014. He also gives regular lectures for the Deutsche Anwaltakademie as well as for the European Patent Office. Since autumn 2016, Christian Czychowski holds, together with attorney-at-law Dr. Anselm Brandi- Dohrn, one of the first online tutorials on IT law within a Massive Open Online Course of the Hasso-Plattner-Institute.

Christian Czychowski is a member of the expert committee for copyright and publishing rights of the German Association for the Protection of Intellectual Property (GRUR), and a member of the expert attorney committee on IT law of the Berlin Chamber of Lawyers. He is also a member of Licensing Executives Society (LES), the German Attorney Association, the German Association of Law and Informatics (DGRI), and the Open Innovation Platform “Innovationskraftwerk”.

Alexander Koelpin

MD & Partner


Alexander Kölpin is Managing Director and Partner at the SeedVC WestTech Ventures. He was a co-founder of the Berlin Web Week, co-founded and was the COO and Board Member of the SeedVC German Startups Group Berlin AG and was divisional director of the internet and media department of Berlin Partner, where his responsibilities included, amongst others, establishing new startups in the Berlin area. Prior to this he was a management consultant at inubit AG (now Bosch Software Innovations) and Arthur Andersen. He holds postgraduate degrees in Economics, European Studies and Sociology from Berlin (D), Exeter (UK) and Krakow (PL) and lives in Berlin.


Jan Ameri

Global Innovation Manager


Today Jan chairs Arctic15, a high-profile startup business event held in Helsinki by ArcticStartup, and has been the main force of growing the event from 400 attendees to 1500+ attendees in just 2,5 years. He does not stop there and currently has a couple of new ArcticStartup spin-offs on his table. Entrepreneur-by-heart – and by actions since 1998. Being an expert in spotting new opportunities and creating new concepts, Jan has been partner or co-founder in six different companies in various industries. In the early 2000’s he was pioneering some of the very first WAP, SMS, and interactive TV based wireless games and fantasy sports games in the Nordic countries. Jan loves to watch Shark Tank and The Profit on his free time. And he is a FC Barcelona fan.

Jury Members 2nd Round

Heribert Uhl (RBVC)

Senior Investment Director

Heribert Uhl is a Senior Investment Director with RBVC, Heribert is responsible for investments in the energy & efficiency search cluster. He has been with the Bosch group since 1999 and acquired a profound system understanding of the automotive industry. In his previous role as manager of cross-divisional and international projects, he was responsible for vehicle management and safety systems. Prior to joining Bosch, he spent four years projecting and developing automotive interior panels at the Dräxlmeier Group. Heribert holds a Diploma degree in Mechatronics from the University of Applied Science in Esslingen, Germany. During his studies, he gained practical experience at the German Aerospace Center (DLR) and the Plataforma Solar de Almeria, Spain.

Federico Suria

Director & Global Accounts EMEA

DellEMC Consulting Services 

Federico Suria is Director, Global Accounts EMEA for DellEMC Consulting Services. He has worked in Dell EMC and previously in EMC for the last 6 years where he covered several roles as Director Professional Services, Director Finance and Operations and Director of Sales Strategy Italy.

Before joining EMC, Federico worked for 4 years in McKinsey Consulting where he advised on Strategy and Operations several customer from Financial Sectors, Automotive and Aerospace industry. Before that he worked in Rolls Royce Aerospace where he registered a patent on gas turbine technologies. Federico holds a Master in Aerospace Engineering from Politecnico di Milano and an MBA from INSEAD.

Federico is also a seed investor and advises several startups. He has participated as panelist in business plan competitions organised by Politecnico di Milano and INSEAD and is a regolar tutor for the startups shortlisted in the Global Social Venture Competition.

Thomas Baum


Redstone digital

Thomas is a serial entrepreneur. He currently is Partner of Redstone Digital, a Venture Capital management company and is also currently involved in several start-ups in Europe, the US and Asia as business angel. Over the last years, he was Managing Director of Rebate Networks, a German venture investor which has built up several e-commerce companies in South East Asia and Eastern Europe. Prior to Rebate Networks he was Managing Director and CFO of studiVZ, Europe’s largest social network at that time. Thomas started his internet career in 2000 as Co-Founder of AG and Mentasys GmbH, which became one of Germany’s leading online price comparison service provider and which has subsequently been sold to a subsidiary of Bertelsmann.

Harsha Jagasia


Startupbootcamp Digital Health Berlin

Harsha is an experienced marketeer & operations professional with strong passion for healthcare. She has a history of working and scaling startups in international markets with growth marketing & driving partnerships. She has a strong background of an MBA & graduate studies in Biology. She currently heads Operations at Startupbootcamp Digital Health Berlin, an accelerator for early stage Digital Health startups.

Andreas Koch

Group Manager


Dr.-Ing. Andreas Koch, studied Architecture at the Technical University in Berlin and City Design and Social Science at the London School of Economics and completed his PhD thesis at the KIT Building Science Group. As chartered Architect and energy consultant he has worked in the field of energy efficient construction for Minergie buildings and Passive Houses in Switzerland and Germany. In 2007 he joined the European Institute since 2012 he is leading the research group “Energy Planning and Geosimulation” at EIFER, conducting research in the field of spatial simulation of local energy systems, GIS based data analysis and energy policy analysis. Dr. Koch is a certified auditor for the German Sustainable Building Council’s (DGNB) label for sustainable districts and a member of the editorial board of the International Journal of Future Cities and Environment. Currently he is teaching at the Karlshochschule in the field of Urban Energy Planning.

Björn Grindberg

Innovation Lead Germany

Climate KIC

Björn manages the startup activities for Climate-KIC, Europe’s largest climate innovation initiative in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. The accelerator programme has helped the likes of Thermondo, Lilium Avitaion or Tado° in levering over €330m worth of external investment and supports clean-tech teams active across e-mobility, renewable energy, energy efficiency, water, resource and waste management and beyond. Björn has held senior positions in consultancy (Arthur D. Little), logistics (DB Schenker), telco & media (Millicom/Tigo) and he has worked with startups in three different continents.

Felix Krause

Investment partner

Innogy Corporate Ventures

Before joining innogy ventures, Felix founded Milk the Sun (the worldwide largest online marketplace for PV-Projects) and an international renewable project developer. Felix became an Entrepreneur after being Key Account Manager at Philips responsible for software sales. He started his professional career with a Danish company as Product Manager. He holds a M.Sc in International Business Studies from University of Maastricht. Moreover, he has a proven track record for developing international companies, partnerships and products as well as online and offline sales. For the last two years he has also supported other startups as interim manager, juror and coach for the European Initiative Climate-KIC as well as Startupbootcamp. Being in business development for over 10 years and renewable energy business for over five years, he is now looking for interesting ventures and is excited to share his experiences of building new things and overcoming the impossible.

Marcus Polke

Investment directors


Since the mid-1990s, Marcus has been exploring the boundaries of e-commerce: First as one of Amazon’s first employees in Europe, later when heading AOL Germany’s E-commerce business and Abebooks Europe (sold to Amazon in 2008). Today he is an investor looking for level-headed company owners who are defining new business models in the technology segment.

Martin Hofmann, Group CIO Volkswagen


Dr. Martin Hofmann is Executive Vice President of the Volkswagen Group and Group CIO at Volkswagen AG. One of his most prominent initiatives has been the creation of Information Technology Labs in San Francisco, Berlin and Munich, which are considered leading in the field of data science, applied AI and Machine Learning in the automotive industry. He has a long history at the Volkswagen Group, joining in 2001, where he took charge of Group Procurement Process and Information Management.
Previously, he worked at the international IT service provider Electronic Data Systems Corporation (EDS) where he held several senior management positions and served as Executive Director Digital Supply Chain in the United States.
Dr. Hofmann graduated Harvard Business School AMP, has a PhD in engineering from the ETH Zurich and a degree in business computer science and business administration from the University of Mannheim.

Kemal Malik, Board of Management of Bayer, responsible for Innovation

Member of the Board of Management


Kemal Malik is a member of the Board of Management of Bayer, responsible for Innovation. Bayer is one of the world’s leading Life Science companies with core competencies in the areas of health care and agriculture. Kemal Malik will be talking about the future of health care and the importance of open innovation and the link between startups of the Life Science field and Bayer. He will also be a jury member for the Life Science & Digital Health track of the CUBE Challenge.

„At Bayer everything we do is about innovation but we realize that there is lot of innovation outside of Bayer. I found it a great chance to be part of the global CUBE ecosystem and to combine our expertise with the wealth of ideas emanating from bright minds from around the world. With the new perspectives of young startups we are able to develop new and disruptive technologies and shape the future of health care.“

About Kemal Malik:

Kemal Malik was born in the UK and qualified as a physician in 1987 and subsequently spent several years in clinical medicine in London. He joined Bayer in 1995, progressively undertaking a variety of senior roles in pharmaceutical R&D. He was appointed Global Head of Development in 2004 and was appointed to the Board of Management in 2014.

Malik cares passionately about the role innovation plays in improving the health and well-being of society.

Christian Nagel


Earlybird Venture Capital

Dr. Christian Nagel is Co-Founder and Partner of Earlybird. Christian has more than 20 years of entrepreneurial and investment experience. He was Chairman of the Board of Tipp24 AG (Prime Standard Frankfurt Exchange: TIM) and Interhyp AG (Prime Standard Frankfurt Exchange: IYP), which returned more than 50x the original Earlybird investment. Up till the trade sale to SMSC (NASDAQ: SMSC) he also served on the board of BridgeCo AG. He is currently on the boards of CrossEngage (Berlin), Cashboard (Berlin), N26 (Berlin), Smava (Berlin) and Tradico (Munich). Prior to founding Earlybird in 1997, Christian, together with a group of investors, acquired various companies from the Treuhandanstalt (the former East-German state holding) and gained operational experience. He was a shareholder and an Executive Director of HNP Präzisionsteile GmbH & Co. KG, SMB Industrieholding GmbH, DH Industrieholding Hohenthurm GmbH and a number of other subsidiary companies of these holding companies. Previously, Christian worked as an Engagement Manager with McKinsey & Co. Inc. focusing on restructuring, strategy and M & A projects within various industries. He holds a Diplom-Wirtschaftsingenieur degree (Industrial Engineering, MSc equivalent) from the Technical University of Hamburg, specializing in process engineering and a PhD degree in management from the University of St. Gallen.

Jury Member Finale

Steve Wozniak (Apple Inc.)

Co-Founder Apple // CUBE Challenge Grand Finale Jury Member

A Silicon Valley icon and philanthropist for more than thirty years, Steve Wozniak has helped shape the computing industry with his design of Apple’s first line of products the Apple I and II and influenced the popular Macintosh. In 1976, Wozniak and Steve Jobs founded Apple Computer Inc. with Wozniak’s Apple I personal computer. The following year, he introduced his Apple II personal computer, featuring a central processing unit, a keyboard, color graphics, and a floppy disk drive. The Apple II was integral in launching the personal computer industry.

In 1981, he went back to UC Berkeley and finished his degree in electrical engineering/computer science. For his achievements at Apple, Wozniak was awarded the National Medal of Technology by the President of the United States in 1985, the highest honor bestowed on America’s leading innovators.

In 2000, he was inducted into the Inventors Hall of Fame and was awarded the prestigious Heinz Award for Technology, The Economy and Employment for single- handedly designing the first personal computer and for then redirecting his lifelong passion for mathematics and electronics toward lighting the fires of excitement for education in grade school students and their teachers.

In 2014, he received the prestigious Hoover Medal, which is an American engineering prize for “outstanding extra-career services by engineers to humanity.” The prize is given jointly by the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical, and Petroleum Engineers, American Society of Civil Engineers, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, and American Society of Mechanical Engineers. Through the years, Wozniak has been involved in various business and philanthropic ventures, focusing primarily on computer capabilities in schools and stressing hands-on learning and encouraging creativity for students.

Making significant investments of both his time and resources in education, he adopted the Los Gatos School District, providing students and teachers with hands-on teaching and donations of state-of-the- art technology equipment. He founded the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and was the founding sponsor of the Tech Museum, Silicon Valley Ballet and Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose.

Wozniak currently serves as Chief Scientist for Fusion-io and is a published author with the release of his New York Times best-selling autobiography, iWoz: From Computer Geek to Cult Icon, in September 2006 by Norton Publishing. His television appearances include reality shows Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List, ABC’s Dancing with the Stars and The Big Bang Theory.

Grants4tech Challenge Jury

CUBE Global Founder Partner Bayer presents its Grants4Tech robotic challenge at the CUBE Tech Fair.

Jury Member Grants4Tech

Dr. Jennifer Sarah Geffers (Group IT, Volkswagen)

Head of Ideation:Hub

Leading the Ideation:Hub of Volkswagen Group IT. Before: 5 years’ experience as internally VW consultant for strategy questions on supervisory board level – specifically for innovation, efficiency and sustainability projects.
Previous to VW: 6 years IT technology driven consulting experience and leading worldwide projects for different automobile brands. PHD in business science.

Kai-Uwe Vayhinger (SCHUNK GmbH & Co. KG)

Business Unit Manager Mobile Gripping Systems

“The production in the i4.0 period will change and smart factories will be formed.
Robots as well as cobots and sensor guided systems will step into the industrial field.
Means more and more so called “easy tasks” of humans in industrial areas will be automated.
The Bayer Grants4Tech Robot Competition gives the teams an ideal platform to perform innovative ideas.”