The Founding Team and Management
Dominik and Sebastian are true startup and innovation experts. They live and breathe the startup culture and the mindset for entrepreneurship. They are alway ready to listen to talents talk about their ideas.
CO-FOUNDER & CEO
High Performer and Serial Entrepreneur with Strong Mittelstand Roots
I want to actively help shape the digital transformation in Ostwestfalen-Lippe by applying my knowledge about startups and entrepreneurship, and supporting aspiring talents. This is our only way to make innovative tech ideas happen and secure Germany’s digital future in international competition.
Being a full-blooded entrepreneur and digitalization expert, Sebastian leads the Founders Foundation with passion and experience. Business is in his DNA – as a founder, owner of a family business, and investor, he has experienced all facets of entrepreneurship throughout his career. Sebastian launched several companies, among them an American AdTech company and a fintech startup in collaboration with company builder Finleap. He has spearheaded interdivisional innovation projects in a corporate environment – for example in the central corporate development team of the Bertelsmann SE in Gütersloh. In his role as Chairman of the Board, he lead his own family business towards digital transformation.
Using his experience, Sebastian nowadays supports family companies such as Kienbaum und Partner where he is a member of the advisory board. Thanks to his thorough understand of both New and Old Business, he acts as a bridge-builder and networker, creating trustworthy relationships between both worlds. He also mentors the next generation of founders as a strategic angel investor, e.g., at Spread, Keeeb and Model Management, or as a personal mentor at STARTUP TEENS.
Sebastian loves sharing his expertise at leading tech conferences, in podcasts, e.g., with the German newspaper Handelsblatt or with fellow investor and serial founder Frank Thelen, or as co-author of the book “Zukunftsrepublik”. He spent his formative years in New York where he studied at the NYU and was an active part of the young startup scene. He holds an MBA from the HSG St. Gallen. In his private life, Sebastian is a passionate foodie who relaxes best when playing the drums. With his wife and four children he lives in Bielefeld.
“I want to actively help shape digital transformation in Ostwestfalen-Lippe by applying my knowledge about startups and entrepreneurship, and supporting aspiring talents. This is our only way to make innovative tech ideas happen and secure Germany’s digital future in international competition.”
CO-FOUNDER & CFO
Performance-oriented Strategist with Ties to the International Ecosystem
“As an architect of the systematic training of tech entrepreneurs, I want to shape the next generation of successful founders and create a blueprint for the development of a strong B2B startup ecosystem here in Bielefeld – a blueprint that other regions in the German Hinterland can take inspiration from.”
Dominik began his career at the Bertelsmann Stiftung, at first in the HR Department. In 2011, he took over as the Head of Board’s Office under CEOs Prof. Dr. Gunter Thielen and Aart de Geus. He was responsible for the organizational, strategic. and content-related preparation and follow-up processing of meetings and decisions from the committee support office for board members.
Impact- and purpose-driven design is both motor and motivation for Dominik. Acting from a deep understanding of the relevance of entrepreneurial competence as the driving force for digital transformation – especially in regions outside major conurbations –, Dominik developed the Founders Foundation in his role as Project Lead Fostering Innovative Entrepreneurship in the Bertelsmann Stiftung: from the original idea, through the planning phase to the launch of the project. Ever since, he has been leading the company with heart and vision.
Born in Oldenburg, he studied Economics at the University of Oldenburg and at the University of Vaxjö, Sweden. He has been living in Bielefeld for almost ten year. If he is not working or launching new ideas, he enjoys doing sports like handball or skiing. As a spectator, he is rooting for the Bundesliga basketball team EWE Baskets Oldenburg. Dominik’s latest passion is his Labrador Mixed Breed Carlo whom he has adopted from an animal shelter and given a new home in our Founders Home.
“As an architect for the systematic training of tech entrepreneurs, I want to shape the next generation of successful founders and create a blueprint for the development of a strong B2B startup ecosystem here in Bielefeld – a blueprint that other regions in the German Hinterland can take inspiration from.”
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