Maria is a CEO of Mindclip Behaviour a SAAS based EdTech startup. She is a business angel with focus on Fintech, Blockchain and SAAS. Her passion is to support startups in the early phase. With 20 years of experience in Entrepreneurship, Maria has advised over a hundred start-ups. In 2016 she co-founder Accelerator Frankfurt that was nominated as the top 25 most innovative acceleration of the world with the focus on Fintech, Blockchain. Maria was nominated in 2017 and 2018 the leading FinTech Influencer in the German-speaking world. In 2019, 2020, and 2021 she was elected as one of the EU’s top 50 influential women in Startups and VC’s. She is also the author of the book “How to f*ck up your startup”.
Co-founder Startupbootcamp FinTech, Rainmaking Innovation & Innotribe Startup ChallengeCofounder von Innotribe, der erste globale Fintech-Startup Wettbewerb, seit 2010Cofounder des Startupbootcamp FinTech-Accelerators (London, Singapore, New York, Mumbai, Mexico City, Amsterdam & Dubai)Founder von The Future Farm – addressing mental health of entrepreneursCofounder von Tribal Banking – a digital bank builder for under-serviced communities New Balance Sneaker fanatiker.
Marco Di Sazio joined Metzler in 2015. In 2019, he became Digital Transformation & Innovation Manager responsible for implementing digital and innovative projects in the areas of data analytics, open banking, and embedded finance. Before that, he worked as a project manager responsible for digital development and transformation processes. Prior to joining Metzler, Mr. Di Sazio worked as a consultant in the area of risk and regulations in Frankfurt/Main, Germany, as well as at the German Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin) in Frankfurt/Main as a policy officer for securities supervision from 2012 to 2015. He studied business administration with a focus on finance at Pforzheim University in Pforzheim, Germany. He spent a semester abroad in the USA at California State University of Chico and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in 2011.
Nina-Luisa Siedler is a business lawyer with more than twenty years of experience advising on corporate and financial transactions with a focus on blockchain/distributed ledger technology projects since 2016. Her practice includes various types of structured finance (asset-based and asset-backed lending, acquisition and project finance) as well as crypto finance (initial coin or exchange offerings, e-securities, incentive models). Nina represents both financial institutions and corporates, most of them international players and start-ups in the high-tech sector. She is used to managing cross-border transactions and working seamlessly with developers, auditors, tax advisors and other parties involved.
Georgios Kargakis has been committed to customer experiences at the interface of business and technology for over 18 years. Heading the Agile Transformation Office at Allianz Technology, he is an agile thought leader and intrapreneur working with modern approaches such as Design Thinking, Scrum or DevOps to accelerate the introduction of digital products, ensure their success and, in the process, take organizations along to transform them on the path to digitalization sustainably. As an evangelist for innovation, his aspirations strive towards an emotionally experiential IT that puts the digital customer experience at the centre. His organizational systemic approach puts empowered, cross-functional startups-like teams at the heart, scaling them for a global enterprise delivering greater impact and value.
Stefan Kempf is CEO of aifinyo AG. He founded the company in 2012 and scaled it up to a leading German fintech offering cloud-based accounting and providing today over 400 million EUR in alternative financing annually to over 10.000 German SME’s. The company went public via a listing at the stock exchange in 2018. Before founding aifinyo, he worked in several positions in debt capital markets and alternative financing with focus on asset backed securities across different asset classes. Stefan Kempf absolved an apprenticeship as banker, studied at Frankfurt School of Finance and has a master’s degree in finance (MSc) as well as a master’s degree in law (LLM). Besides he is active as a business angel, member of the supervisory board of a publishing company and is member of the Munich stock exchange council.
As Head of the Start-up Programme at Aareal Bank AG, Henning Zander has group-wide responsibility for the bank's four pillars of cooperation with start-ups: Accelerator Programmes, Cooperations, Strategic Investments and Own Start-ups. He is also Chairman of the Investor Advisory Board and Observer on the Investment Committee of the first pan-European venture capital fund PropTech1 Ventures.
Aman Dogra joined the Commercial team at the Financial Times in 2014, initially starting as a Customer Services Executive. He worked his way up over the years and now heads up the German Advertising Sales team, helping corporates reach wealthy business leaders and start-ups reach investors globally. Before joining the media world, Aman worked in financial services as an account executive in the leasing industry. Having studied International Business & German at Aston Business School, Aman is fluent in German and embraces the culture. His favourite city is Hamburg where he previously lived whilst working at Publicis, the renowned advertising agency.
Dr Alex von Frankenberg is Managing Director of High-Tech Gründerfonds and has been active in the venture capital / start-up environment since 2000. Previously, he was venture manager at the Siemens Technology Accelerator, responsible for spin-offs from Siemens' Corporate Technology. In 2001/2002 he was sales manager in an IT start-up. Before that, he was a project manager at Siemens Management Consulting, where he was responsible for setting up an internal incubator. He started his career at Andersen Consulting with the development of complex IT systems. Dr. Frankenberg studied at the University of Mannheim and the University of Texas at Austin (MBA) and completed his doctorate in Mannheim on the formation of de-facto technology standards.
Dr Sebastian Schäfer, Managing Director of Fintech Community Frankfurt GmbH (TechQuartier), is a founder, business angel and lecturer specialising in entrepreneurship and building startup and innovation networks. Sebastian worked in the startup industry for over 10 years, including as head of the incubator at Goethe University and as co-founder and shareholder of the startup investor platform Pitch Club. Today, as the managing director of TechQuartier, he is primarily involved in networking fintechs with established financial institutions and is driving forward a cross-institutional and cross-industry data and platform project in the financial centre with the Financial Big Data Cluster.
Isabelle Canu is a partner of the Green European Tech Fund (GET) at Munich Venture Partners. She is also founder and managing director of respin UG (haftungsbeschränkt), a consulting firm in the field of ESG and sustainability strategies for venture capital funds. Previously, she built coparion, a EUR 275 million VC fund financed by the German government, KfW Capital and the European Investment Bank; she was managing director of the management company. As an experienced fund manager, she also has a wide range of experience at the interface between finance, law and politics (including tbg, Federal Chancellery, KfW). She studied International Relations at Sciences Po in Paris and holds a PhD from Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität in Munich.
Achim Oelgarth has been working in the financial industry and advises tech startups for over 20 years now. He is the Co-Founder & Co-CEO of the Berlin Finance Initiative (BFI), the voice of Berlin's finance and tech hub and CEO of the East German Banking Association. Previously, as UniCredit‘s Head of Institutional Affairs Germany, he was responsible for the political and regulatory affairs team of the pan-European bank. Before that, from 2004 to 2009, he established and led the representative office of the Association of German Banks at the European Union in Brussels. Achim studied law at the University of Bonn. In 1998 he was admitted to the bar. At MIT Sloan School of Management he has been doing research on artificial intelligence and its implications on business strategy.
Hans is an entrepreneur and Managing Partner of FRED Executive Search. He has over 20 years of experience in headhunting, focussing on Digital & Technology within Financial Services and FinTech. With his sense for trends and drivers of digitalization, he shapes courses of action and recruitment strategies for candidates as well as clients. He started coding at the age of 13 as data, algos and infrastructures have always fascinated him. Besides people & culture, digitality, transformation and emerging technologies form his major strengths.
In 1995, Dr. Lutz Raettig joined Morgan Stanley Bank AG in Frankfurt as Managing Director and Chairman of the Executive Board. From September 1995 to February 2005, he was Chairman of the Board of Morgan Stanley Bank AG and Country Head for Germany and Austria. Since 2002, Dr Raettig was also Vice Chairman Morgan Stanley Europe. Dr Raettig was a Director of Morgan Stanley International Ltd and is a member of the Supervisory Board of Morgan Stanley Bank International Ltd London. Prior to joining Morgan Stanley, Dr Raettig worked for Commerzbank and Westdeutsche Landesbank (WestLB) for 26 years in various locations in Germany, in London and in New York. Additional positions - Member of the Exchange Council of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange - Vice President of the Frankfurt Chamber of Industry and Commerce (IHK) - Member of the Board of Directors of the American Chamber of Commerce in Germany - Member of the Board of the German-American Chamber of Commerce, New York - Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Bankenakademie e.V., Frankfurt - Member of the Advisory Board, Clearstream International, Luxembourg - Chairman of the Advisory Board, Fraport AG - Member of the Supervisory Board, Messe Frankfurt - Member of the Magistrate of the City of Frankfurt - Spokesman of the Executive Committee, Frankfurt Main Finance e.V. - Member of the Executive Board, Hessischer Bankenverband
Birte Sewing has over 15 years of experience in the financial industry, both in traditional companies and in the fintech sector. She is Principal and Fintech Lead at Altor Equity Partners. Here she manages the activities in the field of fintech including insuretech and overarching financial services in the DACH region. In recent years, Birte Sewing has dealt in particular with growth and future issues against the background of digitization. She started her career at McKinsey & Company, where she focused on financial services.
Mehrdad is a tech entrepreneur. The web and app pioneer started his career in 1990 as a programmer at a German enterprise. Founded 1995 his first startup Pironet and took it public in 2000. He has been an international business angel since 2003. In 2014, Mehrdad Piroozram founded InsurTech.vc, where he angel invests & advises Insurtechs across Europe.
During his 12-year tenure at Deutsche Bank, Hubertus Väth held the positions of Analyst, Head of Communications and Chief Economist for Asia and Global Head of Marketing for Wealth Management at offices in Frankfurt, Hamburg and Singapore. He is the Founder of the NewMark Group and CEO of NewMark Finanzkommunikation GmbH, established in 1997 and specialized in market research, business consulting and financial communication. In 2008, Väth was appointed Managing Director of Frankfurt Main Finance, the Financial Centre initiative for Frankfurt and the leading Financial Centre in Germany and the Euro Zone. Most recently, he was appointed to the Board of Directors of the World Alliance of International Financial Centers (WAIFC), which was created to facilitate cooperation and exchange of best practices among international financial centres and to foster greater exchange with international public authorities. Väth regularly speaks at international financial conferences on Brexit, FinTechs and Financial Centre Development; Euro Clearing and Green Finance. Väth is a Special Fellow of the Financial Think Tank of Asian Financial Cooperation Association (AFCA) and publishes regularly in this capacity. He is a member of Rotary Club and has a Diploma in Economics from the University Mainz, Germany. Väth is an occasional lecturer at Universities and Business Schools.
Franz von Metzler, CESGA, joined Metzler in 2014. In 2023, he became a Member of the Executive Board of B. Metzler seel. Sohn & Co. AG and assumed responsibility for the Asset Management division and Human Resources department. Furthermore, Mr. von Metzler is Member of the Board of Directors of the group companies Metzler Realty Advisors in Seattle, USA, Metzler/Payden, LLC in Los Angeles, USA, a joint venture with the US investment company Payden & Rygel, and Metzler Asset Management (Japan) Ltd. in Tokyo. He also is Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Metzler Asset Management GmbH as well as Deputy Chairman of the Supervisory Boards of Metzler Sozialpartner Pensionsfonds AG and Metzler Pensionsfonds AG. Prior to all this, he was Managing Director of Metzler Asset Management GmbH for three years and responsible for the departments Institutional Sales, Client Account Management, Real Estate Advisory, Asia Desk and Mutual Funds & KVG Services. In 2019, Mr. von Metzler became Head of the Asset Allocation & Fixed Income team, where he had been responsible for multi-asset mandates and asset allocation in his role as Portfolio Manager since 2018. Prior to this, he worked in the Capital Markets division as FX Sales Trader in the Fixed Income/FX team for two years. From 2014 to 2015, Mr. von Metzler was Portfolio Manager in the Equities team in the Asset Management division. Prior to joining Metzler, he worked from 2012 to 2014 as an analyst at HSBC Holdings plc in London, where he was responsible for originating and executing financial advisory assignments in various sectors (i.e. transportation, logistics, services and shipping). From 2010 to 2012, he studied business administration with a focus on finance and strategy at the ESCP Europe Business School in London, Paris and Berlin and earned a master’s degree in management. In 2009, he spent a semester abroad at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in the USA. From 2005 to 2008, he earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration at the Università Commerciale Luigi Bocconi in Milan, Italy. During his studies, he completed several internships, for example at HSBC Holdings plc in London, ProCredit Bank in Skopje, North Macedonia, and Pristina, Kosovo, and Porsche Consulting GmbH in Bietigheim-Bissingen, Germany.
Prof. Dr. Philipp Sandner has founded the Frankfurt School Blockchain Center (FSBC). From 2018 to 2021, he was ranked among the “top 30” economists by Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ). Further, he belonged to the “Top 40 under 40” — a ranking by the German business magazine Capital. He has been a member of the FinTech Council and the Digital Finance Forum of the Federal Ministry of Finance in Germany. He also was on the Board of Directors of FiveT Fintech Fund, 21e6 Capital and Blockchain Founders Group - companies active in venture capital financing for blockchain startups and crypto asset investment management. The expertise of Prof. Sandner included blockchain technology in general, crypto assets such as Bitcoin and Ethereum, decentralized finance (DeFi), the digital euro, tokenization of assets and digital identity. Philipp lent his expertise to the Jury since the inception of FTGA in 2016. He died unexpectedly in January 2024.
Michael Mellinghoff is Managing Director at TechFluence in London and consults Fintech founders all over Europe. He is a seasoned investment professional.
Florian is Linklaters’ Germany FinTech lead and has considerable experience in advising on regulatory aspects and the financial structuring of innovative capital markets structures, products, platforms and systems. He focuses on DLT and Blockchain matters, digital transformation, AI, digital identity as well as payment systems and has acted on numerous industry-leading projects.
For over 9 years, Joachim Jürschick has been editor-in-chief of IT Finanzmagazin, the technical news magazine for banks, savings banks, insurers and fintechs. Always interested in the future and clever technical solutions for the financial industry.
Starting his investment banking career in 1978 at UBS, Alfred spent a total of 18 years in their foreign exchange department. During his time at UBS he worked in Zurich, Geneva, New York and spent several years as treasurer at UBS Luxembourg. 1996 he joined Commerzbank as Global Head of FX and spent five years leading the global sales and trading team from Frankfurt. During this time Alfred was part of the executive committee of EBS Broking Services Ltd./ London. Thereafter he led Commerzbank’s centralized portfolio management and research unit as COO until he 2003 joined 360Trading Networks. As Managing Partner and Global Head of Sales he was developing this FinTech to be one of the globally leading multibank tranding portals. 2015 360T was bought by Deutsche Börse Group. 2018 Alfred decided to follow on as active business angel and investor managing a family office.