Dr. Frederic Altfeld is Associate at hy, where he supports our clients in understanding the opportunities and risks of digitalization and in deriving implications for corporate strategy. Prior to joining hy, Frederic worked as a strategy consultant for A.T. Kearney, helping clients in developing and implementing strategic initiatives. He gained further experience at Roland Berger, Horváth&Partners and in the strategic planning department at Vodafone. Frederic studied Business Administration at the University of Münster and holds a Doctorate in International and Strategic Management from ESCP Europe in Berlin.
After completing his Bachelor in International Communication at the Hanze University of Applied Sciences Groningen (Netherlands), Philip joined the two Berlin company builders HitFox Group and FinLeap in the area of People and Organization. As Senior Manager, he built and was responsible for the People Services division, in which he restructured recruiting, onboarding, and feedback management in Project Management. Prior to joining hy, Philip worked for one year as Senior HR Officer and Business Consultant at Laboremus (FinTech) in Uganda. At hy, Philip is responsible for the HR department, where manages all internal HR issues and the growth of the company.
For sustainable corporate growth, it is of paramount importance to build and develop a qualified team that supports and complements each other. This team is the cornerstone of the organization.
Daniel is a working student in the Business Operations Team and supports us in making the company more agile and efficient. In addition to his work at hy, he is studying Business Administration and working on his Master Thesis. He studied iBWL at the University of Augsburg (B. Sc.) and Regensburg (M. Sc.) as well as at the University of Technology Sydney. Daniel already gained professional experience in positioning SAP in the Berlin startup ecosystem. In addition, he worked both in CIO & CFO Consulting and Project Management Tax at KPMG in Munich.
Milena Gicheva is Junior Associate at hy. In her role, she identifies relevant companies, technologies and business developments in different industries, contributing to the development of innovative strategies for our clients. After finishing her Master of Science degree at the London School of Economics (LSE) in Organisational and Social Psychology she worked at Awin, a global affiliate network based in Berlin, coordinating projects with strategic and operational impact across nine regions.
I find it inspiring to work with entrepreneurially driven companies in a creative environment, contributing to innovative change that has a positive impact on organizations and people.
Marion is an Executive Assistant at hy. She juggles administrative pins, keeping the managerial team informed and organized. She has several years of experience as a Management Assistant in various industries. During her training in hotel management, she developed a pronounced service mentality. In addition, she has a keen sense of kindling problems and addresses them before the fire spreads. A Bachelor in Professional of Business (CCI) completes her profile.
Excellence is a state of mind.
Sebastian Herzog is Partner at hy and helps medium-sized companies and large corporations with their successful transformation and the development of their own digital units and innovation hubs. Previously, he initiated the establishment of the Lufthansa Innovation Hub as an independent limited liability company in Berlin, named Germany’s best lab by the magazine Capital. Previously, as Assistant to the CEO in Lufthansa’s Strategy unit, Sebastian drove numerous internal innovation initiatives. In addition, he founded the e-commerce startup OfficePunk. Sebastian expertly combines the corporate and startup worlds.
In an increasingly evolving world, companies must learn to hedge their commercial and strategic risks to position themselves successfully for the long term. My role is to help.
Alina Jansen is Engagement Manager at hy. In her role, she finds solutions to exploit the full potential of new technologies and digital strategies. Previously, she worked at KPMG in the Data and Analytics division, where she was involved in the digital transformation of the audit. She also has experience as a research assistant in the German Bundestag and is Co-founder of a technology startup that advises clients on digitalization and implementation of digital products. Alina completed a Bachelor of Mathematics in Bonn and Master of Economics in Berlin and Paris.
I want to make the transformative power of digital innovations transferable and usable for our customers.
Chief Executive Officer
Christoph Keese is Managing Partner and CEO of hy. Previously, he was Executive Vice President of Axel Springer SE, where he was instrumental in driving digitization forward. The economist and journalist was Editor-in-Chief of Financial Times Deutschland, Welt am Sonntag and Welt Online before joining the management of the publishing house. As an author, he has written five books: Rettet den Kapitalismus, Verantwortung jetzt, Silicon Valley, Silicon Germany, and Disrupt Yourself. He is one of Germany’s best-known digital experts and a much sought-after speaker.
Almost all disruptors in the world have never worked in the industries that attack them. But you can get ahead of them and disrupt them yourself before it's too late. We help our clients do just that.
As Principal at hy, Manuel Kilian is responsible for the strategy, positioning and development of digital activities. Digital investments are a focal point of his work. Previously, he was Senior Manager to the President of the Federation of German Industries (BDI), where he dealt with the digital transformation of many industry branches. Manuel gained additional experience at the Foresight Unit of the Cabinet Office, at Deutsche Bank, and at the UN Environmental Programme. Manuel studied in Cambridge, Paris, Maastricht and is Co-founder of an initiative for social exchange on technological progress.
I want to help our clients combine proven business models with innovations from startups because I am convinced that both sides will benefit.
Simon Kozlik is Principal at hy and responsible for managing various service formats, aiming to prepare companies for the challenges of digitalization through collaboration with startups and innovators. He guides his team in conveying an understanding of various technologies and market changes. Furthermore, Simon is occupied in the collaborative development of digital products and strategies with relevant partners from the tech ecosystem and select experts from hy. Simon has years of experience in the Berlin tech scene, most recently as Head of Operations at shopnow (formerly Axel Springer ASideas) and as Country Lead Germany at Blendie, a Dutch paid content startup.
I help our clients to understand the different interactions between the digital ecosystem and traditional industry and to make strategic deductions, transferring them into corresponding implementation projects.
As Engagement Manager at hy, Thorsten Kud supports clients in the conception, validation and implementation of digital business models. Thorsten graduated in mathematics at the TU Munich and founded München on the Rocks, his first start-up during his studies. After a successful exit, he worked as a strategy consultant for The Boston Consulting Group (BCG), where he advised international financial groups. He was then responsible for the conception and implementation of a portfolio company at FinLeap, a company builder for FinTech. Most recently, he set up the product and development department for qiibee, a blockchain startup.
We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them. - Albert Einstein
As Junior Associate at hy Pauline Kuss supports our clients in identifying relevant technology trends, ecosystem developments and new business model opportunities. Pauline holds a Master of Science in Data Science and Entrepreneurship from the Technical University Eindhoven and a Master of Laws from the Tilburg Institute for Law, Technology and Society. She wrote her master thesis with Bosch in Berlin, focusing on innovation interdependencies in IoT ecosystems and digital business models for connected mobility solutions.
The big question of our time is not 'Can it be built?‘ but ’Should it be built?’ This places us in an unusual historical moment: our future prosperity depends on the quality of our collective imaginations. - Eric Ries
Senior Vice President
As Senior Vice President at hy, Dr. John Lange leverages years of experience in Corporate Venture Investing in Germany. Between 2005 and 2017, he served as Managing Director and CFO of Axel Springer Digital, where he was jointly responsible for the development and management of the digital investment portfolio, which continues to drive the successful transformation and growth of the Group. Previously, John supported the international growth of Intershop, a pioneer of e-commerce software, where he supported the successful IPO and dual listing on NASDAQ. John holds a degree in Business Administration and a doctorate in Innovation Controlling.
By investing in startups, companies can accelerate digital change while generating growth and value. I strive to use my experience to help make this happen.
Marisa Lange is Associate at hy and develops exchange formats for clients, who seek entry into the technology ecosystem. She also connects established organizations with aspiring startups. Previously, she worked in business development at Google, analyzed new business areas for Siemens, and worked for digital consultancies in Munich. She earned her Bachelor and Master degrees in Business Administration, German Studies, and Art History in Munich, Vienna, and Copenhagen.
When networking corporates with startups, I am especially fascinated with helping clients explore synergy effects between fixed structures and new business models.
As Engagement Manager at hy, Malte Lorenz advises clients on the development and implementation of digital strategies and business models. Previously, he founded the food start-up Karl Karlo, which he successfully exited to the Melitta Group, gathered a wealth of experience as a freelance consultant for digital transformation, and supported a corporate venture capital fund in strategic positioning. Malte holds a Master of Science in Management from ESMT Berlin and has spent time abroad in Peru, Spain, and the United States.
In the context of digital change, companies can take various strategic and operational paths. I want to help our clients choose the one that is most suitable to them.
As Vice President Business Operations Julian Niederauer is responsible for overall project steering and product development at hy. He has broad experience in aligning organizations to changing market conditions and developing new business models. Prior to joining hy, Julian was a Manager at Accenture Strategy, where he helped leading companies and public institutions with the design and implementation of a variety of strategic initiatives, particularly in the context of digital transformation.
The underlying principles of strategy are enduring, regardless of technology or the pace of change. (Michael Porter)
Sebastian has been responsible for Finance at hy since September 2017. He holds a Master of Science in Finance and Accounting from HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management. After his studies, he first completed a Finance Traineeship at Axel Springer. He then gathered experience as a Financial Analyst at Axel Springer Digital Ventures, where he worked on M&A projects and operational controlling.
My aim is to manage a reliable, trustworthy financial division that provides the basis for sound entrepreneurial decisions and creates structures for future growth.
As at hy, Marcel is responsible for the successful validation, conceptualization, and implementation of business opportunities. He studied in Germany, the US, and the UK and holds a Master’s in International Business from the Berlin School of Economics and Law. Before joining hy, Marcel worked in the property tech and new mobility sector, and gained experience in designing and implementing customer-centric business models. Furthermore, he worked as an external consultant for Daimler Financial Services as well as Zalando, and supported Scout24 with internal strategic projects in the context of their growth strategy.
As Junior Human Resources Manager, Julia focuses on recruitment and employer branding. Before joining hy, she worked at Daimler Mobility Services GmbH, where she gathered a wealth of experience in coaching personnel, development management, and recruiting. Julia completed dual bachelor’s degree in the field of Business Administration at the University of Baden-Württemberg
Your company’s talent is your greatest asset, and when the fit is right magic happens. (Chris O’Neill)
Kathleen Olstedt is a Senior Associate at hy. In her role she helps clients to identify and develop new business opportunities. Amongst others she worked as an analyst and project lead for the Axel Springer SE. She managed startup-investments for IBB Ventures and coordinated the IoT platforms initiative, a EUR 50m funded industry project fostering platform development in Europe. As Business Development manager at the Daimler Fleetboard Innovation hub, she evaluated new business and partnership models for cross-company data exchange in logistics.
As digitisation is rapidly changing the business environment, complexity management becomes crucial. We help our clients to focus on the relevant success drivers.
As Vice President at hy, Artur Reimer and his team identify relevant technologies, start-ups, and business opportunities for our clients. He studied Civil Engineering at TU Berlin and General Music Studies at Berklee College of Music. As co-founder of Nagual Sounds, he and his team developed software to convert movement, transcribed with a motion tracking camera, into music. At Accenture, he worked as a Consultant in the Digital Strategy department and was involved in developing digital business models.
We analyze the game, who is playing, and how to win.
René Schäfer is Engagement Manager at hy and supports clients in understanding and analysing the drivers of change, making deductions for their own market environment. He focuses on the fundamentals of Internet economics, platform-based business models, and the impact of future technologies. Previously, he founded Hypermorgen, a strategic foresight consulting firm that provides clients with empirical research, model analysis, and communication strategies on long-term, future issues. History and Philosophy of Science and Technology in Frankfurt am Main and Futures Research in Berlin.
In times of digital volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity, a clear stance is imperative.
As Senior Associate at hy, Tilman Schäfer advises clients in the successful development and implementation of ideas. Tilman completed his management studies at HHL in Leipzig before joining HitFox Group in Berlin, a company builder and venture capital investor for AdTech (HitFox), FinTech (FinLeap) and Digital Health (Heartbeat Labs). He was significantly involved in the development of the digital health platform Heartbeat Labs, helped existing portfolio companies grow, managed the investment deal flow and developed new companies. Most recently, he was project lead for the Fernarzt.com venture.
Ann-Kristin Schlüschen is Senior Manager Communications at hy and consults companies in the conception and implementation of communication strategies, as well as the development of strong brands and processes for their sustainable management. Previously she was Director Communications of the design and digital agency Edenspiekermann, where she was responsible for the strategic reorganisation of all agency communications. She studied journalism and communication sciences at the Free University of Berlin. Afterwards she worked for several years in account management and consulting at Nordsonne Identity, where she advised companies on digitization projects. She then moved to Startup Salonmeister (now Treatwell), where she built up marketing and B2B communication for the platform.
The best way to predict the future is to create it. - Abraham Lincoln
Christoph Schwienheer is responsible for implementing the right technology in supporting and organizing research processes. He studied Computer Science and Philosophy at the University of Hamburg. For 15 years, Christoph worked as an independent Software Developer and Consultant for international companies, start-ups, and agencies. He relies on natural language processing, artificial intelligence, and big data analytics to scale knowledge. Furthermore, he is co-founder of the market intelligence startup 12K in Berlin.
Technology to support highly qualified employees is the key to efficient and fun processes, which subsequently contribute to inspiring customers with excellent results.
Greta Patschke works in Office Management at hy. After graduating from the Waldorf School in Potsdam, she moved to Berlin, where she studied Scandinavian Studies and Business Administration at Humboldt University. During her studies, she worked in a law firm where she first gained insight into office management. After graduating, she joined hy, where she enthusiastically supports the team in maintaining a fun and productive office setting.
The pessimist sees difficulties in every opportunity. The optimist sees opportunities in every difficulty. (Winston Churchill)
As Engagement Manager at hy, Martin Spindler supports clients in strategic questions of digitalization. He has extensive start-up experience, most recently as Founder of a strategy consulting network focused on how the Internet of Things impacts business models, product architectures, and business strategy. Martin understands how to identify scope for change and structural market changes. He studied Political Science, Economics, and Islamic Studies at the University of Heidelberg.
We tend to overestimate the impact of technology in the short-term and underestimate it in the long-term. (Roy Amara)
Senior Vice President
Dr. Jan Tewes Thede is Senior Vice President at hy and supports our clients in the development of digital growth strategies. Prior to hy, he co-founded 12K, a market intelligence startup based in Berlin. Previously, he was responsible for market research for the WELT Group. He has advised a number of recognized companies, namely Coca-Cola, Siemens, and Google on innovation topics in Berlin and Beijing. At all stages of his career, the Mathematician and Doctor of Economics was occupied with helping companies anticipate and benefit from digital transformation processes.
We decode change to develop strategies for tomorrow's markets.
Strategic Assistant to the CEO
Dr. Franz Simon is Strategic Assistant to the CEO at hy. Previously, he was responsible for strategic initiatives at Audi AG with the aim of promoting cooperation with startups. Franz studied Industrial Engineering in Erlangen, Zurich, Lausanne, and Melbourne. He earned his Doctorate in Corporate Entrepreneurship in the Netherlands.
I aim to help companies remain relevant in the future.
Sales & Marketing
Dr. Sebastian Voigt is Senior Vice President at hy and responsible for business development, sales, marketing and communication. Sebastian studied Business Administration and Computer Science. He completed his PhD at the TU Darmstadt on monetization strategies for digital marketplaces. Sebastian has been developing profitable digital business models for short of 15 years. He worked as Director for Simon-Kucher & Partners, an international consultancy, and lead the Business Development team in Axel Springer’s investment holding. He also held operative leadership positions at Bertelsmann and ProSiebenSat1. Sebastian is the first contact person for hy’s clients with regard to identifying and successfully implementing growth opportunities within digital transformation.
Thanks to the economies of scale of the Internet, today's entrepreneurs can build digital platforms that clearly outshine the profitability of their core business. The time is now!
As Associate, Charlotte von Dryander helps our clients to develop, validate, and implement innovative digital business models or strategic initiatives. Before hy, Charlotte gathered acquired experience in venture building at established companies in Berlin and Munich. In addition, she was involved in the Berlin Talent Summit, for which she brought together top talents from international universities with the Berlin startup scene. Charlotte studied Technology and Management at the Technical University of Munich. She completed her Master in Business and Economics with a focus on Corporate Innovation Management at Erasmus University in Rotterdam.
Together with my clients, I strive to develop new strategies and corporate units that drive innovation as part of the ecosystem, or to provide the opportunity to participate in it.
Jasper von Fintel is Associate at hy and helps our clients to design, validate and implement digital business models and strategic initiatives. Before joining hy, he worked as Project Manager for the Berlin-based PropTech startup Simplifa, where he was responsible for the development of a Virtual Reality App. Prior to that, he worked on consulting projects for the ESCP Europe Business School, advising Michelin SCA and Safran SA on digitization topics. Jasper studied in Berlin, Paris and Madrid and holds a Bachelor of Laws and a Master in International Management.
Great innovation is built on existing ideas, repurposed with vision. (Jake Knapp)
Therese von Sydow is Associate at hy and helps our clients develop digital products and strategies through collaborative formats between startups, digital professionals and established organizations. Prior to that, she completed the Management Trainee Program at Axel Springer, managed cooperation business at the BILD Group and supported the development and implementation of Merck’s international product strategy for neurology in Geneva. Therese studied Business Administration at the University of Göttingen and holds an MSc. in Business & Development Studies from Copenhagen Business School and Tel Aviv University.
Understanding is the first step to implementation.
As Associate at hy, Florian Wiesböck supports our clients in understanding trends between technologies and new business models. Prior to joining hy, Florian worked as a Consultant at BearingPoint, where he supported clients from various industries on technological and organizational issues related to digital transformation. In previous roles, he was occupied with various facets of digitalization, such as cyber security and data analytics. Florian holds a Master of Public Policy from the Hertie School of Governance in Berlin and a Bachelor of Political Science and Economics from LMU in Munich.
Chief Operating Officer
As Chief Operating Officer at hy, Jan Wildhirth is responsible for the development of the operating system and the structure of the company (including the incentive structures). Jan has an extended experience of structuring and developing corporate structures as a former corporate and capital markets lawyer at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Hamburg, and a legal career with stations at Hengeler Mueller, Duesseldorf and Berlin, Slaughter and May, London, and Anderson, Mori & Tomotsune, Tokyo. In 2016 Jan switched to the business side and led the development of a Corporate Venture unit within Axel Springer and a group wide restructuring project of Axel Springer’s media assets. Jan studied Law at Bucerius Law School in Hamburg and the Boston College Law School.
Digital technologies have significantly changed the rules of the game for companies. We would like to help you to use the changed market conditions to your advantage.