Axel built accelerators, transformed departments and companies focusing on new products, services, teams and their business models e.g. from the inside (insurance and asset management) and outside for one of the largest investment banks, different Family Offices, FinTechs and successfully for his own startup ventures.
He headed business innovation programs with the aim to establish a human-centered, interdisciplinary processes that create desirable and sustainable changes in behavior and form – of individuals, systems and organizations – often for socially progressive outcomes. Design, in his experience, is about applying contextual skills in non-traditional territories, which then yield non-traditional, creatively designed outputs; i.e., new roles, new organizations, new systems, and disruptive business models can be formed.
As a true "hybrid" he holds an degree in Engineering, a Master of Fine Arts, and an Executive MBA from China, Japan and the US. He lectured at programs like Google’s Digital Academy and is currently on the Advisory Board at the Pi School for Artificial Intelligence in Rome and part of the Singularity University in Silicon Valley.
A Growth Strategy is an umbrella to grow a business and make more revenue and profits. I typically look at an industry and niche, including trends, projections, and market data. Competitors and audiences, including current customers and prospective markets. Budgets and resources available for company growth.
A company/venture builder is an entity which houses the resources, capital, and the means to efficiently start up new companies. I built accelerators, transformed departments and built independent spin-off companies focusing on new products and services.
Strategy is about making choices between a number of feasible options to have the best chance at "winning", and innovation is just one of the means to achieve strategic goals. The lack of clear innovation strategy is a fundamental problem especially for established companies when optimization of existing business becomes a priority. Typically this includes Business Model- and Value Model Innovation that need to be aligned with already defined business goals and (human) capabilities.
Crafting a vision for an uncertain future is tough. Our mental models for how the world works can be too limited to allow us the creative freedom necessary to truly explore future possibilities for strategic thinking and design. Futurecasting allows to consider an array of provocative, yet plausible alternative possibilities that provide context for opportunity exploration and decision making.
At Salesforce I am part of a customer-centered innovation unit initiated by Salesforce founder – Marc Benioff. Salesforce Ignite is a innovation unit that drives innovation strategy for Salesforce most ambitious customers.
I accelerated and transformed the Financial Services sector at frog. A crucial part was building an actionable strategy, optimizing the financial structure and relationship building with frogs parent company – Altran (now part of CapGemini) that drove measurable results and transformed frogs business.
At frog I spearheaded and shaped strategy for Financial Services in Europe. I worked and lead diverse teams from within frog and client side (team leads & C-level). As one of frog’s highest billable employees I tackled e.g. a blockchain ICO for a global Foreign Exchange company (vision strategy, business model and pitch deck for raising capital). Two financial services startups (loaning company and Venture Capital firm) (venture building incl. P&L, cap table, pitch of private equity etc.). As well as an MVP & vision strategy for a global Wealth Management firm that defines their investment roadmap for the next 3 years.
At Allianz I lead the effort for global change to digitize their current business models. I built the structure, teams and partnerships, lead over 30 innovation projects and built an internal and external team. The projects ranged from life insurance, motor claims to risk management and were launched globally.
Throughout this timeframe I defined the payment strategy for a global payment provider along gas stations and defined the MVP & vision strategy for their stores & partners. I also lead one of the strategic pillars for an energy provider and their future investments (C-level). As a true “hybrid” I lead diverse teams and disciplines through projects and business development.
At Publicis I pitched, built and lead their Innovation Lab throughout Germany. The Innovation Lab was run as Profit Center and over the time the Innovation Lab grew from delivering new business to existing customers as well as attracting new customers that turned into reliable customers of the company. Over time I worked for a wide range of clients. The successful work of the Innovation Lab was awarded by the Michael Conrad award.
School- & Venture District: Pi Campus is a startup district & school and a venture fund that invests in talent. They provide startups with money, mentoring, and the best possible working environment for them to grow.
Educational engagement. Over the years I have been assistant professor to different design and business schools and even lectured at an architecture university. That lead to a wide range of engagements from Russia, China, Germany, Spain, Italy, Dubai and many other.
Over 20 awards received. Throughout my earlier career I won several awards from paid work. This includes game-chaning concepts like the data visualization for the German Household spendings for the Ministry of Finance.