Meet our Mentors

For our mentorship program, we have invited a number of China-experts to teach and support our participating startups. Coming from different fields, such as intellectual property protection, business culture or specific industry rights, they provide a large panel of expertise for our eager entrepreneurs to learn from.

Thanks to their vast knowledge and long-term experience with China, we trust them to help our participants understand the risks and opportunities of the foreign market.

Achim Richter is a Partner in a consultant network with a focus on SMEs and representative offices in Berlin and Hong Kong, as well as a consultant at CECC Berlin. He gives advice on business strategy, growth and change management, market entry and M&A. He has worked in supporting German and Chinese companies to grow in the international market for over 15 years. He has worked as Project Manager for numerous Projects for businesses looking to expand to China.

After expanding the business he worked at as a developer and constructor of machines to Asia, Alexander Schmitt is now Sales Director Asia for EP Ehler Prüftechnik Engineering GmbH. Apart from that, he also supports founders in their market entry to Germany and in European market expansion.

Additional to his two masters in Computer Science and Engineering, and International Business Economics and Management, he studied Technische Informatik at TU Berlin whilst working and finished his masters at SJTU Shanghai, gaining further knowledge and experience in software and electronic development.

Alexandra Stefanov is currently establishing a digitalization network for German companies and at the same time is working towards founding her own company China Impulse, aimed to give insights into the Chinese digital work.

She studied Chinese and Transcultural Studies, before working as a Business Development Manager for the Chinese learning app Zizzle. She then took a job as Account, Event and Product manager at the career network e-fellows.net, followed by Project Manager at the European-Chinese job portal SinoJobs.

Boye Hartman is Founder and CEO of BAT Ventures Pte Ltd. He founded his first business in China in 2006 and is a Partner in various companies such as 7BC.VC and Nordic Airplay. He has lived and worked in numerous European and Asian countries and is currently settled in Gouangzhou, China. During his career, he gathered, among others, experience in the fields of Mobile Marketing, International Business development, Advertising, Web Innovation, Financing and Entrepreneurship.

Chao Wu is an Investment Principle at Sunbo Angel Partners in Germany and a Member of the Advisory board of Aika Innovative Technology in China. Getting his Ph.D. in Materials Science, he then worked at BASF for 7 years in Singapore and Germany, before becoming an Independent Consultant for Business Development and Investment.

Chenchao Liu, born in China, has lived in Germany since 2002. He studied chemistry at the TU Munich and conducted research at the Max Planck Institute and the ETH Zurich. Mr. Liu is the founder & managing director of SILREAL. As Global Shaper of the World Economic Forum, Mr. Liu is regularly invited as a speaker to institutions such as the German Federal Foreign Office, the Federation of German Industries, the Foundation of German Industry and the Max Planck Society as an expert on China. Mr. Liu is also the author of various publications and has been interviewed by Handelsblatt, Neue Zürcher Zeitung and New York Times.

Colin Liu is Vice President Legal and Compliance of Porsche China Motors Co. Ltd. He studied Law at Shanghai Jiao Tong University and East China University of Political Science and Law, before coming to St. Gallen, Switzerland for a Porsche Management Program. Before his current employment, he worked as a Senior Associate, then as a Partner at the global law firm CMS in Germany and China. He specialises in providing legal advice on foreign direct investment, anti-trust and IP protection in China. 

Damian Maib is founder & CEO of Genuine German, a botique China ecommerce and social media partner for international brands.

Starting as a daigou selling German products in China via Taobao in 2014, they expanded their business heavily since 2016, acting as an official Alibaba Partner, e-commerce and social media marketing agency. They run multiple Flagship Stores for international brands, including their social media channels. With a staff of over 35 people in Shanghai and Berlin they are one of the leading German providers in our industry.

 

Fabian Knopf is Director of R&P China Lawyers and Acclime China. Before that he worked as Head of German Desk at Dezan Shira & Associates in China and Vietnam and as Commercial Manager at TMF Group. He also lead the Workshop Business for Wirtschaftsjunioren in Shanghai before serving as Co-Director of Startup Grind in Shenzhen. While in Shenzhen, he was active as Guest Lecturer at the Peking University HSBC Business School and a Mentor at Techstars Startup Weekend.

 

Dr. Ferdinand Rudolph-Bartels is General Manager of SPECS Surface Nano Analysis GmbH, as well as General Manager of InnoEU Tech Bridge and Chairman of the Board at INAM. He has a PhD in material science from the University of Stuttgart and the University of California in Berkley. His career started at Degussa AG, where he worked as an applied technology engineer, before becoming Vice President at Umicore AG & Co KG. He worked in the same positions for GGB Eurl in France and then Heraeus Materials Technology GmbH. Afterwards he became Managing Director at Omicron Nano Technology GmbH, before taking on his current occupation. 

 

Jochen Kleef runs a consultancy out of Hong Kong and Berlin, which he has for ten years. He does honorary work for the German Physical Society, OnPurpose, MentorMe, Ashoka and is Chairman of the Forest House School Charity in Hong Kong.

He did a 3-year apprenticeship in vacuum technology and worked 12 years in international project management. His business positions include Managing Director Professional Services in Germany, Managing Director Professional Services Greater China, and Business Unit Leader Professional Services APAC.

Johannes Jackson Rothe is Founder and MD of SINOLUMINA, a consulting company for Photonics technology, as well as board member of Maoyi Group. He freelances in coaching and consulting on cross-border and cultural topics and recently achieved the his HSK3 language certificate in Mandarin. Throughout his career he worked several Jobs primarily in China or Hong Kong, including Qualitiy Manager for BMW and Key Account Manager at Lufthansa. His education consists of a Bachelors in Industrial Engineering and a Masters in Engineering Enterprise Management. 

Kai von Carnap is a research analyst at the Mercator Institute of China Studies (MERICS), where he follows the technological development and digital trends of China. He studied Sinology in Heidelberg, did his Masters on EU-China business and economics studies, during which he also lived in China and Hong Kong.

Kathrin Neunteufel-Steyer is the CEO and Co-Founder of CultureBEYOND  Think Tank, building a bridge between the human factor and data driven business processes in international management. She is also lecturer for intercultural management at Hochschule Fresenius and teaching China business skills at Munich Business School.
She has more than ten years of experience in international management and has held management positions as a management consultant in the automotive and telecommunications industries. Her professional focus in consulting are strategy topics in an international context as well as international business development. She was head of the China Desk and director of the Hong Kong office of a medium-sized consulting firm. 
She studied management, sinology and Asian politics in Germany, China and the United Kingdom.

Kristina Bodrožić-Brnić has a master’s in Modern Sinology and East Asian Art History, studied in 2005 in Shanghai and worked in 2008 in Beijing. Since 2011 she teaches Standard Chinese, developing digital learner’s content and helped many medium sized businesses in arts, fashion, consumer goods and warehousing to improve their communication with Chinese plants / producers / retailers etc. In Germany she continues this work with intercultural education for students and businesses of all areas with her own business WorldTribe Communications.

Lutz Berners is the Managing Director of Berners Consulting GmbH, which supports European companies on the way to China regarding market entry, strategic partnerships, technology transfer and more. He previously worked in strategic purchasing at Robert Bosch GmbH for 4 years and another 2 years as a Research Area Coordinator of “Battery Electric Mobility” on behalf of the Federal Ministery of Transport in Germany.

Manuel Herranz Martin is a Professor of China Affairs, and Humanities. Apart from that he is also director of the Institute Complutense de Asia and a China Consultant, following and reporting on China development. His previous employments include International Sales Manager, Manager, Export Manager and Logistics Responsible.

Matias Zubimendi is the IP Business Advisor at China IPR SME Helpdesk, where he advises European SMEs on intellectual property rights matters. He holds a master’s degree in Chinese Civil and Commercial Law from Peking University as well as one in intellectual Property Law from Austral University, Argentinia. He previously worked as a China Business and Legal Consultant at Terragene and as a Director of Legal Affairs at Conquer Europe. Before that, he was a Patent and Trademark Attorney at Phoebus Abogados and Mazzeo & Canet.

Quynh Anh Ha advises early-stage startups on market growth and operations. Until recently she acted as Content and Operations Advisor in Alibaba’s B2C marketplace AliExpress. Before that she was an early team member of musical.ly with positions in Country Manager DACH and Head of Content EMEA. She has her Master’s degree in Innovation Management and Business Development from Copenhagen Business School and also spent  two years studying at Fudan University and another at Tongji University in China.

Robert Harrison is an Intellectual Property Consultant and Attorney with Sonnenberg Harrison Partnership mbB, working with small and medium-sized companies. He is particularly experienced in helping companies obtain patent and trademark protection in China. He has a Ph.D. in semiconductor physics and a B.B.A. (Hons) in physics, as well as a Diploma in Intellectual Property Law. He was formerly employed at IBM and worked as a European Patent Counsel for W.L. Gore & Associates.

Apart from being Asia President of InnoEU, Samuel Yin is also General Manager at Tosoh SMD China, CEO of Sino-European Procurement Platform and Asia President of IAIT- Institut für Automatisierung und Industrie Technologie GmbH. Additionally, he is advisor to the Bundesverband Materialwirtschaft, Einkauf und Logistik e.V. (BME), an organization for sourcing, supply chain management and logistics. Before all that, he worked as Country Sales and Marketing Manager for Umicore, and as a Business Development, then General Manager at Heraus, during which time he also finished his MBA at the University of British Columbia. 

Steven Wong is an independent consultant in Singapore focusing on the following areas: Supporting product penetration or qualification for selected customers in the field of electronic assembly, finding suitable Sales Representatives in South East Asian countries, technology scouting, IP monetizing, and licensing. He has previously worked as Senior Vice President in Global Technical Sales as well as in Marketing, as Vice President in a Business Unit, as Managing Director and as Director of Sales.

Dr. Tania Becker is a lecturer and research assistant at the China Centre (CCST) at TU Berlin. Her main focus is the development of new technologies, innovation and AI in China. 

Previous to working she studied Art and comparative Literature in Zagreb, Croatia, and Sinology in Bochum, Germany.  

As of June this year, Thorsten Terweiden is Head of the International Office for Economic Development of the City of Magdeburg with 20 years of professional experience in economic development.

In the early nineties, Mr. Terweiden was promoted to team leader after-sales service for Opel Germany in Luton/England. He then worked at the Swiss Business Hub UK, before he joined the London office of Invest Hong Kong, where he was appointed the very first Deputy Head of Fintech in 2016.  In 2019 Mr. Terweiden was Deputy Head of the German Department of the UK Department for International Trade at the British Embassy in Berlin.

As Co-founder and Managing Director, Zhi Liu is responsible for Business Development and Operations & Strategy in his company. He launched his start-up MOVOYA, an innovative company in education & tourism, in 2014 in Berlin, which later entered the Chinese premium market and got acquired by venture capital. He also has an engineering background, having Studied at East China University of Science and Technology and worked as Junior Brand Manager at Bosch Rexroth AG.