MEET OUR SPEAKERS
Co-Founder & CEO Fifteen Seconds
Stefan is the co-founder of the Fifteen Seconds Festival, Europe’s largest conference for curious minds that challenges the commercial future. Together with his team he lives at the intersection of business, innovation, and creativity and helps people succeed, uniting a community of interdisciplinary forward-thinkers who are eager to share, explore and learn from the best.
He had the honor to welcome renowned executives from all over the world telling their success stories, including leaders from global brands like The New York Times, Facebook, BuzzFeed, Twitter, Starbucks, and Apple, to name just a few. Since 2014, partnering companies like Google, Forbes, Microsoft, Oracle, IKEA, Red Bull, and Mercedes-Benz joined.
CEO at Urban Sharing, developing technology that enables innovation in shared mobility while helping cities achieve sustainable, urban growth.
Former VP Platform & Technology Trends at Schibsted Media Group, overlooking new technology trends and driving innovation experiments. Prior to this, Director Product & Business Development at VG and Management Consultant at The Boston Consulting Group.
Marius has a strong passion for innovation, business development and new technology, and has co-founded two Internet start-ups.
He holds an MBA from INSEAD and a MSc degree in Industrial Economics and Technology Management from NTNU. He was selected among Norway’s Top 100 leadership talents by E24 and Mercuri Urval in 2014.
CEO Urban Sharing
Founder, Energy & Sustainability
Wade leads the Energy and Sustainability initiative at Plug and Play Technology Center. He’s responsible for managing corporate relationships and startup facing. His passion is in serving startups at the intersection of technology and business.
Wade has co-authored multiple scientific articles in peer reviewed journals. He holds a master of science degree in Chemical engineering from Lamar university and master degree in Petroleum and Natural gas engineering from West Virginia University.
As one of the largest service providers in Austria, Energie Steiermark focuses on energy efficiency and innovative services in the fields of electricity, natural gas, heat and mobility. Martin has been a Member of the Board of the Styrian company since 2016. Before that he held the position of Executive Director at Energie-Control Austria for five years. He also serves on several national and international committees.
What is it about Energie Steiermark that allows it to globally position itself as a partner at the event and present itself as a pioneer?
Energie Steiermark has evolved from a classic energy supplier to a modern energy service provider. The company is consistently focused on the new needs of the market. 1700 employees dedicate their experience and expertise to a fair partnership with approximately 600,000 customers in Austria and abroad. In 2016, our own Open Innovation Lab named Next-Incubator was launched. The goal is to develop innovative ideas and products for the digital business together with future-oriented visionaries.
CFO of Energie Steiermark
Vice President Global Human Resource Management, AVL List GmbH.
He studied in Graz, Vienna and at the California State University Eayst Bay San Francisco Hayward. Markus started his carrer in the field of education – his big passion. He worked 3 years as Director of the Magna Education and Research GmbH. Since 2013 he is the Vice President of Global Human Resource Management at AVL List GmbH.
AVL is the world’s largest independent company for the development, simulation and testing of powertrain systems for passenger cars, commercial vehicles, construction, large engines and their integration into the vehicle. Innovation drives the company and also Markus in his position. People and education are his focus and he ist aware that every kind of innovation touches people.
Pia Erkinheimo works at Vake – Finnish State Development Company as a programme director for data economy. With 2,3 Billion Euro assets Vake invests in digitalisation and climate actions. Besides that she e.g. chairs the board of SOLVED – The Sustainability Company and is involved in half a dozen growth companies. She is a member of FiBAN, Finnish Business Angels Network where she was also member of the board for 2018. In Fall 2017 she worked at Nordea’s Startup and Growth as responsible for investor dealflow. The European Commission has benefitted from her S&T&I experience as a Rapporteur for OISPG, Open Innovation Strategy and Policy Group, and currently, she looks the deal-flow coming via EU’s SME initiative.
A priori to that, Pia pioneered platform thinking e.g. in DIGILE, The Finnish Strategic Centre for Science, Technology and Innovation in Internet Economy as Head of Crowds and Communities and in Nokia Corporate Strategy and CTO’s Office as Head of Innovation Crowdsourcing. M&A was in her focus during Capgemini Consulting years.
As an investor, she looks at businesses where impact investing and big data meets with deep tech.
Head of Innovation Management & Intellectual Property
Liebherr Hausgeräte Lienz GmbH
Thomas Kandolf is Head of Innovation Management & Intellectual Property at Liebherr Hausgeräte Lienz GmbH in Austria. He is responsible for the global implementation and coordination of innovation and development projects for refrigerators and freezers. Stratecic innovation within the company is one of his core projects as the development of product-related ideas management. He is also responsible for the establishment of international cooperations.
In addition Thomas worked for “Start UP” at the University of Aplied Science in Carinthia he coached numerous startups with a focus on technology. He also was responsible for the invention of a stustainable startup-szene in the city of Villach. He is member of the advisory board of TRIZ-Kompetenzzentrum in Graz and board of i3 (Initiative Intelligent Innovation) – an innovation association. Trying out new innovation methods and developing new systematic approaches is his big passion.
As the GM of innovation and Ventures Andy Sibley has the great privilege to build, guide, mentor and steer a diverse and fantastic team to create a movement of decarbonization and make Contact Energy stand for something to be proud of that has a meaning bigger than itself.
I recently successfully completed the lead of a programme involving over 200+ staff from across the enterprise within nine work-streams and 21 projects over 30 months to embed a process safety improvement culture and framework that has led to broader continuous improvement in leadership, business operations and processes, process safety and innovative technology solutions.
This work has been globally recognised and Contact is also helping other companies from Canada, Australia and New Zealand lead a process safety transformation.
GM Innovation & Ventures, Contact Energy
Director R&D, AT&S Austria Technologie & Systemtechnik Aktiengesellschaft
Hannes assumed his current position in 2010, as head of AT&S corporate research and development department. Previously, Hannes was responsible for AT&S corporate intellectual property as well as research and development funding. He also established the R&D center at AT&S Shanghai (China) and was project leader for AT&S research and development in AT&S Leoben (Austria). Hannes studied industrial chemistry at Graz University of Technology, has been awarded multiple patents and has published several papers.
AT&S is the global market leader for high-end printed circuit boards and one of the leading manufacturers of IC substrates. AT&S industrializes leading-edge technologies for its core business segments Mobile Devices, Automotive, Industrial and Medical. AT&S has a global presence with production sites in Austria and plants in India, China and South Korea. The company employed an average of roughly 10,000 people in the financial year 2018/19.
Jillian is the Vice President of Marketing and Investor Relations at GuardKnox Cyber Technologies, a globally leading Automotive Cyber Tech Tier. Jillian is a pivotal player for GuardKnox and leads global partnerships, marketing, investor relations, and all other aspects of corporate development. GuardKnox is at the cutting edge of innovation in the automotive industry as it leverages its deep-roots in defense aviation from the Israeli AirForce and brings this technological approach to the automotive industry providing secure, service-oriented, and high-performance computing solutions.
Jillian was born and raised in the USA but currently resides in Tel Aviv, Israel, as a dual citizen of both countries. She is a proud alumnus of Teach for America, a division of Ameri-Corps, where she taught in Dallas, Texas and continues to mentor students, an Israeli national gold medal competitive athlete, competitor on Ninja Warrior Israel, and passionate volunteer at various organizations. She holds a BA from Tulane University and an MPH-Emergency and Disaster Management from Tel Aviv University.
Vice President Marketing & Investors Relation
Guard Knox Cyber Technologies
CEO and founder neoom group gmbh
Walter Keisel. He inspires. He motivates. He fills the audience with enthusiasm and encourages reflection. Walter feels confident that we can “electrify” the world with renewable energies. He demonstrates this every day anew as a successful entrepreneur leading a highly motivated team.
As a visionary and passionate advocate of the energy transition, Walter illuminates the past, questions the status quo and – in his very unique and fascinating way – points out to solutions that seem immediately achievable and economically viable.
CEO of EEG Elements Energy GmbH develops energy storage systems, that enable the economical and environmental friendly storage of large amounts of energy.
He believes, that switching our energy production to a carbon- and environmental is one of the most important tasks our world faces at the moment. And to achieve this goal fast, we need to make renewable energy cheaper than fossile fuels – 365 days a year. I´m trying to help reach this goal faster by developing hydrogen based energy storage systems that allow us to store – for example – photovoltaic energy from the summer for the winter or act as uninterrupted power supply.
He has a background in chemistry, machine building and a Bachelor in Arts of Business.
CEO of EEG Elements Energy GmbH
Vice President of Platform
Business Development, EV Connect
Based in Los Angeles, Marcus leads EV Connect’s Partner Networks. EV Connect is one of the world’s leading software platforms for EV charging networks. He has been founding and building businesses for nearly two decades, specializing in AI and software platforms. In addition to his entrepreneurial pursuits, Marcus is also passionate about mentoring entrepreneurs and supporting animal rescue organizations.
He received his B.S. from Clemson University, and his MBA from Cornell University.
To understand the visions and goals of people and organisations and to make them tangible and visible are the demands of the visual language specialist Reinhard Gussmagg. Due to his many years of international experience in Sales & Marketing, he understands the language of business as well as the artistic craft. Since 2014 he has been working in his own company GUSSMAGG-art as a designer and artist as well as a graphic facilitator and management consultant.
His clients are international players from various technology sectors such as Microsoft or SAP. He works in Graz and Berlin, runs an Innovation Lab together with a German IT system house and specializes in visual corporate communication.
Designer, graphic facilitator & management consultant
Business Development at Bike Citizens
Tom is dealing with the topic of innovation and business development (as a student, junior researcher, consultant and business developer) for more than 10 years now. The topics customer insights, system analysis, product and service development and digitalization play a major role.
For four years now, Tom brings in his knowledge to Bike Citizens dealing with research projects as well as service- organizational- and business model developments. Within this time out of three research projects, within the EU H2020 program and the European Space Agency, and out of two customer innovation projects, new digital services were developed and combined to a new business model with the aim of creating a (digital) urban cycling platform.
Dr. Franz Prettenthaler, MLitt is the Director of LIFE Institute for Climate, Energy and Society at JOANNEUM RESEARCH. He holds a PhD in Economics (University of Graz), a MSc with honours in Environmental System Sciences (University of Graz), a Master of Letters in Philosophy (St. Andrews) and a D.E.A. in Public Economics & Finance (Paris X/Cergy). His main research areas include Quantitative Risk Analysis, Economic Impacts of Weather Variability and Climate Change as well as Regional and City Development.
After a position at the University of Graz as assistant professor, he has steadily built up the environmental economics group at JOANNEUM RESEARCH and in 2016 became director of the newly formed, LIFE Institute for Climate, Energy and Society. He also lectures at the Graz University of Technology.
Dr. FRANZ PRETTENTHALER, MLitt
Director of LIFE Institute for Climate, Energy and Society at JOANNEUM RESEARCH
Senior Account Manager Sales for the EU Region at Magna Powertrain
Gerfried studied Mechanical Engineering in Graz at the Technical University with the focus on Powertrain Design and Automotive Engineering.
Over the last 25 years he worked in several fields in this industry like Engineering, Program Management and since more than 15 years he is in Sales supporting several OEM´s but also doing business for defined Regions like Russia and India. His current position is Sr. Account Manager Sales in the EU Region at Magna Powertrain.
MAGNA Powertrain is a leading global automotive supplier with 346 manufacturing facilities and 92 product development, engineering and sales centers in 28 countries with over 166,000 employees focused on delivering superior value to our customers through innovative processes and World Class Manufacturing.