Keynote speakers

This year's line up

Manuel Dolderer

Co-Founder & President at CODE University of Applied Sciences

Manuel Dolderer is an economist and an edupreneur. He is co-founder and president of CODE, a university of applied sciences with study programs related to digital product development and an innovative learning concept based on curiosity and entrepreneurship.

Manuel studied economics, philosophy and cultural studies at Germany’s oldest private University in Witten/Herdecke. As a student, he joined the executive board of the StudierendenGesellschaft, a non-profit organization offering an income-adjusted tuition model that promotes equal opportunities in education.

After founding two applied research institutes with projects focussing on healthcare, education, and digitalization he joined Klett Group in 2012, one of Europe’s leading education-dedicated enterprises, where he became co-founder and managing director of a private university of applied sciences – praxisHochschule.

In 2016 he joined forces with Thomas Bachem and Jonathan Rüth to found CODE – a new kind of university for the digital pioneers of tomorrow.

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Jacob Kurek

Partner, Architect at Henning Larsen

Over the past twenty years, Jacob Kurek’s work with Henning Larsen has helped propel the firm to its present position on the global architecture scene. Jacob’s focus on site-specific and community-based urban solutions reveals a core commitment to transparent, democratic architecture.

Through the years, he has worked with a wide range of typologies, including urban planning, industrial reclamation, workspaces and educational and cultural institutions. Since 2009, Jacob has served as Partner in charge of international projects, and Henning Larsen is currently engaged in projects across 12 countries in Europe and the Middle East. Currently, he is leading the process of revitalizing the Imperial Shipyard in Gdansk, Poland, and transforming the waterfront in Belfast, Northern Ireland, as well as overseeing the completion of the new Queensland University of Technology facility in Brisbane, Australia.

As a strategic thinker, Jacob has a strong focus on realizing the potential of a site and its context; developing new urban qualities that add life to and in between buildings while at the same time ensuring sustainable and viable solutions.

Toward extending principles of Scandinavian design to broader audiences, Kurek has taught at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts’ School of Architecture in Copenhagen, and in 2017 he was awarded the Latvian Architecture Award for his contributions as an international jury member. He is an experienced speaker and regularly lectures at conferen-ces and universities, and continues to moderate professional forums on design and architecture. Jacob has been a partner at Henning Larsen since 2009, and in 2018 he joined the company’s board of directors. Furthermore, he is a board member of the Danish Association of Architectural Firms.

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Fiorina Mugione

Chief, Entrepreneurship Section at United Nations Conference on Trade and Development

Fiorina Mugione is an economist with a MBA in international trade. Since 2006 she leads since 2006, the Entrepreneurship Programme at UNCTAD. It aims to inspire entrepreneurship, strengthen the supply capacity of small and medium enterprises through entrepreneurship development and business linkages. Fiorina coordinates the EMPRETEC programme – the one stop agency for small and medium sized enterprise development- in 40 countries around the world (

Fiorina has more than 20 years of experience in international organizations, establishing and leading programmes for private sector development. During this time she has designed and coordinated the implementation of more than 30 technical cooperation programmes as team leader.

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Prof. Andy Penaluna

Director of International Institute for Creative Entrepreneurial Development at University of Wales Trinitiy Saint David

Professor Andy Penaluna is the director of International Institute for Creative Entrepreneurial Development at University of Wales Trinity Saint David. He is an expert on enterprise education at the United Nations in Geneva and the European Commission, where he was a part of the EntreComp team. He also led the development of teacher training for 8 countries in South East Europe (SEECEL) and has worked on developing entrepreneurial schools and colleges / HE level creativity at the OECD in Paris.

Andy is currently an education advisor on enterprise within the Westminster Government’s Industrial Strategy Review and chairs the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) for Higher Education’s Enterprise and Entrepreneurship group. Not unlike school inspectors, QAA are an independent body entrusted with monitoring, and advising on, standards and quality in all UK higher education provision.

In Wales, Andy is the professorial advisor on widening skills group for their Department for Education and the CAMAU projects – groups charged with implementing the Donaldson review, which call on all Welsh schools to develop ambitious capable learners who are enterprising and creative contributors.

In 2014 the Enterprise Sector Skills body ‘SFEDI’ honoured Andy in the House of Lords as their educator of the year, and in 2015 he received the Queens Award for Enterprise Promotion at Buckingham Palace. In 2016 he was named as one of the UK’s top ‘Maserati 100’ entrepreneurs alongside the Prime Minister’s advisor Lord Young.

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A/Prof Kathryn Penaluna

Enterprise Manager of the University of Wales Trinity Saint David

Kathryn Penaluna is the Associate Professor and the Enterprise Manager of the University of Wales Trinity Saint David and Entrepreneurship Champion, Welsh Government.

Kathryn uses her experiences as a bank manager and a partner in a graphic design studio to develop a contextualized entrepreneurship curriculum across the University’s four faculties. She is an internationally renowned researcher on enterprise education, which focusses on the role of innovative and creative thought within mindset development. She is engaged with the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, the European Commission and Welsh Government. As an acknowledged specialist in delivering intellectual property awareness she is leading new educational initiatives with the UK Intellectual Property Office.

Kathryn manages the infrastructure for student, graduate and staff business start-ups and is a regular keynote presenter on the approaches that have led to UWTSD’s enviable track record in both start-ups and survival rates, which she credits to the invaluable expertise and support of her alumni.

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Egita Polanska

Head of Operations @Startup Wise Guys & Chair of the Board of Latvian Startup Association

Egita is the Chairwoman of Latvian Startup Association and the head of operations at Startup Wise Guys in Latvia.

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Prof. Erik Stam

Head of the Utrecht University School of Economics

Erik Stam is Dean and Professor of Strategy, Organization & Entrepreneurship at the Utrecht University School of Economics. He is a leading scholar on entrepreneurial ecosystems. His broader research interests cover the societal and organizational contexts of entrepreneurship and how entrepreneurship improves the performance of firms and economies. He has (co-)authored more than hundred books, book chapters, and articles in a variety of disciplines, including economics, geography, business/management and public administration. He is editor of Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice. Next to his scientific work he often engages with governments, start-ups and corporates on innovation and entrepreneurship. He has served the Netherlands Scientific Council of Government Policy, many Ministries in the Netherlands and other countries, the European Commission, the OECD, the G20, and the World Bank. He is on the advisory board of several public and private sector entrepreneurship organizations.

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Peter Vesterbacka

Former Mighty Eagle, Founder of Slush

Peter Vesterbacka served as the Chief Marketing Officer and Mighty Eagle of Rovio Entertainment Oy. Peter manages the Rovio Entertainment’s business strategy, including expanding Angry Birds into broader entertainment franchise. He serves as Senior Advisor of Transfluent Oy. Previously, he has founded Some Bazaar, he has held several communications industry related positions at Hewlett Packard and founded the Hewlett Packard Mobile E Services Bazaar and he is the co-founder and original initiator of MobileMonday. He serves as a Director of Star Wreck Studios, Start Up Sauna, BlueGiga Technologies Oy, Oy Filmkompaniet Alpha Ab and American Chamber of Commerce in Finland. He served as a Director of F-Secure Oyj since 2014 until 2015.

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Christer Vindeløv-Lidzélius

CEO and Principal of Kaospilot

Christer Windeløv-Lidzélius is the principal at Kaospilot, a renowned disruptor in higher education. Kaospilot is recognized by UNESCO, Fast Company, Monocle and BusinessWeek for challenging current practices by introducing highly innovative educational design that develops leadership and fosters entrepreneurship. Christer and his team are rewriting the rubrics and introducing new ways to advance people through practice.

His Doctorate at Tilburg University and the Taos Institute evolved around strategy, leadership and innovation in complex systems. He is, amongst other things, a visiting professor at Stockholm Academy of Dramatic Arts, on the Academic Board of Moebio, A global fellow at The Tama Graduate School of Business and on the Advisory Board at Cinra, University of the Underground and Sky Schools. He is the chairman of the canon technology company Cemecon Scandinavia and on the board of the branding and innovation agency of Hey Ho Lets Go. For 20 years, he has been working in the fields of leadership, strategy, innovation and entrepreneurship. He has lectured and advised companies on 5 continents, and worked in more than 25 countries for private companies, NGOs and public organizations alike. He is a frequent contributor to both international and Danish media.

Christer is married to Helle and is the father of Gustav, Alvilda, Hektor and Alma. They live in the countryside outside Aarhus in Denmark. Music, nature, adventures and good company keep him inspired.

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