Frank Thelen

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Frank Thelen
Frank Thelen 800x800.jpg
Thelen in 2014
Born (1975-10-10) October 10, 1975 (age 43)
Bonn, Germany
OccupationInvestor, businessman, author
TelevisionHöhle der Löwen

Frank Thelen (born October 10, 1975) is a German businessman, investor and author based in Bonn, Germany.

He was a co-founder of companies such as ip.labs and doo. As of 2014, he is the CEO of venture capital firm e42,[1][2] now Freigeist Capital[3], which has invested in startups such as Wunderlist[4], MyTaxi[5], KaufDa, pitch,[6] and Lilium GmbH.

Thelen consults the Microsoft Ventures accelerator in Berlin,[7][8] and he also supports startups in German politics[9]. Together with the German State Minister for Digitization, Dorothee Bär, he is a leading member of the German Innovation Council.[10]

In 2012, Thelen spoke at the f.ounders Conference in New York and was given the “Innovate by Society” Award by Microsoft handed out by German Chancellar Angela Merkel that same year for his startup doo[11][12]

Thelen supports startups in German politics[13]. Together with the German State Minister for Digitization, Dorothee Bär, he is a leading member of the German Innovation Council.[10]

In 2014 he joined the German version of the TV show "Dragons' Den" (Shark tank), called "Die Höhle der Löwen" as investor. "Die Höhle der Löwen" is a reality television program format in which entrepreneurs pitch their business ideas to a panel of venture capitalists in the hope of securing investment finance from them.[11]

He is also a regular guest in German talk shows like 'Hart aber fair'.[14]

In 2018 his autobiography "Frank Thelen - Die Autobiografie: Startup-DNA - Hinfallen, aufstehen, die Welt verändern" was published[15] and has been a bestseller for several weeks[16]. He is convinced that "The next decade will be the biggest challenge in humankind’s history."[17] Also he is fighting for a strong European economy.[18]


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  7. ^ "Microsoft Ventures partners with HTGF and Seedcamp – and eyes first deals in Berlin". VentureVillage.
  8. ^ "Wie Microsoft aus Gründern erfolgreiche Unternehmer macht". Morgenpost.
  9. ^ "Live From Berlin — German Chancellor Angela Merkel Shines Spotlight On Tech Startups". TechCrunch.
  10. ^ "Innovation Council konstituiert sich im Bundeskanzleramt". Startseite (in German). Retrieved 2019-05-18.
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  14. ^ "Frank Thelen". (in German). 2018-12-07. Retrieved 2018-12-15.
  15. ^ Shop, Murmann Publishers GmbH |. "Frank Thelen Startup-DNA". Murmann Publishers GmbH | Shop. Retrieved 2018-12-15.
  16. ^ "buchreport". buchreport (in German). Retrieved 2018-12-15.
  17. ^ "On a mission: The man who would save Germany's future tech". Retrieved 2019-02-12.
  18. ^ "Investor and Entrepreneur Frank Thelen: It needs courage and constistency to build up European global players". (in German). Retrieved 2019-04-28.