MEET THE ARCHITECTS: CRAFTING STARTUP SUCCESS STORIES
Our founder team is geared to catapult tech startups to new heights, armed with decades of entrepreneurial and technological expertise such as fintech, SaaS, app economy or AI:
- Established Beecom 🐝 and created Atlassian Jira app “JSU” with 15M users and Pioneered Worldwebforum.com
- Led billion-dollar projects as CIO of UBS, the biggest wealth manager in the world
- founded AdNovum, a leading software company in banking and fintech.
- Founded Netcetera to a 1,000-strong global team with offices in Zurich, Dubai and Singapore.
- Started agency in the 90ties specializing in strategic communication and UX design.
Dr. Andrej VckovSki
Get ready to be impressed by Dr. Andrej Vckovski – a true tech luminary with an incredible academic background! He holds a PhD from the prestigious University of Zurich and has a solid foundation in physics from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology ETH. His close connections to the ETH he has been maintaning ever since.
But his impressive credentials don’t stop there. In 1996, Dr. Vckovski co-founded Netcetera, which has since grown to a company of 1’000 employees providing customized software solutions to a wide range of customers. As a respected international business leader, Dr. Vckovski also serves on several advisory boards, including Swico, ICTSwitzerland, and Securities Grid LTD. He is truly an asset to the European ICT sector! Over the years, he has not only invested in several tech startups but also in AI startups for over a decade, contributing to their success.
Andrej lives with his wife and 2 kids in Zurich. He plays the saxophone in a band.
At StudioAlpha, as a software engineer with a PhD Andrej is an experienced software pro with a specific focus on AI and Big Data. He plays a key role in startup selection, helping to identify promising startups that have the potential to succeed in the accelerator program. In addition to this, Andrej also coaches startups in classical software development jobs, providing guidance on the technical aspects of their products and services. With his expertise in AI, Big Data, and classical software development, Andrej is able to provide startups with a wide range of support and guidance as they work to build successful businesses. As a natural born CEO he is the perfect link between tech and business.
Meet Fabian – a true entrepreneur at heart! He started his first business ventures as a teenager and hasn’t looked back since. Over the past two decades, Fabian has co-founded and bootstrapped an impressive 10 software startups alongside his partners with Beecom at is core. Not only that, but they’ve also sold four of these companies within the last 15 years!
One of their most notable achievements was becoming the first Atlassian partner in the world back in 2004. Their team of 50 employees founded the first Atlassian User Group AUG in Europe in 2006 and went on to create one of the best-selling Jira-Apps with an impressive 15 million users. As a co-founder of the Worldwebforum in 2012, Fabian and his team of 200 people organized this yearly event until 2020.
Fabian lives in Zurich with his wife and two children. A former pro triathlete, he still trains daily.
At StudioAlpha, Fabian’s holistic view has been a key part of his approach to supporting startups. In addition to his expertise in strategy and trends, he also has a deep understanding of the various aspects of building a successful business, including growth, communication, and UX. This enables him to provide startups with comprehensive guidance and support in all areas of their business, from identifying market opportunities and developing effective marketing strategies to building and maintaining strong relationships with investors and partners. With his pragmatic approach, Fabian is able to help startups develop a clear and effective roadmap for success in the competitive world of software development.
prof. dr. Andreas Ziltener
Dr. Andreas Ziltener started his academic career at the University of St. Gallen. Since 2007 he is professor of entrepreneurship and innovation at the University of Applied Sciences of the Grisons and active as a start-up expert. He is also a senior researcher at the Swiss Institute for Entrepreneurship SIFE, where he conducts research not only in the field of entrepreneurship & innovation but also in the area of AI and robotics. He authored more than 40 publications.
As co-founder of several startups, he was able to learn the practical side of entrepreneurship and innovation.
He has four children and lives at Lake Constance in Switzerland, where he also regularly plays bass in two jazz ensembles.
At StudioAlpha, Andreas Ziltener, also known as Professor Andy, is a seasoned entrepreneur and startup mentor since the 90ties 😳. With over two decades of experience in the startup world, he brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the accelerator program. In addition to his role as a mentor and advisor to the startups, Professor Andy is responsible for building the network into the founder ecosystem. He works closely with startups to identify potential partners and collaborators, connecting them with the resources they need to grow and succeed. With his deep knowledge of the startup ecosystem and his extensive network of contacts, Professor Andy is able to provide startups with a unique advantage as they work to build successful businesses. His passion for entrepreneurship and his commitment to supporting the next generation of startups make him an invaluable member of the StudioAlpha team.
In 1995, Lukas graduated from the College of Graphics and Design. Since then, he has spent his entire life working in online design and usability in various industries, both consumer and SaaS applications. Lukas has worked in many front-end technologies since the early days of the internet.
One of his successful UX and design projects was in the area of the SaaS ecosystem, which was one of the top 3 selling apps on the Atlassian Marketplace with 15 million users.
Lukas grew up on the shores of Lake Biel where he still lives today with his son. He is a passionate windsurfer. He is a former drummer.
At StudioAlpha, Lukas Rüfenacht is a talented designer and an experienced UI and UX specialist. He brings his expertise in design and user experience to the accelerator program, working closely with startups to develop intuitive and engaging interfaces for their products and services. With his eye for detail and his understanding of user behavior, Lukas is able to help startups create products that are both visually appealing and user-friendly. In addition to his design role, Lukas also contributes to the overall management of the CI/CD of StudioAlpha, working with the team to ensure that the program runs smoothly and that startups receive the support they need to succeed. With his broad range of skills and experience, Lukas is a valuable member of the StudioAlpha team.
An award-winning entrepreneur, ETH engineer and experienced turnaround manager in the IT field, he is billed by the trade press as the “machinist of UBS wealth management.” He is praised as a Swiss computer scientist “who brought billion-dollar projects to the ground for UBS and is counted among the most capable in his field in the world.”
Stefan Arn thrives on complex projects, gladly in crisis situations. Change management of organizations is one of his specialties. A strength he was able to demonstrate time and again as CIO and head of a global development department at UBS with more than 1,400 employees.
Stefan Arn is an entrepreneur at heart. In 1988, he founded AdNovum Informatik AG and built it into one of the leading software companies in Switzerland with subsidiaries in the USA and Hungary. In 2003, he was awarded “Entrepreneur of the Year” by Ernst & Young
As the former CIO of UBS, Stefan also brings a deep understanding of how financial systems work to his role as a startup coach at StudioAlpha. He has played a key role in building the bank and has an unparalleled knowledge of the financial software industry. In addition to his focus on engineering and software architecture, Stefan is also able to provide startups with guidance and support in navigating the complexities not only of the financial world but in building software in general. With his broad range of skills and experience, Stefan is a valuable asset to startups looking to develop products that are not only technically sound but also able to thrive in the complex global landscape.
Advisors & operators
Professor & Head of Blockchain Lab
Alexander Denzler is Professor and Head of Blockchain Lab at Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts as well as Director & Founder of the Crypto Valley Conference on Blockchain Technology (IEEE). Also he is lecturer for Blockchain Technology and Data Science. He has a broad knowledge and network in the blockchain environment.
He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Freiburg (CH) and wrote a thesis titled: “A Finder and Representation System for Knowledge Carriers Based on Granular Computing”. Alexander holds a DAS in Hochschuldidaktik from the University of Fribourg.
His research focus is Blockchain, Natural Language Processing and Data Science.
Writer & Venture Capitalist
Gibney started investing when his Stanford University roommate Ken Howery co-founded PayPal, the electronic payments company, and offered Gibney the chance to buy “friends and family” shares. After investing in PayPal, Gibney worked as a litigator but was soon hired by Peter Thiel after Thiel sold PayPal to eBay in 2002.
Gibney worked at Thiel’s hedge fund, Clarium, until 2008, making occasional private investments including in Palantir Technologies in 2005 and later in DeepMind, which was acquired by Google for around $450 million in 2014.
He then moved to Founders Fund, a venture capital fund started by Thiel. Thiel and Founders Fund were the earliest outside investors in Facebook, SpaceX, and Palantir, and made other investments including in AirBnB, Lyft, Spotify, and Stemcentrx, which AbbVie acquired for $10 billion a few years after Founders Fund’s investment.
CEO, Oceanic Partners
As Chief Executive Officer of Oceanic Partners, Tim Sullivan is accountable for the strategic direction and functional execution of business objectives. Oceanic focuses specifically on investments and liquidity within the private markets. Oceanic has transacted with over 200 private issuers, including Docusign, Lyft, Palantir, Facebook, Tesla, Twitter, LinkedIn, Etsy, Kayak and SpaceX. Oceanic participates actively in seed through late stage, depending upon the current market environment. Liquidity is Oceanic’s number one priority.
Previously, Tim has held leadership roles at Sharespost, Susquehanna Financial Group, Oracle, and IBM. Throughout Tim’s career, he has managed more than $5B worth of private equity transactions and enjoys a consistent track record of surpassing expectations. Tim has a BA in Political Science from Colgate University and holds the FINRA Series 7, 24, 66, 79, and 99 licenses.
Studio Alpha Network
Rooted in our Worldwebforum legacy, StudioAlpha taps into a powerful network of tech visionaries and global trailblazers. Our history translates into your startup’s future success.
EVP & CTO, VMware, San Francisco, USA
Tech-Guru & Co-Founder, Apple, Cupertino, USA
CEO (UK), Coinbase, London, UK
EVP Corporate Relations & Chief Philanthropy Officer, Salesforce, San Francisco, USA
Charles A. O’Reilly
Frank E. Buck Professor of Management Stanford University, Stanford, USA
IBM Fellow & Vice President Technology – Europe, London, UK
Former-CEO, Pepsi, Coca-Cola & Apple, New York, USA
Director of Teaching and Learning, Stanford University, Stanford, USA
Member, Governing Board, Swiss National Bank, Zurich, Switzerland
Co-Founder & Former -Bassist, The Rolling Stones, London, UK
Businesswoman, Entrepreneur & CEO, Afghan Citadel & Digital Citizen Fund, New York, USA
Managing Partner, IGPI, Industrial Growth Platform Inc, Tokyo, Japan
Sir Tim Berners-Lee
Inventor, World Wide Web, Cambridge, USA
Founder & CEO, Lakestar, Zurich, Switzerland
Partner, McKinsey & Company, San Francisco, USA
Founder & Managing Partner, DBL Partners, San Francisco, USA
Global CEO, Y&R, New York, USA
Cambridge Analytica whistleblower & subject of Netflix Documentary “The Great Hack”, New York, USA
Chief Architect, Amazon Web Services, Seattle, USA
VP Global Supply Chain, Tesla, Palo Alto, USA
CFO & Partner, Y Combinator, San Francisco, USA
SVP Engineering, Google, Mountain View, USA
Co-Founder & Drummer, Metallica, San Francisco, USA
Partner & CXO, Eight Inc, San Francisco, USA
Mark C. Thompson
CEO-Coach of Steve Jobs & Richard Branson
Co-Founder, The Future of Life Institute, Boston, USA
President, Atlassian, San Francisco, USA
Co-Founder & President, Pixar, San Francisco, USA
Founding Board Member & CEO, Burning Man Project, San Francisco, USA
Professor of Business Leadership, Strategy, & Organizations, Stanford University, Stanford, USA
Founder & CEO, Gao Feng Advisory Company, Beijing, China
Former Director of Business Development, Coinbase, San Francisco, USA
Director, Design, Google, San Francisco, USA
Global CIO, adidas, Herzogenaurach Germany
Businessman, Pilot, Lead Singer Iron Maiden, London, UK
Co-Founder and CPO, Juul, San Francisco, USA
Former-Principal Advisor of President Barack Obama, Federal Government of the USA, Ex-Member, Navy Seals Team, Washington, D.C., USA
Terry von Bibra
General Manager Europe, Alibaba Group, Munich, Germany