The Fraunhofer Venture team

Fraunhofer Venture sees itself as a contact for all who look for, support, and market innovative technologies. The team is made up of experts in business administration, innovation management, and contract development. This perfectly supplements the technological competence of the researchers.



Director of Fraunhofer Venture

Thomas Doppelberger

Thomas Doppelberger is the director of Fraunhofer Venture. He studied economics (political and business economics) at Augsburg University and joined the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft in 1998. Since the year 2000, he has been with Fraunhofer Venture and developed and established the spin-off and investment program of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. His particular focus is on the continuous extension of the development process for spin-off projects/ideas and the intensive support for spin-offs and the investment portfolio.

Investment managers


Deputy Director of Fraunhofer Venture, Group Manager of investment managers & Project Manager of TechBridge

Andreas Aepfelbacher

Andreas Aepfelbacher is deputy director of Fraunhofer Venture and responsible for business administration staff. He joined Fraunhofer Venture in February 2002; before, he gained professional experience in controlling of Messe München GmbH and as a project developer and investment controller for a division of RWE Umwelt AG. Andreas Aepfelbacher completed his degrees in forestry/environmental engineering and business administration at LMU and TU in Munich as well as at FernUniversität Hagen. In 2007 he became a CFA Institute charterholder.



Investment Manager

Manuel Hösle

Manuel Hösle joined the Fraunhofer Venture Team as an Investment Manager, and supports researchers with conceptualizing and implementing their business models. Moreover he advises the Institute concerning questions about internal supporting activities and represents internally founded spin-offs. Before joining Fraunhofer Venture Mr. Hösle worked as a Project Manager in product and organizational development for several years and gained his own founding experience in ecommerce. Manuel Hösle studied Industrial Engineering at the "Helmut-Schmidt-Universität" (HSU) in Hamburg and completed his studies with an MBA focusing on "International Management" at the "Internationale Hochschule" in Bad Honnef.


Investment Manager

Dominik Malter

Dominik Malter joined the Fraunhofer Venture team in 2010. As an investment manager, he guides and supports Fraunhofer researchers throughout all phases of the start-up process. Furthermore, he is the contact for selected institutes for all questions relating to technology transfer through spin-offs and in the context of investment management exercises the rights of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft as a partner at several Fraunhofer spin-offs. Dominik Malter studied business administration at the Deggendorf Institute of Technology and Udayana University Denpasar (Indonesia). From 2013 to 2015 he completed an executive MBA at RWTH Aachen and at the University of St. Gallen (Switzerland).



Investment Manager

Patrick Schmitt

Patrick Schmitt has been an investment manager at Fraunhofer Venture since 2018. He advises and supports Fraunhofer employees on their way to founding their company. In addition, Mr. Schmitt represents the interests of FhG in the active investment portfolio and expands it through investment recommendations. During his master's studies, Mr. Schmitt participated in the foundation of an IT start-up and took over the commercial management for two and a half years. During this time, he was responsible for process management, controlling and business development and also supervised several financing rounds.

Patrick Schmitt studied economics with a focus on logistics and economics at the Würzburg University of Applied Sciences and at IT Sligo in Ireland. He completed the advanced Master's degree in Value Chain Management at the Julius Maximilian University of Würzburg during an EXIST start-up scholarship in March 2017.


Investment Manager

Manfred Stöger

Manfred Stöger joined Fraunhofer Venture in February 2003. Before, he worked in the logistics department of Infineon AG where he was engaged among others in designing and introducing a new supply chain management. His business administration studies at the University of Applied Science in Rosenheim were preceded by an apprenticeship as a banker. In 2014/2015 he completed the certificate program “Certified Private Equity Analyst CPEA” at TU München.


Investment Manager

Markus Weitzel

Markus Weitzel joined Fraunhofer Venture in September 2013 as an investment manager. After assignments for Siemens Management Consulting and Detecon (Switzerland) AG, the graduate business manager founded baimos technologies gmbh in 2006, the company behind the much acclaimed technology of BlueID – a security software for smartphones and smart watches. As the commercial managing director, he was responsible, among others, for the finance, controlling, marketing and sales sectors at baimos technologies. He was responsible for several financing rounds between 2006 and 2013 before he successfully sold his shares in the business in 2015. Mr. Weitzel studied technology and management (TUM-BWL) with a minor in computer science at Technische Universität München and is engaged in various start-up networks as well as as a juror of the Munich Business Plan Contest.

Legal Experts


Group Manager of legal experts

Kai-Olaf Preiss

Kai-Olaf Preiss is a lawyer and has been supporting the Fraunhofer Venture team since March 2001. As a group manager, he is responsible for the department’s legal staff. He gained his long-term experience at a tax accountants’ office and worked, among others, in the area of industrial property rights for the Fraunhofer Gesellschaft's legal department as well as for a globally operating start-up company. He completed his law studies in Regensburg and Munich.



Legal expert

Karola Bachelin

Karola Bachelin is a graduate legal expert and has been with Fraunhofer Venture since 1999. Before, she worked in the general legal department of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft following her posts at a law firm specializing in international business law as well as in different projects, among others at Bayerischer Rundfunk and Siemens AG, where she was able to gain profound professional experience. Karola Bachelin completed her law studies in Munich and Bordeaux.



Legal expert

Maximilian Frank

Maximilian Frank has supported the Fraunhofer Venture team since October 2012. Before, he was junior partner in a law firm where he focused, among others, on company and tax law. Maximilian Frank completed his law studies in Munich. As a sideline lecturer he gives lectures at Munich University of Applied Sciences in “private business law”.


Legal expert

Sebastian Hohenester

Sebastian Hohenester joined Fraunhofer Venture in July 2017. Before, he worked as a lawyer in a medium-sized law firm in Düsseldorf. He studied at Universität Passau with a focus on commercial and company law.


Legal expert

Friederike Krämer-Plath

Friederike Krämer-Plath is a lawyer and joined the Fraunhofer Venture team in May 2009. Before, Ms. Krämer-Plath had worked as a lawyer for a large international law office focusing on the protection of industrial property. Ms. Krämer-Plath studied law in Munich, Hamburg, Berlin and Boston majoring in business law and the protection of industrial property.


Legal expert

Michael Kuschel

Michael Kuschel is a lawyer and has supported the Fraunhofer Venture team since October 2009. He completed his law studies in Munich, London, and Athens.



Legal expert

Thomas Meyer

Thomas Mayer has supported the Fraunhofer Venture team since May 2016 as a lawyer. Before, he worked as a lawyer in a major law firm with a focus on antitrust and business law for several years. Furthermore, he is the co-founder of a media start-up in New York. He completed his university studies in Trier and Sheffield, followed by his legal clerkship in the Cologne area and a master program at King’s College in London (LL.M.). Thomas Meyer is the contact for questions all around starting and investing in a company.

Innovation Management, Marketing & Team Assistance


Strategic Marketing and Innovation Management

Lui Herz

Lui Herz joined Fraunhofer Venture in June 2017. Lui manages the Strategic Marketing and Innovation Management Team. Before joining Fraunhofer Venture he worked for a big, international agricultural Company as a Product segment manager for strategy, marketing, sales and product management. After training as an industrial clerk at Siemens AG he studied business administration at the Technical University of Munich. He established a focus on Marketing and Strategy, as well as management of sustainable economic development. Further steps in his career included Garmin Ltd. as well as the Hilti AG.


Marketing Assistant

Susanne Weber

Susanne Weber joined Fraunhofer Venture in April 2010 as a team and marketing assistant. Furthermore, she supports the BMBF-funded FFI project team with the preparation and realization of workshops as well as with marketing activities. She completed her apprenticeship as a business clerk at the headquarters of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft and after successful completion gained first professional experience in the fields of occupational safety. In parallel to her professional career, Susanne Weber studied business administration at HWK in Munich, which she completed successfully in 2010.




Team Assistance

Viktoria Bredin

Viktoria Bredin has been with Fraunhofer Venture since November 2000. As an assistant for our team, the trained management assistant in office communication is responsible for the documentation and administration of our deal flow and handles all office management tasks. Viktoria Bredin completed her apprenticeship at Jakob Altvater GmbH & Co.


Innovation Manager

Florian Ascherl

Florian Ascherl supports the Fraunhofer Venture Team in the areas of innovation management and start-up incubation. In particular, he is responsible for the design and implementation of the founding module of Forschungsfabrik Mikroelektronik Deutschland (FMD). Within the FMD, microelectronic spin-offs are promoted throughout the entire start-up ecosystem - especially Fraunhofer-external ideas, start-up teams or start-ups are further developed in this incubation program. Before his time at Fraunhofer, Mr. Ascherl gained experience as a consultant and co-innovator in management consulting. Florian Ascherl studied economics with a focus on economics at the FAU in Nuremberg and AU in Washington D.C. (USA) and graduated in 2016 with a Master's degree in Strategic Management from the LFU in Innsbruck.

AHEAD Company Building


Programm manager of Business Ideation

Julia Bauer

Julia Bauer took on responsibility for the business ideation phase (FFI) at Fraunhofer Venture Lab in April 2014. She supports Fraunhofer researchers to identify relevant markets and develop business ideas for their technologies. She studied international business administration at Vienna University of Economics and Business and HEC Montreal. Following her diploma, she earned a doctorate from the institute for entrepreneurship and innovation at Vienna University of Economics and Business. As a research associate, she taught in applied teaching formats with different partners from the industry and research organizations (e.g. CERN, ESA, AMS, Deutsche Telekom) on issues such as business model innovation, technology transfer, or start-ups. Other career stages include IBM Austria and CEE.


AHEAD | Team lead

Thorsten Lambertus

Thorsten Lambertus is a team member of Fraunhofer Venture Lab and director of the Fraunhofer-internal “FDays Accelerator”. In this context he is also responsible for the “Fraunhofer Josephs” network and contact for corporate cooperation in the scope of the FDays. Before, Thorsten spent three years at Vienna University of Economics and Business, earned a doctorate and lectured in business model design, managed industry projects related to entrepreneurship and innovation – from start-ups to large enterprises – and was also involved in establishing a start-up garage. He founded two own start-ups in the fields of SaaS and e-commerce. Thorsten graduated in business engineering from RWTH Aachen and majored in technology and innovation management.


AHEAD | Entrepreneurial network

Marc Eckes

Marc Eckes joined the Fraunhofer Venture team in February 2019 and is responsible for the development of the entrepreneur network. He is actively looking for co-founders, mentors and partnerships for technology transfer at Fraunhofer.

Previously, Mr. Eckes worked as managing director for various companies in the FMCG sector, where he was responsible for e-commerce, marketing and purchasing. Mr. Eckes has proven his passion for start-ups and spin-offs several times in the past as a consultant and investor for numerous start-ups. He studied business administration and law at the University of Hertfordshire in London.


AHEAD | Program design

Anna-Lena Schindl

Anna-Lena Schindl joined the Venture Lab team in February 2017 to support the development of the business ideation phase and the setup of an intrapreneurship ecosystem. She studied physics at Jacobs University Bremen and management science & engineering with a major in technology entrepreneurship and design thinking at Stanford University in the USA. Stages in her career include start-ups as well as other digitization and innovation projects.


AHEAD | Program organisation

Antonia Lang

Antonia Lang has been with Fraunhofer Venture since March 2019. In the AHEAD team, she is responsible for the planning and professional execution of events and workshops, as well as for the continuous support of the program participants with the aim of creating a creative atmosphere and special experience. Before joining Fraunhofer, Ms. Lang studied Bioprocess Technology at the Technical University of Munich and gained experience in several marketing and PR agencies as well as in a pharmaceutical company.





AHEAD’s mission is to build an entrepreneurial team around any Fraunhofer technology. We create an environment where everyone can live up to their full potential and everything is tailored to hightech innovation.

Being AHEAD means pushing the boundaries – of your team, your technology and the market opportunities waiting for you.

Venture Connect


Program Manager Venture Connect

Lucas Siebeneicher

Lucas Siebeneicher joined Fraunhofer Venture in January 2017 and develops a technology transfer management system for medium-sized business in Germany. Before joining Fraunhofer Venture, Mr. Siebeneicher had gained experience in business development of an e-commerce company, with establishing a Software as a Service start-up, as well as in numerous innovation projects for partners in the industry. He finished his studies of technology and management-oriented business administration at TU München, completed the entrepreneurial Manage&More scholarship program of UnternehmerTUM, and earned a Master in Innovation und Entrepreneurship at the ESADE Business School in Barcelona.


Program Manager Venture Connect

Tea Böhm

Tea Böhm has been with Fraunhofer Venture since April 2017. Focusing on the establishment of Venture Connect she develops innovation concepts for the know-how and technology transfer between German small and medium-sized businesses and Fraunhofer institutes. Before she joined Fraunhofer, she was responsible for digital development projects in a sharing economy start-up. In addition she developed an information management system for the internationalization of a long-standing German company. She studied business administration at the University of Mannheim and the ESSEC Business School in Paris. She then earned her master’s degree in innovation and technology management from Bocconi University in Milan.

Venture Connect



Venture Connect helps companies, especially small and medium-sized businesses, as well as Fraunhofer Institutes with the joint identification and commercialization of technology. 



Program Manager TechBridge

Niels Dietzsch

Niels Dietzsch has been supporting Fraunhofer Venture as an investment manager since October 2014 and since October 2016 has been the responsible TechBridge program manager. TechBridge concentrates on the initiation and implementation of cooperative innovation and transfer projects between Fraunhofer institutes and technology start-ups. Mr. Dietzsch has his own start-up experience and long-term professional experience in the investment team of the international venture capital company smac partners as well as in corporate finance consulting at PricewaterhouseCoopers. Mr. Dietzsch is a graduate business manager and studied technology and management-oriented business administration (TUM-BWL) with a minor in mechanical engineering at TU München and HEC Paris. In addition, he completed a bachelor in finance at ESGCI Paris.


Program Manager TechBridge

Chinyere Wirthmüller

Chinyere Wirthmüller has been Program Manager for TechBridge since March 2019, working in the areas of Scouting, Match-making and Partnering. Before joining TechBridge, the Venture Lab team helped her organize and design the internal FDays® accelerator program. After completing her Bachelor's degree in "Global Business Management" at the University of Augsburg, she completed her Master's degree in "Business Entrepreneurship and Digital Technology Management" at the Munich University of Applied Sciences. During her studies she gained several years of consulting experience at Detecon in San Francisco, PricewaterhouseCoopers and Schulz&Partner.






TechBridge is a BMBF-funded project with the aim to support the initiation and implementation of cooperative transfer projects between Fraunhofer institutes and technology start-ups.



Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft e.V.
Fraunhofer Venture

Hansastrasse 27c
80686 Munich

Telefon     +49 89 1205-4501 
Fax           +49 89 1205-7552


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