The GSVA Management Team is supported by the Steering Committee, in charge of selecting program participants, the Advisory Council, integrating existing networks in the San Francisco Bay Area, and the program Mentors, supporting the selected startups during their stay in Silicon Valley.

Management Team

Steering Committee

Advisory Council


Management Team

Prof. Dietmar Harhoff – Chairman

Since 28 February 2007 Prof. Dietmar Harhoff has been chairman of the Commission of Experts for Research and Innovation that has been appointed by the Federal Government of Germany.

Prof. Harhoff is director at the Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition and head of the department Munich Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship Research (MCIER). He is Honorary Professor at the Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich (LMU) and Academic Director of the Center for Entrepreneurship at the LMU. From 1998 to 2013 he was professor of business administration at the LMU and chaired the Institute for Innovation Research, Technology Management and Entrepreneurship (INNO-tec). Read more…

                                                 Contact Prof. Dietmar Harhoff here


DKDirk Kanngiesser – CEO

Dirk Kanngiesser is an entrepreneur and venture capitalist. He has been involved in the founding of many German and international start-ups. He is the principal founder and a Managing Partner of PolyTechnos. He has over 20 years of Venture Capital experience, mostly in partner roles. Dirk has strong expertise in growth strategy definition and execution, and global business development. Read more…

Contact Dirk Kanngiesser here



OHOliver Hanisch – COO

Oliver Hanisch is an entrepreneur, business developer, and consultant based in the San Francisco Bay Area. He builds trans-Atlantic bridges and supports international startups in tapping into the U.S. market opportunity. Further, he advises organizations and governments on entrepreneurial programs and incubation models and scouts for the latest innovations and emerging trends in the ICT arena. Read more…

Contact Oliver Hanisch here



Steering Committee

Also including Dietmar Harhoff, Dirk Kanngiesser and Oliver Hanisch.



rs4Ram Srinivasan (Chairman Steering Committee)

Ram Srinivasan is currently an Independent Venture Advisor & Venture Partner at Wellington Partners. With over 25 years experience in engineering and marketing management, Ram has an in-depth understanding of high-technology companies. Ram’s technical intuition allows him to cut through technology and focus on business challenges crying for elegant solutions. Before joining Wellington as venture partner, Ram was President and CEO of web analytics provider Fireclick from inception in 1999 to acquisition in 2004. He then established their strategic direction, while managing daily operations and technology initiatives. At Red Brick, Ram led product marketing and management while directing product evolution strategy, culminating in the company’s IPO.


JVJohannes Velling (Government observer)

Johanes Velling is currently the Head of the “technology start-ups, start-up financing and clustering of competences” division at the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology. He is responsible for activities related to Venture Capital, Business Angels, Entrepreneurship Culture, Academic Spin-offs and Innovation Clusters, including activities from EXIST and High-Tech Gründerfonds.




RDRalf Dolk

Ralf Dolk is currently Project Manager at the EXIST Program, a support program of the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology (BMWi) aimed at improving the entrepreneurial environment at universities and research institutions and at increasing the number of technology and knowledge based business start-ups.





AGAndy Goldstein

Andy Goldstein is currently Executive Director at the LMU Entrepreneurship Center. He is also currently Board Member at Avanquest Software SA and Goldstein Creations GmbH.






EMEric Muller

Eric Muller is currently Lead Mentor at the German Silicon Valley Accelerator and Advisor to technology start-ups and corporates. He previously served as Chief Operating Officer at at Society of Kauffman Fellows, where he worked on its global expansion. He previously held several executive positions at SAP, Borland and Accenture.






FMFalk Mueller-Veerse

Falk Mueller-Veerse is currently Managing Partner at Cartagena Capital, a munich-based international Corporate Finance Advisory /Investment Banking boutique. He is an experienced M&A and fundraising professional with over twenty years experience in the technology and internet industry. He has a global network in the investor and acquirer community and closed successful deals with Disney, RIM, Balderton, Swisscom and Telefonica, amongst others.






Sven Weber

Sven Weber is currently Managing Director & President SharesPost Investment Management at SharesPost. He has more than a decade of investment management experience and a track record of delivering impressive performance to his investors and holds more than 15 years of experience in private equity, entrepreneurship and business development. He previously served as President at Silicon Valley Bank Capital where he oversaw the venture capital investing business


Advisory Council

  • Bernhard Abels (German Consulate General in San Francisco)
  • Angelika Geiger (Germany Trade & Invest)
  • Rene van den Hoevel (German American Chamber of Commerce)
  • Burton Lee (Stanford School of Engineering)
  • Caroline Raynaud (German American Business Association)
  • Peter Rothen (German Consulate General in San Francisco)
  • Daniel Zimmermann (German American Business Association)



Recent News

Zertisa offers an innovative solution for content placement

Zertisa, the German expert for integrated Android management solutions, today announces the release of its content placement feature for hardware manufacturers and operators   Munich/Barcelona, 24.02.2014. Content is the new currency. It dramatically influences consumers’ behavior. It earns trust and … Continue reading

To Combat Soaring Network Abuse Incidents, Abusix received Funding from Target Partners

Investment will fund market expansion and network security product development   Palo Alto / Munich, February 12, 2014. The German Silicon Valley Accelerator (GSVA) is proud to announce that Abusix, Inc., one of the program participants, has successfully secured funding. Munich-based … Continue reading

Terracotta-Sponsored Big Data Course at UC Berkeley Comes to Completion

Last Friday on the rooftop level of a UC Berkeley building, two student groups went head-to-head unveiling formidable final presentations that concluded their Big Data course. The solutions demonstrated that the students had dared to dream as big as their … Continue reading

ParStream amongst Tech Trailblazers Awards Finalists

The Tech Trailblazers Awards, first annual awards program for enterprise information technology startups, today announced the opening of voting for shortlisted finalists across nine categories. ParStream, a GSVA-program alumni, is nominated for an award in the category “Big Data”. The winners … Continue reading

VI Systems will showcase its newest devices at the upcoming Photonics West exhibition

VI Systems GmbH, a leader in ultra-high speed components for data communications, introduces its first multi-mode fiber coupled 1310nm optical receiver and VCSEL (vertical cavity surface emitting laser)-based optical transmitter modules. The receiver module R40-1300 is capable for up to 40 … Continue reading


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