Meet Our Speakers and Jury Members

Meet professionals from multiple fields sharing their expert views

Expert Speakers / HEIDELBERG

Sugandh Rajaram

Consul General of India, Munich

Mr. Sugandh Rajaram obtained his Bachelor’s degree in Electronics Engineering in 1994 and had a brief stint as an engineer with a leading steel company in India. After initial training at the Foreign Service Institute in New Delhi, he began his diplomatic career at the Indian Mission in Moscow. Later, he served in the Embassy of India in Jakarta and the Consulate General of India in New York. Prior to his current assignment he served at the Ministry of External Affairs, New Delhi as Director in the Divisions of Establishment, Pakistan and External Publicity & Public Diplomacy.

The Future of Indo-German collaboration : 12:30 PM – 12:45 PM (EST)

Dr. Gunjan Bharadwaj

CEO, Innoplex AG

Completed education in IIT Bombay, FH Pforzeim, MIT Sloan and EBS Oestrich – Winkel. He worked for BCG and EY before founding Innoplex in 2011 and has been the CEO since. An author of 12 patent applications and several publications in HBR, MIT Sloan Review and International Journal of Innovation Management.

The Future of Indo-German collaboration : 12:30 PM – 12:45 PM (EST)

Ashutosh Kumar

Managing Director EMEA of Intrigo Systems Inc and Chairman of the Advisory board of TiE Germany.

Mr. Ashutosh Kumar has worked in various leading companies in the market namely Schindler, Siemens and Tata Steel in India, Switzerland and Germany. His 21 years of SAP experience includes 16 years at SAP’s headquarters in Germany. He has been an INSEAD alumnus (Financial times scholar) and his core expertise includes blending technology with business, bringing new technology/services to market, developing new markets, transformation, and internationalization. He is currently the Managing director (EMEA) of Intrigo Systems Inc. and the chairman of the advisory board of TiE Germany.

Rudradeb Mitra

Machine Learning Entrepreneur

Worked in various European research labs and Universities and published 10 research paper on various topics of AI, like NLP, Semantic web, Declarative Languages. After finishing his graduation from Univ. of Cambridge in 2009, he went on to build 6 startups – one of them was in Machine Learning trying to make roads safer. Since 2016 he has been invited to speak at over 30 events from 9 countries. His current focus area is the on successful adoption of Machine Learning in different industries

Dr. Nana Bit-Avragim

CSO | Chairwoman, Advisory Board at XPOMET©

Dr. Nana Bit-Avragim is a medical sciences expert and digital health strategist. Nana is passionate about new life sciences technologies and believes that innovation means adapting to the future.

Eva-Maria Markutzik

Business Creation Manager / Accelerator and Education Services bei German EIT Health GmbH

Eva-Maria Markutzik (née Gottmann) is a marketing and communication specialist, connecting communication and design skills with entrepreneurship and innovation in biotech, medtech and digital health.

Expert Speakers / MUMBAI

Prerna Mukherjee

Founder of Outline India

Outline India is a for-profit social enterprise in India that stands for creating social impact through data.
Prerna’s research start-up has changed the way data is collected and utilized for social schemes and programmes by academics, policymakers, private stakeholders and the Indian government.

Raja Jamalamadaka

Marshall Goldsmith award winning Coach, TEDx Speaker, Mentor-Startups, IIT Entrepreneurship Cell, Harvard

Raja Jamalamadaka, a mentor and a coach, is a venture partner at startup accelerators and jury member at startup boot-camps evaluating business-ready and funding-worthy startups. He is featured as a top blogger by LinkedIn and is a keynote speaker at various conferences and TEDx events.

From Idea to Market – An Indian Perspective

Jürgen Hase

CEO UNLIMIT (powered by Reliance)

Juergen Hase has an experience of more than 25 years to develop, implement and execute new businesses in different global markets. He was Director-IoT/M2M with Ooredoo at the Group level, based in Qatar, responsible for implementing the IoT business in the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia, in multiple vertical segments such as Automotive, Telematics, Smart Cities, Healthcare, Insurance, and Energy. He was also the Vice President of the M2M Competence Center at Deutsche Telekom (DT) for over a decade. As one of the founders, he helped DT develop this unit as one of the leading global players in the field of IoT.

Challenges of Entrepreneurship In India from a foreign perspective

Discussion Panelists / HEIDELBERG

Nora Herzog
Project Lead – GINSEP

Nora joined the German Startups Association in December 2015 as part of the events team. In her role as Event Manager she was organizing a variety of events such as exhibitions (f.e. the Industrial Hannoverfair and the IFA), conferences (f.e. Startup Camp Berlin, the Growth Company Forum and Pitch & Sail) as well as delegation tours (f.e. the German Valley Week, the German Tel Aviv Week, the German New York Week and now the German India Week). She has since become responsible for all international tours, as well as the GINSEP (German Indian Startup Exchange Program) as project lead. In that role she actively seeks to create a long-lasting bridge between the startup ecosystems India and Germany.

Dr. Vishnu Ramdeo

Founder-Director / Cultural Bridge e.V

Vishnu is the founder and Director of the Ramdeo College of Management and Science. Founder of the Cultural Bridge e.V. organisations promoting students exchange. Co-founder of Indo German Young leader’s Forum. He is the recipient of prestigious German Chancellor’s Fellowship and worked extensively on improving higher educational systems by fostering collaborations between institutions of India and the EU.
Vishnu has a Doctorate in Economics and Masters in Business Management, specializing in Finance and Insurance. He also acquired a degree in Law and Associate Diploma in Insurance.

Suhas Patel

President at TiE Deutschland

Mr. Suhas Patel has helped starting several ventures including Hi-Tech Pneumatics, Luftpower Pvt. Ltd, Giriraj Speciality Pvt. Ltd, Giriraj Metals, Tuetepack India Pvt. Ltd., Saurashtra Agro Briquettes, Tvarit Solutions Pvt. Ltd. and Stonesketch solutions Pvt. Ltd. where he is investor as well. He holds Masters degree in Mobile and Telecommunications from Paris and Bachelors in Computer Science from India. He has been speaker at entrepreneurial and sustainable energy conferences.

Dr. Markus Wiencke

CEO Bluebilities

As an ethnologist and psychologist Markus Wiencke is interested in cultural and social diversity and in how it leads to synergies. Together with his wife Birgit Metzger who is a designer he founded the company Bluebilities GmbH. Bluebilities offers talent acquisition and development in the sectors of digitalisation and digital competences. In India he wants to combine “jugaad innovation” and its application-orientated and resource-efficient solutions with the German model of practice-oriented project management.

Discussion Panelists / MUMBAI

Poyni Bhatt

Chief Executive Officer at Society for Innovation & Entrepreneurship (SINE) – IIT Bombay

Poyni Bhatt, fellow member of the Institute of Company Secretaries of India, is a founding team member of SINE, the technology business incubator at IIT Bombay, and has been managing the incubator since 2004. She is also Involved in 100+ startups incubated at SINE.

Amitabh Sinha

Cofounder & Chief Strategy Officer, | Serial Entrepreneur | Mentor | Facilitator | Evangelist

Amitabh has spent twenty years going round the block. He’s more than a little obsessed with terms like efficacy, efficiency & effectiveness. His mantra is ‘it can be done better’, therefore there’s no such thing as a customer who can’t be given a better experience.


Nilesh Jain

Founder and Partner – Z Nation Lab

He is co-founder & a serial entrepreneur with over 20 years of experience in silicon valley. He currently incubates, mentors & invests with entrepreneurs solving a problem big enough impacting a Billion lives. He has studied at Carnegie Mellon, and University of Pittsburgh, with a passion to improve the startup ecosystem in India. He has co-founded product focused companies in the areas of medical, energy, health and technology, and in theUSA; supply chain and operations focussed startups. His primary focus is on healthcare & technology sectors and process focus in manufacturing, & operations. Currently, he is focused with leading edge Indian start ups, &marshals the technology & innovation platform with integration between India and USA.


Jury Members and Moderators / HEIDELBERG

Sumanta Pal

Triangle Venture Capital Group

Sumanta in charge of investment management in a German VC and technology at two German Crowdfunding Platforms Funder Nation and SpaceStarters. He is a Space techie turned Venture Capitalist. He loves learning about new technologies and its commercial potential. Socially, keen on learning about diverse cultures. He holds a MSc in Space Studies from the International Space University and a Bachelor’s in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Mumbai.

Amit Shah

Advisory Board Member, Chair of Industry 4.0 

Amit Shah is a builder, leader and advisor with more than 15 years of experience in the field of sensors, communications, IoT, M2M, Industrial IoT, Industrie 4.0 and Smart Solutions. In his Career spannding 25 years, 4 start-ups and corporates, he has been driving Innovation, continuously redefining markets, Engineering new products and Solutions to cater to customer needs. An Electronics Engineer from Bombay University, India with Masters in Software Technology; he is on is on board of several companies and TiE Germany. He is sought after speaker in his field and is adjunct professor at HTWG Konstanz.

Dr. Prateek Mahalwar

Manager Ernest & Young

Currently, Prateek Mahalwar is working as Manager Strategy – Life Sciences at Ernest & Young in Frankfurt. He is also serving as an elected board member of the Max Planck Alumni Association of the Max Planck Society. His work at EY includes advising biotechnology, pharma R&D and MedTech companies on areas like – Strategy , Commercialization, Advance Analytics, R&D consulting. Before joining EY, he was an Independent consultant for EU projects and Croatian government. He has been an entrepreneur as well and co-founded startups – a digital health start-up “EOG Smartpatch” (medical device and digital healthcare data) and a platform based startup – Paperity (publishing industry). He holds a PhD in Life Sciences from Max Planck Institute under the supervision of Nobel laureate Prof. Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard. His research was published in high impact journals like Science, Nature communication and eLife. Beside his PhD research, he was involved in several initiatives with Max Planck Society (MPG) as the spokesperson.

Jubin Shah (Moderator)

Researcher | Community Manager – HISA | DAAD YIA Ambassador

Jubin is a doctoral researcher at the University of Heidelberg. He is fond of innovation. He is an experienced community manager of the Heidelberg Indian Students Association. He therefore represents DAAD Young India Ambassador. He has worked with TedxUniHeidelberg Team on the theme of Absurdity. He has served as the elected member of Heidelberg University’s Doctoral student’s convention team in 2015-16. He believes in working closely with the community and bringing out the best out of them.

Sina Landorff (Moderator)

Sina has a proven track record of establishing strategic relationships and specializing in online customer acquisition and client retention with extensive experience working with small to large businesses and agencies globally. Results-driven and unafraid to think differently while keeping up motivation and drive, she has become a trusted online marketing and communications advisor. Furthermore, as a personal life coach she pushes her clients to the next level to achieve where they strive to be. Using her knowledge to improve their interpersonal skills, not only through her workshops, Sina also performs as a speaker and moderator on events regularly.

Madhuri Cherukumilli (Co-Moderator)

Madhuri is one of the organizers of the event involved in documentation, project coordination and fund raising. She is a start-up enthusiast and is interested in innovation in health care, personalized medicine and wearable devices. She is a research scientist by profession and worked at University Heidelberg and EMBL. She has done her doctoral studies in Molecular pathology from International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, Italy.

Jury Members and Moderators / MUMBAI

Sushanto Mitra

Founder & CEO, Lead Angels Network, TIE Charter Member

Sushant was the first CEO of Society for Innovation & Entrepreneurship, IIT Bombay one of India’s most successful and pioneering incubator with investments across consumer durables, consumer internet, telecom equipment, healthcare and hardware product companies.
He has diverse experience and worked across various local & global firms in boutique investment banking advisory practice, equity funds, equity research, conglomerates and consulting companies. Sushanto’s core strength is to bring together indispensable entrepreneurial experience for venture capital investments across domains. He has assisted market entry strategies, successful ipo and exits across diverse sectors. He has worked with multi-national clients & deal teams at CXO levels for companies across locations.


Dr. Apoorv Ranjan Sharma

Angel Investor, Cofounder & President at Venture Catalysts and Charter Member at TiE

Dr. Apoorv Sharma is the co-founder & president of Venture Catalysts. He is the recipient of the prestigious Best Incubator Award given by the President of India, for the outstanding performance of the JSS Incubator. Over last two decades; he has curated, incubated & led seed investment of 100+ startups. A PhD in Incubation from Amity University, Noida and graduate in Electrical Engineering from HBTI, Kanpur He has also pursued a diploma in Mentor Studies from Berkley Institute of Management, University of California, USA.


Vinod Keni

Partner – Artha Venture Fund, Co-Founder, Peachtree Mgmt Advisors, Fintech SIG, TiE Mumbai. Company Builder & Investor

An Accomplished Corporate Finance Executive, Investment Professional, Entrepreneur & Advisor with a proven track record in achieving positive business, developing strategic alliances, identifying new opportunities and measuring impact. Skilled in Merger & Acquisitions, Strategy and Venture Capital. He also possesses solid leadership, communication and interpersonal skills to establish rapport with all levels of staff and management and is a frequent speaker, blogger & writer. He is an aluminous of various institutes of repute including the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India, Indian School of Business & Harvard Business School.


Anup Mehta

Co-founder – Z Nation Lab

Anup is an investment director, a mentor, publisher of startup journals & a persistent risk taking entrepreneur, always looking for new opportunities. He has more than a decade experience in managing successful businesses in Real Estate, Healthcare and Finance. He strongly believes to be successful in any business, one needs to be innovative and think ahead of time to anticipate the paradigm shifts that are occurring rapidly than ever before.


Pushpamitra Das

Mentor / Board Member / Finance and Real Estate

Business Oriented Finance Professional with over 25 years of cross-industry experience having right mix of skills, competence, experience and cultural compatibility that are crucial for the Sr leadership role to achieve performance and growth of a business in a rapidly changing and growing environment.

Neha Jain (Moderator MUMBAI)

Cofounder & Director

Neha has successfully led an exit from a home decor venture and has 10+ years of experience in marketing and relationship building. Apart from her entrepreneurial nature, she is known for her lobbying skills and is an outstanding leader. Up to date with tools and technology, she is keen to find startups who are disruptive and have a zeal to succeed.