Ilmenau Business Angels

Wir sind die Ilmenau Business Angels

That's us

Smart up
Let's make it clear: we are not consultants – we are entrepreneurs. We are not money donors – we are Business Angels. We act on our own experience.

This means: we act as consultants and coaches for start-up businesses. We challenge you and support you. We’re great at strategy and know how to communicate. We develop ideas, teams and skills. Yours, in fact.


Need convincing?

Send me an Angel
We know how much a promising business idea is reliant on people who believe in it. Right from the start. This is why we are on your side from the get-go – with an adept team, but also sometimes with a pragmatic piece of advice from people with more experience. Angelic, you might say.

Been there, done that
We do, of course, also want to do business. That is why we’re not mentors; we also commit ourselves financially. We are well acquainted with the sometimes damned fine line between success and failure from our own entrepreneurial experience – like from setting up SunTechnics, a pre-runner of CONERGY AG in Hamburg. We’d be happy to tell you more in person.

Put your money where your mouth is!
As consultants, we see again and again how much a second opinion, a different perspective and another range of experience can enhance our work with a start-up team. This is why we give you more than just one Business Angel. And yes: if things get tight, we can provide short-term liquidity.


The team

360 degree expertise
A long-time partner in a strategic consultancy, an architect, a cultural scientist, a communications expert, supervisory experience, training skills, coaches and team builders, field expertise in science and economics, art, culture and politics – that’s what and who we are. What’s in it for you? We don’t have tunnel vision. Guaranteed.





Ilmenau Business Angel Heiko Franken

Heiko Franken

All in
Nothing by halves – anything Heiko Franken does, he does with passion. And expertise.

Twelve years as a partner at the Boston Consulting Group have taught him how companies work and what investors want. What start-ups need, that he knows from his own experience: he and a partner founded SunTechnics in 1996.

As an independent consultant and executive coach, a trained systemic coach and team builder, Heiko Franken also knows how to transfer knowledge. Students at Leuphana University Lüneburg are now also reaping the rewards of this. After managing the business side of the university from 2010 to 2012, Heiko Franken is now lecturing there on strategy and social entrepreneurship.


Matthias W. Brettschneider

Ilmenau Business Angel Matthias W. BrettschneiderCreative thinking in sync
Really successful projects need a shot of lateral thinking – in both strategic planning and implementation. Matthias Brettschneider opens the door to very special opportunities because he knows how to think his way around things that come up unexpectedly. And he knows what sort of dramaturgy can help when starting up.

He has been designing exhibitions and publications since EXPO 2000, supervising the projects throughout their implementation. Like for the Bauhaus Dessau Foundation: the IBA Urban Redevelopment 2010 presentation and event programme originate from him. Matthias Brettschneider also set up the knowledge management for the International Film Festival and the House of World Cultures in Berlin.

After heading up strategic development at the Digital School of the Leuphana University Lüneburg, Matthias Brettschneider now consults with businesses and institutions involved in culture, economics and science.


Susanne Gerhards

Ilmenau Business Angel Susanne GerhardsThink before you speak
Susanne Gerhards has been in public relations for 12 years and is familiar with many types of communication; she has chosen the right words for associations and organisations, for economic initiatives and companies, and for political players and authorities. This means asking the right questions and being in tune with the less obvious. Her training as a systemic coach and team builder ensure that she always strikes the right note.

Susanne Gerhards doesn’t just rely on sounding good, however. Her experience in brand development, design and strategic communications ensure that outward image and inner core work together in harmony.

She has first-hand experience of what goes on in business, too: she was deputy chairwoman of CinemaxX AG from 2005 to 2009.


Eva-Maria Werner

Ilmenau Business Angel Eva-Maria WernerA strategist with her eye on the ball
Eva-Maria Werner designs, coordinates and manages projects at the hub of economics, politics and society – most recently as a project manager at Leuphana University Lüneburg in the Digital Education school and for an innovative cultural project at Kieler Woche 2013.

Having a hand on a very big tiller doesn’t scare Eva-Maria Werner – and she always has an eye on the very big picture anyhow. As the head of press and public relations for Bündnis 90/Die Grünen in Hamburg, Eva-Maria Werner was responsible for election campaigns at a local, national and EU level from 2008 to 2010. She then worked in various executive project management roles at Leuphana University Lüneburg.

She is well versed in ambitious founders: amongst other things, Eva-Maria Werner organised a start-up competition for Leuphana University. Participants included 1,800 students and external start-up experts aplenty from all over Germany. The certified economist is currently in the middle of a practice-oriented Master of Public Policy (MPP) degree, focusing in particular on the issues of good governance and (social) entrepreneurship.

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