SUPPORT | October 11, 2017

GEN Announces Managing Director to Lead Affiliate in Germany

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Sonja Alt to guide GEN Germany to strengthen international connections and implement new programs, initiatives

WASHINGTON, DC – Sonja Alt has been appointed as managing director of GEN Germany. In this role, Alt is now responsible for expanding collaboration among the country’s entrepreneurship ecosystem leaders and connecting them to their counterparts in more than 170 countries.

The announcement comes following a visit to Berlin made by Jonathan Ortmans, president of the Global Entrepreneurship Network, to meet with GEN's longtime partners -- the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy and RKW Kompetenzzentrum -- as well as GEN Germany's advisory board members and leaders of other GEN Europe operations.

"GEN Germany is being built on “gruenderwoche” – one of the strongest and most successful GEW campaigns in the world," said Ortmans. "Leveraging Berlin’s strong global startup brand, Frankfurt’s FinTech scene and similar assets across Germany, under Alt's leadership, we are confident GEN Germany will be able to effectively connect Germany’s entrepreneurs and leading entrepreneurial support organizations to the right global communities that can help them succeed."

GEN Germany is made possible through a partnership with RKW Kompetenzzentrum.

"In addition to a very successful Global Entrepreneurship Week campaign, GEN Germany will better connect German startups, and those helping them in Germany, to the possibilities that GEN has to offer," said Alt. "I am proud to be building GEN in Germany aligned with RKW’s existing entrepreneurship education work around stronger ecosystems and the entrepreneurial mindset.”

At the global level, GEN operates in more than 170 countries. It fuels healthier start and scale ecosystems by fostering deeper cross-border collaboration and initiatives that engage entrepreneurs, investors, policymakers, researchers and entrepreneurship support organizations.

GEN Germany aims to strengthen the ecosystem by focusing on:

  • Fostering an entrepreneurial mindset among young people
  • Connecting and leveraging the work of entrepreneur support providers – experts, mentors, consultants, and other networks and institutions – to multiply their reach and impact
  • Strengthening the ecosystem framework to facilitate startups scaling to the next stage in their development
  • Generating data on entrepreneurial networks and needs related to internationalization by developing, conducting, and analyzing surveys among entrepreneurs
  • Helping startups establish connections in potential new international markets by connecting and complementing existing public and private initiatives in this area
  • Advising startups seeking to reach international markets by developing an handbook of best practices in this area, and conducting roadshow workshops and training seminars
  • Organizing international competitions including the Creative Business Cup, Cleantech Open, and Future Agro Challenge
  • Facilitating the transfer of knowledge among German cities and with global counterparts. 


Jessica is a former multimedia journalist with a background in print and online media. At the Global Entrepreneurship Network, she created daily… About the author

Peter focuses on building the Global Entrepreneurship Network's capacity to impact entrepreneurship ecosystems around the world. For the… About the author