We Are APX
A joint venture between Axel Springer and Porsche in Berlin
Following in the footsteps of sister company, Axel Springer Plug and Play, APX was born when two best-in-class giants came together with a shared mission: To identify fearless founding teams with ambitious digital ideas and global aspirations. And to help their startups pick up speed.
Based in Berlin, we’re an experienced, international team that shares one big idea: We believe that real value lies in people – in your team, in our team, and in the people we know. We celebrate diversity, value authenticity, and do everything in our power to connect you with the right people.
Meet the individuals behind APX
After landing Bill Gates as a keynote speaker at a conference he organised as a student, Jörg learned two things: You can ask anyone anything and you are your own limit. He carried these learnings with him when he started his first company back in 1994, founding another five years later that was acquired by ebay. Following on from his role as ebay.de’s Managing Director, he started investing as a business angel, later co-founding betterplace.org. Jörg is a member of the Governance Board of Bahlsen, advisory board member at Deutsche Bank, and on the entrepreneurial board of WHU, ESCP, and Zeppelin universities. Born and raised in Cologne, he also co-authored the book Simply Seven and helped to bring TEDx to Germany. He learned about failure after being forced to close a 70-person company: Do so granularly, not epically, he says.
Henric is our Managing Director alongside Jörg. A lawyer since 2013, he studied in Hamburg, Cape Town, and New York City, prior to which he grew up in Bochum, at the heart of Germany’s former coal mining and heavy industry hotspot. With American Western novels and bluegrass music as his go-tos, Henric plays in a band himself. Their 2017 tour of Italy is up there with his favourite travel memories, during which they played 24 shows up and down the country, from Treviso to Sicily.
Executive Assistant & Manager Campus Operations
Anne is from Northern Germany and has a coordinating role at APX, heading up our operations team and keeping us all organised. Her favourite song is What’s My Age Again by Blink 182 (a classic) and she reckons everyone should read Drop City by T.C. Boyle. At weekends, Anne can be found cooking with friends or exploring new restaurants. If she was shipwrecked on a remote island, she reckons she’d stock up on coconut water and make sandcastles to pass the time.
Corinne Lembe Mayunga
Having been part of the vibrant Berlin tech ecosystem for a few years, Corinne is responsible for developing and curating the APX program. She previously worked in consultancy and at a music streaming company, where she learned to be more vocal when she needs to achieve a certain goal – something she’d struggled with in the past. Corinne has a Master’s in Management of Organizations and Marketing from ICN Business School and spent six months studying in Umeå, Sweden – an intense experience, she says. Here’s something else we didn’t know about Corinne: The house music-loving Parisienne reckons she has psychic abilities…
Director of Finance
Keeping our financial and legal processes running smoothly, Melanie makes sure we have enough money and our shareholders get the information they need. What motivates her most is having an impact on a startup’s success, especially helping them close a financing round. Born and raised in Leipzig, she also studied in Edinburgh, where she took a Publishing and Booktrade program to pursue her childhood dream of working in a publishing house. Fun fact: Melanie once sailed the Galapagos Islands during a six-month sabbatical.
Sarah takes care of office spaces and rent here at APX, making sure we have all we need to do our work. She has a very important job indeed, making APX HQ a happy and productive place to work, both for team members and the startup teams that join our program. Her background in five-star hospitality certainly helps! Sarah hails from Nuremberg and spent time in Geneva before she couldn’t resist the international, culture-rich city of Berlin any longer.
Sonja is a business and technology lawyer and Master’s student at Bucerius Law School in Hamburg. Born and raised in Serbia, she pre-screens the companies that apply to the APX program and takes care of everything legal. With a law degree and high-flying legal career behind her, her biggest failure, she says, is being scared to take risks. And although the decision to start working with startups terrified her at first, it’s something she’s now very proud of. Sonja’s current focus is technology law, crypto-asset regulation, and learning to let things happen at their own pace. Oh, and trying to land a picnic with Elon Musk. (We’ll keep you posted on that one.)
Head of Marketing and Communications
Born in Montreal with Vietnamese roots, Bào travelled the world for 15 months before landing in Berlin three years ago. Arriving here to reboot a digital marketing agency without speaking German was, he says, his biggest professional failure – but through it, he learned how he wants to live, work, and spend his time. Having majored in Communication Studies and cofounded a digital agency back in Canada, he heads up marketing and comms at APX. Outside of work, he loves basketball and food, and has a secret sixth sense: He cooks without a recipe, blending spices by smell and imagination. Needless to say his perfect day with one person living or dead would be a culinary one too: a food tour of NYC with journalist Malcolm Gladwell.
Constantin von Bergmann-Korn
Constantin manages dealflow activities at APX, ensuring that investors are familiar with the investment potential of our portfolio startups. It’s his job to make sure that as many of the startups that join our program as possible get funding once they’ve finished. He joined APX’s sister company, Axel Springer Plug and Play, back in 2015 and, before that, worked for a digital service startup in London and a boutique risk consulting firm in Vienna. He studied Business Administration in Vienna and Berlin, and really, really loves running.
With an MSc in Management & Strategy and a knack for mental arithmetic, Swiss-born Emrah is the Investment Manager here at APX. His favourite dance move is a six step followed by a windmill (google it) and his role model is Kobe Bryant. He strongly recommends that you read Think Like a Freak (Dubner & Levitt) and listen to Spooky by Dusty Springfield – his recommendations, not ours!
Entrepreneur in Residence
Moving to Berlin from Silicon Valley to join APX, Neeraj was named as a 30 Under 30 tech entrepreneur by Forbes in 2016. Before APX, he co-founded Sprig, an online restaurant that raised $57M, had 1,200 employees, and served over two million meals in 3.5 years. Prior to that, he led marketing and operations at 12Society, an innovative subscription business, helping it scale from $0 to $1M just four weeks after launch. Going back further, he worked in investment banking and before that, got a degree in Economics and Global Studies from UCLA.
Project Manager, Porsche Digital
Rob is our ‘Porsche Guy’, a project manager at Porsche Digital who works alongside APX. He connects all the dots – APX and PDG, Berlin and Stuttgart, Axel Springer and Porsche – and is motivated by building and empowering strong, capable teams. Rob’s secret talent is that he was once a hip hop DJ and has a Master’s in Business Communication. Growing up wanting to be a car dealer and/or professional footballer, his role model is Magnus Walker, Porsche collector and all-round coolest guy on earth.
Investment Team Member
Erdinç is a polyglot, culture explorer, technology aficionado, Burning Man citizen and member of the investment team at APX! Erdinç has two goals: Professionally, to empower entrepreneurs around the globe. Personally, to make a difference in other people’s lives and to share cultural and personal insights. He once rode the Trans-Siberian Railway from Moscow to Beijing and enjoyed an 8000 kilometer long train journey across India. Since breaking free of the pressure to follow other people’s expectations for him, Erdinç has found a super power: self-reinvention.
Bringing her creative energy to APX, Anna is a freelance journalist and startup enthusiast from Nuremberg. She’s currently completing an internship in the marketing team here, having just wrapped up a BSc in Business Administration from University of Göttingen. Outside of Germany, her favourite travel memories are from her trips to Israel, where she ate, partied, and made friends across the country. All of her professional efforts paid off, she says, when she landed German TV and journalism icon Hajo Schumacher as a mentor.
Working Student, Investment
A Masters student at Bocconi University in Milan, Tilman works in the Investment Team at APX. This includes dealflow screenings, due diligence of potential new startups, and all things pitches. The native of Essen, Germany has learned not to hesitate when opportunities present themselves. Instead, he embraces them, an approach that has led him to successfully completing four internships, his biggest professional accomplishment. Tilman’s favourite travel memory was travelling by bus in India, from the coast to tea plantations and more – the food, he says, is the best in the world.
Marketing and Communications Apprentice
Photographer and media sales pro Yannick works in the marketing and communications team at APX. He moved to Berlin from southwest Germany after high school in 2016 and now knows the Berlin transport map by heart – an impressive feat! Having always dreamed of being a freelance photographer, Yannick’s perfect day would be spent on a shoot with Toronto-based Jamal Burger, aka Jayscale. And anything’s possible – after underestimating his own skills in the past, he’s since learned that he’s capable of far more than he once thought.
Dual Student, Marketing
While studying Business Administration on a joint work-and-study program, Saskia is on the marketing team at APX. She previously worked for a famous German morning show in the online editorial department, responsible for, among other things, social media. More than anything, Saskia wishes that she’d had the chance to talk about the universe with Stephen Hawking, but she also has a special skill of her own – she can write with one hand and write backwards with the other hand at the same time. (We’re going to have to see this…)
CDO (Chief Dog Officer) and Head of the Happiness Team
Even though she spends no fewer than 21.5 hours a day sleeping and the rest of the time eating, tanning, and distracting the team, everyone knows that Perla is the head of happiness and the real boss in the APX office. Whatever the weather, she keeps us all smiling! Born and raised in Costa Brava, Spain, Perla once caught a squirrel (almost) and, in her long and adventurous life, has learned one important lesson: Never try to fight a hedgehog.