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Gert Christen

Visionary Leader & Creative problem solver, One of 100 Digital Shapers of Switzerland, Named a Future Builder 

Digital shaper and thought leader. Creator of incubators and digital transformation innovation programs. Award-winning technology marketer. Founder of the world’s first App stores.


Gert Christen offers more than 20 years of success incubating, launching, and growing digital businesses.
He specialises in designing innovation programs, incubators, and accelerators in the fields of digital transformation, fintech, insurtech and climate technologies. His expertise is in initiatives that create links between established corporations and startups. His experience covers the private, public, and academic sectors across the U.S., Latin America, Europe, and Asia.

A visionary leader and creative problem solver, Gert sees connections and solutions that others miss, strengths that have aided him as the founder of multiple incubators for corporate ventures, startups, and smart city solutions for which he developed custom methodologies based on Design Thinking and Lean Startup. Startups included fintech and insurtech startups. Gert is also credited as the inventor of one of the first mobile digital content businesses in the world while at Nokia and for creating one of the first mass markets for RF-ID technology.

He co-founded San Francisco’s first smart city innovation centre SuperpublicSF. Prior he created Startupfair and Startup-Battle, the first national Swiss startup convention that won the national marketing award. He stood up the entrepreneurship program at his alma mater HWZ University in Zurich, Switzerland and teaches entrepreneurship at the University of California, Berkeley. He was recognised as one of 100 Digital Shapers of Switzerland and named a Future Builder.

He earned his M.B.A. at Southern Methodist University’s Cox School of Business in Dallas, Texas, followed by post-graduate courses at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne, Switzerland, and at the Zurich University of Teacher Education.


Corporate Innovation at Startup Speed

In today’s fast-paced business environment, the ability to innovate quickly and stay ahead of the competition is crucial for companies of all sizes. Startups are often seen as being more agile and able to bring new ideas to market faster than established corporations. In this talk, we will explore the reasons why startups are able to move at startup speed, and how established companies can emulate these practices to become more innovative and respond faster to change.

We will also delve into the various ways that established companies can successfully work with startups to access new technologies, ideas, and talent and discuss the potential benefits and challenges of such collaborations. Through a combination of real-world examples and practical advice, attendees will come away with a better understanding of how to inject startup-like innovation into their own organisations and how to effectively collaborate with startups to drive growth faster and stay ahead of the curve.

Climate Change is the World’s Biggest Business Opportunity

Climate change is often viewed as a daunting and overwhelming challenge, but it also presents a significant business opportunity for those who can address it effectively. The computing and internet business opportunity was the last such wave, but the next wave of innovation and disruption is centered around tackling the pressing issues of climate change. In this talk, we will discuss the ways in which technology can be leveraged to address the challenges posed by climate change. From renewable energy to sustainable agriculture and transportation, the opportunities for businesses and entrepreneurs to innovate and make a positive impact are vast.

Attendees will come away with a better understanding of the ways in which they can benefit as a business or entrepreneur by solving issues related to climate change and will learn about the various strategies that are available to them in order to do so. Whether you are a seasoned entrepreneur or just starting out, this talk will provide valuable insights and inspiration for those looking to make a difference and seize the business opportunities of our time.

Innovation Matters

Innovation is often talked about as a buzzword, but it is a critical factor for the success and survival of businesses in today’s rapidly-changing world. Without a commitment to continuous innovation, businesses risk becoming obsolete and losing ground to their competitors or to disruption by rising startups. In this talk, we will delve into the importance of innovation and how businesses can learn from startups and technology companies in Silicon Valley to cultivate an innovative mindset. We will discuss the various ways that they approach innovation and how those approaches can be scaled and integrated for businesses of any size.

Attendees will come away with a better understanding of the importance of innovation and will learn practical strategies for fostering an innovative culture within their own organizations. Whether you are a large corporation or a small startup, this talk will provide valuable insights and inspiration for those looking to stay ahead of the curve and thrive in an increasingly competitive landscape.

Design Thinking & User-Centered Approaches are Key to Successful Innovation

Design Thinking and other user-centered approaches are essential for successful innovation in today’s fast-paced business environment: By putting the needs and perspectives of the user at the center, businesses are able to create solutions that are more effective, efficient, carry less risk, and ultimately, are more successful. This is true whether creating a new product or starting a new company. But what is Design Thinking, how does it differ from more traditional approaches to problem-solving, and how can it be applied to building an entirely new business? In this talk, we will explore the key principles of Design Thinking and the additional components needed to apply it to create new businesses. We will discuss the various benefits of adopting a Design Thinking mindset, including increased customer centricity, improved collaboration within organisations, and how this agile, user-centred approach will lead to better new businesses. 

Attendees will come away with a better understanding of what Design Thinking is and why it is so important for successful innovation. They will also learn how to apply the Design Thinking process to create a brand-new business. Businesses of any size can benefit from adopting this approach.


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