Vidar Andersen

Vidar Andersen

"[...] one of the most important persons in the German startup scene."
- Wirtschafts Woche

"Vordenker - Deutschlands kluegste Koepfe"

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Pitching Masterclass

Open Office Hours*

Speaking or Teaching*

Corporate Programs*


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A Norwegian tech entrepreneur who occasionally founds (tech) startups, and regularly helps students, startup founders, corporations, and organisations with their innovation goals, currently living in the greater Dusseldorf / Cologne area of Germany.

Got Startup? Get Smart, Get Funded!

Missed his shot at becoming sitcom-famous being thrown off the set of "Sex & the City" in NYC back in 1999, since wrote & recorded a Billboard Hot 100, and created stuff used by billions. (Well, 2 of 3 true - so far.).

His work has been featured and recognised around the world by the likes of The New York Times, CNN, TechCrunch, Business Insider, Wirtschafts Woche, and Die Welt, and his work has been seen and used by Billions.

A popular keynote speaker, panelist, and moderator (MC), he's been invited to events and conferences like SxSW, WebSummit, LeWeb, PASSWORD, RTL's Digital Shapers, and TedX Hamburg, World Business Dialogue. Universities like Cambridge, Stanford, KIT, and Cologne U as a speaker and moderator (MC) - as well as to keynote corporate events from well-known brands like Bertelsmann, Henkel, and Amadeus Leisure Group, or GOs like NRW INVEST, the city of Dusseldorf and the city of Cologne, and more.

A central figure in the German startup world and instrumental in the formation of the Cologne and Rhineland startup scene, Andersen's "hobby" is supporting early-stage startups and spreading education on how to build startups to students and founders as a very modest investor in super-early-stage tech startups, as an educator teaching at universities and colleges, by providing free Open Office Hours weekly since 2007, by training over 3.000 startups - and counting - how to pitch investors with his Pitching Masterclass, and the slides from his educational lectures and talks have been featured as "SlideShare's Slide of the Day" multiple times.

As an educator, he's been invited to teach and speak about startup entrepreneurship at Standford, Cambridge, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), BITS Iserlohn, WHU, Maastricht University, Cologne University, Cologne Polytechnical, NW University in Switzerland, Dokuz Eylul University in Turkey (DEU), Qazvin Islamic Azad University (QIAU) in Iran [in different times]), and more. He's also worked with USAID to help support entrepreneurship in eastern European nations, educating corporate leaders and startup founders.

And - because corporations and organisations don't stop asking - he has also been helping corporations and organisations (like Deutsche Telekom, ABInBev, AXA, Philip Morris International, Bertelsmann, Zentis, Reifenhaeuser, BARCO, Henkel, Yello Strom, Telefonica, the International Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory (INL), and many more) with innovation and digitalisation through his company +ANDERSEN & ASSOCIATES since 2013.

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"Vidar Andersen, you rock."
- Robert @Scobleizer Scoble


Vidar Andersen speaking at the Password conference in Tallinn, Estonia

A popular keynote speaker, pictured Andersen is speaking about what marketers can learn from startups at Estonia's largest marketing conference "Password".



Vidar Andersen teaching the Lean Launchpad curriculum for startups from Stanford, herea a picture of his studens in Iran

Andersen is a certified Lean Launchpad (LLP) Educator trained at Stanford by Steve Blank himself, here pictured teaching the LLP curriculum to students at the largest private tech university in Iran in 2015, when the world looked different.

  • Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)
  • University of Cologne
  • International Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory (INL), Portugal
  • BITS Iserlohn
  • Qazvin Islamic Azad University (QIAU), Iran
  • Cologne Business School (CBS)
  • Dokuz Eylul University Izmir, Turkey
  • WHU Otto Beisheim School of Management
  • NW University of Applied Science, Switzerland
  • Knowmads Business University, Amsterdam
  • Northern Institute of Technology (NIT), Hamburg
  • Karlshochschule International University
  • Maastricht University
  • Cologne Polytechnical College
  • USAID, Moldova
  • Rheinland Pitch (teaching applying startups how to pitch investors since 2013)
  • Pitching Masterclass (the Masterclass available for all startups - anywhere, any time)
  • & more
Vidar Andersen's Pitching Masterclass in Budapest, Hungary

Andersen teaching his Pitching Masterclass, pictured here teaching in Budapest, Hungary.


Corporate Innovation with

Vidar Andersen teaching his Innovator Masterclass at Telefonica Germany, Munich

Pictured, teaching his Innovator Masterclass for corporates at Telefonica Germany, Munich

  • Deutsche Telekom
  • ABInBev
  • AXA
  • Philip Morris International
  • Bertelsmann
  • Zentis
  • Henkel
  • Yello Strom
  • Telefónica
  • Vebego
  • Reifenhaeuser
  • Traveltainment, The Amadeus Leisure Group
  • Carlsen Publishers
  • International Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory (INL), Portugal
  • Mainzer Stadtwerke
  • & more iconic brands under NDA
Vidar Andersen keynoting at RTL's Digital Shapers in Zagrab, Croatia

Andersen's keynote (view on RTL) "Why Corporate Innovation Fails" at RTL's Digital Shapers conference in Zagreb.


Featured & Recognized

Logos of places Featured, Recognized, Speaker, MC, Panelist
  • The New York Times
  • CNN
  • Business Insider
  • Forbes
  • TechCrunch
  • NCIIA @ Stanford (Lean Launchpad Educator Scholarship w. Steve Blank & Jerry Engel)
  • Wirtschafts Woche (Named "one of the one of the most important persons" in the German startup scene)
  • The Innovator's Handbook
  • IndieGoGo (Featured Campaign on the front page globally)
  • Rude Baguette (Named one of "Top 5 People to Know" in the German startup scene)
  • Startup Ambassador to the City of Duesseldorf, Germany
  • Netzwertig
  • SxSW Startup Ambassador to the State of NRW, Germany
  • DViCE
  • Nordic Startup Awards (Winner, People's Choice Norway)
  • Die Welt
  • SlideShare (made "Slide of the Day" four times so far)
  • Accenture
  • BBC Click
  • University of Deusto, Bilbao (Global Entrepreneurship Accelerator Program GEAP Scholarship received)
  • NY1
  • Kabel Eins
  • Ketchum Report
  • Monaco Media Forum
  • Startup America
  • c'n'b Conference (Winner, Most Innovative German Business)
  • StartupBus (Buspreneur + Producer, BeNeLux)
  • Up Global
  • Rheinische Post
  • & more

"Crazy magnetic viking guy. [...] OK. You should come and do the talk instead of me. Stand up!"[...]
- Yossi Vardi

Speaker, Panelist, Moderator (MC)

As a popular speaker, keynote topics from Andersen include Digitalisation, Digital Transformation, Innovation, Startups, Data-Driven Innovation, Corporate Innovation, Technology, NFTs, Blockchain, Innovation Management, Corporate Entrepreneurship, Entrepreneurship and Intrapreneurship Education.

Vidar Andersen moderating the closing panel discussion at the World Business Dialogue, Cologne.

As a popular MC, here Moderating the closing panel discussion at the World Business Dialogue, Cologne.

  • SxSW, Austin Texas
  • LeWeb, Paris
  • Web Summit, Dublin & London
  • Stanford, California
  • dmexco, Cologne
  • Pirate Summit, Cologne
  • TEDx Hamburg
  • Cambridge, England
  • gBETA, Anchorage Alaska
  • Founders Institute Cameroon
  • CurveUp Sri Lanka
  • Entrepreneurship Cell IIT Kharagpur, India
  • Intrapreneurship Conference London
  • Shahid Beheshti University Tehran, Iran
  • Password, Tallinn
  • Maastricht Week of Entrepreneurship
  • Global Entrepreneurship Week
  • Tech Cocktail Austin
  • World Business Dialogue
  • Rheinland Pitch (Germany's largest startup pitch event)
  • DRadio Wissen
  • WDR Fernsehen
  • RuhrSummit
  • Erasmus University Rotterdam
  • Advance Day Cologne
  • Startup Pirates
  • Lean Camp
  • Business France, Impact Germany
  • Campus Party Berlin
  • Interactive Cologne
  • Global Startup Weekend Facilitator (retired)
  • Global Corporations under NDA
  • & more

" [...] Vidar is what some would call "a hustler". He runs several local meetups in Cologne and works tirelessly. Easily someone I'd count among the people I'd start a company with, given the opportunity. [...]
- Named among "The five-must know people of Germany [...]" by Liam Boogar, Editor The Rude Baguette



On a panel discussion with State Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy of North Rhine-Westphalia, Dr. Pinkwart, about the Gruenderstipendium NRW

A jury member for the Gruenderstipendium NRW in Cologne and Duesselforf since its inception, here on a panel discussion about the program so far with State Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy of North Rhine-Westphalia, Dr. Pinkwart.



Andersen dropped out of university (originally the plan was to study film, become a film director) to start his professional career riding the dotcom Web 1.0 boom in the mid 1990s instead. Some of the lesser known things that happened along the way so far include:

  • Invented, pitched, and won the contract for the first web-based Learning Management System in the world for the Norwegian Government in the mid nineties - and managed its production
  • Co-created a web-based game (it involved flinging a cartoon cow by catapult) in the nineties that had millions of daily users and was featured on BBC's "Click Online" (before monetisation on the web was a thing)
  • People might already know that he co-founded the very popular enterprise content management system Plone (users include The FBI, The CIA, NASA JPL, Govermnents, etc), but fewer knows he also created its original icons (someone had to do it) that went on to have a life of their own, being used and seen by billions.
  • Moved to Germany from Norway in 2005 and served as "Head of Digital" at T-Mobile International's lead agency and was responsible for all things digital worldwide, managing people & digital innovation for about five years (of note, also wrote, pitched, and won the dmexco account and lead the launch of its web, print, and on-site presence)
  • Founded the startup behind the first real Social Discovery app for the iPhone "Gauss - The People Magnet" (from the front page of The New York Times to bust in around three years). Read what he learned before founding one yourself.
  • Received a scholarship from one of Europe's most prestigious business universities (Deusto, Bilbao)
  • Co-founded "OneSec - An Instagram for one second videos", a Vine app - six months before Vine #sadtrombone
  • Brought "Startup Weekend", "Startup NEXT", and the "Lean Launchpad (LLP)" to Cologne and the state of North-Rhine Westpshalia
  • Received a scholarship to go to Stanford to be trained and certified as a Lean Launchpad Educator by Steve Blank (the father of the Lean Startup movement)
  • Taught the Lean Launchpad from Stanford - the most US American-style startup entrepreneurship curriculum possible - at the largest private tech university in Iran (it was a different time back in 2015)
  • Did an ICO in 2017 (actually a Token offering, with large Chinese backers, in the same week as the Chinese Crypto Crackdown; Legendary poor timing, all traces had to be deleted #ba-dum-tsh)
  • Did a couple of crowd funding projects (one flop, one success, made the IndieGogo frontpage globally)
  • Founded and organized what was possibly one of the world's largest Hacker News Meetups (HN Cologne, DE)
  • Co-founded Germany's (possibly Europe's) largest startup pitching event, the Rheinland Pitch - continuously running since 2013
  • Minted and sold his own NFTs (on a lark - because 99.99% of all crypto / web3 is a joke)
  • and some other things...


In the 15 years preceding all of the above, Andersen was an on and off employee in various leading digital development companies helping large international companies and organizations like Statoil, TeeKay Shipping, Shell, Esso, Exxon, T-Mobile International, Deutsche Telekom, Lufthansa, The Royal Norwegian Government, The Norwegian Ministry of Education and Research with innovation and digitalisation - in between founding his own companies. The last position he held before he decided to never be an employee again was "Head of Digital" (and served as a member of the board) - at the lead agency responsible for all things digital for T-Mobile International. You can find more information about his past on LinkedIn.


*Please note as of February 24th 2022, bookings are not available to Russian owned or controlled companies, subsidiaries, GOs, etc long as the illegal invasion of the sovereign state of Ukraine is ongoing, Russian troops are still in Ukraine, and Putin remains in power. Thank you for understanding.