The TrendArena 2020

In the TrendArena everything revolves around the future of commerce. The professional journal Internet World Business presents more than 30 top speakers on the stage of the TrendArena.

The speakers

Michael Atug, CEO & operator of the Facebook group ‘Multichannel Rockstars’, MAW Werkzeuge GmbH

Michael Atug ( – E-commerce in Germany is inextricably linked to his name: Allow me, Michael Atug. For almost 20 years now, the bedrock of e-commerce has been in place. Over the years he has made a name for himself in the scene as a “ramp sow”, consultant, speaker, influencer and ultimately as a successful online retailer that hardly needs any introduction. Because Michael Atug is intertwined with the industry like no other. Michael Atug is simply the eCommerce rock star. His lectures and performances are passionate, authentic and always honest. Open sight and straight ahead – that is Michael Atug.

In 1995 Michael Atug founded MAW Werkzeug GmbH. Since then he has been very successful in selling machines and tools in the B2B and B2C segment. When he decided to adopt a multi-channel strategy in 2001 – i.e. to offer his goods both stationary and online – e-commerce in Germany was virtually still in its infancy. But Michael Atug recognized the immense potential of online trade even then. That’s what you might call a true pioneer. It’s no coincidence that his name today stands for an entire industry. His social media network “Multichannel Rockstars” now has almost 10,000 industry representatives. 


Sebastian Baumann, Digital Product Lead ECE & Managing Director Stocksquare

Sebastian Baumann is responsible for the further development of the Omnichannel platform Digital Mall at ECE Projektmanagement GmbH & Co KG in the Digital Innovation & Analytics unit. Having graduated in business administration, he is very familiar with the latest innovation frameworks from Stanford University and has developed numerous digital services such as the Digital Mall for ECE’s shopping centers. In addition, as Managing Director of Stocksquare – a joint venture between OTTO and ECE – under the heading of Connected Commerce, he is further advancing the cross-linkage of stationary retail with online marketplaces, such as the shopping platform.

Gerfried Stocker, Director, Ars Electronica Linz

Gerfried Stocker (AT) is a media artist and electronic engineer. Since 1995 he has been artistic director of Ars Electronica. In 1995/96, together with a small team of artists and technicians, he developed the pioneering new exhibition strategies of the Ars Electronica Center and established Ars Electronica’s own R&D department, Ars Electronica Futurelab. Under his leadership, the program for International Ars Electronica’s exhibitions was instituted in 2004; the planning and repositioning of the content of the new and expanded Ars Electronica Center was initiated and implemented in 2005. Stocker is a guest speaker at numerous international conferences and Visiting Professor at Deusto University Bilbao and advises various companies in the areas of creativity and innovation management.

Dr. Manfred Gößl, Managing Director, Bayerischer Industrie- und Handelskammertag e.V. (Bavarian Chamber of Industry and Commerce)

Dr. Manfred Gößl has been Managing Director of the Chamber of Industry and Commerce for Munich and Upper Bavaria and the Bavarian Chamber of Industry and Commerce (BIHK) since January 1, 2019. Previously, he was Deputy Managing Director and head of the “Central Tasks and Basic Issues” department of the Chamber of Industry and Commerce for Munich and Upper Bavaria for several years.

Christian Busse, CMO Melitta Premium, MELITTA EUROPA GMBH & CO. KG

Christian Busse stands for a holistic customer experience.

He has been pursuing this approach since his design studies and subsequently in the strategic design consultancy design affairs. There he advised global brands such as Siemens, Starbucks, General Electric and Haier and created award-winning products. From 2009 on, he has been involved in building up the design division of Deutsche Telekom. There he was responsible for the customer experience of the eReader brand Tolino.

Since mid-2016, Christian Busse has been supporting the Melitta Group in the development of innovative product and service solutions and increasing the innovative capacity of the entire company. He is now responsible for the marketing and product experience of the newly developed Melitta Pour Over Range.


Derek Morrison, Director Europe, StockX

A lifelong sneakerhead with an extensive background in luxury and economics, Derek joined StockX as its first international leader to help drive the marketplace’s expansion into Europe. He blends his passion for sneakers, urban culture, and luxury collectibles with a professional dedication to improving consumer outcomes in the marketplace. The world’s first „Stock Market of Things“, StockX is one of the fastes growing companies on the planet and is revolutionizing the way millions of buyers and sellers connect each day.


Samuel Koch, Start-up Entrepreneur & Book Author, Founder & CEO, WizHub

Samuel Koch, a young entrepreneur from Vienna, is the co-founder of a software start-up that imparts digital skills. In October 2019 his first book was published (“Die Welt, die ihr nicht mehr versteht. Inside Digital Revolution”), which deals with the generation conflict in the digital age. He is one of the founders of Startup Challenge Austria and is currently working on the development of his own educational campus called WizHub.

Dr. Thomas Middelhoff, Speaker

Dr. Thomas Middelhoff, called “Big T”, was THE top manager in Germany, first as head of the media giant Bertelsmann, later as CEO of the Karstadt parent company Arcandor. He lived a very luxurious life. And he experienced a widely publicized downfall of epic proportions: In 2014 he was sentenced to three years imprisonment for embezzlement and was led away while still in court. He lost his reputation, his assets and his health.
In return, however, he gained something of inestimable value: his work with disabled people in the Bodelschwingh Foundation Bethel in Bielefeld and the return to his dormant faith began to change him from within.
Reflective and unsparingly honest, Thomas Middelhoff reports on how the bitter experience of failure became his greatest opportunity to let go of pride, greed and hunger for power and find inner peace. His ambition today: to prevent others, especially young people, from repeating his mistakes and to show others who have failed a way to new hope.

Tobias Krüger, Division Manager Cultural Change 4.0, OTTO Group

Tobias Krüger is Division Manager “Cultural Change 4.0” at the Otto Group and reports directly to CEO Alexander Birken. During the time of his previous position the in Group strategy area, he recommended that the Executive Board initiate a process of cultural change in order to master the current economic challenges facing the Group.

Nina Schwichtenberg, Blogger, Content Creator & Founder, BANÚ

Nina Schwichtenberg is an experienced fashion editor and has worked for various print and online editorial departments such as Joy Magazine, Stylight and ProSieben. For seven years now, the 28-year-old has been the face behind the German fashion and lifestyle blog Fashiioncarpet, which she runs together with her boyfriend and business partner Patrick Kahlo. Together they create new blog content daily as well as 360-degree content on fashion, beauty, travel and interior design. Fashiioncarpet stands for a select premium and high-end customer portfolio with brands like Cartier, Dior, Chanel, Chloé, Michael Kors and Emporio Armani. Nina also attaches great importance in all of the blog’s content to the mix of professional editorial content and a strong personal touch.
Since July 2019, Nina initiated her own fashion label, BANÚ, which stands for wearable and feminine fashion with that certain something. BANÚ stands for an exciting and personal combination of remarkable and individual styling, special details and the hottest pieces that are nevertheless suitable for everyday wearing. The brand BANÚ is 100% Nina.

Jan Griesel, Founder & CEO, plentysystems AG

Parallel to his computer science studies in Kassel, Jan Griesel, founder and CEO of plentysystems AG, laid the foundation for plentymarkets already in 2001 by developing a platform for the administration of Ebay and web shop processes. Today, Jan Griesel is responsible for the product vision with the goal of establishing plentymarkets as a leading e-commerce ERP system in the cloud environment.

Werner Huber, Director Software Engineering, Sixt Labs

Werner has more than 15 years of experience in software engineering. Currently he is responsible for all frontend engineering efforts at Sixt including the Sixt App and Websites.

Paul Varga, CEO, Playbrush

Paul is the CEO & Founder of Playbrush, a venture-funded technology startup that is digitalising oral care. He has scaled Playbrush to seven-digit revenues and 20+ employees within only two-and-a-half years, won several international awards and was recognised by the media globally. Paul is also a Co-Founder of Hug A Brit, an independent movement and social media campaign around the British EU membership referendum in June 2016.
He has a professional background in investment & advisory, with a focus on healthcare and technology. He holds an MSc in Technology Entrepreneurship from University College London, and a Bakk.techn. from the University of Natural Resources and Life Science, Vienna. Furthermore Paul is a graduate of executive programmes at London Business School and General Assembly.

Philipp Depiereux, Founder & CEO, etventure GmbH

“Changingthegame”- Under this guiding principle, Philipp Depiereux, as Founder and CEO of the digital consultancy and start-up company etventure, is advancing the digital revolution in business, industry and society with new ways of thinking and novel methods. Together with two partners he founded etventure in 2010 with the concept of bundling the experiences gathered from innovation projects in medium-sized businesses, the corporate world and start-ups in one company. The recipe for success in the development of new digital ideas: fast, radically user-centered, and with an entrepreneurial mindset in the implementation. To this end, etventure makes use of innovation methods such as lean startup and design thinking. The customer roster includes, among others, BARMER, Daimler Financial Services, Franz Haniel & Cie., Schwan-STABILO and the steel distributor Klöckner. Since October 2017, etventure has been part of the auditing and consulting global organization EY. 

Daniel Kocher, Head of Strategic Management & Brand 

Daniel Kocher, born in Nuremberg, graduated from the Bavarian Academy for Advertising and Marketing in 2014 with a degree in advertising and communications.

As early as 2010, he launched his career in online marketing and, until 2018, was responsible for diverse areas at one of the largest affiliate networks in Europe – most recently as Senior Affiliate & Account Manager DACH for NIKE.

Since 2019, as Head of Strategic Management & Brand at Prinz Sportlich GmbH & Co. KG, he has been responsible for internal process optimization, campaign planning and the expansion of cooperation between the Prinz Sportlich and SNKRADDICTED brands.

Ines Spanier, CEO Spanier Tex GmbH (in formation)

After receiving her Abitur, Ines Spanier studied agricultural engineering.

After her studies, she worked in an Agricultural Production Cooperative as a brigade leader in plant cultivation until 1990, after which she retrained as an export merchant. For 10 years she was assistant to management in a steel construction company; 6 years as sales manager for plastics Europe-wide for a plastics manufacturer. This was followed by 4 years as sales manager in the German speaking regions for a Belgian software company.

Starting in 2011, Spaniard was Managing Director of farmtex GmbH in Petersberg Saxony-Anhalt – wholesale trade of harvest synthetics for agriculture – Offline Handel B2B.

In 2018, farmtex GmbH established a second trading channel with online sales thereby addressing end consumers and private customers in the B2C sector.

The prerequisite for this future-oriented step was participation in the nationwide support program “Entrepreneurial Women of the Future”, a competition initiated by Amazon, the Association of German Entrepreneurial Women, Global Digital Women and the women’s magazine BRIGITTE. In the category “From Offline to Online” she reached first place; an invitation to Amazon in Seattle followed.

In 2019 she imparted her experience as a coach within the framework of the support program to this year’s winner, Moya Birchbark, in the category Offline to Online.

Dr. Katrin Held, Head of Business & Program Development Digital Hub Logistics GmbH

Dr. Katrin Held received her doctorate 2017 in business administration from the University of Hamburg. Since 2018 she has been a freelancer at Digital Hub Logistics Hamburg, where she is responsible for the Innovation Dock and for the support of cooperative ventures among logistics companies. In addition, she is Head of Business & Program Development at Digital Hub Logistics in Strategic Ecosystem Development and focusses on the conception of new start-up programs and cooperative projects.

Dominik Krimpmann Managing Director & Technology Strategy Industry Lead im Bereich Travel & Industrial bei Accenture

With extensive background knowledge in information technology and business administration, Dominik Krimpmann has been advising numerous Fortune 500 CEOs, CTOs and CDOs on disruption for some time. In recent years, he has thereby successfully carried out over 50 business and technology projects. His experience, expertise and commitment enable Dominik to help clients achieve their goals through focused teamwork, reduce organizational uncertainties and deliver fast results. As a speaker at conferences around the globe, Dominik sheds light on the trends, challenges and opportunities he sees in a rapidly changing future.

Annedore Linder, CEO, anndora GmbH

Annedore Linder studied business administration and received her diploma in agricultural sciences in 1998. In 1999, the name anndora was first listed as a dealer on eBay and since 2011 has been the registered brand name of the company anndora GmbH.

In 2005, anndora was one of the first retailers on Amazon and was thus able to closely follow developments in online trade. The family-owned business has been based in Halle Saale since 2016 and ships its lifestyle and leisure products throughout Europe. In-house design of samples, continuous product development and product range expansion as well as the focus on optimal customer service make anndora GmbH an important player in the world of e-commerce.

Robert Marhan, EU HR Director Amazon

In 2005, Robert Marhan (42) began his career in logistics services at Amazon. He worked for ten years in operations, five years of which as site manager of the logistics center. With over 2,000 employees in normal operations and up to 5,000 during the Christmas season, this represents a unique experience and challenge for an operational manager. In 2015, his career took an exciting turn: He accepted the position as HR Director in the German logistics network. In this role, he combined his operational experience with his passion for people and their concerns. In 2017 he extended his area of responsibility to human resources in the European network. His team, consisting of local HR staff, project managers, scientists and analysts, oversees tens of thousands of employees and thousands of managers in nine countries. Before Amazon, Marhan worked for Lidl UK and was founder and CEO of an event management company.

Jason Modemann, Founder & CEO Mawave

Jason Modemann initially established Mawave Marketing as a full-service agency. Very soon, results above average in social media performance marketing were achieved. Today, Mawave Marketing is the leading social media agency in the Munich area. They work together closely with Facebook and Instagram. From strategic consulting to creating operative social media campaigns, Jason proves a very high level of competence and experience.

Alexander Will, Managing Director Stocksquare & Area Manager E-Commerce Analytics & Business Development at OTTO

Alexander Will is responsible for the E-Commerce Analytics & Business Development Division at OTTO. A graduate in business informatics, he has over 10 years of experience in e-commerce stemming from the product development of the platform. As Managing Director of Stocksquare – a joint venture between OTTO and ECE – he is also driving forward the networking of stationary trade and online marketplaces under the heading of connected commerce.

Sven Lipowski Business Process Director Customer at METRONOM GmbH

From a relatively traditional group IT to a new work hub, the last years of METRONOM, the IT service provider of METRO, were and are a long transformation journey with many successes, insights but also obstacles. Sven Lipowski was there from the beginning and today his team is responsible for all digital products for customers. During the last years they had the luck to rethink every aspect of software development, to learn and to transform the organization step by step into a real product organization. Strategy, methods, technologies but also the corporate culture were put to the test and he will look back on this process with you.


Hagen Meischner, Partner Manager Lead, Shopify

Hagen Meischner is Partner Manager Lead at Shopify. He is an expert on how merchants can benefit from e-commerce and cloud-based retail software to grow their businesses. As Partner Manager Germany, he oversees the entire Shopify network, from logistics to payment providers. He is also the main point of contact for Shopify merchants in Germany. At the Conference, Hagen will focus on the latest trends in the commerce sector this year and provide an outlook on what retailers will need to address to be successful in Germany.

Vanessa Clasen, Account Director EMEA, Dynamic Yield

Vanessa Clasen has been working in the world of e-commerce for over 16 years. In supervisory positions at renowned digital companies including Otto, Trusted Shops and HRS, she has gained profound experience in operational management and has witnessed first-hand the rapid development of online trade.

Since 2016, the avid online shopper has specialized in the area of personalization. As Account Director for the Dynamic Yield personalization platform, she has, since early 2019, been supporting various brands in the development of individual customer experience through the use of personalization along the entire customer journey. In addition to talking about her core tasks, she will address topics related to personalization, conversion-rate optimization and women in management positions.

Elias Kuby, Managing Partner, Delivery Experts München GmbH

As a timber construction engineer, Elias Kuby managed the construction of the largest timber office-building complex in Europe. He then left the construction industry, however, to enter the entrepreneurial arena in 2015 with the start-up PAKX to optimize the last mile of parcel delivery with an intelligent software solution. After the takeover by INTERKEP, he became managing partner in 2018 and has since then been responsible for the strategic orientation of Delivery Experts GmbH, INTERKEP Group and other affiliated companies to successfully master the future challenges of the logistics industry.

Manuel Füchslin, Product Owner Plattformentwicklung, Ochsner Sport AG

Manuel Füchslin is Product Owner Plattformentwicklung at Ochsner Sport AG (Deichmann Group), the biggest sport retailer. He is responsible for, among other things, the continuous development of the e-commerce platform in the areas of UX, UI, performance, 3rd party tool integrations, and tag management. Manuel has been working for over 15 years in the e-commerce sector for various industries such as telecommunications, tourism, electronics and sport retail.

Marc Preusche, Managing Director, Dept Data & Intelligence

Marc is Managing Director of Dept Data & Intelligence in Berlin and works with large and small companies in their transition to a data-driven marketing organization. In addition to technology, the operating components include the data itself and, most importantly, the members of this organization. Initial consultation regarding the marketing data strategy is followed by concrete implementation of the technological basis and use cases.

In his private time, Marc enjoys cooking, especially for his two daughters.

Serge Reit, Head of Data Architecture, Deutsche Bank

Serge Reit is Head of Data Architecture at Deutsche Bank, where he oversees the transformation of the company towards a data-driven organization. He has already worked in strategy consulting and advised DAX companies on various digitization projects. In the past, he was responsible for the international market launch of digital business models in a Swiss venture capital group. In addition to a teaching assignment in the field of innovation management, Serge is also active as a mentor for start-ups and was honored by Chancellor Angela Merkel for his commitment to this task.

Veronika Wellge, Head of Seller Services Other Hardlines, Amazon

As Head of Seller Services Other Hardlines, Veronika Wellge is part of the management team of Amazon Marketplace in Germany. As the initiator of the support program Unternehmerinnen der Zukunft (Entrepreneurial Women of the Future), she also actively supports women in the area of digital economy at Amazon and assists small companies headed by women in setting up and expanding their online businesses. Before joining Amazon, Veronika, as entrepreneur, founded Caremondo – a global marketplace for medical tourism which helps patients find the appropriate medical care for their treatment. Within a period of two years, the start-up grew to a team of 30 employees with a worldwide network of more than 100 healthcare providers and assisted hundreds of patients in their search for the best medical facility. Veronika’s professional career began in advisory and consulting services. After completing her studies at the University of Mannheim (Diploma in Business Administration) and the Universidad de Alcalá in Spain (International Management), she joined the Center for Strategic Projects of Deutsche Telekom AG as an in-house consultant. Afterwards, she became Director at Simon-Kucher & Partners in external consulting and advised companies from Europe, Asia and America on growth topics such as marketing and sales strategies, pricing, CRM and commercial due diligence.

Martin Nguyen, Director Strategy, Data & Analytics, Flaconi

Martin Nguyen is Director Strategy, Data & Analytics at Flaconi, Germany’s biggest online pure player in the beauty segment. Among other things, he is responsible for corporate strategy and data science, and is endeavoring at Flaconi to ensure that “we grasp the customers’ wishes from the data”.

Before Flaconi, Martin was involved in e-commerce as a management consultant in a 4-person start-up as well as with an investor.

Susan Saß, Head of Press and Public Relations & Statistics, Bundesverband E-Commerce und Versandhandel e.V. (bevh)

Susan Saß has been Head of Press and Public Relations & Statistics, Bundesverband E-Commerce und Versandhandel e.V. (bevh) since 2017. In addition to being head of external communication, she is also responsible for studies and statistics. Prior to this, she was company spokesperson at idealo Internet GmbH, the largest price and product comparison service in Germany. This was preceded by several years as spokesperson for a range of mobility projects at Deutsche Bahn AG, including “Call a Bike” and “Flinkster”.

Oliver Roskopf, Chief Marketing Officer, Vitafy

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Michael Volland, Founder, Realtale / VAUND

Michael Volland founded REALTALE GmbH in May 2019 together with two co-founders and is managing director of the company. REALTALE stands for a new shopping experience that focuses on the changing expectations of stationary retail and in particular on the customer experience: Showrooming is the business concept here.

His career began in 1993 as a cross-media consultant at Krause-Biagosch, one of the world’s leading printing press manufacturers. In 1995, he founded a digital agency that provided support and advice on the use of digital media to the stationary retail trade and companies in other industries. With the foundation and development of xplace GmbH – an international solution provider and system integrator for the digitalization of the customer journey at the point of sale – which he accompanied as Managing Director until 2018, Michael Volland has focused his professional attention on stationary retail since 2002.

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Mareile Wölwer, Co-Founder und CEO, vetevo GmbH

Mareile Wölwer is  founder and managing director of vetevo GmbH, the fastest growing pet healthcare company in Europe. Growing up on a farm, you have shaped two things: firstly, a passion for everything that happens in nature and thus an awareness of what it is like to work and live with animals. Secondly, a certain self-evidence when it comes to entrepreneurship. She studied management at WHU in Vallendar and worked for management consultancies and agricultural companies. With vetevo, she was finally able to combine her passion for creating something big and leaving a footprint in 2016, as well as her attachment to pet healthcare.