Who we are

The Vodafone Institute for Society and Communications is Vodafone’s European think and do tank that explores tthe potentials and responsible use of digital technologies for innovation, growth and sustainable social impact.

One particular goal the institute has set itself is to employ its own projects and initiatives to minimise gender inequality in the tech industry and foster the participation of women in technological development.

The Vodafone Institute is setting up the only accelerator in Europe with a focus on start-ups that empower women through technology.

This mission is supported by two partners: Impact Hub Berlin – with their global network of over 80 hubs and more than 15,000 members – as well as the Social Entrepreneurship Akademie – the leading competence centre for advancing and consulting founders by the four universities in Munich.


Inger Paus

Managing Director of Vodafone Institute for Society and Communications

Thomas Holtmanns

CFO of Vodafone Institute for Society and Communications

Thomas Holtmanns is “Group Head of Finance Operations & Margin Assurance”. Based in Düsseldorf and as Chief Financial Officer of Vodafone Group Services GmbH he is accountable for the operational delivery and digital transformation of Finance Operations & Margin Assurance across all local markets, Group Commercial and all legal entities of Vodafone Group. Since 2005 he is CFO of the Vodafone Foundation Germany and since January 2013 CFO of the Vodafone Institute for Society and Communications. Besides he serves in various governance roles for other subsidiaries and institutions.

Since 1992 he had various roles at Mannesmann Group and its international shareholdings. Following the merger of Mannesmann and Vodafone he headed up the management of internal audit across Vodafone Group and its international subsidiaries. Between 2004 and 2011 he was Director Finance and Accounting at Vodafone Germany. In 2011 he became accountable for Finance Operations across all Central European Vodafone shareholdings and Global Process Owner for Revenue & Margin Assurance. He took office in his current role in November 2017.


Alice Steinbrück

Co-Founder of F-LANE, Director of Strategy and Programmes, Vodafone Institute

Alice Steinbrück is Co-Founder of FLANE and Director of Strategy and Programmes at the Vodafone Institute Germany. She has gained practical experience in international and non-governmental organisations and has worked as a Senior Consultant in the economic policy department at Rambøll Management Consulting for over four years, evaluating several projects in the area of education and technology for the Federal Ministry of Education and Research and the EU Commission. Alice Steinbrück holds a Master of Advanced International Relations from the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna and a Bachelor of Arts and Social Sciences from the University of Maastricht.

Leon Reiner

Managing Director of Impact Hub Berlin

Leon Reiner is Co-Founder and Managing Director of Impact Hub Berlin where he leads business development and all partnerships activities. He previously worked for a consultancy in the social entrepreneurship sector and managed an incubator for social startups. On the side, Leon built his teaching competencies developing SE courses for different universities and founded the Social Entrepreneurship Education Network to connect educators in the field. Leon also initiated and co-designed Finance for Change, a workshop for Impact Investing and Social Finance. Leon holds a masters degree with distinction in international development & economics from the University of Vienna.

Kristina Notz

Head of Network, Social Entrepreneurship Akademie

Kristina Notz is responsible for the network at the Social Entrepreneurship Akademie and acts as team speaker. In previous roles, she ran the community of the LMU Entrepreneurship Center and co-founded the nation-wide idea competition GENERATION-D. She holds a Master‘s degree in Political Science, European Law and French from Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität in Munich and Institut d‘Etudes Politiques d‘Aix-en-Provence in France.

Dr. Dominik B. Domnik

Head of Finance, Social Entrepreneurship Akademie

Dominik studied Business and Economics at the University of St. Gallen (HSG), Switzerland, and received his PhD from St. Gallen and the Stockholm School of Economics. He joined a family office to work on monitoring and building seed and impact investments, became CEO of MyHandicap Foundation Switzerland and later on international CEO of the same foundation. He established the Center for Disability and Integration at HSG and cofounded the Zurich-based Social Entrepreneurship Initiative & Foundation (seif).
Dominik also acts as the Social Entrepreneurship Akademie`s liaison manager to the BMW Foundation Herbert Quandt and serves on the advisory board of Global Social Entrepreneurship Network.

Anne Doerner

Head of start-up coaching, Social Entrepreneurship Akademie

Anne Doerner is head of the Social Start-up Development of the Social Entrepreneurship Akademie. Prior to that she worked at Siemens AG, where she was always closely connected to international teams and innovation programs. In 2003, she joined the startsocial initiative of McKinsey as a Coach. Impressed by the impact of societal initiatives Anne left Siemens in 2008 to set up her own consultancy, highly committed to socially responsible business. She studied Industrial Engenieering and Marketing and taught entrepreneurship at various organizations.

Anna Kapusta

Project Manager, Social Entrepreneurship Akademie

Anna is the project manager of F-Lane at the Social Entrepreneurship Akademie. She is in charge of speaker management and curriculum design. Furthermore, she works in communication, social media and events. She holds a MA in Sustainable Resource Management and a BA in sociology and economics.

Michael Buchmin

Project Manager F-LANE, Vodafone Institute

Michael Buchmin is the project manager of F-LANE at the Vodafone Institute. He studied political science and management at Freie Universität Berlin and HEC Paris. For his master’s degree Michael specialized in business informatics and digital transformation with focus on innovation management.

Sascha Stremming

Project Manager, Impact Hub Berlin

Sascha Stremming is Project Manager at Impact Hub Berlin in the Programmes Department. He has a background in strategic communications and IT management and worked for several cultural institutions ranging from international film festivals, art foundations and Berlin based education NGO Quinoa. Sascha obtained a Master degree in International Development Studies specialised on Development Economics at Universität Wien.

Clara Niedt

Junior Project Manager, Impact Hub Berlin,

Clara Niedt is Junior Project Manager at Impact Hub Berlin, where she focuses on acceleration programmes supporting social innovation. Previously, she has worked on a variety of projects in sectors such as sustainable resource management, migration and key account acquisition.

She holds a Bachelor’s degree in International Business and Languages from the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences with a specialization in Design Thinking.

Christin Heuer

External Consultant at Impact Hub Berlin

Christin Heuer is an external consultant at Impact HUB Berlin and brings in extensive experience and passion for impact oriented and social entrepreneurship and community building. Previously, Christin worked as a co-director of the Helga Breuninger Foundation and lead the fellowship program for Ashoka Germany. She holds a degree in business adminstration and is a certified coach, moderator and trainer for organisational and personal development towards New Work and self-organized working environments.



The Advisory Board has three areas of responsibility:

1. The Advisory Board makes the final decision about the top-five participants

2. The Advisory Board gives strategic advice and expertise regarding the programme

3. The Advisory Board is closely connected to the finalists and will give impulses during the programme

The Advisory Board Members

Dupsy Abiola

Dupsy Abiola is the founder and CEO of Intern Avenue.

Intern Avenue connects students and graduates with paid opportunities and has won numerous awards including the Europa Award for Best Recruitment Start Up in Europe and a MVP competition at Google Campus London. Prior to founding Intern Avenue, she graduated from Oxford University and is the recipient of numerous professional and academic awards. She worked as an employed barrister for a leading law firm before starting her first business. Her experience in law, business, entrepreneurship, and the employment market has led to her becoming a featured press expert for leading publications. She has appeared in Wired, the Financial Times, on Channel Four, and successfully pitched on BBC Dragons Den. She is passionate about promoting diversity, open access, and reducing youth unemployment and is an active advisor on these areas including assisting with UK government policy. Dupsy’s work has resulted in her inclusion on Thomson Reuters Power List as one of Britain’s most influential black people under 40 and she is also listed on the Silicon 60 top techstars to watch.

Mariéme Jamme

Mariéme Jamme is a Senegalese-born British business woman in technology

Her consultancy company Spotone Global Solutions helps technology companies to set a foothold in Africa, Europe, the Middle East and Asia. She has supported many organisations such as Google, Ernest and Young, HSBC Private Banking, The Office of Gordon and Sarah Brown, The Africa Progress Panel chaired by Kofi Annan, The Obama Administration, and multiple African governments through their STEM policies. Often called the diplomat of technology, Mariéme was named one of the 100 most influential Africans by the African Business Magazine and 20 youngest powerful women in Africa by Forbes. Marieme was honoured as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum for her activism work in empowering and investing in young girls and women in Africa through creative learning, entrepreneurship, science, technology, engineering, art, mathematics and Design (STEAMD). Marieme’s latest venture includes the launch of IAMTHECODE, a new movement aiming at mobilising governments, businesses and investors to support girls and young women in STEAMD.

Lisa Witter

Lisa Witter is an award-winning executive, serial entrepreneur, author and public speaker.

She is an expert in the intersections of communications, government, politics, philanthropy, technology, women’s issues and behavior change. She has counseled CEOs, Nobel Peace Prize winners, politicians, philanthropists, scientists and academics. She is the Co-Founder and Executive Chairman of Apolitical:  an international platform connecting the best ideas and people in the public sector. Lisa also co-founded Assemblyfor, applying behavioural science to policy and social change. Previously, she was COO of Fenton, the largest public interest communications firm in the US. She has worked in government for the Seattle City Council. She is a WEF Young Global Leader and sits on the Global Agenda Council on Behaviour.

Hedda Pahlson-Moller

Hedda Pahlson-Moller is a full-time Business Angel focused on impact investing at the seed capital stage through OMSINT (Omnisource International).

Hedda Pahlson-Moller, is a full-time Business Angel investing in social and environmental impact through her organisation OMSINT/TIIME (www.tiimeisnow.org). She sits on the boards of the European Business Angel Network (EBAN), the Luxembourg Business Angel Network (LBAN), Rising Tide and Chameleon Invest, an early-stage co-investment fund. Her engagement with the European Venture Philanthropy Association (EVPA), Luxembourg Microfinance Development Fund (LMDF) and Ashoka reflect her commitment to mobilise capital towards sustainable projects that value ‘Triple Bottom Line‘ (People, Planet, Profit). Hedda is Adjunct Professor of Entrepreneurship at Sacred Heart University’s Exec. MBA program and lectures on Social Enterprise & Social Innovation for the University of Lux. She is an Executive Fellow at Essex University

Andy Goldstein

Andy Goldstein is Co-Founder & Executive Director of the LMU Entrepreneurship Center and the German Accelerator.

Andy is also Co-Founder & Managing Director of Deloitte Digital Ventures, a new entity dedicated to building digital businesses for Fortune 500 level firms. A serial entrepreneur with 33 years of experience in founding, financing, building and accelerating companies, Andy sold his software company to the publicly listed Avanquest Software in 2003, served as COO Europe until 2009 and as a Board Member until 2014. Andy served for 3 years as a Board member at Carpooling.com (recently acquired by Bla Bla Car) and 4 years at Feingold Technologies (recently acquired by ShareCare). His accelerator at the LMU, the top ranked university in Germany, has spawned over 180 companies in 8 years and the German Accelerator, a project of the German government has graduated over 70 companies in 3 years. Before co-founding Deloitte Digital Ventures, Andy also led the launches of The Allianz Digital Accelerator & The Volkswagen DataLab and currently is leading Corporate Accelerator launches in the Pharma, Gas and Auto industries. Andy is co-founder of the Social Entrepreneurship Akademie in Munich and a founding member of 4Entrepreneurship, the Entrepreneurial Think Tank of the 4 Munich Universities and holds teaching positions at the LMU (Munich University), the HFF (Munich Film and Television University) and at the EM Lyon Business School in France.


Michael Reinartz, Paresh Modi and Laura Turkington

Michael Reinartz, Director Innovation, Vodafone Germany

Paresh Modi, Head of Business Development and Innovation, Group Strategy, Vodafone Group

Laura Turkington, Senior Manager Sustainability Strategy, Vodafone Group

To be announced soon...


Berlin: one of the hottest cities
in the world.

Berlin has been nominated as the best location for start-ups repeatedly.

We offer the teams free coworking spaces in one of most inspiring places right in the centre of the German capital – the Impact Hub Berlin. As a participating start-up, you automatically receive a one year-membership of the Impact Hub, free access to more than 80 spaces and the opportunity to network with over 13.000 social innovators.

Besides the training sessions and impulses during the day, the programme provides networking events and links to Vodafone business units after your work is done. Accommodation in Berlin is taken care of by us – in one of the hippest neighbourhoods of the city. You will have your own apartment and still have the chance to exchange learnings with the other teams.