We are Team STARTPLATZ for your founding idea.


Dr. Lorenz Gräf


Lorenz is the founder and CEO of STARTPLATZ. He was previously founder and CEO of Globalpark, but he missed a comprehensive incubator concept in the Rhineland, so he promptly built his own. Since then, Lorenz has been highly successful in the startup scene.
Lukas Gräf

Lukas Gräf


As Directing Manager of the Accelerator as well as the Rhineland Pitches, Lukas focuses in particular on scouting aspiring startups and coaching them. He also helps many startups with fundraising and connects them with top investors across Europe. Before returning to Germany in early 2019, Lukas has been actively involved in the Swedish startup scene since 2014 and helped build the successful incubator SUP46 in Stockholm.

Alexandra Thelen

Accounting and Human Resources

Alexandra manages the accounting of STARTPLATZ with dedication. In personnel matters, she is the right contact person and is always on hand to answer questions. She also likes to surprise the team with a big plate of pastries or fresh fruit for everyone.

Rebecca Rühle

Location Manager Düsseldorf

Becci manages the STARTPLATZ in Düsseldorf and is responsible for event management, contact person for all members and always has an open ear for the individual needs of our startups.

Jennifer Müller

Conference Room Management

Jenny is dedicated to the planning and execution of events at the Cologne location. Whether it's a two-hour meeting or a major event over several days - with the necessary sensitivity and attention to detail, she makes every event a success.

Celine Anderwald

Front Desk and Office Manager

Celine is our Front Desk and Office Manager and therefore the first face you see when you enter STARTPLATZ Cologne. As a contact person for members, she can be reached directly on site or via email at any time and ensures the feel-good atmosphere on site.

Luisa Hillebrand

Front Office Management Düsseldorf

Luisa takes care of the front office management in Düsseldorf. She is always available for questions, in person or by email and is always happy to listen to the many great ideas of our members.

Franziska Johannsen

Front Office Management Cologne

Franzi has been very passionate about the start up scene since 2017 and can be found with us at the front office desk and supporting events. For her, STARTPLATZ means the perfect mix of a familiar and familiar environment and at the same time always the opportunity to meet new faces and hear inspiring stories.

Marius Franke

Program Manager Accelerator

Marius is the connection between startups, mentors and STARTPLATZ and ensures that our accelerator teams always get the exact support they need at the moment. He also mentors young, entrepreneurial talents with promising business ideas within the framework of the Gründerstipendium NRW.

Victoria Giesler

Business Development Accelerator

Victoria develops new ideas and projects for the Accelerator and takes care of the marketing of the STARTPLATZ Accelerator via social media. She also organizes the Startup Academy and keeps in touch with the startups in our community.

Matthias Gräf


Matthias founded the STARTPLATZ together with his father and takes care of the strategic orientation. He is the contact person for the corporate sector and finds the right connection point in STARTPLATZ for every company.

Anita Dzindic

Web Development

Anita is behind the scenes of our webpages - without her, the online store would not run. So whoever has a technical problem with us can count on Anita's reliable assistance.

Jan Lerch


Jan joined the STARTPLATZ in October 2021 for the strategic planning and development of the Entrepreneurship Center Rheinische Revier. Together with Patrick and Lorenz, he is preparing the ECRR project, which will be launched in Hürth in spring 2022 ( In his spare time, Jan does triathlon and is also otherwise up for any fun.

Patrick Theisen


Patrick has just joined the STARTPLATZ in October 2021 and works together with Lorenz and Jan on the development of the Entrepreneurship Center Rheinisches Revier. In summer, Patrick is more often found playing spikeball in the Grüngürtel than at STARTPLATZ, as he is not only a passionate spikeball player, but also manages the largest spikeball group in Cologne (source: United Nations).

Eugen Tschernov

Event Manager

Eugen writes continuing education in capital letters! As the supervisor of the Startup Academy, he helps impart the knowledge that startups, founders and interested parties need to become successful. This makes him your contact person for our digital training program.

Catharina Marzi

Event Management

Catha puts on our best practice events every month and has risked a broken ankle or two to do so. As part of the event team, she is of course also at the forefront of all STARTPLATZ parties and also has a phenomenal mental cartography of good sushi stores nearby.

Julian Jacobs

Event Management

Julian is the contact person for all events and office hours we have to offer and organizes our job fairs and wild Christmas parties. He also studied gym and is notorious throughout STARTPLATZ for his chocolate rice waffles, which he also likes to share, and for his laptop, which dates back to the Stone Age.

Ayleen Eckert

Community Building and Event Management

Ayleen is our community mom. She takes care of our members from A - Z and supports the event team in all topics around our STARTPLATZ parties. She always has an open ear for the individual needs of our customers and always finds the right solution.

Johannes Gräf

Membership Manager

Johannes makes sure that every member can work well at STARTPLATZ. No matter if it's about tariffs, team offices or IT - Johannes has the overview and knows an answer to every question.

Joav Isay

Community Building

Joav is the moderator of our weekly speed networking and first contact for all members. He promotes active exchange in the community and, as the longest-serving working student, is also the contact person within the team. Joav's personality description would be written here, but he didn't like our suggestions, so he remains here blankly.

Jonas Winkler

Online Marketing and Strategy

Jonas makes sure that STARTPLATZ cuts a good figure online and supports our CEO Lorenz wherever he can. He is almost unbeatable at table football and can also be found at an astonishing number of STARTPLATZ parties, considering that he works almost exclusively from Swabia...

Nicola Grande

Online Marketing and Brand Design

Nicola is a real multi-talent at STARTPLATZ as the person in charge of our branding alongside marketing, content creation and design. She's always trying to convince herself and others that she's not employed for her design skills in Canva, but then only does Canva designs.

Marius Derkum

Online Marketing

Marius works in online marketing at STARTPLATZ. Between email campaigns, landing page optimization and collaborations with universities, his main goal is to make more people aware of the digital community. Marius also loves sports and occasionally likes to run a marathon, which he organizes himself.

Katharina Hagl

Human Resources

Kathi is the contact person for everyone who wants to become part of our hammer team and manages our employer branding. She is the unpaid (and especially unwanted) brand representative of the vegan bakemobile in front of our office, because she is vegan herself - unless there is free cake.

Rebecca Hunold

Content Marketing

Rebecca is the brains behind our social media channels. Whether it's content creation, design, blog posts or communication - she's got it all. She's always on the go, whether she's on a pub crawl or Bon Jovi karaoke night.

Simone Reibel

Content Marketing and Production

Simone is a true all-rounder: from photography to marketing to video production, she enriches our team in many different ways. With her own photography business, it's no wonder that our most beautiful photos come from her camera.