| Alexander Marten|
| June 3, 1975 (1975-06-03) Neuss, Germany|
Lawyer, business angel, marketing wiz, digital pioneer
Alexander Marten Wikipedia
Alexander Marten (born June 3rd) is a German born and US educated founder and business angel. Among the companies founded by or with him are AdScent, Augmentation Industries, Docademy, Digital Outlaws, Sublime Investments, Gravity Games, fedger.io (co-founder). He is also the inventor of the patented mad technology and several subsequent patents.
Alexander was born in Neuss and raised in Duesseldorf, Germany. After completing his business administration studies, in Germany, he worked in product management for Henkel KGaA at the Duesseldorf headquarters, where he was part of the product teams for the brands Pril, Vernel, Sil, and Perwoll. During this time, he founded his first startup, a small internet publishing company, and learned about the nuts and bolts of entrepreneurship. Over the following years, he founded several startups in the United States and Germany.
But even before his professional career, while still in university and during his internships at the UN, NFL, Siemens and his work as a founder, Marten became deeply interested in corporate law and especially in international mergers & acquisitions. Fueled by this interest, he applied to and was accepted at several US law schools. He lived and studied in Boston, MA and after completion went to Albany, New York to take the NY bar exam. In his career as a corporate lawyer, he worked at Clifford Chance in London, at the Finance & Capital Markets department; Hengeler Mueller in Duesseldorf, at the M&A and IPO department; and Dewey & LeBoeuf in New York, also in IPOs. His focus was always on M&A and IPO work and his clients at this time were global fortune 500 companies. Parallel to his job as a corporate lawyer, he founded two other startups: one specializing in the online brokerage of Factoring, the other on online Insurance.
While working as a lawyer, he started to feel the lack of self-determination and a drive to enlarge the portion of entrepreneurship in his life. To satisfy this urge, he sidestepped and worked in digital strategy consulting for two years. It was during this time when he got a deeper insight into corporate success factors but was still not satisfied with the level of entrepreneurship as this also was a position that limited "freedom of scope" - the ability to change and form. It became clear that Alexander's mind was that of an entrepreneur as only as an entrepreneur he would achieve the level of freedom he was striving for. Of all the startups Alexander founded, five were sold, one filed for insolvency and two are up and running.
After these exits, Alexander shifted his focus and is more active as a business angel and advisor to corporations regarding startup investments. In that regard he is advising E.ON and the E.ON Incubator as well as BOSCH's Startup Platform and two German family offices on their portfolio and investments. On several occasions, he serves as an advisor to the State of North Rhine-Westphalia on startup development & ecosystems. His expertise is also valued as a member of the jury of the startup initiative Best of X, RISE, WebSummit and the European Venture Summit.
The ignition spark to found Augmentation Industries was originally delivered in 2007 by the purchase of a car Jeremy Clarkson presented on Top Gear: the Ariel Atom - Ariel Atom Episode. While working in London he bought this car and took it with him when he moved back to Germany. Unfortunately the German Technischer Überwachungsverein (authority to clear cars for street use) prohibited the use of the car on German roads. This was the starting point of his research and the beginning of the idea of a digital fully accessible car.
When Alexander bought the car in England, he did not anticipate what trouble he would have to go through to get the car registered and street legal in Germany. At the end it was one little detail the TÜV complained about: the lack of an OBD-II interface/port. Because of the high costs for retrofitting the system into the car, he started researching and stumbled about the technical possibilities of the interface: access to all car bus systems and ECUs of a car and therefore any data a car provides. By combining this information with his knowledge about big data generation, the idea of the mad technology was born - a car data transmitting OBD-II port plug-in adapter that can be hooked up to a smartphone which in turn delivers the data to the cloud.
Founded in September 2011 and incorporated on April 19, 2012 Augmentation Industries (AI) is a high tech startup with the mission to make cars smarter to ease user's lives, by developing the mad technology to a level suitable for mass market. The company is a venture capital funded entity that got its seed funding of €1,500,000 (~ $US2,000,000) in September 2012. Shortly after this capital influx and start of research, the company was granted several European and German grants and subsidies. Since then the company has hired a team of engineers, architects and developers to bring the mad adapter to market. In late 2013 AI won IBM SmartCamp Germany and presented as finalist for the European IBM SmartCamp. Another investment of €1,500,000 (~ $US2,000,000) was made shortly afterwards. The company also exhibited the working technology at CeBit 2014 and became interesting to politicians and successful entrepreneurs like Steve Wozniak, Angela Merkel, Sigmar Gabriel and the like.