After finishing his Abitur (A-levels) in 1979 he took on an apprenticeship with the Dresdner Bank. Following he studied Economics and Management Science in Munster and Bonn, receiving his Diplom-Volkswirt in 1987. With his dissertation "Chaos und Unternehmenskrise" (chaos and a business crisis) he attained the title Dr. rer. from the Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-University of Bonn. It was published as edition 116 of the series Beiträge zur betriebswirtschaftlichen Forschung.
Andreas Pinkwart's political career is closely knit to the FDP (Free Democratic Party). He joined the party in 1980, at the age of 19. From 1988 to 1990 he was part of the FDP's scientific staff and from 1991 onwards he was first secretary to the chairman of the FDP's parliamentary group in the Bundestag, Hermann Otto Solms.
Pinkwart's career in Higher Education began 1994 at the College of Higher Education in Düsseldorf, where he was professor of Economics and Management Science. From 1998 onwards a professorship at the University of Siegen followed, where Pinkwart taught Business Administration with focus on SMEs.
In 2002, Pinkwart succeeded Jürgen Möllemann as chairman of the FDP in North Rhine-Westphalia, an office he held until 2010. From 2003, he also served as one of the national party's deputy chairmen under the leadership of Guido Westerwelle.
From 2002 to 2005 Pinkwart was a Member of Parliament (German Bundestag), where he was part of the FDP parliamentary group led by Wolfgang Gerhardt. He served as his parliamentary group’s spokesperson on the Finance Committee between 2002 and 2004 and later as the group’s spokesperson on the national budget. From 2004, he also led the Bundestag group of FDP parliamentarians from North Rhine-Westphalia, one of the largest delegations within the FDP parliamentary group.
From 2005 until 2010, Pinkwart served as State Minister for Innovation, Technology and Research and Deputy Minister-President of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, under the leadership of Minister-President Jürgen Rüttgers. In this capacity, he was also a Member of the Federal Council (Bundesrat of Germany). During his time in office, the state government tried hard to win new research institutions to be set up in North Rhine-Westphalia; eventually, the Max Planck Society set up its Max Planck Institute for Biology of Ageing in Cologne, and the Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres based a new German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases in Bonn.
Following the 2009 federal elections, Pinkwart was part of the FDP team in the negotiations with Chancellor Angela Merkel’s CDU/CSU on a coalition agreement. He led his party's delegation in the working group on education and research policy; his co-chair of the CDU/CSU was Annette Schavan.
At the beginning of 2011 Pinkwart became a Senior Research Fellow at the American Institute for Contemporary German Studies (AICGS) at the Johns Hopkins University, Washington D.C. His research project as fellow focused on the roles of universities as entrepreneurial hubs and engines of innovation in the U.S. and Germany. Since April 2011 he has been Dean of HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management and the first holder of the Stiftungsfonds Deutsche Bank Chair of Innovation Management and Entrepreneurship.
Following the 2017 state elections in North Rhine-Westphalia, Pinkwart was part of the FDP team in the negotiations with Armin Laschet’s CDU on a coalition agreement. He led his party's delegation in the working group on economic affairs and energy policy; his co-chair of the CDU was Hendrik Wüst.
Since July 2017, Pinkwart has been serving as State Minister for Economic Affairs, Digitization, Innovation and Energy in the government of Minister-President Armin Laschet. In this capacity, he is also one of the state's representatives on the Bundesrat, where he serves on the Committee on Foreign Affairs; the Committee on Economic Affairs; and the Committee on Urban Development, Housing and Regional Planning.
Following the 2010 state elections, Pinkwart ruled out a center-left coalition between the SPD, the FDP and the Green Party even though the three parties would have been able to achieve a majority in the state parliament.
On energy policy, Pinkwart is widely regarded to be a critic of the country’s energy transition as envisioned by former chancellor Gerhard Schröder and current leader Angela Merkel. In 2017, he held that he wanted to preserve the use of fossil fuels and place greater restrictions on where wind turbines can be built.Deutsche Bank, Member of the Advisory Board (2011-2017)
Evotec AG, Member of the Supervisory Board (2011-2014)
NRW.BANK, Ex-Officio Member of the Supervisory Board (1998-2011; since 2017)
Fraunhofer Institute for Cell Therapy and Immunology (IZI), Member of the Board of Trustees
German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), Member of the Board of Trustees
Jackstädt Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation Research, University of Wuppertal, Member of the Advisory Board
Rationalisierungs- und Innovationszentrum der Deutschen Wirtschaft, Member of the Board of Trustees
Dessau-Wörlitz Garden Realm, Member of the Board of Trustees
Vision: The Journal of Business Perspective, Member of the Editorial Board
German Association of University Professors and Lecturers (DHV), Member
German Academic Association for Business Research (VHB), Member
RAG-Stiftung, Member of the Board of Trustees (2012-2014)
Royal Norwegian Order of Merit (2007)
Order of Merit of North Rhine-Westphalia (2012)
University of Kent Innovation in Academia Award for Science and Business (2017)
Pinkwart is married and has two children. The family lives in Witterschlick.