Nisha Rathode

Helmut Fluhrer

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Nationality  German
Residence  Germany
Name  Helmut Fluhrer
Helmut Fluhrer
Born  1955Munich
Employer  Axel Springer SE, Hubert Burda Media
Known for  internet pioneer, inventor, entrepreneur

Helmut Dieter Fluhrer (born 1955 in Munich) is a German entrepreneur and inventor. His previous roles include media manager and internet pioneer.


Early life and education

Born in Munich, Helmut Fluhrer grew up there and graduated from the Klenze-Gymnasium, a prestigious secondary school in Munich with a strong focus on science and technology. After completing military service, he studied law, economics and political science at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, and later made a number of study tours to the USA and Japan. In 1984 Fluhrer received his PhD in Political Economic Sciences. His doctoral thesis "Less State, More Private: the Promoters of Privatization in the Municipal Sector" contained a foreword by Rolf Rodenstock, President of the Munich Chamber of Commerce and Industry. In 1990, Fluhrer completed his MBA in Executive Studies at the Graduate School of Business Administration in Zurich, Switzerland.

Media manager

During his studies in Munich, Fluhrer worked as editor-in-chief of the youth magazine "Trichter" (1976-1979). In 1984 he worked as a freelancer for Bayerischer Rundfunk (Bavarian Broadcasting) in the editorial department of Tagesschau and "Rundschau" (national and state television news). In 1985 he was appointed executive assistant of the board at Axel Springer SE, specifically in the "new media sector", where he contributed to the creation and launch of SAT1, Germany’s first private satellite television station. Fluhrer was soon promoted to the executive management board of SAT1, where he took responsibility for technology, studios and programming. He also helped launch a number of private radio stations. In 1986 he became deputy head of the newly created investment and internationalization sector at Axel Springer SE. Fluhrer was responsible for the acquisition of ten Hungarian regional newspapers and their subsequent revival, and was responsible for the acquisition and consolidation of the Medical Tribune, the world's largest medical newspaper group. In 1989, this was the only western newspaper with its own offices in the People's Republic of China. In 1990 Fluhrer was engaged as Publishing Director of International Businesses at the Handelsblatt Group, Dusseldorf, Germany. The centerpiece of his career at in this role was the creation of the first pan-European publishing group "Eurexpansion" in cooperation with Dow Jones listed company and publishing house "Groupe Expansion SA", consisting of more than fifty European business magazines and newspapers. In addition, he was involved with the Swiss business magazine BILANZ and helped to establish the Russian newspaper Kommersant. In 1991 he was engaged by Hubert Burda as chief of staff for Hubert Burda Media. In this position he was responsible for media projects related to the German reunification, and the development and expansion of new business areas and companies in the private electronic media sector. Fluhrer also was deputy publishing director of the magazines “Das Haus” and “Holiday”.

Internet pioneer

In 1993 Fluhrer directed his focus towards establishing Internet companies. He developed the concept of the Health Online Service (1995), considered the world’s first B-to-B platform in the area of health and medicine. Fluhrer was managing director and shareholder of this company. In 1995 he organized the "Medicine Goes Electronic" expo in Nuremberg, Germany, to promote the launch of the Health Online Service. By 1996 its database had become the largest online database of medical information worldwide. On 5 April 1997 a surgical procedure was broadcast for the first time live on the Internet. At the Fifth International World Wide Web Conference in 1996, Paris, the Health Online Service was described by CERN expert and inventor of the HTML language, Tim Berners-Lee, as a great step forward in the evolution of the Internet. In 1997 the Health Online Service was sold to the Bertelsmann Publishing Group. In 1998 the Health Online Service business model was adopted in the creation of "Healtheon" by the Netscape development partner Jim Clark; this became one of the most successful IPOs ever, reaching a value of USD $6 billion. In 1997 Fluhrer founded "The Internet Company", later renamed "Ontempo Inc." with offices in Munich, New York, Seattle and Los Angeles. This company developed technologies for creating the first personalized websites specifically for media companies.


In 2004 Fluhrer turned his attention towards environmental technology transfer, establishing Unitec Holding AG based in Zug, Switzerland. In 2010 its subsidiary, Meteo Systems International AG, initiated ground-breaking research in the area of precipitation enhancement in Switzerland, Australia and the United Arab Emirates, with the involvement of renowned ecological experts James Lovelock, Peter Wilderer and Hartmut Grassl. In 2011 Fluhrer resigned as chairman of Meteo Systems. In 2012 he established Brainmate GmbH, Munich, a company specializing in intellectual property, patents and corporate IP strategies. In 2013 he set up the European Language Technology Group GmbH, which is developing an application for simultaneous translation via smartphones, primarily for European language groups, but also other world languages. Fluhrer is a member of several supervisory boards.


  • 1980-1996 Member and Bayern Regional Executive of the Junior Chamber International
  • 1983 Member of Rotary International
  • 1986 Member of the organizing committee of the Rotary World Congress in Munich.
  • 1991 Senator of the Junior Chamber International.
  • 1995 Member of the Munich Venture Capital Club
  • 1995 Member of the World Economic Forum, Davos; acknowledged for his pioneering work in the Internet, the youngest German member
  • 2000 Member (and since 2010) Member of the Executive Board of Europe's 500
  • 2002 Initiator of “Bavaria's Best 50” Enterprise Awards
  • 2008 Co-founder of the environmental organization IESP: International Expert Group on the Preservation of the Earth System
  • 2010 Curator of the scientific collection of his grandfather Willy O. Herrmann (1886-1972), German chemist and inventor, director of the Research Division of Wacker Chemie
  • 2012 Member of the Petersburg Dialogue
  • 2015 Founding member of the Munich Europe Conference, which is carried out in conjunction with the Munich Security Conference
  • 2015 Member of the Board of Trustees, Desert Food Foundation
  • References

    Helmut Fluhrer Wikipedia

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