About Gert Christen

Portrait Gert BusinessThis is me, Gert Christen

I like everything new!  That is why I love and work the business of innovation!

Around the world for the last 30 years. Building technology businesses and helping them grow internationally. Since 2016 back in California as independent Innovation Strategist, advising companies and public organizations in their innovation efforts. And before in Zurich, Switzerland, as CEO of the BlueLion & Startzentrum Incubators in Zurich and founder of Startupfair, Switzerland’s biggest event in the startup ecosystem. Earlier as executive in tech companies and in the mobile phone industry e.g. starting Nokia’s apps business in the USA and Latin America. Earlier in the RF-ID and industrial automation industries in Europe and Asia.

Curriculum Vitae

Technology executive, startup accelerator, internationalizer, and building university entrepreneurship programs

 

Growing City Innovate to solve urban problems thru technology and open innovation, e.g. with the Superpublic GovTech lab in San Francisco.

Built up BlueLion Incubator in Zurich, for high potential ICT and Clean Tech startup companies with Switzerland’s most methodical startup coaching and acceleration program. 75% of BlueLion startups admitted to demo day secured financing within 6 months.

Refocused Startzentrum in Zurich on its core mission and created Startupfair, Switzerland’s largest event for the startup industry.

Was awarded the Swiss Marketing-Trophy 2014 for the best national marketing campaign in the non-profit category. Created Startup-Battle, Switzerland’s first public and live pitching event designed to identify the most promising new startup companies.

Founded the Entrepreneurship Department at HWZ University in Zurich, creating Switzerland’s largest program where student teams support startup companies and thereby experience real-world entrepreneurship.

Executive in the mobile phone business, mobile content, app stores & mobile operating systems, telecom systems integration and network rollouts

Built Nokia’s first commercial app stores in North- and Latin America.

Headed project management & engineering of Nokia’s systems integration unit in North- and Latin America.

Spearheaded PurpleLabs licensing business in Asia for their innovative Linux-based mobile phone operating system.

Led Nokia’s network rollouts for mobile operators Salt and Sunrise in Switzerland.

RF-ID manufacturing, systems integration, distribution


Built one of the first distribution networks for RF-ID products in Asia.

Created the market for RF-ID in the textile and workwear industry, working both for an RF-ID manufacturer (made them #1 in the textile market) and for an equipment manufacturer.

Education

Solid business education with initially a Bachelor in Marketing with best thesis of the year award for my  thesis “Fit for Change?”. Exposure to and learning about the US way of business with my M.B.A. at SMU Cox Business School in Dallas, TX, USA.

Didactic education at Zurich University of Teacher Education and preparation for board assignments at EPFL’s Startup Board Members Academy.

And when I am not working…

IMG_5921Sailing has been my passion since childhood! I grew up by a lake in the Swiss mountains and spent every free moment windsurfing or sailing on it. Today I enjoy sailing competitvely on the San Francisco Bay.

 

 

 

Skiing is a close second! I grew up with just 30 minutes to the next ski lift.

 

 

 

… and I love the foods of the world!

I am always curious and my traveling gave me the chance to try many local foods while working on 4 continents. My work at BlueLion Incubator with clean tech startups and the cooperation with EU’s Climate-KIC initiative and WWF opened my eyes that we need to rethink what we eat and how we grow our food!