AsiaBerlin, powered by the Berlin Senate Department, forms the collective platform that brings together communities within the startup ecosystems across Asia and Berlin. We enable relationship-building among investors, startups, and bridge builders by organizing monthly AsiaBerlin events and delegation trips to Berlin and Asia throughout the year. Our flagship event, the AsiaBerlin Summit is the annual summit of year-long AsiaBerlin activities where policymakers, startups, and investors meet to discuss the newest tech trends and cross-border collaboration between Asia and Berlin. We work closely with our partners in the Asia-Pacific Forum Berlin (APFB) and enpact, along with the ever-growing support of our honorary Ambassadors.

Meet Our Team

Rainer Seider

Initiator, AsiaBerlin

Rainer Seider, strong on 29 years’ experience in international cooperation and projects, is heading the unit for European Affairs, Foreign Trade Policy and Development Cooperation in the Berlin Government`s Senate Department for Economics, Energy and Public Enterprises.

He initiated the AsiaBerlin Summit (former Asia-Pacific Week) as a platform for dialogue with Asia in 1997. Today AsiaBerlin includes also monthly events and delegation trips, connecting Asian startup ecosystems with Berlin.

Rainer supervises the Berlin Business Offices in New York and Beijing and has experiences in global cooperation. He is an international bridge builder for Berlin with a focus on startups.

Swantje Gies

Managing Director, Asia Berlin Forum e.V. (ABF)

For the last few years, Swantje was with Brot für die Welt which is a large development cooperation organisation based in Berlin. She worked in the Asia & Pacific Department and was responsible mostly for projects with partners in India and Nepal. Her focus is on a span of topics from Human Rights, Health, Gender Equality to Climate Change. Swantje has a background in international economics; she studied in Göttingen, Istanbul and Shanghai.

Diksha Dutta

Head of Marketing and Communication, AsiaBerlin

Diksha Dutta is Head of Marketing and Communication at AsiaBerlin, an initiative by the Berlin Senate Department for Economics, connecting startup ecosystems in Asia and Berlin. Based in Berlin, she is a business columnist and podcast host covering AI and Data related topics. Former chief editor of Dataconomy Media, Diksha started her career as a feature writer and gradually stepped into business news reporting where she closely tracked the private equity, venture capital and startups focusing on US funds investing in the Indian market. Her work is published in The Huffington Post, Entrepreneur.com, Thrive Global, Financial Express, News Corp India. She is working on a book on the Indian startup ecosystem to be released by Bloomsbury Publishing UK and India in 2021.

Bao-Tram Thai

Project Manager, AsiaBerlin

Bao-Tram Thai was born in Saigon, Vietnam. In 2013, she decided to go to Germany for her studies and career. She studied Business Administration with specialisations in Entrepreneurship and Sustainability Management. In 2018, she co-founded Vietnam Startup Network in Europe - the biggest community for Vietnamese young entrepreneurs and startups in Europe. Her ambition is, with her community, to build a sustainable connection that strengthens economic relations between Asia and Europe, and opens opportunities for both European and Asian, especially Vietnamese startups for collaboration.

Carolin Lessoued

Content and Program lead , AsiaBerlin Summit

Being part of the Asia-Berlin Summit since 2016, Carolin is very familiar with basically everything that we tackle within the project. Her company Openers, founded in 2013, is taking care of everything content and production-related since the first collaborative edition in 2016.

Carolin started her work/business life in 2008 after graduating as a media economist in the startup world, where she worked at the intersection of music and tech in one of the first digital music distribution companies. While heading the PR and marketing department there, she also worked freelance for bigger brands like Universal or Nissan and many more, always in the field of media relations, communications or event productions. After that, she worked for different agencies, at one of them she met her future co-founder Kerstin and started to work on bigger projects like the Tech Open Air in Berlin, which was eventually the starting point of Openers. Openers is a boutique agency from Berlin that supports disruptive companies and brands when entering new markets or opportunities to get the word out. We believe in the power of stories to impact the status quo.

Elvir Becirovic

Head of Asia Projects Group at the Berlin Senate Department for Economics, Energy and Public Enterprises

Helen Franke

Sub-Project Manager Smart Change / Smart City Policy Expert

With a wide variety of Smart Change partners, Helen sheds light on important framework conditions for innovation potential, responsible sustainability and inclusion in Jakarta and other growing metropolitan areas. The administrative exchange between Berlin, Jakarta and Bangkok in order to learn from another on improved good governance measures, especially on Smart City, is an invaluable experience for her. The project will further support Berlin's as well as Europe's collaboration in Indonesia. Helen has previously worked in the EU liaison office at the Technische Universität Berlin and graduated in European Studies.

Antonin Salice-Stephan

Sub-Project Manager Smart Change/ International Entrepreneurship Expert

Working for the Berlin Government in the area of foreign trade allows me to build sustainable relationships, particularly with stakeholders in Southeast Asia. Part of my responsibility is to develop and implement an entrepreneurship policy plan together with the local authorities of Jakarta. Our goal is to enhance urban innovation by bringing together experts, startups and academia from Berlin, Jakarta and Bangkok. Through our project we have the chance to build up strong networks, allowing us to contribute to better economic in- and outbound opportunities for all parties involved. By fostering government-to-government relationships on a sub-national city level we hope to assist companies in gaining a better strategic orientation on the respective market.

Jan Lachenmayer

enpact, Managing Director (AsiaBerlin Partner)

Jan is the managing director of enpact - a non-profit organization which empowers entrepreneurship in emerging and developing countries. Enpact leads all AsiaBerlin activities including monthly events, investors relations, delegation trips, pilot soft-landing pad, network building and community management and FEBI. He is a tech entrepreneur and former management consultant; leading a wide array of projects ranging from private sector, EU and government-funded projects right through to organising major cultural events. Besides working at enpact he is the co-founder of the tech startup FORMATION - which provides location-based productivity enhancements for workers and businesses across different industries.

Kalbiye Nur Yegnidemir

Senior Project Manager, enpact (AsiaBerlin Partner)

Kalbiye heads AsiaBerlin activities led by enpact such as overseeing monthly events, and delegation trips. In the last 6 months, she has overseen multimedia events for startups as far-flung as China, Singapore, and India. She brings with her more than 15 years of experience in project management and event facilitation, varying from the Konrad Adenauer Foundation to government officials and the German University Cairo. Needless to say, Kalbiye is well-versed in bridging different cultures having previously overseen high-level meetings between international heads of state.

Siddharth Bhasin

Senior Program Manager & Investors Lead, enpact (AsiaBerlin Partner)

Sidd's a senior programme manager with Enpact; currently building a strong bridge between the entrepreneurial ecosystems of Asia and Berlin with a special focus on investor relations and acceleration programs. Prior to this, he worked as a portfolio manager with a Berlin based VC firm heading a portfolio of multiple startups in the domain of IoT and Blockchain. Sidd loves being in the midst of the tech world and has invested as an angel in tech startups himself.

Amrita Gandikota

Hub Manager India, AsiaBerlin

Amrita Gandikota works closely in the Indo-German startup ecosystem striving to build synergies between both ecosystems. She is the India Representative of German Indian Startup Exchange Program – GINSEP and Hub Manager of AsiaBerlin in India. She is also leading the Bangalore Indo-German Startup Network – BIGSUN project initiated by the German Consulate, Bangalore and the Indo-German Chamber of Commerce.

AsiaBerlin Activities