Innovative Deal Brokering Expertise
Ulf Leonhard created and launched WaterVent in 2009 as Europe’s first investor-entrepreneur matchmaking forum, having recognized the potential and unmet market need for targeted funding facilitation in the water sector.
As CEO and founder of Leonhard Ventures (www.leoven.com), Ulf has over 20 years of equity consulting and strategic business consulting experience, spanning a broad range of sectors (e.g. IT, cleantech, biotech, water) and entrepreneurial stages (start-up, early stage, expansion).
Since 1997 he has organized over 100 matching events spanning multiple sectors in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Spain and the United Kingdom, reaching approximately 9,500 participants from more than 35 countries. His network includes more than 400 investors throughout Germany, Europe and North America.
An entrepreneur and visionary, Ulf conceptualized and successfully launched a number of firsts in the investor-entrepreneur matchmaking arena including:
- Deutsche Praesenzboerse (German Equity Fair) – the first matchmaking forum for the German-speaking region (Germany, Switzerland, Austria) targeting IT and life sciences innovations (1996)
- Dinner & Deals – intimate investor-entrepreneur dinners (up to 15 ) that allow deeper relationship building and faster deal collaborations (1998 to present)
- European Venture Market – the first European funding forum, attracting over 3,800 participants at over 16 events. (2004 to present) www.europeanventuremarket.com
- ExpoFin – conference and exhibition hall focused on SME funding (2007 to present) www.expofin.de
- NoMeBa – a new platform for German, Swiss and Austrian SMEs (small and medium sized businesses) to present to and meet private equity investors (2009 to present) www.nomeba.de
- WaterVent – the first European matchmaking forum focused exclusively on supporting water innovations [Berlin/Oct 2010; Zurich/April 2011; Leeuwarden/Oct 2011] www.watervent.com
- World Resource Ventures - matchmaking forum focused on resource and clean technologies: www.worldresourceventures.com
Equity Consulting Experience
After receiving his Master in Business Administration (M.B.A.) from the Ludwig-Maximilian-University Munich in 1986, Ulf Leonhard started his career in general management consulting at A.T. Kearney Management Consultants.
In 1991 he was appointed CEO of a southern German equity investment company, managing an investment portfolio of $20 million. He also worked for the German Treuhandanstalt after the German reunification, privatizing textile companies from East Germany.
In 1993, Ulf founded Continua Equity Consultants (www.continua.de) and served as CEO until 2009 when he sold his shares to his partners. During this time, he relocated the offices to Berlin where he launched various investor-entrepreneur matching platforms targeting national, regional, and international scope (www.europeanventuremarket.com).
Through his many years of experience in high growth innovation sectors, Ulf has developed a keen knowledge of what it takes to secure funding and how to connect his vast network of European technology entrepreneurs and investors to each other in order to reach their respective goals.
Ulf speaks four languages – German, English, French and Spanish – thereby having the unique ability to understand client needs and identify potential business opportunities across borders, cultures and markets.