Olaf Groth

Olaf Groth

Clean Technology Industry Group

CEO, Emergent Frontiers Group LLC


Olaf is Managing Director of Emergent Frontiers Group LLC, which counsels senior corporate executives, private equity investors and government officials on global innovation trends, strategy, ecosystems and transactions. As such, he has a particular focus on convergence spaces in which infocomms and big data intersect with energy, environment, transportation and infrastructure domains.

Olaf is also Global Professor of Strategy, Innovation, Management & Economics at HULT International Business School, where he teaches across a global network of campuses, including San Francisco, New York, London, Dubai and Shanghai. Employing interactive executive-style techniques that address real-world challenges in the classroom, he recently earned the distinction of Professor-of-the-Year in San Francisco and Top-5 Professor globally.

Olaf has 20 years of experience in full-time, interim executive and advisory roles for corporate, business, market, operations and venture development, as well as government relations. He has helped qualify, negotiate and stand up new initiatives and programs in 30+ countries with opportunity between $100M to $2billion. Employers and clients have included AirTouch, Bechtel, Boeing, Qualcomm, Q.Cells, Siemens, Vodafone, Volkswagen, a global oil and gas corporation, transportation technology and crowdcasting startups, and a Silicon Valley VC firm.

Olaf has been a judge for the GE ecomagination challenge, a contributor to the World Economic Forum Project on Europe’s Innovation-Driven Competitiveness 2.0, a Senior Fellow for innovation at Tufts University’s Institute for Business in Global Context, and a Fellow for competitiveness at Grenoble Ecole de Management. He is a Co-Chair for innovation ecosystems at the Corporate Innovators Huddle and for the Energy & Environment Committee at the Pacific Council on International Policy, an Advisory Board member of the Pacific Cities Sustainability Initiative, as well as a member of the Research Council of the Bay Area Economics Institute.

Olaf holds PhD, MALD, MAIPS and BA degrees in international business & economic relations and technology policy & management from the Fletcher School at Tufts University and the Monterey Institute of International Studies of Middlebury College. He also studied negotiation at Harvard, trade economics at Georgetown, finance at UC Berkeley and strategic leadership at the Center for Creative Leadership.

Florian Kolb

Clean Technology Industry Group


Florian has more than 20 years of professional experience in tech and non-tech-related industries with a strong background in mergers & acquisitions (Florian has led and worked on more than 60 deals worth over 12bn USD, including venture deals), post-merger integration (7bn USD integration), operational management, restructuring (2,5bn+ program), business development, market entry and innovation (Silicon Valley).

Florian started his career working for a serial entrepreneur who developed and IPO’ed a highly successful packaging business. During the dot.com era, Florian advised tech and start-up companies in early- and later-stage fundraising. He focused on private equity and leveraged transactions in Automotive and Electronics before joining RWE, a leading pan-European energy company with more than 50bn revenues and more than 60.000 employees.

At RWE, Florian lead M&A deals worth more than 10bn USD. After the acquisition of it’s Dutch business, Florian managed the integration of this 7bn+ USD acquisition into the RWE group. He then became the Managing Director of RWE’s Dutch services company, transforming major corporate functions, delivering very ambitious cost-savings and multi-million USD IT programs. Florian was appointed in 2013 by the Executive Board of RWE to manage the 2.5bn+ USD group-wide transformation program, covering all main areas and functions of the business.

In 2015, Florian has been appointed Managing Director of RWE’s activities in Silicon Valley (which now have been rebranded innogy). He focuses to secure future, non-traditional business for innogy via three core activity streams: 1. Innovation, 2. investments and 3. market entry. This includes leading strategic investments in early- and later-stage tech companies, leading the group-wide data-driven business model activities and testing and launching new businesses for innogy. During the last two years, innogy has invested a very substantial double-digit million USD amount in various Silicon Valley-based activities. Florian serves on the boards of portfolio companies from Silicon Valley. Florian is also a founding father of the Free Electrons program, a global accelerator program operated by a consortium of leading utilities from around the world. He is acting as a mentor for various Singularity University programs.

Florian holds a masters degree in economics from the University of Passau, Germany. He participated in executive programs from leading academic institutions such as INSEAD Fontainebleau, IMD Lausanne and various innogy TOP 150 programs.