Iskender Dirik is a German entrepreneur, venture capitalist, and tech executive with 20 years of experience in the digital world.
He is currently Managing Director and General Manager at Samsung NEXT Europe. Samsung NEXT is Samsung’s global startup and innovation unit. NEXT is investing in entrepreneurs and startups who are building software that could complement Samsung’s global hardware footprint. Iskender is leading Samsung NEXT's global "Media Tech" focus area. Iskender is also Venture Partner for EQT Ventures, one of the largest Venture Capital funds in Europe.
Before joining Samsung, Iskender founded "Microsoft ScaleUp" in Berlin as Managing Director/CEO. Microsoft ScaleUp is the most exclusive startup program within Microsoft worldwide. At Microsoft ScaleUp, Iskender was focused on AI, deep tech, cloud, and software startups from continental Europe. Microsoft ScaleUp is an innovative and award-winning concept and was the leading corporate accelerator worldwide.
Prior to that, Iskender led a 100 Million Euro Corporate Venture Capital Fund at Bauer Venture Partners. Bauer Venture Partners is the Corporate VC arm of Bauer Media, Europe’s leading magazine publishing and radio broadcasting house.
Before that, Iskender was MD/CEO of COPE (formerly named "getanet") for six years, a tech consulting and software development boutique that was acquired by “C3 Creative Code and Content”, a leading European content marketing agency. Iskender consulted clients like Axel Springer, Bertelsmann, Otto, Deutsche Telekom, Porsche, Volkswagen, Süddeutsche Zeitung, and Straits Times in digital strategy, technology and software development.
He founded his first company at the age of 21 and built and exited a couple of tech startups afterwards. He is also founder of alphalist, a network of the most important CTOs of the startup scene.
Iskender is a proven tech, startup and venture capital expert. He is currently dedicating his time primarily to startups and technologies around Artificial Intelligence. He develops visions of the impact of AI on our future business and personal lives.
Besides his enthusiasm for tech, Iskender is also known for being a design-lover and creative mind. He is excited about the intersection of technology and creativity. He is a regular content writer and contributor and known for publishing thought-leadership articles around AI, technology, startups, venture capital, impactful presentations, marketing and leadership principles.
He has written various whitepapers like “A Manual for Corporate Venture Capital”, “The Simple Guide to Deep Learning”, “A Striking Explanation of VC Mechanics”, "The Sales Operations Playbook" and “The Digital Transformation and AI Transformation Pyramids”. Iskender holds a Master of Science in Data and Information Management and a “Diplom” in Business Administration.