Frank Thelen is an angel investor and serial founder of companies such as ip.labs and doo. Thelen loves innovation and is known for his participation in the Die Höhle der Löwen (Shark Tank) TV show in Germany.
About Frank Thelen
From a young age, Thelen was enthusiastic about computer science. In 1994 he founded his first company at the age of 18 and has since become a serial founder, founding and managing several technology and design-driven companies.
In 2004, Thelen founded and built ip.labs which was later sold to Fujifilm Group. He founded doo in 2011, which won “App of the year” by Apple and further launched Scanbot in 2014. In 2016, he stepped into the role of CEO of e42, now Freigeist Capital, for the purpose of focussing on early-phase start-up investments.
Thelen has released two books, “Start-up DNA” and “10xDNA”, both of which became bestsellers in Germany and the latter translated to English. In 2021, he founded 10xDNA Capital Partners and in the same year won the “Innovate by Society” award by Microsoft, for his start-up doo.
Frank Thelen was born in 1975 in Bonn, Germany, where he is still based today. He supports start-ups in Germany-related politics and consults the Microsoft Ventures accelerator in Berlin.
An angel investor in start-ups like Ankerkraut, Lilium Avation, Smartlane, Wunderlist, xentral and YFood, Frank Thelen has invested in 25 start-ups since 2004. More recent investments include Leko Labs, Robco BuildOne, Endurosat and Superlist.
His 10xDNA portfolio currently consists of 27 high-growth companies including some not yet well-known companies like Fate Therapeuritcs, Gingko Bioworks, HubSpot and Ui Path, as well as bigger names like Alibaba, Bitcoin, Ethereum, Palantir, Tencent and Tesla.
Frank Thelen in News
In August 2022, focus.de wrote an article about Thelen’s 10xDNA disruptive innovation fund. The article discusses how Thelen has given private investors access to tech start-ups to reflect innovation in their own portfolios. This is made possible by his team of experts from a wide range of fields, who identify listed companies that are ten times greener, cheaper and more innovative.
Citywire.com wrote an article in June 2022 reporting Frank Thelen’s reaction to previous allegations of making unrealistic promises to small investors. Thelen’s public response admitted to also losing money by investing in early-stage companies and that it’s part of the risks that come with the opportunities presented in their diversified portfolio.