TUM Entrepreneur of Excellence Felix Haas
“I have an uncontrollable urge to make things happen”
For over twenty years, TUM Alumni Felix Haas has been living and breathing entrepreneurship, investment and innovation. As TUM Entrepreneur of Excellence, he will continue to support his alma maters’ young generation of entrepreneurs with his wealth of valuable experience.
Felix Haas is the founder of several of his own successful companies and is tirelessly committed when it comes to young entrepreneurs. With cash infusions, access to his large network and his professional advice, he puts start-ups on a secure footing. In 2020 TUM President Thomas F. Hofmann awarded him the honorary title ‘TUM Entrepreneur of Excellence’. The courage to break new ground and the belief in innovation as a driving force of the German economy is what characterises the committed entrepreneur. As a TUM Alumni, Felix Haas is a true role model for future generations of entrepreneurs because of his entrepreneurial achievements. “I am just a small entrepreneur,” he says. “It means a lot to me that my commitment is being seen.”
Keen Sense for Trends and People
Even as a schoolboy, it was clear to the Munich native that he would later become an entrepreneur. “I’ve always been very industrious,” he explains. “I have an uncontrollable urge to make things happen.” Felix Haas set up his first company, a website network for computer games and entertainment news, while still at high school. Immediately after finishing his studies of Electrical and Computer Engineering at TUM, he launched an event platform in 2006, which quickly developed into Europe’s leading ticket service for events. His next company, established in 2013, was a pioneer in the European digital economy market, too. Based on artificial intelligence, the company offers a state-of-the-art solution for reliable identity verification of customers worldwide.
The feeling of having created something together is just great.
Two skills in particular make Felix Haas so successful as an entrepreneur: his keen sense of identifying innovative and exciting business ideas as early as possible, and his knack for putting together the people who then lead them to success in a team. “Only when you put together the right components, topics, founders, partners, investors and team members whose skills complement each other perfectly, only then can a start-up be successful,” says the entrepreneur. “The feeling of having created something together is just great. This team experience is what drives me.”
Accelerator and Door Opener
In all his start-up endeavours, Felix Haas has drawn on the knowledge and networks of experienced entrepreneurs and business angels. Without their help, many important steps in the companies’ development would not have been possible or would have taken much longer. Because he thinks these ‘accelerators’ are important and essential, Felix Haas is not only active in setting up businesses himself, but also as a so-called business angel.
Together with a group of like-minded entrepreneurs, he has been involved in a portfolio of over one hundred start-ups in Europe and the USA since 2016. “I love working with hungry and innovative founders,” says Felix Haas. “As a sparring partner, I want to open doors for them, suffer with them and celebrate with them.”
Excellent Role Model
As ‘TUM Entrepreneur of Excellence’, Felix Haas will be involved in the wide-ranging start-up activities of his alma mater in 2020. Among other things, he will be on the jury for the TUM Presidential Entrepreneurship Award. As a mentor and key-note speaker, he will be a role model and source of inspiration for future generations of entrepreneurs in the programmes and lectures that he himself attended as a student. “I would like to give something back to my alma mater,” he says. “Through my studies and the Manage&More programme of UnternehmerTUM, I have realised what, how and with whom I want to work. The time at TUM was the most important time of my life.”
Diploma Electrical and Computer Engineering 2006
Through his mother, Professor of Medicine at the Klinikum rechts der Isar, Felix Haas has had contact with TUM early on. After graduating from high school, the passionate computer scientist decided to study Electrical and Computer Engineering. While still a student, he laid the foundation for SiROP, a TUM network for students, researchers and universities. With START Munich, he started a student initiative of TUM, which connects Munich’s most promising prospective entrepreneurs. As part of his studies, he spent a year in Silicon Valley, working, among others, at the BMW Technology Office Palo Alto and on projects in cooperation with Google and Stanford University. He is the co-author of several groundbreaking patents.
As a founder, investor and innovator, Felix Haas is almost unstoppable. Since 1997, he has set up five successful companies in the Internet industry, supported and financed over a hundred digital start-ups in Europe and the USA, and connects thousands of young entrepreneurs as co-host, co-organiser and chairman of Germany’s largest founders conference Bits & Pretzels. Felix Haas is World Economic Forum’s Technology Pioneer 2010, NYC Venture Fellow of the former Mayor of New York, Michael Bloomberg, and a member of the German Government’s Advisory Board ‘Young Digital Economy’.