Founders

Guido Westerwelle and Ralph Dommermuth founded the Westerwelle Foundation together in 2013 in order to create more opportunities for young people around the world. The values of our founders rest in everything that the foundation does with a focus on the promotion of fostering democracy, market-economy, rule-of-law, and tolerance.

Guido Westerwelle

Dr. Guido Westerwelle

Dr. Westerwelle was born in 1961. He grew up in Bonn. He studied law at university, received a doctorate in law and worked as an attorney. He joined the Free Democratic Party (FDP) in 1980. Guido Westerwelle was Secretary General of the FDP from 1994 to 2001. He was elected Chairman of the FDP from 2001 to 2011. From 1996 to 2013, Guido Westerwelle was a member of the German Bundestag and from 2006 to 2009, President of the FDP parliamentary group and leader of the opposition. From 2009 to 2013 Guido Westerwelle was Federal Minister of Foreign Affairs and from 2009 to 2011, Deputy Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany.

Ralph Dommermuth

In 1988, Ralph Dommermuth founded 1&1 EDV Marketing GmbH. 1&1 was offering marketing services for software and telecommunications services. In 1996, 1&1 started the development of its own internet services. At the same time, it began to invest in young internet start-ups. In 1998, Dommermuth went public with 1&1 and registered as the first internet enterprise at the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. In February 2000 Dommermuth renamed his enterprise group to United Internet, which marked the end of the realignment process towards the internet sector. Along with 1&1, it includes GMX, WEB.DE, mail.com, Versatel, Fasthosts, Strato, arsys, InternetX, United Domains, affilinet and Sedo.

Westerwelle Foundation - Ralph Dommermuth

Timeline

2022

Kigali & Arusha Joint New Programme Launch: East Africa Entrepreneurship Programme

2022

Tunis New Programme Launches: Impact’HER, Back2Growth & Invest4Growth

2022

Arusha New Programme Launches: DRILL Accelerator, DigiTalents, DigiTrade Tourism & AfroGreen ClimAccelerator

2022

Opening of Westerwelle Startup Haus Arusha Powered by Paul Gauselmann

2021

Kigali New Programme Launches: SHEignites Greenpreneur Programme, Ideate Rwanda, AfDB Post Incubation Programme & Tech Meets Farming

2021

Launch of Imp’ACT Up & RiseUp Tunis

2020

Launch of Entrepreneurship Programme Tunis

2019

Opening of Makerspace at Westerwelle Startup Haus Kigali powered by Evonik Stiftung

2018

Launch of Entrepreneurship Programm Kigali

2018

Launch of Westerwelle Startup Haus Kigali powered by Evonik Stiftung

2016

Launch of Westerwelle Startup Haus Tunis

2016

Launch of Westerwelle Young Founders Programme

2016

✝ Guido Westerwelle passed away

2013

Founded by Guido Westerwelle and Ralph Dommermuth

Board Members

Westerwelle Foundation - Michael Mronz

Michael Mronz
Chairman of the Board

Michael Mronz is a serial entrepreneur in the fields of sports, events and communication. In 1992, business graduate Michael Mronz founded the agency MMP Event GmbH, which organized and successfully promoted events such as the annual World Equestrian Festival, CHIO Aachen, the FEI World Equestrian Games 2006 or the IAAF World Championships in Athletics 2009 and numerous TV productions. Since summer 2016, Michael Mronz has been the initiator and organizer of the privately funded initiative “Rhine Ruhr City 2032”. The initiative promotes a potential bid by the Rhine-Ruhr region to host the Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games. Mronz has developed a concept that focuses on ecological and economic sustainability and the use of existing sports and event venues. In 2017, he founded “Storymachine” together with Philipp Jessen, ex-head of stern.de, and ex-Bild editor Kai Diekmann.

Westerwelle Foundation - Ralph Dommermuth

Ralph Dommermuth
Member of the Board

In 1988, Ralph Dommermuth founded 1&1 EDV Marketing GmbH. 1&1 was offering marketing services for software and telecommunications services. In 1996, 1&1 started the development of its own internet services. At the same time, it began to invest in young internet start-ups. In 1998, Dommermuth went public with 1&1 and registered as the first internet enterprise at the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. In February 2000 Dommermuth renamed his enterprise group to United Internet, which marked the end of the realignment process towards the internet sector. Along with 1&1, it includes GMX, WEB.DE, mail.com, Versatel, Fasthosts, Strato, arsys, InternetX, United Domains, affilinet and Sedo.

Oliver Reisner
Member of the Board

Oliver is a Cambridge educated venture builder with a hunger to drive positive change by empowering entrepreneurs. Between 2019 and 2023, he served as the Managing Director of the Foundation, spearheading the opening of the third startup hub in Tanzania and overseeing the expansion of the Westerwelle Foundation programmes work.

 

Our Team at Westerwelle Foundation

Christoph supports young start-up entrepreneurs in emerging markets drawing on his international experience in corporates & tech startups.

Christoph Pleitgen
Managing Director

Judith is passionate about sustainable development and innovation, with experience across Europe, Africa, Asia and North America.

Judith Li
Director of Programmes

Ida believes in creating positive impact by connecting people. Her areas of expertise & passion are branding and startup ecosystems.

Ida Huiskonen
Director of Community and Marketing

Inclusive, sustainable development through social innovation is what drives Sebastian. His background is in international project management

Sebastian Gentry
Programme Manager

She is passionate about giving impactful and sustainable businesses a platform to showcase their work and attract the attention it deserves.

Bernadeta Karpavičiūtė
Marketing Coordinator

Evelyn Kwarteng
Programme Coordinator

Our Team at WSH Kigali

Sarah holds an MBA from Oklahoma Christian University. With a passion for fostering innovation & entrepreneurship.

Sarah Rukundo
Country Director

Alexandra has a passion for building connections and creating positive experiences online & offline through creative branding management.

Alexandra Gatare
Community and Marketing Manager

Olivier is dedicated to fostering innovation & empowering entrepreneurs, with significant experience in the Rwandan startup ecosystem.

Olivier Kalisa
Programme Manager

Rodney is passionate about supporting new and innovative ideas through financial analysis and management.

Rodney Rugamba
Finance and Operations Manager

Martine is an electrical & electronics engineer who is passionate about everything innovation & tech. She is a mobiliser for women in tech.

Martine Basaninyange
Makerspace Manager

Nadege is dedicated to creating lasting impact in her community by developing entrepreneurial initiatives within the ecosystem.

Nadege Umutesi
Programme Coordinator

Mireille believes in the power of customer care/customer focus and supports in providing the best services and comfort to our community.

Mireille Nkeramihigo
Community and Marketing Coordinator

Our Team at WSH Tunis

Alaa's passion for economic development drives him to design impactful programmes through empowering entrepreneurs in emerging markets.

Alaa Aridhi
Country Director

Chaima, as an entrepreneur herself, has extensive expertise & a strong passion for project management across Tunisian/international NGOs.

Chaima Amraoui
Programme Manager

Khouloud is a fashion tech entrepreneur, fond of sustainability and social impact.

Khouloud Torkhani
Community and Marketing Manager

Passionate entrepreneur skilled in organizational development and coaching youth international organizations in planning and operations.

Haythem Bchir
Programme Coordinator

Our Team at WSH Arusha

Isaack is passionate about technology, innovation and entrepreneurship. He works with startup founders in Tanzania to grow their businesses.

Isaack Shayo
Country Director

John is passionate about building & supporting communities to develop & deploy innovative solutions that transforms societies.

John Mushi
Community and Marketing Coordinator

With her expertise in Finance. Rehema has a passion to serve her community through entrepreneurship & networking with different people.

Rehema Laizer
Finance & Operations Manager

Christine has experience in supporting the Tanzanian ecosystem by coordinating, managing & implementing programmes in her community

Christine Gimonge
Progamme Coordinator

Moureen Mollel
Programme Coordinator

Optimist, planner and mobiliser to drive impact through entrepreneurship

Collins Kimaro
Advisor

Become part of us!

Are you interested in joining our fast-growing foundation? We post all new job openings on LinkedIn

Stay up to date

© Westerwelle Foundation - All rights reserved.