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Vali Berlin

The entrepreneurship hub at ESMT Berlin

Discover SEP

Learn more about Vali's Summer Entrepreneurship Program.

Empower entrepreneurs to create a better tomorrow

Vali Berlin is the entrepreneurship hub at ESMT Berlin and fosters responsible entrepreneurship for economic, environmental, and social value creation. We do so through a range of initiatives in four main areas: We support founders and joiners, educate entrepreneurial leaders, shape an entrepreneurial culture and connect entrepreneurial stakeholders.

Entrepreneurship Programs

Sustainability Bootcamp (SB)


The Sustainability Bootcamp brings together corporates, NGOs, scaleups and entrepreneurial talent to discuss important problems of our world and ideally develop first solution approaches for them. The bootcamp focuses on environmental challenges.


Summer Entrepreneurship Program (SEP)


Summer Entrepreneurship Program is a 12 week program that offers students, alumni, and external participants the opportunity to work on a business idea in a team.



NEXT program is a five-month program that offers support in the following areas: product-market fit, human capital, fundraising, legal, administrative, and tax issues. This program is for SEP team graduates or other ESMT teams (students/alumni) with an MVP or a first prototype

ESMT Demo Day 2022

ESMT Demo Day 2022

The ESMT Demo Day is a startup event where early-stage startups, investors, corporates, and other stakeholders of the entrepreneurship and innovation ecosystem meet and discuss new ideas.

In addition to keynotes and panel discussions, startups pitch their founding ideas. Maximilian Köhler won first place at this year's event with his startup Optiwiser A.I. Solutions, a cloud-based platform that enables AI-driven demand and inventory planning for food and beverages.

Vali Berlin news

ESMT Berlin publishes first venture report

March 15, 2023 | ESMT Press
Vali Berlin, the entrepreneurship hub at ESMT Berlin, has published its first venture report. Over 230 ESMT alumni and students have so far founded over 200 companies in more than 15 countries in Europe, Africa, North and South America, and Asia.

"Top European Business Schools Partner With Microsoft On New Sustainability Competition For Students"

February 8, 2023 | BusinessBecause
ESMT Berlin and other European Business Schools have partnered with Microsoft Italia to launch a competition amongst students to propose innovative solutions to UN sustainability goals. Baris Efe, a co-founder of Vali Berlin at ESMT, says this collaboration will help students to learn entrepreneurial thinking, develop innovative creativity, and build their own networks.

"Reaktionen auf Lindners ESOP-Vorstoß: „Da geht noch mehr“"

January 4, 2023 | Business Insider Deutschland
The Federal Finance Minister wants startups to be internationally competitive. Baris Efe, a co-founder of Vali Berlin, the start-up hub of ESMT Berlin, shares his concerns regarding the reform of employee participation.

The four pillars of Vali Berlin

  • 1. Support founders and joiners

    Vali provides participants with tools and resources that help them on their entrepreneurial journey – whether as “founders” or as “joiners” who support founders in entrepreneurial teams.

    A student smiling.

    Vali offers structured programs to support entrepreneurial individuals and teams at different stages of development. 

    1. Sustainability Bootcamp

    The Sustainability Bootcamp (SB) creates a unique environment for creative talents from tech and business to develop ideas and form entrepreneurial teams. Announcement coming soon.

    1. Summer Entrepreneurship Program 

    The 3-month Summer Entrepreneurship Program (SEP) helps individuals and teams with a business idea find the right problem-solution fit, develop an MVP, and pitch their idea in front of investors at Vali´s Demo Day.

    1. NEXT Program

    The four-month NEXT program takes nascent ventures to the next level. It is tailored towards the needs of startup teams with an existing MVP or prototype. Vali helps them refine product-market fit, identify additional team members, secure funding, and solve tax and legal issues.

    In addition to these structured programs, Vali offers support such as:

    • Access to networks of industry experts and the broader Berlin startup ecosystem
    • Customized individual mentorship for founders and entrepreneurial teams
    • Access to co-working space at Space Shack Berlin

    To learn more about our structured programs and apply, please follow the respective links above. To get in touch regarding other offerings and founder support, reach out to us at

  • 2. Connect entrepreneurial stakeholders

    Vali serves as the platform for the ESMT community to meet, develop ideas and solutions, find collaborators, and acquire resources to develop and scale new ventures.

    The Vali community consists of a broad range of individuals and organizations, including students, alumni, faculty, serial entrepreneurs, Venture Capitalists, and subject matter experts.



    We foster and grow the Vali community through activities such as

    • Matchmaking events for co-founders and entrepreneurial joiners
    • Organizing startup tours and bootcamps in Berlin, or in cooperation with national and international ESMT alumni chapters
    • Offering exclusive perks such as AWS credit, etc.
    • A Slack community with dedicated channels for topics such as Co-Founder Matching, News and Resources, etc.

    To join the Vali Slack channel or to learn about upcoming events, please reach out to us at

  • 3. Educate entrepreneurial leaders

    Vali creates curricular and non-curricular educational offerings that address the needs of a diverse range of students, corporate partners, and community members.

    Several of Vali’s offerings are integrated into degree programs at ESMT Berlin:

    • The structured Summer Entrepreneurship Program (SEP) fulfills the internship requirement of the Master’s in Management degree.
    • Vali supports various ESMT entrepreneurship courses and experiential programs, e.g., by introducing guest speakers and industry experts, organizing startup tours, and developing hands-on workshops

    The “Entrepreneurship@ESMT” series includes a range of different formats such as keynotes, panel discussions, and workshops on topics relevant to entrepreneurship. This series covers a broad range of topics such as 

    • Talks and panel discussions with thought leaders and successful entrepreneurs
    • Overview of the Berlin entrepreneurial ecosystem
    • Information about entrepreneurship as a career path
    • Entrepreneurship tools such as design thinking, lean startup, and Business Model Canvas
    • Important technological developments such as AI, blockchain, data mining, and advances in health care

    To learn about upcoming offerings or if you have questions, reach out to us at

  • 4. Shape an entrepreneurial culture

    Vali fosters awareness of entrepreneurship as a mechanism to create value and as an exciting career path.



    Vali shapes and supports entrepreneurial culture at ESMT through a range of events and initiatives:

    • Entrepreneurship @ ESMT Series, workshops, and fireside chats (e.g., Cromme Meets with Christian Miele)
    • Alumni Chapter Meetings featuring startup tours, successful entrepreneurs, or hands-on workshops across Germany and Europe
    • Entrepreneurship @ ESMT Newsletter: Regular newsletter to promote entrepreneurship events at ESMT and share knowledge and resources
    • Interviews and blogs featuring successful alumni founders and Vali community members (e.g. ESMT Blog with Francesca, ESMT Blog with Berglin)
    • Pitch Competition at the Annual Digital Future Summit (DFS)
    • Full-time MBA scholarships (e.g. Vali Berlin Female Founders Scholarship, Vali Berlin Entrepreneurship Scholarship)

    To learn about upcoming public events, please reach out to us at

outside of the ESMT Berlin building, from the front.
A cover image of the 13th episode of the Campus 10178 podcast shows the founder of Vali smiling.
The winner of Vali's Demo Day at ESMT Berlin, Senvo, founded by Marie Kober (MBA 22).
A group photo of the event
Team Asfelia celebrating. ooo yea
Vali Berlin scholarships

Vali offers Female Founders and entrepreneurship scholarships for full-time MBA students working at their own company or proactively exploring new business ideas.

Introducing Vali Berlin, the entrepreneurship hub at ESMT

In episode #13 of Campus 10178, the ESMT Berlin podcast, Baris talks about how Vali Berlin was created, the development of its SEP, and where it fits in Berlin’s startup ecosystem.

Summer Entrepreneurship Program 2021 - Demo Day

SENVO wins €5,000 prize money at Vali Berlin’s Demo Day at ESMT Berlin

ESMT x HPI Startup Bootcamp

Vali Berlin and HPI co-hosted this year's Start-up Bootcamp on Innovating Cybersecurity, specifically targeting HPI and ESMT students and alumni to bring together teams from tech and business.

ESMT x HPI Startup Bootcamp

Team Asfelia wins the Best Idea Award

Do you want to kick off your entrepreneurial journey? Or are you interested in learning more about entrepreneurship and its tools?

Then reach out to us via
Organization and Team

Student Board

The student board consists of current students who lead special projects and initiatives. Members: Alexa Motte, Mohan Krishna, Niclas Liebenow, Niklas Drigalski, Santiago Celesia, Shangshan Mei, Tudor-Alexandru Dima, Yuhang Li.

Advisory Board

The advisory board consists of serial entrepreneurs, subject matter experts, VCs, or C-level management executives. Most advisory board members are alumni.

Management Board

The management board leads Vali Berlin’s operations. The management board consists of Henry Sauermann, Baris Efe, and Joachim Behrendt.


Baris Efe

Manager & Co-founder at Vali Berlin - Entreprenurship Hub at ESMT
+49 30 212 31 1649

Henry Sauermann

ESMT Chair in Entrepreneurship & Academic Director at Vali Berlin - Entrepreneurship Hub at ESMT