A young German entrepreneur has been named one of the 200 Leaders of Tomorrow by the University of St Gallen.
23-year-old Leopold Neuerburg was placed in the category ‘100 Brilliant Young Achievers: Hand-picked’ after being nominated by the Elite Network of the Bavarian State Ministry of Education, Sciences and the Arts. St Gallen says the hundred were selected for “extraordinary achievements at their young age”.
Leopold made the prestigious list for his exceptional contribution to social entrepreneurship, which includes setting up the NGO Digital Helpers to distribute discarded computers from companies to economically disadvantaged people (a scheme already honoured by the German Federal President at Bellevue Palace in Berlin). Leopold also co-founded the Global Data Machine, which provides formal job training to disadvantaged people in the course of its for-profit work to report on over 2,000 early stage construction projects every month.
Leopold will now travel to Switzerland to discuss entrepreneurship with world-leading CEOs and academics such as Paul Achleitner (Chairman of Deutsche Bank), Shai Agassi (Founder & CEO of Better Place) and Tony Tan Keng Yam (President of the Republic of Singapore).
He said: “My greatest passion is social entrepreneurship. I’m convinced that ‘doing well (financially) by doing good (for society)’ is possible, and that these are not opposing interests. I’m thrilled to have been selected for this honour.”
Leopold is currently studying on the Postgraduate Diploma in Entrepreneurship (PGDE) at the University of Cambridge Judge Business School, while launching Global Data Machine. Why did a natural entrepreneur feel the need for a formal programme of study and a qualification in entrepreneurship?
The Cambridge PGDE uses entrepreneurs to teach entrepreneurship and they firmly believe that it can be taught and that these skills will help a lot of ventures to avoid failure. It’s available remotely, which means I can pursue other projects, but with invaluable short periods in Cambridge that allow me to meet other highly motivated students in the entrepreneurial environment of the University and the amazing wider Cambridge eco-system – a unique opportunity.
After completion of the diploma, Leopold aims to become a full-time entrepreneur: “The PGDE has taken me one step closer to attaining this dream. It helped me to start my own company by teaching me the necessary skills of how to manage an early stage venture. The regular one-to-one mentor coaching, with a highly experienced business leader, provided me with the feedback needed to develop my enterprise project.”
Jo Mills, PGDE Programme Director and CfEL Deputy Director, said: “Leo has made extraordinary progress as an entrepreneur and I’m delighted that his endeavours have been recognised in this way. His current enterprise has the potential to make an enormous impact on the lives of others not only in his home country of Germany but globally, and is a great example of what our students can achieve while studying with us.”
Leopold has also had experience at Google, where he interned for six months, leading the development of 31 new product features for ‘Google Now’. This experience followed on a double degree in Business Administration (BSc) and Technology Management at the LMU+CDTM Munich, and Columbia University New York. As well as doing the Cambridge PDGE remotely, he is now in the last year of a double degree in Management Science (MSc) and Entrepreneurship (PgD) at the London School of Economics.
Leopold, who was born in Aachen and has lived in Bonn, Duisburg, Düsseldorf and Munich, co-founded political party ‘Junges Duisburg’ at the age of 18. The party was elected into the local parliament in Duisburg and is still represented there today. He says recent public and private measures mean that Germany is becoming a great country for aspiring entrepreneurs: “Both the government and private corporations have started to heavily push entrepreneurship over the past years. I feel that the word ‘entrepreneurship’ has really changed in Germany from bearing a negative connotation, to a positive movement.”
The Postgraduate Diploma in Entrepreneurship is a unique qualification awarded by the University of Cambridge that transforms the entrepreneurial aspirations of ambitious individuals into real action and new enterprises. It is a 12-month, part-time programme which harnesses all the resources, knowledge and networks built up by Cambridge Judge Business School’s Centre for Entrepreneurial Learning (CfEL) over 10 years of producing entrepreneurship programmes and helping would-be entrepreneurs develop their skills, ideas and innovations.