Our Team

equation was founded in 2020 by Mark Schmitz and Prof. Dr. Reiner Braun who had met in the context of research and policy advisory exploring how to facilitate innovation and technological advancement in Europe.

Mark Schmitz - equation

Mark Schmitz

Co-Founder, CEO & Managing Partner

Mark Schmitz is a technology investor and entrepreneur with over a decade of experience in asset management. Prior to co-founding equation, he was a Partner and member of the founding team at leading European VC firm Lakestar (> 2bn EUR AuM). While at Lakestar, he established the firm’s Berlin office and invested in startups across a wide range of industries and technologies. Mark served as Vice-Chairman of Germany’s Private Equity and Venture Capital Association (BVK) between 2019 and 2023. He is a Young Leader of Atlantik-Brücke and pledger to Ashoka’s Carry 4 Good initiative. Mark holds both law and business degrees (Bucerius Law School, TU Munich) and pursued post graduate studies at Stanford University.

Prof. Dr. Reiner Braun - equation

Prof. Dr. Reiner Braun

Co-Founder, Partner & Chairman of the Supervisory Board

Prof. Dr. Reiner Braun leads the Chair of Entrepreneurial Finance at TU Munich, is a board member at the Center for Digital Technology and Management (CDTM) and has conducted academic research on private capital markets for over a decade. His projects have resulted in research stays at the University of Oxford and Harvard University. He has served as a strategic advisor to a Munich-based VC firm and is co-author of a study mandated by the National Academy Of Science and Engineering (acatech), in which the authors provided recommendations to enhance innovation in Germany by strengthening the growth finance ecosystem. One of those recommendations was to create improved financial products and platforms to bring together private investment groups and strengthen the European ecosystem - a starting point to what should later become equation.


We believe that new solutions are best developed with an interdisciplinary team. We therefore work in an environment that accommodates different view points, interests and skills and have assembled a team hailing from five different countries with backgrounds in computer science, neuroscience, business and finance, law, economics and philosophy.


Neha Tanna, M.D

Investment Team

Neha holds degrees in medicine from Imperial College as well as King’s College and an MBA from London Business School. She has gathered investment experience as an Investment Partner atJoycane Partners, an early-stage fund focussed on investing in start-ups in Digital Health, Neuroscience, Diagnostics, Food technology, Synthetic Biology and Sustainability. Neha also gathered extensive experience investing in Venture Funds as Head of Health and Life Science at a Swiss Family Office. She serves as Venture Partner to the equation investment team.


Dr. Alexander Jürgens

Head of Finance & Operations

Alexander holds a PhD in Quantitative Finance from TU Munich and has conducted cutting edge research around cyclicality and heterogeneity in Private Equity. Complementing his academic accomplishments, Alexander has gathered comprehensive practical experience in previous positions as M&A Analyst at LNP Corporate Finance as well as Investment Manager working for Tiburon, a Munich-based family office, as well as Mountain Alliance, a stock-listed investment firm. He serves as Head of Finance & Operations.


Michel Geolier

VP of Business Development

Michel joined equation in 2023 following the acquisition of Betterfront, a private market analytics platform he founded in 2019 and continues to lead today. Prior to Betterfront, he was part of the fund investment team at Siemens Venture Capital, leading manager selection for the Siemens’ pension fund. Michel started his venture career over a decade ago, investing in pre-seed companies at Wayra Germany. Originally from France, he holds a dual master's degree in Corporate Finance from Skema Business School and in Entrepreneurship & Innovation from the Munich Business School.


Dr. Bastian Euler

Head of Legal and Tax

Bastian leverages over a decade of international expertise in legal matters and tax-efficient structuring for alternative investments and private equity. With a Ph.D. in International Tax Law and dual certifications as a German Certified Tax Advisor and Lawyer, Bastian specializes in fund formation, regulatory compliance, and cross-border transactions. His experience includes leading roles at prominent firms such as RSM US LLP and Lennertz & Co. Private Equity. As Head of Legal and Tax at equation, Bastian oversees corporate governance, fund structuring and M&A, ensures regulatory and tax compliance, and supports fund administration.


Tetyana Pavlishevska

Executive Assistant

Tetyana holds degrees in Applied Linguistics and Translation Studies. Previously, she held positions in the healthcare industry and at a Munich-based law firm. She serves as Executive Assistant.


Max Sina Knicker

Data Science Team

Max has a background in Physics. During his studies, he was a member of the CDTM at TU Munich and spent time at Princeton University and MIT, before pursuing a PhD at the Chair of Econophysics and Complex Systems at École Polytechnique. He serves as a Research Fellow as part of the equation data science team.


Dr. Stefan Weik

Data Scientist

Stefan is finalizing his PhD in Economics at TU Munich and holds degrees in Business and Engineering. His research has been cited by the European Commission and German Federal Government and was featured in prominent German publications such as the Handelsblatt and WirtschaftsWoche. He serves as Advisor to the equation data science team.


Christian Kiess

Visiting Analyst

Christian holds a degree in Management & Technology from TU Munich with a specialization in Informatics. With previous experiences in banking, start-ups, M&A as well as VC, Christian has already covered important aspects of the innovation ecosystem and continues to enable new entrepreneurial ideas through capital allocation as part of the equation investment team.


Andrea Casasco

Senior Investment Advisor

Andrea holds degrees in Law from Bocconi University and Harvard Law School and after serving as first employee in the equation investment team, now works as General Partner of a newly established VC fund while continuing to advise equation as Senior Investment Advisor.


Sebastian Erhardt

Senior Advisor

Sebastian holds degrees from LMU and TU Munich and was part of the CDTM honors program with a stint abroad at Stanford University before entering into a PhD program at the Max Planck Institute. With more than 15 years of experience as developer, consultant and CTO, he serves as Senior Advisor to the equation engineering team.