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Philipp Rittershaus

Philipp Rittershaus

Head of Corporate Innovation & Startup Coaching

Philipp has gained extensive experience as LifeScience Investor at the High-Tech Gruenderfonds and has a background in industrial biotechnology. Philipp holds a Doctorate degree in Biotechnology from the University of Hohenheim, an MBA in Engineering Management from the University of Applied Sciences Mannheim and a Master in technical Biology from the University of Stuttgart.

Gaia Amatteis

Gaia Amatteis

COO & Head of Program

Gaia is a passionate and value-driven business professional with more than 7 years of cross-functional experience working for a variety of companies (B2B multinational companies, startups, and startup accelerators). She is highly organized with a proven track record of successfully implementing strategies and leading operational efficiency. She is passionate about innovation and sustainability. She has a Double Master Degree in International Business and Economics.

Caspar Olenhusen

Caspar Olenhusen

Startup Coach

Caspar provides over ten years of first-hand experience from the corporate (KWS, John Deere), startup and venture capital world. His passion spans across the agri-food-tech value chain, and he is eager to have a sustainable impact. Caspar studied in the USA and UK and has an MBA in International Food & Agribusiness.

Ilka Gomez-1

Ilka Gomez

Project Manager

Ilka is an experienced agronomist and project manager. Her experiences include research activities at the Ohio State University (USA), management of vegetable production under protected conditions in Nicaragua (where she is originally from), and lately as a project operations consultant at the UN-FAO. Ilka holds a Master's Degree in International Horticulture from the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz University of Hannover (Germany), and a Bachelor Degree in Agriculture from the Pan-American University of Agriculture (Zamorano), located in Honduras.


Margarita Klyuchko


Margarita is passionate about events. Having experience in hosting events in Dubai she is engaged in arranging corporate and private gatherings for companies or individuals.

Mario Verbeek

Mario Verbeek

Startup & Innovation Manager

Mario, a seasoned enthusiast of the startup ecosystem, evolved from horticulture roots. At the beginning of his career, he grew ornamental plants during his apprenticeship, then studied a mix of environmental & agricultural economics while working on his own startup. He further sharpened his skills for several years at the Centre for Business Management in Horticulture and Applied Research (University of Hohenheim, Germany). Now at RootCamp, Mario is our go-to Startup & Innovation Manager. He scouts and assesses potential bioeconomy startups, and serves as the open-minded first contact for founders interested in RootCamp.


Emilia Muñoz


Emilia is a dynamic and creative mind. She is studying between Spain and Germany and currently pursuing her second bachelor's degree in International Business, building on her background in Marketing, Advertising, and Public Relations. Emilia brings a vibrant energy and a passion for learn.


Annkathrin Wahbi


Annkathrin is curious about sustainable production and technology adoption. She is currently pursuing a PhD in agricultural economics from the Georg-August-University in Göttingen and has studied Sustainable International Agriculture in Germany and Chile. Her work experience includes academic research, project management and innovation in various countries and institutions such as KWS, Oxfam and the DAAD. As Project & Innovation Manager at RootCamp she is responsible for various projects and business development activities. 

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Liza Ziva

Marketing and Event Manager

Liza holds a Diploma in Advertising and Public Relations, complemented by over seven years of immersive experience in Marketing across both world-renowned companies and small startups. She has creative mind and good sence of humor that always helps to find the best solution in challenging situations. She is passionate about Marketing communications and content production.


Gereon Von Ilten

Junior Innovation Manager

Gereon was born and raised on a farm not far from Hannover, where he developed a passion for innovation in agritech and the transformative potential of technology in shaping the future in agriculture. He then went on to study Agricultural science in Göttingen, with an emphasis on Agribusiness. Gereon will primarily work on the "DESAFIA" Project, which aims to facilitate the entry of ten promising agritech and bioeconomy startups from Spain into the German market.


Simone Poppe

Startup Coach

She will work on the Desafia FoodTech Germany programm for Spanish startups which want to gain access to the German market.