Kai Baumgartner, Master of Arts (M.A.) in Marketing, a diploma (equivalent to M.S.) in Economics (M.S.E.), is an investor, venture capitalist, business angel, entrepreneur, senior executive and consultant. He advises various companies and start-ups.
He serves as Partner at StraightWalk GmbH, a Munich-based Global Advisory, Investment and Venture Capital firm that provides strategic, commercial, financial, and smart investment advice to clients including large corporations, start-ups, and clients in the financial sector. One major investment focus is DeepTech, HumanTech, and corresponding ventures in the intersection of robotics (wearables), drones, and AI.
He is Chief Business Development Officer (CBDO) at SOLIT Group AG (SOLIT Management Suisse GmbH), and a member of the extended management board of an internationally active and globally positioned precious metals holding company based in the DACH region. The main topics of the holding are value protection, value preservation, and value retention. His responsibilities include M&A, internationalization, product and platform strategy, digitalization, and CRM.
He was the department head of marketing, communication, CRM, and e-commerce (ad interim) at Degussa Sonne/Mond Goldhandel GmbH, a crisis-proof company in precious metals trading with annual sales of several billion euros, which is 100 percent privately owned. Following restructuring measures, Degussa Goldhandel is recording significant sales and revenue increases with respective records in 2019 and 2020. With a direct reporting line to the CEO and Spokesman of the Executive Board, he and his team are also responsible for digitization projects and the award-winning cultural history museum Goldkammer Frankfurt GmbH.
He was Director for Digital Transformation, Marketing and Sales at Adcuram Industrieberatung GmbH's (Adcuram Group AG) operations team, a European private equity industry holding with the divisions Private Equity, Real Estate and Family Office, which operates locally in the portfolio companies. In 2017, the subsidiaries achieved a turnover of 600 million euros. Investments are made in small to medium-sized companies with a turnover of 30 to 500 million euros, which often seek a succession arrangement through the departure of the owners or founders, as well as carve-outs from corporate structures.
He was interim Managing Director (CEO ad interim) of Prairieberries Europe GmbH, a growing and well-funded functional food ("Organic Foods") company with D2C and B2C distribution models of CPG and nutritional supplement (NEMs) product lines based in the heart of Munich, Germany and production facilities on the American continent, which have been growing plants with high quality ingredients on site since 1993. The patented, unique health benefits of the product range are to be further disseminated in strategic markets. The company is part of the globally active Family & Friends Office Holding Nordwind Ventures GmbH (Nordwind Capital GmbH).
Before that, he held the position of Chief Commercial Officer (CCO) at Logisch! Consulting GmbH, a growing and profitable SaaS company and was a marketer in the management of PowerBar Europe GmbH (Nestlé Deutschland AG, Nestlé Nutrition, Nestlé SA) with responsibility for a wide range of topics such as e-commerce and marketing & sales.
As a serial entrepreneur and active triathlete, he published the triathlon online magazine 3athlon.de eZine, which over the years has had the widest reach in Germany and Europe based on unique visitors and page impressions. The Ironman Triathlon Finisher was for many years chairman of various sports associations (NGOs) up to state-level (Hessiischer Triathlon Verband e. V.) and initiated the successful grassroots democratic movement Draftathlon.com. He was with the World Triathlon Corporation, Inc. (Wanda Sports Holding Co., Ltd.) as a freelance consultant for live race reporting and content production on the digital platform Ironman.com and as divisional Leader and Director at the premiere of Ironman European Championship in Frankfurt am Main, Germany.
He has worked extensively with many German Ironman Triathlon World Champions as a media partner, sponsor, and marketer. Clients and partners were Thomas Hellriegel (World Champion 1997), Normann Stadler (World Champion 2004, 2006), Faris Al-Sultan (World Champion 2005), Sandra Wallenhorst (European Champion 2009, 2010) and Stefan Holzner (European Champion 2003, 2004). He recognized the talent of Patrick Lange (World Champion 2016, 2017) early on and equipped him with material. Meanwhile however, he critically evaluates Lange's tactical race design, especially in 2018.
According to the weekly DIE ZEIT, "the best thing to ask (in terms of triathlon and Ironman triathlon) is Kai Baumgartner. Hardly anyone else in Germany has been so long and intensively involved in this sport, in which he has been active for twenty-five years." Germany's most widely-read daily newspapers, such as BILD, regularly use the sport's long-standing analyst for reporting on the Ironman Hawaii or Olympia. Weekly news magazines such as DER SPIEGEL and its offshoot Spiegel Online like to base their research on the active endurance athlete.* His availability as an expert for the above media in the field of triathlon and endurance sports is suspended for time and ethical reasons currently.
He has published IT reference books in publishing houses such as Addison-Wesley, Markt und Technik, Galileo Press and Sybex (1, 2, 3) while still at school and university (STEM, economics). As a specialist author, he supplied magazines such as ct (Heinz Heise), Internet Intern, MX Magazin, PC Intern (Data Becker) and Internet Professionell (VNU Business Publications) with specialist articles.
He was a regular speaker at the CEBIT trade fair in Hannover (Germany) or at DAX companies and the Fortune 500, where he gave lectures for Adobe (Macromedia), for example. As co-founder, he has also been chairman of the (former) Adobe User Group Dreamworker.de since 1999 and is thus a permanent member of the executive board and chairman respectively. (4)
He adds his passion for self-optimization, including mental and physical health, coupled with his commitment to disruptive innovation, to his business's everyday office life.
In his spare time, Kai Baumgartner appreciates nature, sports, and outdoor activities all year round and values learning new things.
His motto in life can be summed up well with: "simple and active lifestyle."
*Source (2017): DIE ZEIT, weekly circulation: 498,439 copies, reach 2.34 million readers. BILD, weekly circulation: 1,687,717 copies, reach 12.31 million readers. DER SPIEGEL, monthly circulation of 765,178 copies, reach 1.6 million readers.