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Honorary professorship for Dr Markus Pfeiffer

We welcome Dr Markus Pfeiffer as a new honorary professor at the WiSo Faculty. Here we introduce him with five interesting questions.

Dear Dr Pfeiffer, you will be teaching "Business Model Innovation and Entrepreneurship" at WiSo. How did that come about?

I have been in good contact with Prof. Franziska Völckner for many years. I already know her from her habilitation period with Prof. Sattler in Hamburg. Since I worked a lot with the branding and marketing gurus of the 2000s, such as Erich Joachimsthaler and Kevin Lane Keller, there was naturally a large thematic overlap and joint research projects. So the first guest lectures at the University of Cologne eventually became more and more.


What are you most looking forward to and what are your plans for your time with us?

For me, the most important thing is an open exchange with the students, also to reflect on their first practical experiences and to connect them with the topics of my event. After all, many of the Cologne Master's students are already active as founders themselves or work in the field of digitalisation and innovation or at start-ups in the Cologne scene. In addition, I focus on applying the methods to practical case studies. That's why we always work together on a real case from industry, and always with top companies and brands like Nivea, Nestlé and others.


In your course, you will combine the three fields of "business model innovation", "digitisation" and "entrepreneurship". How do you prepare for this?

My preparation takes place daily in my job. I work continuously on the most exciting cases around digital transformation and corporate venture building, both at my strategy consultancy Bloom Partners and in my role as a mentor and business angel. And that's especially in industries that are ultimately about improving people's daily lives - be it nutrition, health or sports. And then, of course, the hundreds of projects and the dozen or so start-ups I've already had help me. These are actually the contents and stories that also shape my event.


You bring a lot of expertise from the private sector. How do you think your practical experience will help you in teaching?

In my view, practical experience must always be the litmus test for theory and methods. I follow this consistently and that's why only those approaches make it into the lecture that, in my view, really deliver added value in entrepreneurial practice. Especially in the areas of innovation, business design and digitalisation (especially in marketing), academia has not been a pacesetter for a long time. There is a lot of catching up to do and practice can contribute a lot to this through relevant questions, data and much more.


About your life besides your career: What do you do to switch off and what do you prefer to do in your free time?

First and foremost, I spend time with my wife and my three daughters. If there is still some time left, the motto is: run, read, let go.