Prof. Dr. Dr. Gunter Festel

Research Fellow Financial Management

Research Fellow Dr. Dr. Gunter Festel

Academic positions
Gunter Festel is Professor for High-tech & Lifescience Entrepreneurship at the Technische Universität Berlin and Research Fellow at the University of Basel within the Chair of Financial Management. Previously, he was Head of the Start-up Research Group at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) Zurich.

Research Interests (or Fields of Interest)
The research interest of Gunter Festel is focused on various topics in the context of high-tech and especially lifescience start-ups. The sectoral focus is on the chemical, pharmaceutical, biotech, medical devices and energy industries, and the technological focus is on biotechnology, nanotechnology and energy technologies.

1) Strategic, operational and financial aspects of start-ups
Start-ups are important for the development of new technologies. As a catalyst for the commercial success of new technologies, they are of more and more importance for high-tech areas. To support the foundation of start-ups, strategic, operational and financial aspects have to be better understood by governmental institutions, investors and industry.

2) Technology transfer from universities and research institutions by start-ups
As a rule, a technology transfer gap exists between academic research and the commercialisation of the research results, which, in innovation processes, represents a serious barrier. Start-ups can bridge this gap as they can enable the fast transfer of research results into products due to their flexibility and efficiency. Especially established companies can increase their innovativeness by co-operations with and the acquisition of start-ups.

3) The Founding Angels' concept to foster the foundation of start-ups
Business angels and venture capital companies are normally focused on already founded companies, so they are unable to fill the gap between academic research and market success should insufficient start-ups be founded. Founding angels stand for an innovative business model which could help as a driving force for the foundation of new start-ups. Scientists are supported financially and operationally from the generation of business ideas to the building up of the start-up.

Publications (selection)

Technology transfer by start-ups/spin-offs
Gunter Festel, Academic spin-offs, corporate spin-outs and company internal start-ups as technology transfer approach, The Journal of Technology Transfer, Vol. 38, No. 4, August 2013, p. 454-470

Gunter Festel, Similarities of successful technology transfer through new ventures, International Journal of Innovation Management, Vol. 19, No. 2, April 2015, p. 1550025 1-35

Gunter Festel, Technology transfer models based on academic spin-offs within the industrial biotechnology sector, International Journal of Innovation Management, Vol. 19, No. 4, August 2015, p. 1550031 1-34

Founding Angels investment model
Gunter Festel, Sven De Cleyn, Founding angels as an emerging subtype of the angel investment model in high-tech businesses, Venture Capital: An International Journal of Entrepreneurial Finance, Vol. 15, No. 3, July 2013, p. 261-282

Gunter Festel, Sven De Cleyn, Founding Angels as an emerging investment model in high-tech areas, The Journal of Private Equity, Vol. 16, No. 4, Fall 2013, p. 37-45

Gunter Festel, Pablo Breitenmoser, Martin Würmseher, Jan Kratzer, Early stage technology investments of pre-seed venture capitalists, International Journal of Entrepreneurial Venturing, Vol. 7, No. 4, December 2015, p. 370-395

Evaluation of start-up companies
Gunter Festel, Roman Boutellier, Ali Hassan, Peter Asmussen, Bewertung von High Tech-Start-ups in frühen Phasen, M&A Review, August/September 2009, p. 383-389

Gunter Festel, Bewertung von High-Tech-Start-ups durch systematische Anpassung des Betafaktors, Corporate Finance biz, No. 3, April 2010, p. 175-178

Gunter Festel, Martin Würmseher, Giacomo Cattaneo, Valuation of early stage high-tech start-up companies, International Journal of Business, Vol. 18, No. 3, Summer 2013, p. 216-231

Evaluation of biofuel technologies
Gunter Festel, Biokraftstoffe in Deutschland – Produktionskosten und Marktchancen, Chemie Ingenieur Technik, 79, No. 5, May 2007, p. 605-612

Gunter Festel, Biofuels – Economic Aspects, Chemical Engineering & Technology, Vol. 31, No. 5, May 2008, p. 715-720

Gunter Festel, Martin Würmseher, Christian Rammer, Eckhard Boles, Martin Bellof, Modelling Production Cost Scenarios for Biofuels and Fossil Fuels in Europe, Journal of Cleaner Production, Vol. 66, 1st March 2013, p. 242-253

Gunter Festel, Martin Würmseher, C. Rammer, Scale and learning effects of biofuel conversion technologies, Energy Technology, Vol. 2, No. 3, July 2014, p. 612-617

Evaluation of company locations
Gunter Festel, Martin Würmseher, Challenges and strategies for chemical/industrial parks in Europe, Journal of Business Chemistry, Vol. 10, No. 2, June 2013, p. 59-66

Gunter Festel, Martin Würmseher, Benchmarking of energy and utility infrastructures in industrial parks, Journal of Cleaner Production, Vol. 70, 1st May 2014, p. 15-26

Gunter Festel, Martin Würmseher, Benchmarking of industrial park infrastructures in Germany, Benchmarking: An International Journal, Vol. 21, No. 6, p. 854-883

R&D and spin-offs in the pharmaceutical industry
Gunter Festel, Sven De Cleyn, Roman Boutellier, Johan Braet, Optimizing the R&D Process Using Spin-Outs: Case Studies from the Pharmaceutical Industry, Research Technology Management, Vol. 54, No. 1, January 2011, p. 32-41

Gunter Festel, Outsourcing chemical synthesis in the drug discovery process, Drug Discovery Today, Vol. 16, No. 5/6, March 2011, p. 237-243

Gunter Festel, Reasons for corporate research and development spin-outs – the chemical and pharmaceutical industry as example, R&D Management, Vol. 44, No. 4, September 2014, p. 398-408

Gunter Festel holds an MA and PhD in chemistry, a BA in business administration and an MA in economics from the University of Bayreuth, a PhD in management & economics from ETH Zürich and an Executive Master and a Master of Advanced Studies in Corporate Finance from the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts.

Professional Experience
Besides his academic activities, Gunter Festel is founder and CEO of the investment firm Festel Capital, which specializes in the commercialisation of technologies in the areas of energy, environment, health, materials and nutrition. Furthermore, he started the Founding Angels initiative ( and has co-founded numerous technology start-ups. For example, he was founder and CEO of the start-ups TES Triton and Butalco as well as co-founder of Dispendix, all three of which were successfully sold to industrial companies. Within the start-ups Aquarray, Cerefort, DNA Essence, NanoLockin and SenseUp, which he co-founded, he is currently supporting global business development activities.

Prior to Festel Capital, he was a member of the management team and head of the consulting business for the chemical and healthcare industry with Arthur D. Little in Zurich and a consultant with McKinsey in Brussels, Frankfurt and London. He started his career with Bayer, where he held various management positions in R&D and marketing.

Reviewing activities
Gunter Festel is reviewer for governmental institutions in Austria, Chile, the Czech Republic, Germany, Poland and Switzerland as well as the European Institute of Innovation & Technology. He is also reviewer for the following journals: ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering, BMC Medicine, Chemical Engineering and Technology, Chemical Engineering Research and Design, Chemie Ingenieur Technik, CLEAN, Drug Discovery Today, Energy, Energy Technology, European Research on Management and Business Economics, Future Medicinal Chemistry, Industrial and Corporate Change, International Journal of Economic Sciences and Applied Research, International Journal of Entrepreneurial Venturing, International Journal of Innovation Management, International Journal of Trade and Global Markets, Journal of Business Chemistry, Journal of Chemical Technology & Biotechnology, Journal of Commercial Biotechnology, R&D Management, Research Policy, Technovation, Venture Capital: An International Journal of Entrepreneurial Finance.

Teaching activities
Gunter Festel gives lectures with focus on lifescience and high-tech venturing at the Technische Universität Berlin and the University of Basel. At the University of St. Gallen he gives entrepreneurship lectures within the Institute of Technology Management and change/process management lectures at the Institute of Information Management. He also gives entrepreneurship lectures at various universities in Europe and in Asia like the Kazan State Technical University, the University of Hong Kong and the National University of Singapore.

Other activities
Gunter Festel is founder and chairman of the Umbrella Kids Foundation ( with the aim to improve access to education for young people from low-income background, especially from developing countries - currently supporting students in Myanmar. His passion is travelling and, meanwhile, he has visited around 100 countries on all continents of the world.