TUM Entrepreneurs of

As a sign of appreciation of successful founders of the Technical University of Munich, the president Thomas F. Hofmann awards the honorary title Entrepreneur of Excellence to an outstanding founder of the TUM at the Dies Academicus, in order to honour important and committed entrepreneurs with a role model function. With the award of the title, the Entrepreneur of Excellence participates in the founding activities of the university and supports future founder generations with his or her valuable experience.

Entrepreneur of Excellence 2022: Martin Klenk, Bastian Nominacher, Alexander Rinke

The title Entrepreneur of Excellence 2022 was awarded to three outstanding founding personalities from TUM: TUM Alumni Martin Klenk, Bastian Nominacher and Alexander Rinke have not only jointly led their start-up to the world-class company Celonis SE. They have also earned the honor because of their exemplary dedication to promoting talented young experts at Technical University of Munich. 

Already during their studies, the very complementary trio (computer science, finance/business computer science and mathematics) came across the idea of process mining and workflow mining while searching for a solution to their study project in the TUM library. Together, they used it to develop artificial intelligence-based process mining software that enables companies to analyse all digital business processes and make them more efficient.

The success story began with the spin-off of their start-up Celonis in 2011: by 2015, Celonis was already Germany's fastest-growing technology company, and a year later the Munich-based company established a branch in New York. In 2018, the company was valued at one billion US dollars, giving it Unicorn status. A year later, German Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier awarded the Deutscher Zukunftspreis 2020 to the company founders. And as of mid-2021, software company Celonis SE is the first German Decacorn, with a company valuation of over $10 billion.

With their research-based development work and an entrepreneurial mindset, the three TUM founders Martin Klenk, Bastian Nominacher and Alexander Rinke have built Celonis up to a globally successful company. In addition, they have remained in living bond with their Alma Mater and are not only role models for zeal and striving, but also encourage students and scientists turning ideas into successes. (The company name Celonis is derived from the Greek god Zelos for "zeal" and "striving").