All posts by etintignac

Follow the Portuguese Brickroad: Startups and Stamina!

After a couple of years of hosting the Ariane de Rothschild Fellowship’s winter boot-camp (Innolead Safari) in New York City, we decided to take it to Portugal. When our CEO first brought this to me, I was a bit apprehensive, and thought, “shouldn’t we take the fellows to the cities that have a vibrant culture of entrepreneurship and innovation?” and boy was I wrong.
Portugal successfully turned its economic troubles into an opportunity to reinvent itself as a European hub for startups. Scores of accelerators, incubators, co-working spaces, and repurposed structures have popped up as a result. And that trend is on the rise.
The Edmond de Rothschild Foundations partnered with Calouste Gulbenkian foundation, Maze Impact and Sair da Casca to host the fellows in what will turn out to be an epic week of: Startup troubleshooting, Innovation Safari, cultural immersion and our Fellows giving back to Portuguese entrepreneurs by helping them hack some of the problems their enterprises face.
The thing that stood out in all this startup hubbub is the Portuguese entrepreneurs…they embody an essential quality of a true entrepreneur — the ability to spot serendipitous opportunity as it arises as a consequence to a deliberate effort.
Essentially, our experience in Portugal exposes the vital but overlooked parallels between making great startups work and making great movements or communities — both are acts of creativity and require great dexterity. The difference between Portuguese entrepreneurs and others, is their attitude to the delay of the payoff from the fruits of entrepreneurial labor.
The timeline is longer. A lot longer. You don’t get the immediate gratification that you might as an entrepreur in Silicon Valley where the timelines are shorter. But Portuguese entrepreneurs are used to delayed gratification… and manage ambiguity better than anyone else. And for this reason, they will endure and it will serve other entrepreneurs well to take a page out of the Portuguese playbook.
Reima Yosif
Chief Operating Officer
Ariane de Rothschild Fellowship

The Who, the What and the How

You asked us why there is a need for the Ariane de Rothschild Fellowship, and why we do what we do and how we do it? Here is our response.

In the video above, the BBC Producer Leo Telling joined us at Windsor Castle’s, St. George’s House last year to help us share with you our story and the stories of all the people who are the heartbeat of the Fellowship.
The Ariane de Rothschild Fellowship believes that victory is not just the elimination of injustice, but the establishment of good.
Do you want to be part of our world and make a difference? Then apply to the Ariane de Rothschild Fellowship that is posted on our home page.

Deadline for applications: Sunday, March 4th 2018 (midnight EST New York)

​About the Ariane de Rothschild Fellowship ​​
The Ariane de Rothschild Fellowship represents a unique experience for entrepreneurs, social innovators and those who practice doing business while at the same time doing good, particularly (but not exclusively) from a Jewish and Muslim cultural background, who demonstrate a proven commitment towards inclusion and forging bridges to other communities while at the same time strengthening the sustainability of their organization/ enterprise or business. This is an amazing opportunity to spend one week at Windsor Castle’s, St. George’s House in the UK to network and work on your project with other entrepreneurs, all expenses paid from July 29th to 4th August
If you are an entrepreneur or a social innovator looking to take your enterprise/ organization/ business to the next level or are seeking to achieve self-sustainability, then apply today.

AdR Fellow Manouchehr Shamsrizi 40 Under 40

AdR Fellow is from among the group of entrepreneurs mentioned as Germany’s 40 Under 40. Link to the magazine interview with Manouchehr: Porträt_Shamsrizi_JungeElite2017CAPITAL

Following is the English translation of the interview:


A new technology is turning the economy and our lives around. Who the pioneers are – who uses them and who benefits from them.

MANOUCHEHR SHAMSRIZI, 29, is the mastermind and biggest shareholder of Retrobrain. The company develops computer games as a prevention against dementia.

“I must use my time for something meaningful”

 Retrobrain founder Manouchehr Shamsrizi wants to make technical innovations accessible to all.

Mr. Shamsrizi, you are featured as a “Global Shaper” of the World Economic Forum, are a Fellow of Yale University and the “Washington Post” counts you as among the most prominent voices of the young generation in Germany. How did you become such a high flyer at the age of 29?

Am I? I live in Hamburg and have Persian roots. Persians only hold doctors and engineers in such a high social regard. My sister is a doctor. I, on the other hand, studied political philosophy with a focus on the theory of justice.  I found it a bit boring, always only doing what the principles or the social framework demanded. Only school work at school, only uni work at university?  That does not fill a day.  I have always done a lot in parallel. Among all the scholars at the Humbolt University of Berlin, in my year I was the only one who didn’t have a high achieving level 1 Abitur (baccalaureate).


What attracted you to the theory of Justice?

I grew up in Germany with the awareness that I enjoy educational privilege. It was clear to me that I had to use my time for something meaningful.  At some point, while studying in the USA and GB, I realised that a “social business” offered the best framework for this. Because my motivation is not only to find ways that improve things, but also to ensure that they are made accessible to as many people as possible.


Does this claim also apply to Retrobrain? Your company lets senior citizens go bowling on game consoles and ride motorcycles to prevent dementia and falls. An innovative approach, but just in the testing phase with a health insurance company.

We are already working on a Parkinson and Stroke version. We will not completely reform the systemic or structural care of patients. We can only contribute puzzle pieces to the solution. At its core, health and social problems must be resolved politically and rethought from scratch.

Do you think you could make more of an impact in politics?

That was my intention originally. But from everything I was able to see, the political system is too slow for me and, above all, too self-referential. Besides, I would like to do one without leaving the other. This doesn’t work as well in continental Europe as in the Anglo-Saxon area. Here, the discourses of politics, science and economics are more divided than they are doing well.

In the election campaign you supported both FDP boss Christian Lindner and SPD boss Martin Schulz. Is that opportune?

As a left-liberal, I’m stranded between the SPD and the FDP in their current set up. Years ago, I was recruited by Henning Voscherau as an SPD member. At that time, I took the trouble to read the party manifestos and got caught up with the conception of man. I find it highly improper not to strive for equal opportunities. That is why I find a liberal system in which everyone cannot participate equally, morally reprehensible and economically stupid. I do not know why we are so hard on ourselves.

So for the time being your life revolves around Retrobrain. And what about five years from now?

I don’t know where I’ll be in five years. It would be terribly restrictive if I did know. That would mean that something fascinating would not be able to come around the corner.



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