Xing Founder Visits Leuphana

Lars Hinrichs is considered Germany’s most important internet founder. He created the contact network Xing. It is used by seven million people in German-speaking countries. In the meantime, Xing is majority owned by Burda Publishing. Hinrichs was a guest of the university as part of Leuphana’s lecture series, “The Spirit of Entrepreneurship,” where he spoke about the significance of entrepreneurial thinking and action.    
About 400 students accepted an invitation to the event, entitled “Entrepreneurship as Passion- a Dialogue with Lars Hinrichs.”  At the center of the public conversation, which was moderated by Dr. Burkhardt Funk, were questions such as: Which factors are central for a successful start-up? What can and should universities do to foster entrepreneurial start-ups? Can the true “start-up spirit” be learned?

Hinrichs spoke about his experience in successfully building up Xing, but he also used his own professional struggles to discuss failed start-ups and their consequences. During the collapse of the New Economy at the turn of the century, Hinrichs was confronted with the bankruptcy of his first business, Böttcher Hinrichs AG - a chapter that he now files under the title “MBA in real time.” Shortly afterwards he founded Xing. Today, in addition to his activities as an investor, Hinrichs serves on the board of directors for Deutsche Telekom AG.
Preceding Hinrichs in “The Spirit of Entrepreneurship” series at Leuphana were such corporate founders as Bobby Dekeyser (Dedon AG), Stephan Uhrenbacher (Qype, 9flats), Dirk Freise and Martin Ostermayer (blau Mobilfunk), as well as Dr. Joana Breidenbach (
Leuphana has often been recognized as an ideal start-up university, most recently in November 2013. As the most friendly start-up university among mid-sized higher education institutions in Germany, Leuphana attracted the attention of the Stifterverbands der deutschen Wissenschaft.

The lecture series, “The Spirit of Entrepreneurship,” was organized by Leuphana’s Entrepreneurship Hub. You can find further information here.