28 October 2019
2 min read
Today we’re pleased to announce the appointment of Iskender Dirik, Samsung NEXT’s new Managing Director and General Manager of Europe.
Based out of Berlin, Iskender brings with him decades of experience as an executive, VC, and entrepreneur. With that background, he is looking forward to helping define and execute our strategy in the European market.
Drawing on the work we’ve already done through the past two years there, Iskender plans to continue supporting founders and tech talent who are working to build great startups and products, while positioning Samsung NEXT as a preferred partner in Europe’s startup ecosystem.
Iskender joins us from Microsoft, where he founded Microsoft ScaleUp, the company’s growth accelerator for helping enterprise-ready tech startups to scale. With a focus on B2B and deep tech startups, Iskender oversaw the program covering Continental Europe with an NPS of 100.
Prior to that, Iskender served as Managing Director of Bauer Venture Partners, the corporate venture fund of Bauer Media, Europe's leading magazine publishing and radio broadcasting house. He also founded multiple startups before making the leap into venture capital and building a corporate accelerator.
“After building and running [Microsoft ScaleUP] for multiple batches with an NPS of 100… it was time for new challenges,” Iskender said. “The challenge that Samsung NEXT offered me was too exciting, and it promised me a new, super-steep learning curve.”
In addition to the team that Samsung NEXT had already assembled in Europe and the scale of working within an organization like Samsung, Iskender said he was drawn to “the challenge of helping to build a software and service business for the world's second-largest technology company by revenue.”
Furthermore, the variety of ways Samsung NEXT works with startups “combines nearly everything I’ve done in my life, including VC, M&A, strategic partnerships, and innovation scouting -- not to mention product and company building,” Iskender said.
In his new role, Iskender will be able to return to investing in and supporting startups over the long haul, rather than just during accelerator batches. He’s also looking forward to leveraging Europe’s diversity, establishing connections to tech talent in the earliest stages, and -- most importantly -- helping engineers, developers, and researchers build great companies and products.
Please welcome Iskender to the team! We’re excited to have him.
During Web Summit in Lisbon, Portugal, Iskender will share his "commandments of outstanding presentations" as part of ClassroomX, our new educational content series aimed at providing entrepreneurs and early-stage startup employees with the tools they need to transform their startups and accelerate their success.