Lars Hinrichs first logged onto the internet in 1989 with an acoustic coupler and hasn’t logged off since. This early passion for all things digital kick-started his entrepreneurial streak that remains strong today.

One of his first efforts,, was an award-winning platform for politics and new media he launched at 22. Following that early success, his next venture, a respected new media consulting firm, went bust -- but not without first paying rich dividends in learning.

Lars applied those learnings to his third major effort, XING, a highly successful business networking platform. As Founder and CEO, Lars oversaw its 2006 IPO, making XING the world’s first Web 2.0 company to go public. He then successfully steered it for two years post IPO, beating all predicted indices and developing a regrettable taste for high calorie energy drinks. He also became active in investing in -- and helping secure funding for -- a wide range of tech startups, proving his instinct for great talent and game-changing ideas.