Meet The Team

Meet The Team

Our experience has shown us that capital investment is not the sole factor in the successful development of a company. Even the most ambitious entrepreneurs require time to develop their expertise. And that’s where our strength lies – our team knows how to overcome unforeseen challenges and reliably takes start-ups to the top of their markets.

Thomas R. Villinger
CEO and Founder

As one of the leading venture capital investors in Germany, we support innovative young companies in their development and offer them long-term guidance as a partner. ZFHN has a fund volume of around EUR 200 million and makes investments in companies to the tune of EUR 2–10 million.

We have experts ranging from the fields of medical technology to materials science and from controlling to legal- and fiscal-related matters. Our CEO has over 12 years of experience in venture capital management. Before co-founding ZFHN in 2006, he was Co-Founder and CEO of Innovationsfabrik Heilbronn GmbH, a centre for 60 start-ups. Günter Steffen, one of the founding members of our company, has himself founded nearly 50 companies, including the IT service provider tele-daten-service GmbH, which he managed from 1975 to 2000.

The ZFHN Team


Thomas R. Villinger

Thomas R. Villinger has more than 25 years of experience in the venture capital sector. Before he became Co-Founder and CEO of ZFHN Zukunftsfonds Heilbronn in 2006, he held numerous management positions both in Germany and abroad. His work focused on M&A and VC/PE financing for high-growth companies in Europe, the Gulf states and the USA. 

Villinger sits on numerous supervisory boards of early-stage investments and is an internationally respected expert in the financing of tech-oriented start-ups. He most recently oversaw the corporate development of Innovationsfabrik Heilbronn GmbH, one of the biggest business incubation centres, as Founder and CEO. Villinger has been active for many years as an investor in international tech start-ups. 

He studied economics and geography at Goethe University Frankfurt. In addition, he holds a Master of Business Administration degree from Schiller International University (USA & France)


Günter Steffen
Fund Manager

Günter Steffen has founded almost 50 companies, including IT service provider tele-daten-service GmbH (TDS). In 2000, he became a member of the supervisory board of TDS. From 1998 to 2005, Steffen was president of the Heilbronn–Franken Chamber of Commerce and Industry, where he was subsequently appointed honorary president in 2006. In the same year, Steffen became a founding member of ZFHN.


Alexander Hofer
Investment Director, Authorized Officer

Alexander Hofer studied business administration at the University of Stuttgart and the University of Mannheim. He joined ZFHN as an Investment Manager at the start of 2008. Before arriving at the company, Hofer worked for various firms in Germany and abroad – predominantly in the field of corporate finance. Hofer boasts many years of experience in the financing of start-ups and has supported companies along the life cycle of the venture capital model – from seed funding to successful exit – on multiple occasions. He also successfully served as Interim Manager numerous times. As Authorized Officer and Investment Director of the company, Hofer is also responsible for ZFHN’s legal and administrative matters.


Jürgen Heiderer
Head of Investment Controlling

Jürgen Heiderer was appointed Head of Investment Controlling at ZFHN at the end of 2012. He had previously held a variety of positions, predominantly at medium-sized enterprises in the most diverse range of sectors. Most recently, he held the position of site manager for two factories at a US automotive supplier.

Heiderer has many years of managerial experience and boasts comprehensive expertise in the fields of controlling and financing (HGB, IAS/IFRS and US GAAP) as well as logistics and marketing support.


Marius Diehl
Investment Manager 

Marius Diehl has been working for ZFHN since 2013, and he focuses on the acquisition and support of start-ups. Before coming to ZFHN, he worked as an analyst for a private equity company in Frankfurt in the area of restructuring and turnarounds. Marius Diehl has a degree in economics from Leibnitz University in Hanover.


Manuel Böhringer
Investment Manager

Manuel Böhringer acquired his knowledge of the theoretical principles of corporate financing during his banking studies at Baden-Wuerttemberg Cooperative State University (DHBW) in Stuttgart. During the internships he completed as part of his studies, Böhringer had the opportunity to put into practice the theoretical knowledge he had acquired in controlling, treasury and business support. Following his internships in various financial industry sectors, Böhringer began working as an investment manager in ZFHN’s BORN2GROW unit, where he is currently responsible for investment acquisition in the fields of industry, life sciences and IT.


Andrea Muth
Investment Manager

Andrea Muth focuses on the Due Diligence and the support of Start-Ups. Muth previously worked for several years in the department of investment controlling and was able to gain considerable experience. Prior to her time at the ZFHN/BORN2GROW she worked as a scientific researcher and lecturer in the field of strategy and controlling at Heilbronn University of Applied Sciences. She studied business administration at Heilbronn University of Applied Sciences and obtained a dual master’s degree at the University of the Sunshine Coast in Australia.


Katharina Heim
Executive Assistant to the CEO

Katharina Heim has been a member of the ZFHN team since the end of 2012. She previously worked as an executive assistant at various companies in Germany and abroad. As an executive assistant to CEO Thomas Villinger, she offers support in the company’s daily operations as well as planning and strategy. Heim studied business administration at Berufsakademie Ravensburg. She also completed an extra occupational MBA at the University of Bolton in the UK.


Rosa Daginnus
Executive Assistant to the CEO, Investment Director

Rosa Daginnus has been an assistant to the Investment Director of ZFHN since 2007. She is responsible for the company’s internal finances. Daginnus has since gone on to assume a number of operative functions in the fields of finance, taxation and legal matters in her additional role as an executive assistant to the CEO. Moreover, Daginnus fulfils planning and strategic responsibilities at ZFHN. Having trained as an assistant tax consultant, she became a certified accountant following the completion of an advance training course. To round off her specialist expertise, Daginnus completed an additional advanced training course and became a certified specialist for labour law.


Florian Obermeier
Office Manager

Florian Obermeier has joined the ZFHN team in July 2018. He began his career as a restaurant specialist in Tübingen and afterwards moved on to various companies & different departments like event management, Sales, human resources and tourism. Mr. Obermeier has a bachelor’s degree in tourism management from the Hochschule Heilbronn. Furthermore, he spent 1½ years in London in a 5-star hotel to strengthen his language and his intercultural competence skills.

As an Office Manager, he is among other things responsible for social media, online presence, fleet & insurance management, team assistance in the international and domestic daily business and event management.


Annabell Heine
Financial Accountant


Claire Böhme
Parental leave


Natascha Matkic
College – Study Intern


Bianka Mai


Office Dog

Please call us or send us an e-mail if you would like to get in touch with one of us, or would like more information about ZFHN.