Executive Team


Benjamin Jost

Co-Founder & Chief Executive Officer

Benjamin is co-founder and chief executive officer of TrustYou. Prior to TrustYou, he spearheaded the Southern European M&A team for one of the world’s leading renewable energy providers and oversaw hundreds of investment cases covering a profusion of renewable technologies. He started his career in venture capital at Siemens Venture Capital and Xange Capital. During his studies he conducted extensive research into the security aspects of mobile applications systems and organic RFID. Benjamin holds a MsC in engineering from the University of Technology in Munich and conducted research at the ENST Paris and the University of Washington Business School, Seattle.


Jakob Riegger

Co-Founder & Chief Operating Officer

Jakob is co-founder and managing director of TrustYou. Before launching TrustYou, Jakob was global head of consulting and professional services of Autonomy Systems PLC, market leader in enterprise search and compliance. In 2011, Hewlett-Packard acquired the company for $10 billion. Prior, Jakob co-founded Hype Communications Ltd, the first Skype-based call-by-call and call-back system for mobile phones. Jakob also co-founded and was non-executive director at Designmuster Ltd, the first global database for patent designs, which was acquired by Questel in 2006. In 1996, Jakob co-founded his first company, Global Linxs GmbH, where he also served as managing director. Autonomy System acquired global Linxs in 2005. Jakob holds a BA in economics from University Konstanz and MS in economics from Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich.


Steffen Wenz

Chief Technology Officer

Steffen joined TrustYou while in graduate school, wearing many hats and embracing the environment of a dynamic startup. For Steffen’s graduate thesis, he scaled TrustYou’s semantic technology and thus invented the algorithms that today provide the foundation of TrustYou’s semantic analysis in more than 20 languages. As a student, Steffen was selected for CTDM, an elite program that enrolls 20 students each year in specialized programs focusing on entrepreneurship, management and technology. Steffen holds a BA in computer science from Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich where he graduated in the top one percent of his class and also studied abroad in Paris at Télécom ParisTech. He also holds MS in technology management from Center for Digital Technology & Management in Munich where he graduated in the top five percent of his class.

Board & Advisors


Philip C. Wolf

Founder PhoCusWright Inc.

Years ago, a lonely entrepreneur embraced the controversial idea that the quality of information would differentiate winners and losers in the then‐burgeoning information age. That entrepreneur was Philip Wolf; the year was 1994.

The company he founded is now the premier source for travel, tourism and hospitality intelligence. Today, in nearly every industry presentation, there is at least one slide that says, “Source: PhoCusWright.” Now based in Truro, MA and retired from an executive role, Philip is an outspoken, provocative and well‐known travel industry figure. He began his travel career in May 1989 as the head of a small agency and quickly made a name for himself. Industry leaders, struggling to grasp the Internet, recognized his unique outlook and business acumen. Over two decades of analyzing, scrutinizing and opining on strategic change and market trends, Philip has built a brand around his trademark catchphrase: “Strategically correct, not politically correct.” Philip is the architect of the annually acclaimed PhoCusWright Conference. The event’s provocative Center Stage themes are relied upon as industry bellwethers, quickly becoming accepted wisdom each year. He has known many of the industry elite since online travel’s beginning and has interviewed numerous luminaries, including Barry Diller, Carl Icahn and John W. Marriott III. CEOs from every major online travel company, along with top airline, hotel, GDS and search executives, have taken the stage one‐on‐one with Philip. A sought‐after speaker around the world, he has addressed audiences in Australia, Singapore, China, India, Canada, Jordan, Iceland, Argentina, and Brazil, and throughout Europe.

Philip is frequently quoted in consumer and trade media, including CNN, Business Week, The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times. He has met with a prime minister, appeared on television in New Zealand, and been referenced in publications worldwide, from a major Asian tech blog to Norway’s Aftenposten and then some.

Formerly an adjunct professor at NYU’s Preston Robert Tisch Center for Hospitality, Tourism, and Sports Management and distinguished lecturer at the Cornell University School of Hotel Administration, Philip serves as board director for companies on four continents. He is chairman of Vancouver‐based mobile application developer QuickMobile as well as board director for travel search discovery Hopper.com, India’s MakeMyTrip, Russian OTA oktogo.ru, Brazilian cloud‐based rez system Dashbell, online reputation manager TrustYou and destination tech provider Inntopia. He also serves as board advisor for European OTA ODIGEO, commission recovery specialist Net Trans, and custom software developer DataArt.

In addition to the successful sale in 2011 of the company he founded in 1994, Wolf was involved in the sale of Newtrade to Expedia (2002), TravelJigsaw (now rentalcars.com) to Priceline (2010), and the IPO of MakeMyTrip on NASDAQ (2010).

Prior to PhoCusWright, Philip was president and CEO of a venture‐funded software developer and travel booking engine pioneer, where he secured two patents for the company’s groundbreaking pricing algorithms. These assets, through a series of acquisitions, are now part of American Express.

He is a magna cum laude graduate of Duke University and holds an MBA from Vanderbilt University’s Owen Graduate School of Management. Decades after first espousing the power of Internet travel, Philip continues to spark industry epiphanies … and leave audiences buzzing.


Mike Wylie

President of Standing Dog

Mike is President of Standing Dog and leads the interactive strategy for the agency. He founded Standing Dog LLC, an interactive marketing and media firm, in July 2005. Wylie was formerly the Vice President of e-commerce for Wyndham International for four years where he oversaw all Wyndham’s e-commerce efforts. Under his leadership, wyndham.com grew from $6 million in annual revenue to over $100 million. In 2004, Mike was named one of the 25 Most Extraordinary Sales and Marketing Minds in Hospitality and Travel by HSMAI and served as founding Co-Chair of the HSMAI Internet Marketing Committee. Before Wyndham, Wylie worked for Hilton Hotels Corporation as the Senior Director of e-business and as a senior consultant with the Synapse Group, an internet development firm.


Achim Lederle

Managing Director, Quantum Partners GmbH

Achim has been an investor, director and consultant in national and international companies for more than 18 years. He has concentrated on the areas of retail, the internet, software and electronics. He has supported companies from the seed phase, through expansion, to their sale or IPOs. Achim Lederle is managing partner at Quantum Partners a m&a-boutique specialised on fast growing companies. Beforehand he was a Partner at 3i, one of the largest venture capital companies in Europe. Achim Lederle managed transactions up to EUR 270 million. He played a leading role in the strategic sale of the international venture portfolio of 3i and continued successfully to sell off the former 3i portfolio at Cipio Partners as a Venture Partner. Achim Lederle began his career in venture capital as an Investment Manager with the venture capital company Technologieholding VC.


Christian Seller

Partner, Holtzbrinck Ventures

Before coming to Holtzbrinck Ventures, Christian was CEO of flight search engine swoodoo where he was responsible for company development, from market entry to market leadership in Germany and the sale of the company to American market leader KAYAK. Then, in his role as Managing Director for Europe, Christian managed the European organization and the Europe-wide marketing roll-out at KAYAK. As a member of the KAYAK Management Team he was also involved in the successful IPO on the NASDAQ and the subsequent sale of the company to the leading global online travel company Priceline.

Before he worked at swoodoo, Christian first worked as an Investment Manager at a venture capital company and then held management positions in two start-up companies in the media sector. Christian began his career in 1998 at an international strategy consultancy company.

Christian holds a doctorate “summa cum laude” in mathematics and also received an MBA with distinction from the London Business School.


Michael Buller

Non-Executive Director at Holiday Extras, President at VIR, Shareholder at Greenfinn Technologies GmbH, shareholder at BPCS-Consult

Michael currently holds several key travel industry positions, including Non-Executive Director at Holiday Extras, a subsidiary of the UK-based Holiday Extras Group, market leader for both the UK and Germany for airport parking and airport hotel deals and Vorstand at Verband Internet Reisevertrieb e.V. (VIR), the trade association for Germany online travel portals. Michael is also shareholder at Greenfinn Technologies GmbH and BPCS-Consult. Michael is former managing director at Lastminute.com, a leading online travel website, Managing Director, Germany at Holiday Autos, and Finance Director at Holiday Autos Germany.


Niels Doerje

Co-Founder & CEO, holidaysinsider.com and Founder, Tandler.Doerje.Partner

Niels is an internationally renowned SEO and online strategy expert. He’s an accomplished speaker at various conferences around the globe, as well as at several German universities. He started working in the Internet industry in 1994. Before founding Tandler.Doerje.Partner he worked at Google for four years, where he was responsible for Strategic Partnership Development in the EMEA region. And before joining Google, he was the Managing Director of Affili.net, Europe’s largest Affiliate network.

Jens Uwe Parkitny_36_25July2012

Jens Uwe Parkitny

Online Travel Consultant, Asia-Pacific

Jens is an online travel veteran who started his career as a Senior Producer in Microsoft’s Travel Business Unit in 1997. He became a founding member of Expedia Inc in 1999 and was responsible for the technical launch of Expedia.de. His career at the company spanned over 15 years. He held various executive positions in Germany (2006- 2008: Vice President & Managing Director at Expedia.com GmbH) as well as in Asia-Pacific. Based in Hong Kong and Singapore, he was responsible for building the Expedia Affiliate Network, a whitelabel B2B distribution business, which became one of the fastest growing business divisions within Expedia Inc (2008 – 2012: Managing Director Expedia Affiliate Network Asia Pacific). He also served as a member on the board of eLong, China’s second largest online travel agency, from 2009 – 2012. In the last three years Jens worked as Vice President Digital Marketing & Distribution for Accor Asia Pacific, the fastest growing Hotel development and management company in the region. In this newly created role, he was responsible for Accor’s digital distribution and marketing strategies across all direct online channels throughout Asia Pacific and a total of eight online point-of-sales (Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia, Singapore, India, Japan, Korea and China). He decided to leave Accor recently to pursue his dream: investing and living in Myanmar and advising local start-ups and online travel & content companies that plan to expand into Asia-Pacific.