Face To Face: Philippe Linster

Philippe Linster, 30 years, born and raised in Luxembourg, became the new CEO of the House of Startups on January 1, 2020. He also represents the Chamber of Commerce on various boards like Luxembourg Business Angels Network and Luxinnovation. He arrived at the Chamber of Commerce in 2017 to join the House of Entrepreneurship. He was notably in charge of the “Investor Care Platform” dedicated to advising foreign investors interested in Luxembourg.
by: Charles-Louis Machuron
photo: Kaori Anne Jolliffe
featured: Philippe Linster

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What are you passionate about?

I have 2 passions which shape my personality. First, I have been playing Chess for 20 years and play at a competitive level. Since 2009, I am a member of the Luxembourgish national team and I have represented my country during several Chess Olympiads in Siberia (Russia), Baku (Azerbaijan) and Batumi (Georgia). Most probably, I’ll also participate at this year’s Olympiad in Moscow. Beside chess, I’m also an international referee in handball with one of my best friends. Since 2014, we have been refereeing in various European club levels and youth European Championships.

What are its benefits to you?

Chess has taught me to be a very logical person. I love to be structured but I also enjoy the fact that you have to gamble at times in order to overcome your opponent. Sometimes you cannot play the best move but the one that is the most annoying to your opponent. On the other side, refereeing has taught me to take decisions in very important but also decisive moments of a match. You know that your decision will decide the outcome of the game and you have to bring you are A-game to assure you are taking the right decision.

Both passions represent my general personality of being ambitious and competitive but that you also need to trust your intuition and your team (especially as a referee) to be able to succeed in what you are doing.

Women in the startup ecosystem. What do you think?

Does Luxembourg still lack diversity and inclusion? On a European level, funding for all women teams is actually going down. There is no material improvement in the share of capital invested in European tech companies going to diverse founding teams. In fact, the share of capital invested in companies founded by women decreased in 2019 versus 2018. This means that in 2019, $92 in every $100 invested in Europe went to founding teams that were all men (source: State of European Tech 2019). Some initiatives – such as more organisations as WIDE – give hope, but change will require a concerted effort from everyone in the ecosystem.

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