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Nikolai Ladanyi - scale up founder - profile | scale up

Founder and Partner

Nikolai Ladanyi

It’s never about good or bad actions, only about whether they are effective or ineffective.


Nikolai Ladanyi, born in 1972, is passionate about fostering the development of companies. He joined Gazelles in 2011 after meeting Verne at an EO Event, subsequently becoming the first German-speaking Gazelles coach and serving clients in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and France. Nikolai also translated both of Verne’s bestsellers, Rockefeller Habits and Scaling Up, into German. Since 2016, Nikolai’s company has also run the Berlin ScaleUp Summit in cooperation with Deutsche Bank. He is very experienced in transferring U.S.-based best practices to other cultures. Nikolai is an active entrepreneur and angel investor himself, and combines this with a deep understanding of psychology. This dual perspective has helped him unleash the power of, for example, the Rockefeller Habits and the Scaling Up methodology in various countries. After completing a degree in economics from the University of Fribourg in Switzerland, in 1998 Nikolai launched a career at Barings Private Equity Partners in Frankfurt and London. Even before that, he promoted two startups in Argentina – Farmacity and ekidiscount – as a seed investor, subsequently selling both of them at a profit. Nikolai also cofounded a management consultancy that focused on distressed companies and turnaround management, and then an IT company in the mobile space. He has been a member of EO since 2007. Recently Nikolai presented Scaling UP at the African Development Bank in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire, and he is actively involved in the nonprofit Gazelles initiative in Uganda. Nikolai is also an EO accelerator coach in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Personal life and interests

  1. Hobby farmer and carpenter
  2. Hiking, skiing, horseback riding
  3. Psychology, personal development and self-help