Our team of experts gathers more than 20 years experience in developing businesses internationally.

Board Members

Prof. Dr. Rolf-Dieter Reineke

During his 30 years of practice as a consultant, trainer and entrepreneur Prof. Dr. Rolf-Dieter Reineke worked in more than 40 countries, with a regional focus on ASEAN countries. As Managing Director of UMI ASIA AG in Zurich he is dealing with business development and monitoring of project execution. His functional expertise covers internationalization and intercultural management, entrepreneurship, strategy, change and cooperation management.
His responsibilities as a Professor at the School of Business of the University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland (FHNW) includes the offshore MBA programs of FHNW in ASEAN countries and the SwissInnovation Challenge in Switzerland, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam.
Prof. Reineke is also Founder and Board Member of several companies in the consulting and other service sectors in Europe and Asia. Previously he had positions in various universities and major consulting companies such as Gemini Consulting (Cap Gemini).
Prof. Reineke received his Master Degree in Economics and his Ph.D. in International Management from the University of Münster / Germany.

Markus J. Thinnes

For more than 20 years Markus Thinnes worked in different management positions in Japan and East Asia, primarily in the machinery and electronics industries.
As Partner and Board Member of UMI ASIA AG in Switzerland he is dealing with business development and monitoring of projects focusing on Japan.
His functional expertise covers business development and intercultural management, strategy and organization development, especially between Japan and Europe.
Markus Thinnes is also founder and board member of several companies in Japan and Switzerland.
In parallel, he is engaged in the education of the next generations of experts at various universities such as HTWG, Konstanz, and IGR, Rennes, France.

Dr. Minli Zhao

Dr. Minli Zhao is a board member and leads the Greater China practice at UMI Asia. With deep expertise in cross-border strategy, innovation and business development, she counsels Chinese companies on global expansion and European brands on growth in Asia. Minli’s previous experience includes over 15 years of entrepreneurship, management consulting and product management in multinational corporates.
Outside UMI Asia, Minli teaches innovation, entrepreneurship and business model innovation at different universities and MBA programs. Minli is also the co-founder of a Chinese commercial kitchen brand.


Stefan Philippi

Stefan Philippi has many years of experience in entrepreneurship and innovation, works with numerous start-ups or coaches them and has an excellent network in this field. He has been the head of the Swiss Innovation Challenge office, one of the largest start-up and innovation support programmes in Switzerland, for almost 10 years.
At the School of Business of the University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland (FHNW) he teaches  entrepreneurship and innovation and has a research focus is in Business Model Innovation and Entrepreneurship.
Stefan Philippi is member of several juries of start-up and innovation competitions in Switzerland and Asia as the Swiss Excellence Award, the Swiss Sustainable Challenge, or the Swiss Innovation Challenge ASEAN. He is also board member of start-up support or academic organisations as genisuisse Aargau (Switzerland) or gesowip.
He received his Master Degree in Sociology, History and Media and Communication sciences at the University of Basel / Switzerland and holds an executive MBA from the FHNW / Switzerland.

Prof.Dr. Andreas Hinz, Partner

Andreas Hinz currently focuses on entrepreneurship, innovation and digital transformation with special emphasis on sustainable business models. He teaches in various Swiss and international programmes in Switzerland and Asia. He is programme manager of two international MBA programmes. Further, he works as start-up mentor and sits in juries of business incubators and start-up competitions in Switzerland and Asia. Andreas is also co-founder of a sustainable venture.

Prior to his current focus areas, Andreas has also acquired experience in international asset management, sustainability and philanthropy.

Andreas holds a PhD in sustainability innovation, a master in economics and has done postgraduate studies in entrepreneurship.