Laurent Haug

I help people find ideas, and ideas find people



As an observer, strategist, investor and creative matchmaker I guide industry leaders, start-ups, policy makers, designers and developers through the intricacies of emerging technologies and the larger social and economic changes that shape them.

I work on projects in different domains - entrepreneurship, finance, media, technology, retail - and facilitate the sharing of ideas, experience and knowledge that lead to innovative action and new collaborative projects.

I am a Partner at MKS Alternative Investments, focusing on seed investment in Switzerland and internationally.

I am the Founder of Lift, Switzerland’s first ideas' conference on the subjects of innovation and technology and their impact on society.

I am currently working on three separate book projects. My first book, "The art of the conference" is due for release in 2016.

News and thoughts

I am sharing my spottings and thoughts on a number of platforms. You can get daily updates on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, and a weekly email digest by signing up here.


Explore my professional history and get to know the companies I worked at and the roles and responsibilities I've been assigned.

2012 - Current

Venture Partner

Anthemis Group SA

2014 - Current


MKS Alternative Investments

2000 - Current

Speaker, moderator, host

Conferences, Business Schools & Media

2013 - Current

Founder and curator


2011 - Current

Swiss correspondant

Wired Magazine UK

2011 - Current

Advisor / Board member

Companies and foundations

2011 - 2014


University of Lausanne

2005 - 2012


Lift Conference

2004 - 2005

Project manager


2000 - 2002

Senior Consultant

Arthur Andersen Business Consulting

Venture Partner

Anthemis Group SA

Anthemis Group is a specialist holding company providing vision, strategy, leadership and capital to growth-stage companies with innovative business models at the intersection of financial services, markets and technology.

Portfolio companies: afb, automatic, azimo, bento, betterment, blueleaf, currency cloud, eris industries, etoro, fidor, financeacar, indix, metamarkets, mopowered, moven, payoff, payperks, peerindex (sold to BrandWatch), premise, quantemplate, seedcamp, simple (sold to BBVA), suprmasv, the climate corporation (sold to Monsanto), trov,, xenapto, zyfin


MKS Alternative Investments

MKS Alternative Investments is the newly created seed investment arm of MKS Switzerland based in Geneva, focusing on promising startups from around the world. Current investments include BeCash (CH), (IN), iRewind (CH), Sailogy (CH) and Ring.MD (SIN). We invest first and foremost in passionate teams with long term visions, regardless of industry and location. Please get in touch if you would like to discuss your project.

Speaker, moderator, host

Conferences, Business Schools & Media

I speak regularly at private and public conferences (Picnic, Leweb, TEDx, AdTech) and at various institutions (Société Générale, Groupama, UBS, Allianz, IMD, Mc Kinsey, Pictet, Unigestion, Havas, TA media, United Nations, University of Korea, HEC Lausanne, University of Geneva) on topics ranging from how to adapt to disruptive innovation to the impact of technologies on business and society.

Founder and curator


200·IDEAS is a series of events that present today's most important innovations and trends in a fun and fast-paced format. Designed for decision makers, at the intersection of technology, culture, entrepreneurship and communication, 200·IDEAS welcomes speakers who curate the best ideas of their respective fields into comprehensive and actionable insights.

Swiss correspondant

Wired Magazine UK

Working as a correspondant for Wired UK (1.6M readers), spotting interesting innovations and covering Swiss startups. Entrepreneurs: pitch me your projects and I will relay them to the Wired UK editorial team!

Advisor / Board member

Companies and foundations

Leveraging my entrepreneurship experience and network to help grow different types of organizations, from foundations to startups.


University of Lausanne

Lecturer for the eMBA students on managing social media on a personal and corporate level. I stopped lecturing in June 2014 to start writing a book.


Lift Conference

Founder of the Lift Conference, a series of events to inspire and connect pioneers around the world. Happening in different countries every year (Switzerland, France, Korea), each event explores the social implications of technologies. Past speakers include Tim Berners-Lee, Robert Scoble, Cory Doctorow, Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet, Vint Cerf and tons of amazing people.

After running the company for 6 years, I stepped down from all operational and editorial duties in April 2012 to spend more time at home with my newborn daughters.

Project manager


I was part of the eBusiness team responsible for creating and developing the company's online presence that consists in an Intranet, a public website ( and different eBanking applications. My responsibilities included managing IT projects, defining the bank's online strategy and resources allocation, analyzing and reporting on current online activities. I was also involved in the bank's main project (an ongoing core system replacement) as a member of the change management team.

Senior Consultant

Arthur Andersen Business Consulting

As a member of the team serving the French-speaking part of Switzerland, I worked for international corporations and organisations in both the private and public sector. I was involved - first as a consultant then as a senior consultant - in business processes analysis, design and implementation of large scale information systems, project management, change communication and enablement, definition of strategies for the integration of technologies in business activities.


Hear what some of my clients and colleagues have to say about me after working together on various projects throughout my career.

Bruno Giussani

European Director, TEDGlobal Curator, TED,

First of all, Laurent is European, so he has a different point of view, a different (long) list of examples and case studies, a different take on innovation, technology and business than the usual US-media-driven stuff. He's insightful and has a background as a business doer that allows him to spot and avoid the general hype.

Beth Krasna

CEO at The Roberto Giori Company Limited

Laurent managed to mobilize sufficient talent to launch the first and then subsequent LIFT conferences. He is a great organizer and manages to get interesting people to become involved with LIFT. He is very good at starting and running networks.

Euan Semple

Author, speaker and business strategist.

Laurent is one of the most insightful people I know working in the social computing field and manages to combine real insight with being a throughly nice guy!

Stefana Broadbent

Head of Collective Intelligence at Nesta

Laurent organises probably the best conference in Europe about the changes that technology is bringing in society. He is a fantastic connector putting people together from different horizons and enabling them to share and discuss. Finally he has a very strong skill in creating new concepts and innovations.

Scott Smith

Futures, Innovation & Strategic Design

I had the pleasure of working with Laurent as a workshop presenter at LIFT07. With many years of conference experience, I was impressed by the scale, smoothness and utility of the event Laurent and his partners created. The atmosphere he encouraged, both among speakers and attendees, was among the best I have ever experienced - relaxed, collaborative and stimulating. I put this down to Laurent's vision and skill.

Lee Bryant

Founder at Postshift

Laurent is a bundle of positive energy and one of the most genuinely nice guys I have met on the conference circuit. He is an intelligent trend-spotter and combines a range of diverse interests very well. LIFT is one of the best conferences in the world and he deserves great credit for helping to knit together our European network of social computing practitioners.

Julian Bleecker

Co-Founder at Omata Inc.

Laurent is a truly forward-thinking, charismatic individual. His dedication to making Lift a success means that we all have the opportunity to participate in a creative environment for expressing and sharing new ideas. This is just the thing the 21st century needs. Brilliant idea, brilliant fellow.

yarom ophir

Founder / Chairman of the board

To define Laurent is difficult, Entrepreneur, visionary, just listening to him is already inspiring. Switzerland should be proud of having him as one of its native.

Kelly Richdale

VP Quantum-Safe Security at idQuantique, CISSP, MBA

Laurent has a unique combination of energy and vision. He started LIFT from from nothing but an inspiration, and has turned it into a successful reality. He is the embodiment of the entrepreneurial world which LIFT represents.

Pedro Custódio

Product and Service Experience Management

I've met Laurent quite some years ago, as all great random encounters, I'm happy that our paths crossed. Laurent work with LIFT has both inspired me and taught me many aspects of diligence, flawless execution, strategy and direction. We've had many conversations when we were giving our first steps in both LIFT ( and SHIFT ( Laurent delivered an amazing presentation at our first conference and in many aspects is knowledge and advice were fundamental during our kickstart years. Laurent is open, intelligent, passionate and very positive to work with. I personally value not just our friendship, but to Laurent is one of my references for future thinking and for that I would recommend him to anyone considering working with him.

Marco E. Chong

Vice President at Advenco AG

Laurent was a co-founder at As such, he was instrumental in the development of the service concept, and in the extremely successful launch of the service - which was widely recognized as one of the leading "web 2.0" startups of 2006. His deep knowledge of the consumer internet industry, and mastery of online community, marketing and strategic issues, all contributed significantly in taking cocomment from an internal R&D project at an incumbent telco to a successful venture funded startup.

Edward Cooke

Co-founder at Memrise, Grandmaster of Memory. We're helping millions of people learn languages joyfully.

I had the great pleasure of working with Laurent in preparing for a speech for Wired 2012 for an audience of several hundred people.

Laurent has the full gamut of skills for coaching a public speaker: intellectual sophistication and flexibility, a great eye for narrative, clear and decisive communication and great taste. He's got deep experience in this domain, speaks his mind and is excellent company, to boot.

I'd recommend him without hesitation to anyone doing a high profile speech, and will seek out his assistance again.

Jan Ondrus

Assistant Professor at ESSEC Business School

Laurent is an inspirational speaker with great insights about new technology developments. He is able to capture the audience attention as well as deliver significant value during his talks. My students at HEC Lausanne were really impressed by his performance.

Yves Pigneur

Professor at the University of Lausanne

Laurent is an exceptional blogist, an entrepreneur with a vision, and a great conference organizer

Pascal Marmier (孟思恺)

Executive Director at swissnex China (Shanghai)

Laurent combines a unique eye for what's coming next with great entrepreneurial skills! He has created a world class platform bringing brilliant minds in tech.. which makes waves all over to this side of the Atlantic. In the process, he has helped the development of a new class of creative and innovative people!

Deepak Ravindran

Founder and CEO at Hatchery Software Pvt. Ltd (

Laurent helped me in shaping up my talk at the recent WIRED 2013 Conference in London. With Laurent's help, I was able to structure my presentation really well and present my content in the best possible manner. I strongly recommend him for his ability to coach and speaker preparations.

Nicolas Dengler

CEO and Internet innovator by

I loved to work with Laurent. He has the perfect balance of business challenges comprehension, creativity to bring innovation and a sense of beauty which makes the result "the thing you want!". Even if he lives with us on earth, he seems to have invented the machine that let you see in the future.

Marcel Kampman

Independent creative strategist & strategic creative

I invited Laurent to be a participant of Mastermundo in 2008, where he shared his view with the 99 other participants there. We kept in contact ever since and I got to know him as a truly great mind, a really nice person with a immense energy that not only gets people to start but also to make them do. Having more Laurents in the world would make the world a better place. And yes, of course, he also does great events and other nice things — but that just makes good sense once you get to know the guy.

Guillaume Arluison

Senior IT Manager (eCommerce, Web & Intranet)

Laurent has tons of ideas, and better than anyone else, he is one of the rare to really develop something based on his ideas and not just let them in a drawer. Impressive and moving faith in what he is doing plus a very nice chap to work with.

Alfredo Zolezzi

Chief Innovation Officer at CAIC - Chilean Advanced Innovation Center

Laurent's advice and support was key for me to be able to deliver the message that I want to share with the audience at the WIRED UK 2013 annual conference. I am planning to continue my work with him for future talks and presentations.

Eddy Ngoy

Regional Manager - Senior Consultant

Laurent is bright, energetic, compassionate and genuinely entrepreneur. I've been at the university with Laurent, and he was already a successful entrepreneur back then.
Laurent is the founder and CEO of the LIFT Conference. LIFT is unique and I do really have appreciated the conferences organized by LIFT.
Laurent has spent considerable time to organize something that has never been done in Western Switzerland.

Vijay Srinivasan

Managing Director at Cambridge Technology Partners

Laurent is superb speaker/futurist with a wide knowledge of the latest trends in Information Technology. He does excellent research combined with first hand knowledge of entrepreneurs pushing the borders of concepts and technology,

Martin Sirk


Laurent with his LIFT conferences is at the cutting edge of what future meetings are going to look like, and he is constantly innovating and challenging the status quo. I love the way he's integrating online and face to face communities, and we've learnt from him in terms of how we run our own events. Laurent spoke at the 2008 ICCA Congress in Victoria and really impressed our delegates. I totally recommend him and encourage any meetings industry professional to find out more about his conferences.

Dominique-Alain Freymond

mas ltd - Consultant in Corporate Governance and Strategy

Laurent was a keynote at our SolvAxis Users'day in 2011 and made a great presentation. His conference was well adapted to our audience,
fully up-to-date and with a great take-home value. He will be again a keynote at our 9th year management & advisory services customers event on November 7th.

Jonathan Buck

Independent Public Relations and Communications Professional

Laurent brings his "blue skies" thinking to every project that I have seen him work on. He energizes the process and stimulates people's brains!

Jérôme Salamin

Informaticien de gestion et Economiste d'entreprise

Laurent animated three workshops for the entrepreneurs of the incubator The Ark, about the topic "Web communities".

He gave our entrepreneurs a very good idea of the importance of "web communities" for their own businesses. He also clearly understood the specific "business model" of each entrepreneur attending the workshops and gave concrete and relevant advices to each of them.

I wish we will have the opportunity to work again with Laurent and its team in the future.

Jan-Christoph Zoels

Creative Director, Sr Partner, Experientia

Laurent is an amazing spotter of trends, talent scout and connector of people. In three short years he and his team have established LIFT as an insightful and participatory conference in the heart of Europe, putting Geneva on the spot of connecting people in the field of design and technology. His energy, charm and facilitation skills make him an outstanding moderator

Yoan Blanc


Once again, the LIFT conference was great and magically organized and everything went smoothly and naturally. He and his team made a huge work to make this happen. It's a place were people tell you their stories, shows you their experience and don't try to sell you something. This is so enjoyable to have all those different people being together.

More personally, he's a very friendly people to talk to for he's open-mindness, great experience and knowledge. You can see how people and friendship matters in his eyes along with a clear vision of what make sense now and will make sense in a near future. A great and humble mind and personality to meet.

Stephane Rey

CTO of the Investment Management Unit at Lombard Odier

We engaged with Laurent to discuss the implications of Web 2.0 on traditional businesses. Laurent did a great job in defining and providing a perspective on Web 2.0. Laurent is on top of the topic and able to provide a lot of concrete examples.

David Galipeau

Knowledge and Innovation Management Regional Team Leader - Asia Pacific at United Nations Development Programme

Laurent has two characteristics that are important to success - he has original ideas and he follows through. It's always inspirational to sit and discuss with Laurent because I know what we talk about will happen and I like being part of his 'action map'. I would recommend Laurent and his LiFT network - if it's an idea, if it's a project or if its a complete plan - I trust him.

Jean-Henry Morin

Associate Professor at University of Geneva

Knowing Laurent since the early days of Lift when we established a relationship with the University of Geneva, he has on several occasions delivered very insightful and compelling talks to Masters students in Information Systems in Geneva and to MBA students at Korea University Business School in Seoul.
His experience and interest at the frontier of technology and society issues provides a good basis for interesting talks and lively discussions.
Laurent is a great speaker and a fantastic person. I never miss an opportunity to invite him for a talk.
In short : Two Thumbs Up !

Carl Lens

digital innovation

I got LIFTed! Laurent and his team put together the most inspiring conference I have ever visited. If you have an open mind and an interest in the bleeding edge of technology in society: visit LIFT.

Antonio Fontes

Application security & Data privacy

I met Laurent when the Lift conference was more an 'idea' than an accomplishment. Laurent successfully converted his vision into a yearly, internationally anticipated and recognised event among the community.

A great leader with a high commitment and great ideas, Laurent actually manages to "get things done."

Mark Kuznicki

Chief Strategy Officer at The Moment Inc.

Laurent has produced one of the most amazing events I've had the opportunity to participate in - the LIFT Conference in Geneva. LIFT 07 was a wonderful mix of big ideas, provocations, leadership, inspiration and delicious fondue that has set the bar for what I expect from a technology conference. Laurent is the leader that made it a great experience for all of us.

I have known Laurent for several years and witnessed his skills, creativity and management expertise and commitment to his numerous projects on multiple occasions - a true "pro" in the web world, able to deliver consistantly high quality events and make ideas come to life.

Cristiana Bolli, Cris

COO at

LIFT08 = 11 years of friendship + work + dedication + generosity + trust + network + action + exploration + jokes + challenges + expertise + club sandwiches + trips + logotypes + discussions + fights + evolution + love + creativity + stickers + exchanges + few ideas + and certainly much more to come !! Don't miss our next 11 years together!!

I know Laurent since several years and LIFT is certainly the summary of what he does at best: technology, new ideas (in every fields) and putting people together. Not only he is a great event organizer but he understand people motivation. His open mind allow him to go where other people would not go. I am looking forward for the next LIFT....

Noel Hidalgo

Executive Director at BetaNYC

from the time we've spent in geneva, Laurent has shown upmost skill and adaptation in organizing on of the best conferences on earth.


Olivier Crochat

CEO with start-up experience

Lift is an outstanding conference on new technologies and their social implications. While hosting expert speakers and participants, its atmosphere is friendly and relaxed, favorizing discussions and experience sharing.

Laurent is fantastic. He has made the success of Lift through hard work, perfect management skills and thanks to friendliness and expertise on the topic. He is such a professional that when watching him, it even seems easy ...

I can only thanks Laurent for the impressive work, and I am already looking forward attending Lift next year!

Dannie Jost

Science Advisor, NCCR Trade Regulation, World Trade Institute

Laurent has one of those rare mixes of clarity, focus, authenticity and tenacity that together spell leadership.

I met Laurent through his idea of the liftconference when just a few days before it all was to start I contacted him about registration after I had scanned the Swiss internet landscape for exactly that kind of event: a face-to-face meeting place of pragmatic visionaries and real to life geeks interested in the inquiry of the challenges and opportunities of technology in society.

As I write this, I have been to the liftconference twice as participant, speaker on open stage and workshop leader. Each time the experience has enriched my own life immensely in that I have embraced new projects and started real life conversations that nurture my own interests in technology, sustainability and society. Not that I needed inspiration in terms of what all there is to do, I needed dialogue and inquiry as to how technology and our society are interfacing and interacting.

People at the advancing edge of human thought evolution are not always quite as accessible, authentic and down to earth as Laurent is. I look forward to dialoguing and working with Laurent for many years to come.

David Brown

investigating and investing in early-stage future technologies

Laurent has done an amazing job in starting up the LIFT conference and making it world renowned - everyone I spoke to (including speakers) got a lot out of attending. He also "practices what he preaches" in respect of running his business on cutting edge web applications.


Consultant en communication et marketing

Creating from scratch an event like LIFT conference requires great capabilities such as team leadership, creativity and a visionnary understanding of what technology involves in our lives today. I've known Laurent since college and it is good to see a keypoint to his success is still his natural generosity and easygoingness, qualities that made us become friends in the first place.

Emmanuelle Richard

Reporter & TV producer

I got to know Laurent when he created, planned and organized the first LIFT conference in Geneva with his dedicated team in 2006: the program was excellent and it went wonderfully, thanks to Laurent's leadership, his hard work and his warm personality. He has a knack for bringing people together and energize them with his bright view and enthusiasm.

Rodrigo Sepúlveda Schulz

Entrepreneur, angel investor.

I first met Laurent casually as an entrepreneur when he was working on Cocomment.We met again when he launched his innovative series of conferences : LIFT. This gathering is of a different kind: it focuses on the impact of technology on society, and as such gives us all a wider perspective on what we are all doing.
Of course, all Laurent's events are packed with fun, laughter, and most interesting exposure to different people. He's fresh, and it's always a pleasure to spend quality time with him.

Henriette Weber

Digital consultant // Author // writer at

Laurent has changed the european conference world to an extend that is more organic and more innovative than other tech conferences. His ideas about Lift has from the start been activated by a very creative mind that understands both flow but also participation from the users - combined with a "reach out" from the Lift team. His ideas about community fits right into my world of community activation and marketing =)

Matt Jones

Interaction Design Director, Google Creative Lab at Google

I attended the inaugural LIFT conference as a speaker and found it varied in the thoughts and inspiration in provoked, but not-at-all variable in the professionalism and organizational slickness that characterized the event both from my point of view as someone appearing on stage, or indeed the rest of the event when I was a happy audience member. The calmness, curiosity and charisma projected by Laurent throughout was in no-small-measure part of this.

I'm looking forward to attending LIFT again in a way that only a handful of other events around the globe have made me feel. Congratulations to him and his team for bootstrapping such a wonderful event in Europe.

Bernino Lind

Chief Commercial Officer at Artisan Infrastructure & Neverfail Group

Laurent is a passionate visionary who has worked so hard to create LIFT - no salary and lots of banging against walls. As a true entrepreneur he kept on fighting - climbing Mont Blanc - and has ended up creating a huge success with LIFT. A conference that matters with topics that matters. BRAVO.

Martin Roell

Organisational Developer, Facilitator, Coach.

With LIFT, Laurent has created a well-organised and extremely interesting conference. It's a great place to meet interesting minds, share experiences and learn from others.

Dave Gray

Co-founder at

Laurent is a fantastic guy and true visionary. He has made LIFT a success through hard work, dedication, selflessness and sacrifice. He will do everything in his power to make things work for you and for him. He has my highest recommendation.

Stephanie Booth

Social Media Without The Hype

With the LIFT conference, Laurent and his team have put together an outstanding event which attracts speakers and participants from around the world.

He pays attention to details (everything is beautifully organised) and has managed to conjure up just the right mixture of tech and humanity -- both in the topics covered by the speakers and the atmosphere of the conference.

I heartily recommend both Laurent and the LIFT conference.

Matthias Lüfkens

Managing Director, Digital, EMEA at Burson-Marsteller

Laurent's Lift Conference held annually in Geneva has become one of the top internet technology and web2.0 conference on the European circuit not to be missed. The sessions formats are unique and the speakers are cutting edge.

Laurent is a thinker and innovator. He is a founder of LIFT - an excellent international forum which aims to raise awareness and brainstorm the challenges and opportunities brought about by emerging techologies. I thoroughly enjoyed speaking at LIFT 2007. It is to be commended not only for its content-rich presentations and discussions, but also for the opportunity it provides speakers to interact with each other, both online and offline.

Lee Hutchinson

Business and Marketing Professional/Entrepreneur

Laurent has lots of drive and initiative and has brought the Lift Conference a long way. He is very well networked and very generous in helping others to develop opportunities.

Geoff Jones

Wordpress conjurer at Geoff Jones

Laurent setup and organised the Lift conference incredibly well in Geneva. As someone who has organised a conference myself I can vouch for his attention to detail, energy and enthusiasm in putting on such a large successful conference as Lift.

Matt O'Neill

Co-Founder & Director at EventExtra & ModComms

I have known Laurent since just before the first LIFT conference (Geneva) in 2006.

There are a number of positive characteristics I could go into, but the recommendation would simply be too long.

My first experience was when booking my ticket to the first conference he organised. It was an extremely busy time for him, but he still took the time to respond personally to my questions.

Laurent is a person of exceptional competence, insight, ethics, and always on the lookout for ways to improve the lives of others and himself.

The quality I admire most is his congruence. That is to say his actions consistently match his words.

Whilst he continues to grow on the excellent work with LIFT, he manages to keep a clear head, free of the associated ego that sometimes comes from significant achievements.

Laurent is without doubt one of my trusted friends and colleagues in Geneva. In short, a solid guy with a great network who'd break his back to help you if he could.

Marc Laperrouza


Laurent belongs to a new kind of entrepreneurs: those who, by drawing on a wide pool of competences, navigate on the forefront of technological and societal issues

Jon Cabiria

Psychology of Technology consultant

Laurent is a tireless and committed organizer and visionary. His energy, optimism, and creativity, as well as his ability to bring together a first-rate team, underlies his ability to exceed expectations every time. The three attributes chosen do not begin to describe the range of his abilities. His LIFT conferences are just one example of Laurent's many successes. This is someone any company would want to hire or partner with. Without hesitation, I strongly recommend Laurent.

Colin Henderson

Equitable Bank: Digital Channel Strategy & Management

Laurent pulled together the most amazing conference, LIFT07. Its not just that there were 550 people from 30 - 40 countries. The style, approach, and conference design was, open, non-corporate, thought provoking, and inspirational.



+41 78 696 64 80

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