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Five Questions for Atheneum

Technology platform provides customers with tailored industry expertise

These days, decision making for executives is not made easy due to the overabundance of information available on the web. Which sources are credible and should they really rely on them for a decision that will significantly influence the future of the company? At this point, the platform "Atheneum" can be consulted, which was co-founded in 2010 by WHU alumnus Ammad Ahmad (MSc 2010). Atheneum organizes the asked for knowledge, establishes contact with absolutely reliable sources, and relies on the knowledge of experienced industry experts.

1. After its foundation in 2010, Atheneum has now expanded to 11 locations worldwide. Does Atheneum fill a gap that other consultancies could not, or what is the secret recipe? It would appear as though there is a huge demand for „research-as-a-service“.

Atheneum is a technology platform that provides market intelligence to our set of clients. The gap we fill is providing fast and furious access to credible insights. Within 24-36 hours, our clients can acquire reliable industry intelligence to help support essential investment & business decisions.

The secret recipe is our focus on service & technology, which enables us to provide seamless delivery of high-quality intelligence. Our process of identifying the best-in-class individuals to help meet client needs, is paramount to the success of the company. Alongside a technology that creates a friction-less experience for all users.

The demand for our services is driven by the unprecedented societal information overload. This explosion of information in society has almost created “too-much-data” for everyone to access. What we’ve been able to achieve is to simplify that information overload and provide clients with direct access to very specific insights

2. What is the most important quality for which your customers search within your organization and how does your expert network provide answers? What kind of experts are you looking for and are there topics that are so niche they cannot be advised on?

The most important parameter for our client is speed & quality, ensuring that the best in class is available in a very short amount of time. The typical expert is someone with a longlist of credible experiences in an industry and one that can add value to a discussion, based on their insights and tacit knowledge they have picked up over the course of many years.

3. How does Atheneum filter all the relevant and bespoke information for your customers and how does that reduce their risk while doing business? How do you share intelligence so quickly?

The individual client’s risk is minimized given the detailed screening & qualification process of our delivery. Furthermore, our technology allows us to quickly and efficiently find the relevant stakeholders for virtually any engagement.

4. Why is taking environmental and social responsibility into consideration crucial while developing your company?

Both environmental and social responsibility are key considerations in the formation and development of our company, as we not only believe in working to empower our client’s initiatives, but also those of the community and environment at large. As my co-founder Mathias Wengeler discussed previously, the long-term effects and consequences of climate change are omnipresent, and we are aware of the importance of alleviating as much environmental damage as we can within our offices. We are extremely proud to partner with both Children for a Better World e.V. and with One Tree Planted as part of our pledge to take responsibility and help where we can.

5. In what way have your experiences at WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management influenced your entrepreneurial life and how did they encourage you to start Atheneum?

WHU has an excellent ecosystem for entrepreneurs and provides the right balance of energy, ideas, people, resources to help put “action to initiatives”. I’ve been very fortunate that, after my career stint as a management consultant in the US, I was able to spend time in Germany at one of the best universities which enabled me to catapult the ideas into real-action on the ground in Europe. WHU provided for the right opportunities to network with other founders, venture capitalists and academics across Germany. At those early stages of founding Atheneum, I was able to rely on a ton of support from Michael Brehm, Dr. Markus Rudolf and Dr. Hariolf Wenzler that helped me carry through the journey.

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