Nicolas Friederici, Dr.

Nicolas Friederici holds a dual appointment as Project Lead Innovation & Entrepreneurship at the Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society (HIIG) and as Postdoctoral Researcher at the Oxford Internet Institute. Nicolas is interested in how economic development happens in the digital age, and how the opportunities of digital technologies unfold unevenly in different places and for different actors.

At HIIG, Nicolas coordinates our projects related to digital innovation and entrepreneurship. This includes work on digital business models, the digitization of small and medium-sized enterprises (Mittelstand), open and user-centric innovation, and startup collaborations. Nicolas’ own research consists of three streams: digital enterprise strategy, innovation intermediaries, and entrepreneurial ecosystems. He mostly focuses on Africa and Europe as empirical contexts.

Nicolas did his PhD at the Oxford Internet Institute, where he has studied digital entrepreneurship and innovation hubs in Africa. He was a visitor at SCANCOR in Stanford, a Clarendon Scholar, and grantee of the Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship. Earlier, Nicolas was consultant for the Mobile Innovation for Development program at infoDev (World Bank). He was a Fulbright scholar at Michigan State University, where he did his MA in Telecommunications, Information Studies and Media. Nicolas also holds a Diplom in Media Management from the University of Cologne. Nicolas continues to be active as a consultant: for instance, he recently helped the World Bank assess the digital entrepreneurship ecosystems in Bangladesh and the Caribbean.


Nicolas Friederici Cropped


Project Lead: Innovation & Entrepreneurship


Our podcast with Nicolas Friederici

Lectures and presentations

Varieties of Platform Strategy: An Exploratory Study of European Enterprises
Workshop Regulating work in the platform economy (Session: The effects of the platform economy: business models and value chains). Hertie School, Berlin (online), Germany: 27.05.2020

Nicolas Friederici

Digital Entrepreneurship in Africa: Last Mile Platforms and Other Localized Business Models
GIZ.Digital Gateway Online Event. GIZ, Bonn (online), Germany: 27.03.2020

Nicolas Friederici

Economic Geographies of the Digital. Universität Bayreuth. Weizenbaum Institut, Berlin, Deutschland: 24.01.2020

Nicolas Friederici

Ethnologisches Kolloqium (Session: Digital entrepreneurship in Africa: Escaping from Silicon Valleys long shadow). Iwalewa Haus, Bayreuth, Bayreuth: 10.12.2019 Further information

Nicolas Friederici

Beyond the Silicon Savannah: How Self-Determined are Africa's Digital Economies?
Ringvorlesung: Selbstbestimmung in der vernetzten Gesellschaft. Technische Universität Berlin, Berlin, Germany: 03.12.2019 Further information

Nicolas Friederici

Digital Entrepreneurship in Africa. BI Norwegian Business School, Oslo, Norway: 13.09.2019

Nicolas Friederici

Digital Entrepreneurship in Africa: Escaping from Silicon Valley’s Long Shadow
World Bank Finance, Competitiveness & Innovation Global Practice. World Bank, Washington, D.C., USA: 21.05.2019

Nicolas Friederici

Digital Entrepreneurship in Africa: How a Continent Is Escaping from Silicon Valley’s Long Shadow. Quello Center, Michigan State University, Michigan, U.S.A.: 20.05.2019 Further information

Nicolas Friederici

Colloquium Development Geography (Session: Digital Entrepreneurship in Africa: Escaping from Silicon Valley’s Long Shadow). Freie Universität Berlin, Berlin, Germany: 01.02.2019

Nicolas Friederici

Digital Entrepreneurship in Africa
Management Research Seminar: Lecture on Digital Entrepreneurship in Africa. WU Wien, Vienna, Austria: 06.11.2018 Further information

Friederici, N.

Innovation ist überall
Symposium: Der smarte Weg für die Energiewende. Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society. Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society, Berlin, Germany: 22.06.2018 Further information

Nicolas Friederici

Digital enterprise & ecosystems in Africa: An uneven and challenging landscape
7th GiZ Make-IT Alliance Networking Meeting (Session: Digital Enterprise and Ecosystems in Africa: An Uneven and Challenging Landscape). re:publica, Berlin, Germany: 04.05.2018

Nicolas Friederici


Kampf der Plattform-Giganten – wie sieht der deutsch-europäische Weg aus?
11. Internet Governance Forum Deutschland. Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft & Energie, Berlin, Germany: 11.09.2019 Further information

Nicolas Friederici

Moderation of workshops and panels

Digital Economies, Digital Connectivity, Digital Margins: Session I: Development, Entrepreneurship, and Inequality
5th Global Conference on Economic Geography. Universität zu Köln, Cologne, Germany: 24.07.2018

Mark Graham, Nicolas Friederici, Mohammad Amir Anwar, Sanna Ojanperä

Organisation of events

Platform Entrepreneurship in Europe: Which Business Models are Viable and Sustainable?
03.06.2020. Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society, Berlin (online), Germany. Co-Organised by: Oxford Internet Institute (International) Further information

Asal Dardan, Lena Starke, Tina Krell, Nicolas Friederici


Member of the Advisory Board: BMBF project Africa digital in cooperation with technopolis group and konnektiv.

Nicolas Friederici

Participation as expert

Reshaping WorkUniversity of Novi Sad, Novi Sad, Serbien: 27.02.2020 Further information

Nicolas Friederici

UNCTAD Review Meeting "Digital Economy Report 2019" (Feb 2019)UNCTAD, Geneva, Switzerland: 12.02.2019

Nicolas Friederici

Media appearances

Interview with Nicolas Friederici on Digital Entreprenuership in Africa (02.07.2019). Quello Center, Michigan State University, Michigan; Vimeo
Further information

5G, Regulierung, Wettbewerb – Internet Governance Forum Deutschland - Wirtschaft am Mittag (11.09.2019). Deutschlandfunk
Further information

A hub alone does not create a Silicon Valley (26.08.2019). IGF2019
Further information