Kienbaum Institute and Participations

Scientific know-how and digital competence

Kienbaum’s passion for lifelong learning and understanding is also reflected in the company’s investments. This is because the spirit of research, future knowledge and exchange with innovative companies is not only part of the consultants’ everyday work, but is also expressed in the proximity to science and numerous companies with a digital portfolio.

Kienbaum Institute

The Kienbaum Institute for Leadership & Transformation, based at the International School of Management (ISM) in Dortmund, Germany, is a research and competence center that focuses on practical solutions for the central topics of human resources management.

The aim of the institute, which combines scientific expertise with consulting expertise, is to gain insights into the optimal use of resources in organizations. From this, well-founded approaches, models and methods of management are conceived and concrete recommendations for action are formulated for companies and personnel decision-makers.

Research activities focus on the following topics

  • Leadership
  • (Digital) Transformation
  • Change Management
  • Demography and value change
  • Human Resources
Research and study results of the institute serve not only scientific knowledge, but are also the basis for pragmatic, application-oriented tools for companies and their personnel decision makers.


The training and further education of specialist and methodological knowledge as well as interpersonal skills are prerequisites for mastering complex challenges. When designing qualification solutions, the Kienbaum Institute draws not only on its experience in competence development, but also on the network of Kienbaum and ISM.

In this context, the Kienbaum Institute offers training as a business coach and thus addresses (junior) managers, personnel decision-makers and project managers.

Further information on the Kienbaum Institute @ ISM for Leadership & Transformation is available here.


Digital transformation encompasses every business model and has a serious impact on entire value chains. Kienbaum cooperates and invests in future-oriented business segments with its investment company Highland Pine Investment. All investments have in common that they are close to Kienbaum’s consulting business on personnel and organizational issues in digital change and thus further strengthen Kienbaum’s digital portfolio as an innovative personnel and management consulting company.

Unternehmer-Schmiede is a joint venture of Kienbaum and etventure based in Berlin and Munich. The Unternehmer-Schmiede recruits suitable candidates and equips them with the necessary innovation methods and skills for setting up digital units and implementing digital projects. To this end, etventure and Kienbaum combine parts of their expertise in the areas of digital transformation and HR management. The goal of the joint venture is to enable companies to realize their vision of a digital future with the help of the entrepreneurial experience of the "digital entrepreneurs.

Direct to Unternehmenschmiede

Since 2017, Kienbaum has been investing in Talents Connect, a company founded in 2013 by Robin Sudermann, Lars Wolfram, Max Klameth and Stephan Maihöfer. The matching algorithm developed by Talents Connect enables a completely new type of recruiting and people development. The special: Based on an innovative combination of job matching and adaptation of e-commerce learnings, Talents Connect's innovative products support HR managers in making quick and precise decisions when selecting personnel - taking into account specialist knowledge, personality and soft skills.

More about Talents Connect

SK+ is a joint venture between brand consultant Marc Sasserath and Fabian Kienbaum. The development company deals intensively with the topic of innovation culture and helps companies to develop and implement an entrepreneurial and cultural future perspective in line with their history and core competencies.

Go to SK+

Kienbaum is an investor in the JobTender24 job posting tool. The aim of the online platform is to digitise the processes between companies and personnel consulting firms. This includes, above all, the possibility to fill open vacancies considerably faster, and often more cheaply and transparently, by means of the targeted tendering of search mandates to the personnel consultant network. JobTender24 now has a network of 6,000 personnel consultants in more than twenty countries.

Direct to JobTender24

Kienbaum is one of the investors in the digital recommendation portal firstbird. Founded in Vienna in 2013, the start-up company offers a digital recruiting solution based on the employee recruitment principle. Motivated by bonuses and gamification approaches, employees of customer companies recommend candidates for open positions and share jobs on their social networks. In August 2014, firstbird was selected from 500 start-ups for the Microsoft Ventures accelerator program in Berlin.

Direct to the firstbird website

With everskill GmbH, Kienbaum has expanded its investment portfolio to include a provider of digital training solutions. Founded in 2016 by Daniel Schmelzer and Benjamin Schneck, the company supplements soft skill seminars with the Everskill App and supports seminar participants in applying training content in their daily work. This increases the transfer of learning and adds an innovative solution to classic classroom training.

To the everskill website

Kienbaum is one of the investors of the digital business platform EDITION F. In addition to its online magazine in blog form for career-oriented women, the media start-up offers a job exchange, network events and webinars on business topics for women. Launched in summer 2014, EDITION F 2016 now reaches over 500,000 unique users every month.

Click here for EDITION F

The young personnel consultancy Capitalheads is a subsidiary of Kienbaum. Founded in 2014, the start-up focuses on the search for graduates and young professionals with up to five years of professional experience. Its clients are primarily family businesses, medium-sized companies and hidden champions.

Direct to Capitalheads

Kienbaum is one of the investors in the IT recruiting marketplace 4scotty. The Berlin-based online platform was founded in 2014 by Frank Geßner and Matthias Schleuthner. With the new reverse recruiting approach, companies can apply directly to IT specialists with transparent and individual job offers.

More about 4scotty