Sometimes good ideas need a decade to ripen

When Thomas Bachem – self-taught software engineer and designer – was looking for study programs to promote his endeavors as an internet entrepreneur, he was disappointed to see that the academic landscape mostly focused on the never-changing basic principles of Computer Science, instead of the exciting new possibilities of the internet and its opportunities.

He decided to study Economics at a private business school in Cologne, which is where he experienced firsthand the radical drive to apply academic theories to the real world and a personal, supportive learning environment. Out of both his fruitless search for a truly applied software-engineering program and his revolutionary experience at the private university, the idea for CODE was born: CODE would be to Computer Science what business schools are to classic Economics programs.

One decade later, Thomas had already founded several successful internet startups. As an entrepreneur and employer, he discovered time and time again that good software engineers, designers and product managers – the key drivers for ambitious digital companies – are a rare resource in Europe and Germany in particular because classical university programs rarely qualify young men and women for the challenges of the new economy.

Meet our academic team

Our professors focus on enabling our students to have meaningful firsthand experiences, guiding them to reflect on these experiences critically, and empowering them to master challenging interdisciplinary projects.

Thomas Ekert

Thomas Ekert

Head of Software Engineering

Eva Lindig

Eva Lindig

Head of Product Management

Habu Wöhlbier

Head of Interaction Design

Fabian Geier

Head of STS

Joana Casaca Lemos

Joana Casaca Lemos

Interaction Design

Martin Dreher

Software Engineering

Roland Fassauer

Product Management

Fabio Fracassi

Software Engineering

Kathleen Hamblin

Diversity & Inclusion

Barb Iverson

Core Skills

Felix Jankowski

Felix Jankowski

Software Engineering

Martin Knobel

Interaction Design

Sebastian Krebs


Markus Müller

Markus Müller

Product Management

Adam Roe CODE

Adam Roe

Software Engineering

Dinko Verži

Dinko Verži

Interaction Design

The best way to predict the future is to invent it.Alan Kay, Computer Pioneer

Supported by internet and startup entrepreneurs

This core belief is widely shared among industry leaders and is the reason why more than two dozen of the most renowned, tech-enthusiastic internet and startup entrepreneurs back CODE.

Recently, there were several articles in the press releasing the names of our supporters and investors.

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Call for professors and lecturers

CODE is looking for professors and lecturers in the fields of software engineering, product management and interaction design. Sound interesting?

Backed by the academic community

Our academic council provides us with the latest insights into our field‘s research, a strong tie to the scientific community, and decades of experience in creating meaningful learning environments. They help us identify those professors, researchers and lecturers who share our drive for excellence, our common mission, and support our educational approach.

Dr. Shermin Voshmgir

Blockchain Expert, Founder of BlockchainHub, Public Speaker and Guest Lecturer at Vienna University of Economics

Prof. Dr. Birger Priddat

Economist and Philosopher, Senior Professor and former president of Witten/Herdecke University

Prof. Dr. Achim Bachem

Mathematician and Computer Scientist, Former Chairman of Forschungszentrum Jülich and German Aerospace Center (DLR)

Prof. Dr. Sven Ripsas

Entrepreneur and Educator, Professor of Entrepreneurship at Berlin School of Economics and Law

Prof. Dr. Diana Knodel

Computer Scientist and Entrepreneur, Founder of App Camps, Visiting Professor at TU Berlin

Prof. Dr. Michael Erlhoff

Design Theorist and Art Historian, Founding Dean of Köln International School of Design and honorary Professor at HBK

Prof. Dr. Stephan Stubner

Dean of HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management

On a mission to empower the Digital Pioneers of tomorrow

CODE offers a project-orientated and challenge-based learning experience that stimulates personal growth and enables students to develop professional competencies as well as communicative and social skills. CODE is supported by two dozen of Germany’s most renowned internet entrepreneurs and provides an income-based delayed tuition model to attract the most talented students, regardless of their personal financial background.

Meet the team

Our team consists of internet entrepreneurs and higher-education professionals. We combine the advantages of an agile startup mindset with a decade of experience in managing progressive private universities.

Don’t aim for success if you want it; just do what you love and believe in, and it will come naturally.David Frost, Journalist

Thomas Bachem


Jana Blanck

Marketing Manager

Lisa Breford

Head of Projects

Emilie Declercq-Lienard

Office Manager

Manuel Dolderer


Luca Hagel

Luca Hagel

Software Engineer

Britta Kiwit

Head of Communications

Emilia Lischke

Head of Partnerships

Paula Neuber

Student Relations

Jonathan Rüth


Chris Schmidt CODE

Chris Schmidt

Head of Finance

Eleanor Teig CODE

Eleanor Teig


Ina Wagner

Head of Student Relations