Karsten Wenzlaff is an expert in Digital Finance, Alternative Finance and Crowdfunding. He has worked with start-ups, corporates, non-profits, international institutions, policy-makers and regulators in shaping the digital finance industry.

Karsten Wenzlaff is a regular speaker at international events, on topic such as Crowdfunding, Alternative Finance, Blockchain-based Finance, DeFi, ReFi and Financial Innovation.

Since 2015, he has been appointed the Secretary-General of Digital Invest Germany – German Crowdfunding Assoiation (Bundesverband Crowdfunding). He coordinates a network of European Fintech associations to work on the European frameworks for Crowdfunding and Digital Finance, but he also served as an expert to the German Parliament (Deutscher Bundestag), to the German government, to regional governments in Germany and public agencies, such as the German Development Agency GIZ, the United Nation Development Program UNDP, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development OECD.

Karsten Wenzlaff also works as a researcher and academic. His research focus is Alternative Finance, FinTech and Crowdfunding, in particularly Civic Crowdfunding, Corporate Crowdfunding, Crowdfunding Regulation and the combination of Crowdfunding with Public Funds. He teaches undergradates and conducts his research at the University of Hamburg at the Chair for Digital Markets. He is also a research affiliate with the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance at the Judge Business School, where he teaches at the Cambridge Fintech and Regulatory Innovation class for financial regultors at the Judge Business School. He is a research affiliate at the European Centre for Alternative Finance at the University of Utrecht. Karsten has taught Master Students at the University for Applied Sciences in Bremen, and Executive participants at the Fintech Class at Mapua University in the Philippines and the Fintech Class at the University of Bahamas. He closely collaborates with the Crowdfunding Research Center at the University of Agder in Norway and he is a member of the Fintech & AI Network, funded by the COST program of the European Union. Karsten Wenzlaff is currently in the process of creating a research center on AI compliance of Fintechs at the University of Hamburg.

Karsten Wenzlaff has worked as a consultant for digital technology. As the founder of the Institute of Communications for Social Media (ikosom), a Berlin-based research facility for new forms of electronic technology, he has consulted a wide range of clients, from small start-ups to large corporates. With his company ikosom, in 2016 he was awarded a tender by the Interreg Central Europe program to support Crowdfunding platforms in Central Europe (Crowd-Fund-Port). In 2019, the projects CE-RESPONSIBLE which supports social entrepreneurs, was also funded by the Interreg Central Europe program. He was asked to serve on the Validation Board of the EU project CitizEnergy. Since 2021, he serves as a consultant for the EU Project DivAirCity on blockchain-based business models.

He has received an MPhil in International Relations with a thesis on international financial regulation from the University of Cambridge (UK). He is currently the Secretary of the Oxbridge Society in Hamburg, an alumni organisation for Oxford and Cambridge Alumni in Northern Germany, as well as the regional representative for Trinity Hall, his alma mater at the University of Cambridge.

Karsten is author of the first European Crowdfunding-Survey, published in 2011 and author of the first survey of Crowdfunding in Germany, published in 2012. He also published the first German Crowdsourcing Report in 2013. Since 2013, he supported the Center for Alternative Finance in Cambridge on the Alternative Finance Benchmarking Report, where he edited the European Alternative Finance Benchmarking Report since 2017. In 2020, he became an author in the Global Alternative Finance Benchmarking Report of the Cambridge University and part of the Covid19-Response-Team of the Centre for Alternative Finance at Cambridge University. In 2020, he also published the first scientific study on Fintech/Alternative Finance Self-Regulation in Europe. He is a contributor to several well-cited books in the field of Crowdfunding, such as „Advances in Crowdfunding Research“ (contributed two chapters) as well as the comprehensive „Commentary on the European Crowdfunding Service Provider Regime“ (contributed two chapters. He has contributed to the book „Crowdfunding in the Public Sector“ (contributed two chapters) and has edited the book „Crowdfunding in Higher Education“ (contributed two chapters). He is the editor of the European Crowdfunding Market Report 2023.

Karsten is an organizer of international. In April 2013 he organized the first international Crowdfunding congress in Germany, and has since then organized several industry meetings, such as the InnoFinance Congress in 2019 which facilitated cross-industry particiaption. He has been asked to speak at a wide range of events, both as a key speaker, panelist and moderator, for instances at events in London, Brussels, Tangier, Minsk, Tunis, Vilnius, Riga, Kuala Lumpur, Aruba, Zagreb, Copenhagen, Belgrad, Stockholm and Vienna. In 2016, he was moderated the FinTech Barcamp organized by the German Ministry of Finance.

Karsten actively helped to create the Fintech ecosystem in Germany. From 2012 until 2015 he was a member of the Board of the German Crowdsourcing Association and initiated the German Crowdfunding Network. Since 2015, he has worked the Secretary-General of the German Crowdfunding Association, which represents the German Crowdfunding platforms towards policy-makers. In 2024, the German Crowdfunding Association was transformed into the Digital Invest Germany Assocation.

Karsten was a member of the European Crowdfunding Stakeholder Forum, an advisory body to the European Commission. He was an external advisor to the UNDP Alt Fin Lab. He was asked to share his knowledge on Disruptive Financial Services to a report to the World Economic Forum, has been invited to speak at the German Bundestag on FinTech Regulation in the Committee to Advance the Digital Agenda in Germany and in the Finance Committee. He has consulted the Fintech Association in Uganda on developing self-regulation, consulted the German Development Agency (GIZ) on the implementation of Crowdfunding support programs and wrote a report on Civic Crowdfunding on behalf of the OECD. He has served as an expert for the Financial Sector Volunteer Service and has consulted the Central Bank of Tunisia, the Microfinance Authority of Tunisia and the Securities Market Commission in Tunesia in the implementation of Fintech regulation.