Lars is the Chairman, CEO and co-founder of Pangea Botanica. He is also Chairman and co-founder of Pangea’s platform companies Kanna Health, OnTrack Therapeutics, Acacia Health and Kore Therapeutics.
Lars is a successful serial entrepreneur in healthcare, tech and biotech. With his family office - Wilde Ventures - he is also an active angel and seed investor.
Lars firmly believes in the power of nature to heal diseases, based on the co-evolution of the plant, fungal and animal kingdoms. He started Pangea Botanica with the goal of discovering and developing the molecules that have evolved with the ability to cure diseases with high unmet medical need. Parallel to this Pangea will support the preservation of ethnobotanical knowledge and supporting local communities.
Prior to Pangea Botanica, Lars co-founded COMPASS Pathways (Nasdaq: CMPS) a mental health care company dedicated to accelerating patient access to evidence-based innovation in mental health. He led the development of COMPASS as President, COO and CBO from preclinical development until the completion of its multi-country (US, Canada, Europe) Phase 2b study for psilocybin therapy in treatment resistant depression. Psilocybin is a naturally occurring tryptamine which COMPASS is developing for various mental health and neurological disorders. Lars also started COMPASS’ nature inspired tryptamine drug discovery centre program.
Lars has also co-founded atai Life Sciences (Nasdaq: ATAI) which is a biopharmaceutical company that leverages a decentralized platform approach to incubate and accelerate the development of highly effective mental health treatments that address the unmet needs of patients. Only four years after its founding, atai will have 10 clinical stage drug development programs.
During his time with the companies both COMPASS Pathways and atai Life Sciences went public on the NASDAQ stock exchange, became unicorn companies, and raised over USD 1,000,000,000 in capital.
Before that, Lars was the founder and CEO of Springlane, a leading European direct to consumer kitchen company, the BBQ brand Burnhard and the largest German cooking magazine. Lars also co-founded the engineering company Otto Wilde Grillers and the sports brand Pakama Athletics.
Lars previously worked as an investor at Waterland Private Equity, one of the world’s best performing private equity funds. Amongst other buy-and-build investments, he focused on building VivaNeo, the largest European in-vitro fertilization group, providing patients with cutting edge medical solutions. Lars has also spent time with Boston Consulting Group in Munich and São Paulo.
Lars holds a master’s degree in Finance from IE Business School in Spain and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University in the Netherlands. He spent exchange semesters Copenhagen Business School and the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan.