PaperHive Conversations: Sven Fund

Sven Fund & PaperHive

Dr. Sven Fund is a Berlin-based publishing expert and entrepreneur, founder of After working as managing director and overseeing large and successful company transitions at publishers like Bertelsmann, Springer Science, and Birkhäuser, he headed De Gruyter as Chairman of the Management Board between 2008 and 2015. He is now the managing director of the library-consortium Knowledge Unlatched and actively supports several startups in science communication and publishing.


Sven, first of all, thanks for agreeing to join PaperHive’s Advisory Board after informally supporting us in the last months. From a top-level publishing manager leading hundreds of employees to a successful entrepreneur managing and supporting several startups: is there anything you miss from corporate life and what are the biggest benefits of entrepreneurial life for you?

Working in a larger corporation and with startups is different, but I am probably not the right person to look back too much in grief. I am enjoying very much what I do – being in touch with many colleagues, old and new. And working on making creative ideas happen.


You are the managing director of Knowledge Unlatched, co-owner of Sample of Science, and managing director of the Quadriga University in Berlin. Your energy seems infinite. What is your driving motivation in each of these projects?

On Friday evenings, I definitely feel that my energy is not at all infinite… It is important to me to contribute more than just a quick Euro. And I enjoy 95% of what I do – that seems to be enough fuel.


Knowledge Unlatched has been one the biggest innovations in open access publishing in the last years. PaperHive’s team was pleased to have KU as one of its first partners. What shall we expect from the company in the next 12 months?

Knowledge Unlatched is developing nicely, and we are very much looking forward to the next phase of scaling, which will start very soon, at the beginning of September. It’s great to see how the team is evolving and that we are getting a lot of support from both publishers and libraries. And we have still many ideas how to foster Open Access at the interfaces of publishers and libraries…


Research communication and publishing have changed in the last decades. Services around academic content have become similarly important as content itself. Yet, publishing education seems to lag behind. How can students and young employees in the industry better prepare for the near future?

Publishing has for long been an “experience industry”. It was hard to learn, except by experience. That has changed over the past decade or so. The challenge seems to be to combine practical experience and academic training.


Why did you want to support PaperHive?

Even though it sounds opportunistic – I like the simplicity of the idea, and I like the down to earth-spirit of the team. PaperHive really addresses a need in scholarly communication, and I am convinced that you can address that in a smart way. And if I can help with that, I am happy to do so.

Learn more about PaperHive’s advisory board: PaperHive Conversations: John Hammersley

About the Author

Lisa Matthias
Studies North American Studies at Freie Universität Berlin. Her research interests are Media Studies, Political Communication, and US Foreign Policy.