F1 Champ Rosberg Says Davos Needs to Start Acting, Stop Emailing

(Bloomberg) -- Former Formula One world champion Nico Rosberg urged his fellow Davos attendees to start turning their words into actions, and put their smartphones down.

“There are so many people here with great ideas, then everyone goes away, then nothing happens,” said Rosberg, speaking at a Bloomberg event at Davos. “Everyone is looking at their phones during panels and not listening.”

Rosberg, 33, won the Formula One title in 2016 driving for the Mercedes AMG Petronas team and retired from racing immediately afterward. Now a tech investor, he has backed startups including Lyft Inc. and Elon Musk’s SpaceX.

After a career driving at speeds over 300 kph, Rosberg is now arguing that European pension funds should be allowed to allocate money to riskier investments, in order to boost innovation in the region.

“That’s one of the issues that is holding us back,” he said, in conversation with Bloomberg’s Stephanie Flanders. At present, European pension funds are restricted in investing in venture capital.

Rosberg is also set to announce his own startup “in the next two weeks,” focusing on green technologies and the events industry, but declined to comment further.

The startup, which the German is backing with his own money, has also secured partners from the traditional mobility industry, Rosberg has previously disclosed.

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