First of all, tell us something about yourself.
Always loved numbers and facts - studied physics and economics in London, Paris, and Berlin. Then worked at Investment Banking in London. But after a while I figured out that a career in a corporate structure, and in particular when it comes to banking, is not my world and does not provide enough purpose to make me happy in the long term. But: complaining is not very productive, so I changed it - that was the best decision ever.
After banking I also recognized a job or business cannot be the sole purpose – at least for me. For me stagnation is death, so always trying out new things, newest personal project is pilot’s licence, so in 2 years I might be able to take some of you on a flight to an EYES event.
What is your business about?
The first business was Bonsum, started in 2014. It is a B2C loyalty program for sustainable shopping, and for B2B using a blockchain method for settlement and clearing, as well as loyalty points on the basis of a digital currency (Goodcoins) that can be exchanged and transferred around the world. Sold the majority stake Dec-2016.
Since 2017 I'm active in the FinTech space, co-founded Swiss InsureTech MyLucy with a focus on creating a digital insurance assistant.
How did you get the idea for your business?
When working in banking I invested heavily in Bitcoins and found the underlying methodology for settlement and clearing extremely interesting. Also, I wanted to create a monetary tool that puts a focus on social impact and is not only quantitative but also has a qualitative, “good”, character in it.
Some time ago you mentioned to us Herr Weedrich and Banking for Good. How are these going now?
The next business I want to tackle in Germany is medical marihuana, so slowly building up a presence and brand there with Herr Weedrich. It is fun, but timeframe for legalization looks even more uncertain with Trump tightening controls in the US and a bigger hesitation of politicians in DE. On the other side courts are opening this up, press feedback is getting more positive and I am confident to get this running in the next 5 years.
Banking for good - a free debt and finance consultancy for people who are in financial troubles – that I operate with a few old banker friends, is unfortunately not getting enough time to fulfill all requests in the last time. We are looking for more people.
What are the top three skills that a successful entrepreneur needs to have?
Passionate, structured and fair.
What challenges did you have at the beginning?
Myself being a more introverted personality chasing big clients and doing pure sales was tough for me in the beginning. Also, I never liked standing in the centre of attention, but as a CEO that is kind of inevitable.
But we solved both problems with a good, complementary team.
If you could have a chat with one person from history who would that be and why?
Jesus. Being a convinced agnostic myself I would like to find if this is the single biggest error ever made by me.
What is your experience as an EYES member?
EYES is a strong and quite unique organization in the entrepreneurial space. I like the quality of people, the different mindsets and diversity of businesses, as well as to get out of Berlin and really experience a place and program with a group, instead of endless uncommitted blabla that I often encounter when it comes to start-up events or organizations.
I love it.