Monika surprised us straight from the bat. We knew she had almost done the impossible, but we would never have imagined the challenges she had to go through to achieve her goals. Nevertheless, her smile and laugh felt like a blossom. Trust us when we say this: Monika will change the world for the better - and not surprisingly, she is already well on her way. Incredible!
Rajith has the natural gift of making people feel at ease. But we’re not going to lie; this conversation was different. To make it happen, we stretched over three continents: North America, Europe, and Asia. While it was late at night in Vancouver, it was early morning in Rotterdam and noon in Singapore. However, Rajith injected the conversation with good vibes from the first second, making us feel awake and inspired. It was the perfect way to start and end our day!
From the first introductions, we knew this conversation would be exceptional. Caen’s passion and energy were palpable and of a fingerprint without match. He had a natural ability to decompose demanding subjects into meaningful and breathtaking stories. We had never experienced this before and left the conversation feeling like we had taken a sip from the fountain of wisdom.
Getting a meeting with Alex wasn’t easy, to say the least. Even when our good friend Rokas gave us an introduction, we were still far from having a coffee with him. Look, he’s a busy guy, and revolutionizing cryptos takes some serious effort and brainpower. Nonetheless, we followed our mantra of never giving up, and 3 months later, we finally got the chance to get together.
Josh has the ability to dream big. What might seem impossible for most people, Josh breaks it down and makes it happen. An engineer by training, and a climate change activist by heart, it is safe to say that our future is in good hands. We learned more in one hour talking to Josh than reading all the books on climate change. What an inspiring day!
Talking with Dr. Quinn Wang felt like having a conversation with a multitude of people at once. Her insights made us think differently about the world around us. Quinn has acquired an awareness like nobody we have ever seen. She’s lived in 21 different places and plans on seeing the rest of the world when the pandemic reaches the finish line.
Charlotte is the kind of person you want to have on your team. She has the natural ability to make people feel part of something beyond themselves. Her energy is contagious, and we left the conversation feeling like we had taken a cold swim in a natural lake in the forests of Sweden. What a refreshing and inspiring way to start the day.
Taylor is a born people activator. His voice is smooth as silk but, at the same time, firm and clear. When he talks, it is hard not to smile, as his level of passion and positive energy is beyond contagious. Taylor is the person every team would love to have. He is an engineer and product person by heart, and can pretty much pep talk you to do anything imaginable. Magical!
Lea met us with a gentle smile and a cup of coffee. She filled the conversation with positive energy and made us realize that there are few things better than starting the morning off with a great life story. Lea dialed in from Paris and ordered her cup of coffee in French. That’s when we understood she was a true citizen of the world. Lea has seen more than most people per time unit. However, she is still hungry to learn. What a lovely morning!
Magnus met us with a friendly smile as if we had known each other for years. He immediately made us feel comfortable and transformed the conversation into a place where imagination and storytelling had no end. He created a perfect symbiosis between the two and painted a bright picture of a better world. It became clear that impact was his bread and butter. His electric energy was contagious, and at times we had to hold our horses as our question list kept on getting longer. An hour passed by in a split of a second. Delightful!
Speaking with Jeremy felt like a late summer conversation during a walk in the park. He directly shared his love for our articles, and the conversation could not have started on a better foot. Throughout the interview, he made us feel comfortable and shed some light on the roller-coaster life of a founder from Silicon Valley. We left the conversation astonished that such a humble person was revolutionizing FinTech.
When we interview visionaries, we want to get to know them. The one thing we love is when they open up about their failures and hard times. When we feel tears coming up, we know we’re on the way to a beautiful story.
Rokas’ story is one to remember. From his early career trading exotic derivatives in London to founding his VC firm tackling climate change, Rokas has always liked to follow his gut and go against the odds. His spontaneous and positive personality was felt throughout the interview and made us understand that our years ahead will be full of opportunities.
Our conversation with Trond felt like a scene from Back to the Future in which he brought us with him on his time machine to the year 2050. Trond articulated a vision in which AI/ML, blockchain, robotics, synthetic biology, and 3D printing are not only the technological pillars of the world but also where their role in society is also fully understood. This view of the future reflects Trond’s innate curiosity and his mission in life: understand the world and be at the forefront of societal advancement, making orders of magnitude of difference for business, society, and the planet. We left the conversation with excitement through the roof and filled with motivation to build the world we envision for the future.
Loek sees the world through a different lens. He sees solutions where others see problems. It is safe to say that he is gifted with an extraordinary mind. We’ve never experienced someone as self-reflective and with such a natural ability to turn complex things into meaningful narratives. We left the conversation feeling like we had caught up with an old friend after a long day. Wow!
We love our visionaries because of their captivating and provoking stories. A visionary is extraordinary because of his/her unparalleled level of energy and enthusiasm. Charlotte filled the room with joy and electric energy from the first second, making it impossible for us not to smile. Her positivity and drive were contagious and made us realize that inner fire is the most crucial trait anyone can possess. What a force of nature Charlotte is!
Wisnu is one of the humblest of our visionaries. During our conversation, he never mentioned that he just raised $5 million or that his tools were used by 850,000 workers across Indonesia. Wisnu doesn’t care about impressive numbers; he simply wants to create a positive impact around him. The calm and optimistic energy surrounding him is magical and made us forget all our everyday life concerns.
Bahadir embodies the purest definition of entrepreneurship. From his early days in Turkey to living in the States in his youth and suddenly taking the leap and emigrating to Singapore, he has never given up on his dream: having a global impact and improving the lives of millions. He left us thinking that we all have a role to play and that it is never too late to start dreaming big and change the world. Besides living and breathing entrepreneurship, he is a philosopher at heart, and ended this interview with life lessons that will stay with us during our entrepreneurial journey!
Michiel is the very first person we dreamed of interviewing. It took us a year to hunt him down, and it was a magical moment for us to see him accepting our calendar invitation. Even more unreal was asking him questions that we had prepared for months and spent many sleepless nights pondering over. He is one of the most genuine and humble people we have ever met despite being at the head of one of the hottest startups in Europe. Our conversation felt as natural as riding a bike in the middle of a summer day. What an inspiration!
The best interviews are the ones that you leave feeling like you want to go out and change the world. Laurens was humble, down-to-earth, and vulnerable. Rather than a corporate superstar, he was our older brother making incredible achievements look reachable. Not surprisingly, after listening to Laurens’ story, we all screamed: Let’s fuck*** do it, let’s get on a plane to Silicon Valley and build robots!
Some people are gifted with a magical and almost electrical aura. This aura enables them to convey their vision and make the listeners believe anything is possible. The very best of these rare and mysterious species are also born storytellers, making you gasp every time they open their mouths. Combining these two traits makes them superhumans and the kind of entrepreneurs who will change the world for the better. Anna is one of them, and she took us on an unimaginable rollercoaster ride through her life. The hour we spent with her went by in the blink of an eye. Unbelievable!
Speaking with Paulius was an easy ride, and felt like the outcome of his story couldn’t have been any different. Don’t get us wrong, it wasn’t something all of us can achieve, but the way he presented it made it feel easy. From leaving Lithuania to settling down in Norway and launching a fast-growing start-up, you’re on for a heck of a ride!
We believe every human has the potential of doing extraordinary things and changing the course of the world for good. Speaking with Puteri opened our eyes and made us realize how unbelievable the power of passion can truly be in the quest of making an impact. Since her youth, she has had her eyes on the prize: creating a better planet. At the end of the conversation, we felt filled with hope and thrilled that Puteri led by example towards a greener and more sustainable world. We are in good hands folks!
After the one hour conversation with Yasir, we felt understood. For the first time, we spoke with someone who had been through a similar journey. He left his country and built a successful platform that he transformed into a sustainable business. This is our dream, and we will make sure to follow every single one of his pieces of advice.
Even can state with utmost confidence that he checked many boxes and accomplished what most consider bucket list ideas. Besides his insatiable hunger for new adventures, he enjoys challenging himself and is currently working on solving the climate crisis. His excitement towards making the world a better place was contagious, and our conversation flew in such a natural way, making it feel like riding a bike during a summer day. At times we couldn’t resist bursting out and speaking upon each other as the number of topics felt like running out of an infinite fountain. What a pleasurable ride!
For the first time, we spoke with someone who loves to fly. After just a couple of minutes, it was evident that the lines between normality and supernatural were blurred. Peter’s adventurous character reminded us of one of our favorite childhood movies and heroes, Buzz Lightyear from Toy Story. Similarly to Buzz, Peter is not afraid of pushing the boundaries, and he takes the phrase to infinity and beyond to the next level, and quite literally! At times, we couldn’t believe our ears and had to pinch our arms to make sure we were not dreaming. What a conversation!
The feeling we had after the interview with Aneto was unusual, something we had never experienced before. Our minds were sharp, our thoughts were clear, and we were at peace with ourselves. We spent an hour chatting with someone who’s achieved a lot, more than most people could dream of, but it felt like our conversation could have happened with a longtime friend. Aneto is a charismatic entrepreneur, but he speaks with calm, confidence and serenity, without hesitating, captivating us instantly while reassuring us at the same time. Magic.
Catherine is a born storyteller, and she took us on an incredible journey into her life. We instantly felt like two characters of an award-winning movie, with her as the director. Catherine has a unique ability to take you on an emotional rollercoaster and make you feel like her lifelong friends after barely an hour of conversation. We believe that vulnerability and sharing the real stories of life is the first step towards something magical. Catherine seems to have understood this precept very early in her life, years before we met.
We believe life is like a snowball. The more it spins, the bigger it gets. For us, the snowball began to turn after one evening walk, brainstorming about, one day, speaking to inspiring people from all corners of the world. Little did we know that this dream would turn into reality in a blink of an eye. A couple of weeks ago, we had the pleasure to speak with Alex and Sehreen, two beautiful souls filled with life, living in the melting-pot of entrepreneurship, New York City.
If we were to choose one word to define our conversation with Gustav, it would be: impossible. Gustav accomplished more things than many have, even before turning thirty. As a bonus, he had dinner with the legend himself, Elon Musk.
When we reached out to Lisa over LinkedIn, we didn’t have any expectations. We were convinced we were gonna get another not interested. We should have seen the hint: she clapped for Manuel’s story
From the beginning until the last words of this story, Lisa surprised us. This one-hour conversation felt like an out-of-time moment. Her smile illuminated the screen and made us feel like we were life-long friends.
A year ago, we had the pleasure to meet Perttu when visiting Happeo’s headquarter in Amsterdam. We remember that we had to take off our shoes at the entrance… The whole vibe at the office felt like a bunch of friends gathered to have the time of their life. Everyone was treating each other as an extended family. We were instantly impressed.
Joran is one of the few who lives and breathes entrepreneurship. He is the definition of a young and ambitious entrepreneur who decides to persist against all odds. Since the very first moment, Joran told us that starting a company is something we all can do, even if we lack experience. It is truly inspiring to talk to someone in their early twenties telling us that it is indeed possible.
We had to pinch our arms after seeing a reply from Manuel sitting in our inbox. A simple, “happy to talk” was enough to send us to cloud nine, and instantly into a state of hyper-activeness. Never would we have imagined it was possible. Manuel is a genius, but one of the humblest persons we have ever talked to. The entire conversation felt like we had been catching up after a long day.
The beauty of humans is that we all have a unique story to tell. Marcel’s embraces uniqueness and takes it to the next level. This results in a story born out of a printed version of back to the future. Yet, as all good things in life, interviewing Marcel came with an exciting catch, making our role as writers challenging. In fact, his story spins-off into countless directions, ranging from when he flew to San Francisco to set up a new investment fund, his research into neural networks, or when he built a company on the back of a couple of cables and sim cards.
Johan and we instantly clicked when he mentioned his frequent vacations to our beloved Puglia, a region in southern Italy. We also share a passion for Primitivo wine and fine cuisine. This interview could not start in a better way.
I met Martijn for the first time two years ago in an accelerator for start-ups in San Francisco. He was relaxed and started cracking jokes with everyone in the audience. Wow, I thought. An alumni from Rotterdam School of Management, who’s living the big life in California. I need to get to know this guy!
Beyond his charismatic presence and his natural gift for talking, Martijn is one of the kindest persons I have ever met. I found in him an inspiring figure, someone to whom I will always reach out for advice. A mentor.
Thom has a natural gift for talking. Story-telling is more than a passion for him, it is an art. He masters it so well that it could convince you to buy pretty much anything. Are you considering selling ice to an Eskimo, or hay to a farmer? Then, Thom is the man for the job. Maybe that’s why he has already launched two ventures?
Samir has a natural tendency to make people laugh (this is just one of his many superpowers). In fact, he can turn any conversation into a humoristic rollercoaster while always keeping the intellectual competent alive. Today was no exception, and you are in for a ride, so hold tight.
From the very first moment, Niels fuelled the conversation with energy, enthusiasm, and joie de vivre. He created a cocktail of happy emotions so contagious that I could not stop smiling.
We had a video-call, and I chuckled when he demonstrated his neighborhood in Medellin, Colombia. Did you know that police-officers ride together on their motorcycle? I certainly did not.