Finalist of the EPIC Awards 2020
CEO of Nuki. GMBA 2012.
I was born in Graz, Austria, and both of my parents were teachers, so I am definitely not a born creator. Spending my school years primarily on tennis courts trying to make it to professional level and playing computer simulations with my brothers helped me in developing the entrepreneurial mindset I benefit from today. I play to win. Later on I did a business degree at the University of Graz and started my first job in an internet based business as Controller in 2005. In 2008 I was promoted CEO and another 3 years later carried out a Management Buyout of this company to found Up to Eleven (www.ut11.net) together with my brother and Toto Wolff (today CEO of Mercedes Motorsport). In Up to Eleven we founded some very successful startups in the digital space, most notably Nuki (www.nuki.io), the leading smart door lock in Europe, and Instahelp (www.instahelp.me), the leading mental health platform in Europe. Today I am serving as CEO of Nuki and try to change the way people access their homes. Although professional success is important to me I also keep in mind it’s just another game and the really important things are health, friends and family. In the end life is about enjoying the journey and the journey makes more fun with good people around.
How did IE help you get to where you are today?
My whole IE experience helped me to grow immensely as a person and to expand my mental horizon. I graduated in 2012 and in the same year founded Up to Eleven. A new company was the ideal playground to implement the theoretical learnings of the MBA directly into an organization and provided me with the opportunity to see first hand what works. These experiences, paired with the high quality of the faculty and my co-students at IE, the international mindset and state-of-the-art curriculum helped me to grow immensely as a person and as an entrepreneur. I don’t regret any of the long nights ;-).
How did you come up with the idea for your company?
I came home from work and realized that I had once again forgotten my keys at the office. My brother Jürgen, a successful cyclist, was annoyed by the unwieldy key ring which he needed to carry along with him in his jersey. The two of us, both serial entrepreneurs and experts in digital and mobile solutions, start researching, asking ourselves: How can we use our smartphone as a key to open existing doors?
What is the key to the success of your company?
We have the passion to continuously push our boundaries to provide excellent products and services to our customers. This commitment to excellence and our corporate values “One Team”, Leadership, Relationships and Sustainability are the core of our success.
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