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CEO and Co-Founder in the Tech Industry Thanks to MBA

April 14, 2020

Becoming a successful entrepreneur with the right management and leadership skills

Can you, please, share with us your career development until now? What stages in your life have had the greatest impact on you and why?

I started working as a software engineer to build algorithms for the Austrian gas transmission system operator during the liberalisation of Austria's natural gas market. When I realised that talking to customers and understanding their requirements is as exciting as programming itself, I started to study project management extra-occupational and moved into more client-focused roles. One of the moves with the most significant impact was becoming a self-employed management consultant for software projects in the energy industry. In essence, you learn to take full responsibility for everything, from sales to delivery. Shortly after completing the MBA, I got the overwhelming offer to become CEO of VisoTech, a rising star that provides software for algorithmic energy trading. I learned a lot about myself and what drives me out of bed in the morning – purpose and entrepreneurial freedom. After 2.5 years internationally scaling the company including a successful exit to Trayport owned by Canadian TMX Group, I co-founded enspired, a technology-driven short-term power trading company.

Did you originally want to pursue a different career? If so, what made you change your plans?

I never had a precise career plan, maybe because I never worked for a large corporate. I decided to stay in the energy industry and was searching for opportunities to work on cutting-edge technology - no matter what contractual relation or position.

What was your biggest professional/personal success?

Building a super strong management team at VisoTech and successfully scale the company - this was by far the most significant professional success until now.

What was your biggest challenge? What was your biggest professional mistake (from which you learned a lot)?

My biggest challenge was my son Ben who missed me a lot when I was travelling as a consultant four days per week, and I promised never to do that again. My biggest mistake was to underestimate the cultural differences after an acquisition. For more than 17 years, I have worked for small companies that I thought this way of working is normal, but they work utterly different from large corporates.

Which 3 most important experiences in your life have led you to where you are right now?

The time as a self-employed consultant; the unconditional support of my wife and her relentless efforts to create the perfect environment for our kids; the experience of working with extraordinary colleagues at VisoTech

When you think of the most talented high potential in your company, what 3 pieces of advice would you give him to live a successful and fulfilling life?

Take care of the ones you love, find a job with a purpose that you're passionate about, never stop learning.

Using just 5 words, how would your team describe you as a leader?

passionate; optimistic; authentic; caring; talks too much

What has changed in your career because of your MBA degree? How did the program support you in reaching your career goals? What concrete career opportunities have opened up for you?

The MBA provided me with additional credibility for managerial as well as leadership roles, leading to a job as CEO of a software company.

As far as the workload is concerned, how did you manage an MBA next to a demanding job and your family life?

That's simple; I had the full support of my wife.

What do you consider a “great luxury”?

Having time to travel the world with my family.

What was the last book/movie you really enjoyed?

I enjoyed watching both seasons of "Dragons: Rescue Riders" with my kids and reading "Machine Learning: An Applied Mathematics Introduction" was an excellent refresher to be able to talk to our data scientists.

If you could change places with anyone for a day, who would it be?

With my wife - that would be a reality check.

Wordrap

I can laugh about:
Myself, when doing stupid things, Our kids, when they pretend to be parents and treat us like kids. Bad jokes.
Shortcomings I am most likely willing to overlook:
It depends - nobody's perfect.
My funniest/most exciting travel experience was:
Shark diving in Egypt - you immediately know who's the boss.
I could not live without this app on my cell phone:
WhatsApp - it connects me with family, friends and colleagues.
You can always find this in my fridge:

Red Bull.

I would spend my last money on:
A trip around the world.
10 year ago, I thought:
Everything will stay the same.
Today, I know:
Change is the most significant opportunity in life.

Read more interesting career stories of our students and graduates here.

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