Nicolas Burkhardt: Be authentic and don’t be afraid of asking stupid questions

Meet Nicolas Burkhardt CSO and Co-Founder of RYSKEX at the event MOI – THE MAGIC OF INNOVATION

Please introduce yourself to our readers!
Nicolas Burkhardt: Hi, my name is Nicolas Burkhardt. I’m the CSO and Co-Founder of RYSKEX, a blockchain based B2B insurance platform that enables innovative risk transfer. As the CSO of RYSKEX I’m responsible for the business modeling, market entrance and upscaling strategy. I have more than 10 years of experience in the field of strategy, innovation and developing new business models. Before I co-founded RYSKEX in 2017 together with CEO Marcus Schmalbach, who has a long termed background in the insurance industry, I founded the KOPFSPRINGER Group, which consults bigger enterprises in strategical questions regarding new business development and (digital) transformation.

In parallel to that I had a professorship for Innovation, Digitization and Leadership in Cologne and Bielefeld. From 2006 – 2015 I was working for different big enterprises in Germany and UK, primarily in the energy and consulting sector. I’m an author of several specialist books with regards to innovation, disruptive business models, strategy and new work. Those topics are my main inspirations when I recurrently share my thoughts and insights as a keynote speaker on stage.

Please tell us about your business?
Nicolas Burkhardt: At RYSKEX we are confident that our business will revolutionize the common procedures of B2B insurance processes by maximizing efficiency between policy holders and risk takers. Furthermore we have an innovative approach to insure prior non-insurable risks, such as cyber incidents, reputation damage or innovation fail. Our customer centric processes are based on a blockchain solution which insures a maximum of transparence, safety and comprehensibility for our plattform users.

Can you describe a typical workday of you?
Nicolas Burkhardt: To be honest, actually I can’t. Reason for that: none of my workdays is really typical from a content perspective. One day you design a concept for customer experiences, the other day you have negotiations about company contratcs or you deliver results of a project in a pitch to potential partners or investors. I guess this is what it is all about in starting a company – help wherever you can to get things done. But all of this doesn’t mean, that I don’t have routines.

My framework usually looks like this: 5.30am alarm, 6am sports, 7am bringing my son into his kindergarten, 7.30am heading up for the office or a project at a client. Between 6pm and 7pm coming home. 7.30pm dinner with my family. 8pm evening office until 10.30pm. 11pm falling asleep .

You are a speaker of the event MOI – THE MAGIC OF INNOVATION. What do you talk about of the event?
I will talk about the buzzword itself as well as about the logic, that disruption and digitization is no purpose in itself. There a many good reasons for concentrating on low hanging fruits as well. What I mean is you don’t have to necessarily concentrate on sophisticated moonshots when a simple solution does it’s work either. Too many startup founders think to difficult or have’t evaluated the customer demand (pain points) enough.

Too many of them are deeply in love with their ideas and fail to iterate or pivot early. For this reason I will share some of my experiences and try to give some advice and best practices, too, on how to set your personal magic of innovative power free.

What do you mean: How changed the startup scene in the last years? The most mistakes of startup founders?
I don’t know if it suits to this interview, but I have the feeling that founding a startup is a overheated trend. It’s a boom and many students dream of their own businesses. Basically this is a nice development, for sure. But on the other side of the medal, I recognize too many young people, living in a bubble and dreaming of getting rich from one day to the other, without understanding the really tough side of this job. You not only have to be smart, but you have to have endurance. There are so many traps which are not foreseeable and even more years of suffering until all the work hopefully pays off. I guess the most likely mistake of founders is the underestimation of what it really takes to be successful.

Which books do you read?
Recently I didn’t find enough time for reading books that interest me and are out of the focus of innovation, digitization and leadership. But, what I do each evening approximately 15 minutes before I go to bed. I look up a random term or word that first pops-up into my mind at wikipedia. And then I read at least this article about the specific term. This is how I lately learned more about Fidel Castro, national dances in brazil, the development of softdrinks, the infinity of space or how supertankers are build. Albert Einstein once said: I have no special talent, I’m only passionately curious. I like that quote and try to live it.

Where do you see yourself in five years?
I really don’t know. Life is too unpredictable for serious answers on that question. I hope to be in status, where I followed my dreams so far and have the chance to further follow them with what I do then.

What a 3 tips would you give to startup founders?
First: find yourself, before you find an idea for the market. Only topics that you drive with internal passion will be successful. Therefore you have to know what really excites you. Second: be authentic, don’t be afraid of asking stupid questions, be curious, be greedy but not grimly and try to learn as fast and as much as possible. And last but not least: have fun. My former CEO at RWE once said: Fun is fundamental – I think he’s right with that.

Thank you Nicolas Burkhardt for the Interview

Statements of the author and the interviewee do not necessarily represent the editors and the publisher opinion again.

Sabine Elsässer

Sabine Elsässer is founder and chief editor of the StartupValleyNews Magazine. She started her career at several international direct sale companys. Since 2007 she works main time as a journalist. While that time she learned more about the Startup Scene, what made her start her own Startup Magazine the StartupValleyNews.

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