Interview with Founder Summit Winner
An interview with a brave entrepreneur
In April 2018, ESA BIC Darmstadt and Telespazio VEGA Deutschland exhibited at the Entrepreneur University – the Founder Summit in Darmstadt. We wanted to interest entrepreneurs in space and technology transfer and launched a #TelespazioSelfie Competition on our stand. A standup model of astronaut Alexander Gerst, kindly provided by the European Operations Centre (ESOC/ESA) in Darmstadt, supported us to attract visitors.
With success! Gary Andrews was one of those visitors who participated in our challenge and his Instagram post won with most likes and comments! This September he will receive his prize: a parachute jump. While falling he will feel almost like an astronaut! We, as space experts, know of course that astronauts are not really weightless; in reality, they fall continuously at high speed onto the Earth. Prior to his experience, we asked Gary for a short interview:
Gary, please tell us a little bit about yourself. What do you do, where do you live?
Hi there! I am Gary. I am a strategic behavioural consultant. That means I design, advise on and execute interventions that have anything to do with the people side of business and the business side of people. For example: company transitions. It’s a great thing to be doing.
I live in Amsterdam! A wonderful city that houses many different cultures.
You attended the Founder Summit this year in Darmstadt. What triggered your interest to attend this event?
Well first of all the title. And second of all, I have always been interested in entrepreneurial thinking. This year I had the time to visit. So, I took the opportunity.
What would you say was your biggest learning from the event?
It may sound silly, but my biggest learning is that what I was already thinking was the right thing. And my beliefs about how to act in life and at work were only fortified at the conference. But a real thing that stuck in my head, was a German quote: “Ein Rückschlag ist nur der Anlauf”. I really love treating failure as a constructive thing, to do better next time.
Did you create a start-up yourself already or are you planning to found one very soon?
I started my own company a while back. It is a coaching and strategic change advisory company.
You got to know us at the Founder Summit and learned about the consultancy provided by ESA BIC, mainly focused on support using space technology. Apart from this, what do you think entrepreneurs need to launch their business successfully? What would you wish for if it was your business?
I think entrepreneurs need a leap of faith (big dreams) and a mindset that improves in increments (step-by-step, flexible). I would wish for a big and fast feedback loop (customers), so I could quickly tweak my follow up actions. A tech solution that gives me this overview and feedback would be great.
At the Founder Summit, we heard many speakers giving advice about how to become a successful entrepreneur. What would you say is a formula for success?
One formula for success nowadays is finding a quick route to responsiveness by the masses. If you can trigger a mass-response to your product or service, things will happen fast. Add a price tag, and boom: short-term success. On the long term however, creativity and vision will be needed.
Any last words before your parachute jump? Ready to “fall like an astronaut”?
I would love to be an astronaut. If this is the closest I can get to that frontier: I’ll take it! Whoohoo!