Meet our Premium Member: Dave Hengartner, Co-Founder & CEO of rready
- Brief description of your startup (your business, team size,) and when/why you founded it.
We offer B2B SaaS products to launch & scale employee-driven innovation programs with a focus on idea execution and digital transformation. Our 30+ global customers are part of a peer community, collaborate across industries, and get access to certified innovation service providers. Our product is based on the Kickbox intrapreneurship methodology, which was developed in Silicon Valley and has been adopted by 1’000+ organisations.
We started last quarter 2018 with the commercialization of the intrapreneurship platform we’ve built at Swisscom and did a Spinout with VCs in May 2021. We are a team of over 30 employees spread across 8 countries with main hubs in Zurich, Rotterdam, and Uberlandia (Brazil).
- What are your plans for 2022/2023? What is your long-term vision?
We aim to strengthen our position as an ideal execution solution for corporates and reinforce our footprint in Switzerland, Germany, and the Benelux. We will also intensify our thought-leadership in the Kickbox space by building cutting-edge innovation, which generates global inbound activity and positions us as a global innovation leader.
- What has been the biggest success that you have achieved in your startup?
We were able to successfully spin out the business from Swisscom in May 2021. We successfully transferred our IP, customers and employees under a whole new operational entity. Throughout the entire spin out process, we remained resilient achieving 100%+ year-on-year growth in 2021 – we achieved this for the third year in a row.
- If you could do it all over again, what would you do differently? What are your biggest learnings?
We’ve tried to launch additional products after our spinout to tap into adjacent markets of intrapreneurship KICKBOX. However, we realised later that it’s more important to focus and double down on the KICKBOX product. As such, we decided to put new products on hold and focus on expanding our core product.
- What motivates you to continue your business every day?
Building a startup is “building something out of nothing” with a great group of people – this is one factor that motivates me every day. Another motivation is the stories that emerge from users of our products – from employees who validate their ideas. It’s the stories of people we empower and who are growing beyond themselves. I am driven to help our clients to create meaningful companies and make a positive impact on the lives of employees around the world. Intrapreneurship brings the best out of people and enables everyone to unleash their inner innovator.
- One piece of advice for someone who is just starting out with their startup?
I believe that the founder team is the key success factor for a startup and not the initial startup idea. The idea is subject to change by market volatility and customer feedback, but your team is your pillar. That’s why you should pick your co-founders very carefully. Try to already work together and observe how you act under stress, uncertainty, and pressure. Founding a startup is like a marriage – it’s for the long run – and better find out before you commit, that you have the power team you need to build a successful company and ride the startup rollercoaster.
- What does it mean to you to be a member of the Swiss Startup Association?
For me, the SSA allows me to meet like-minded entrepreneurs, exchange openly, and learn from each other’s experiences. It’s also about having a great time and building a strong network in Switzerland – it’s a great personal development that opens the startup horizon in Switzerland. I participated in founder dinners and I’ve also hosted a Startup Leaders Lunch in my office.
The SSA opens many doors and offers great ways to meet other entrepreneurs – therefore I would recommend everyone in the startup scene to join this organization.
A big thank you to Dave Hengartner and the rready team for sharing your story with us! If you want to know more about rready, visit rready
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