EP #07 – André Borschberg (Co-Founder, CEO & Pilot, Solar Impulse) – Swisspreneur



piInterview Timestamps

0:56 – How he came to meet Bertrand Piccard and his idea
2:37 – How his family reacted to the project
3:25 – His upbringing and sources of inspiration
5:45 – Why he wanted to become a pilot in the first place
7:45 – What he learned from being a fighter pilot in the Swiss Army
8:39 – His views on university education (EPFL and MIT)
11:26 – What young people should do to prepare for entrepreneurial careers
13:31 – The vision and mission behind Solar Impulse
16:36 – Why Solar Impulse 1 had two pilots
17:54 – His partnership with Bertrand Piccard
19:24 – His definition of a great team
20:56 – Recruiting strategies
23:29 Dubendorf, how to keep a team engaged, how he turned it into an opportunity
28:48 – How he deals with risk – be prepared to welcome the unexpected
31:17 – How is mindset helps him to deal with crisis
33:32 – What he felt when it was clear that Solar Impulse 1 was going to make it around the world
36:02 – His recommendations to the Swiss start up ecosystem
39:28 – His life hacks
43:40 – His advice to the audience
46:00 – Ways to follow André and Solar Impulse

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André Borschberg is best known as the CEO, co-founder and pilot of Solar Impulse: the enterprise that, under his guidance, built a solar-powered plane that broke the world record for the longest solo flight in an airplane of any kind: 117 hours and 52 minutes. He had previously achieved recognition for the first-ever day and night flight in a solar airplane flying Solar Impulse 1 in 2010, followed by eight different world records. André led the development of the aircraft on a mission that began as the passionate vision of Bertrand Piccard more than 13 years ago, tackling numerous challenges ranging from equipment failures to major delays along the way.

André graduated from the Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL) and holds a Master’s in Management Science from the MIT Sloan School of Management in Boston. In addition, he was a partner of a venture capital firm for eight years and successfully launched two start-ups, including Innovative Silicon, a technology company in the field of microprocessor memories.

Today, André contributes as a mentor and by driving initiatives as a member of the World President’s and the Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO). He also speaks frequently at leadership forums such as the World Economic Forum (WEF).

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