7:45 – What André learned from being a fighter pilot in the Swiss army
11:26 – What young people should do to prepare for an entrepreneurial career
19:24 – What a great team looks like
28:48 – How to deal with risk
31:17 – Dealing with crises
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).
“I was never bothered when people told me ‘no’. It always made me think ‘I’ll prove you wrong’.”
“At the beginning, you don’t look for good team players. You look for people who have the talent and skills you need.”
“You have to be able to welcome the unexpected. Preparing for the worst is the way to go.”
To listen our conversation with André’s son, Teo, check out episode 118.