#myroadtoinyova Christian

At inyova, we set out to bring human-centered investing to you. To make that happen, we are currently building a team of great individuals that are motivated to dive into the fast-paced startup life with us 🙂 .

To give you an idea of the amazing people that make up the inyova team, we started a series of posts about our team.


Hi, this is Christian! I am the newest team member at inyova. Alongside my studies, I am supporting the team, especially in account handling and customer onboarding. I am happy to tell you about #myroadtoinyova.

 


Out of the woods
My journey started where fox and rabbit tell each other good night (a German saying) – in a small village in the Black Forest close to Freiburg (Germany) and the Swiss border. Different to many friends from my studies and work, I would know how to get milk even if all grocery stores shut down. Also my childhood taught me first hand how important it is to protect our nature – not only to have a place for recreation and sports but also to provide us with our daily food.


Keep it simple
When I was 19, I finished school – and the simplest choice for me was to study business. So I went out to Mannheim for my bachelor studies. Although I now think I might study something analytically more challenging if I could travel back in time, I had an exciting time – learning a lot through studies and internships, teaching younger students at the university, spending a semester abroad in Singapore and much more. Keeping it simple did not only apply to my choice of studies, it also does to my general mindset: For instance, I do not understand why some grocery stores offer bananas that are peeled and then wrapped in plastic again.


When it became complicated
This banana example is sadly not an individual case – only one of the most obvious. Questionable products with little added value for customers also exist in financial markets – there are hidden fees, questionable promises, repackaged assets etc. Given that I am now pursuing a master’s degree in Finance at the University of St. Gallen, I may have a deeper understanding of such matters. But if you’re not studying Finance you might not even be aware of those practices in financial markets.


Making things simple again
This is the point where inyova comes into the game. After having gained experience in several established firms, I was excited to gain insights into a young dynamic company that aims at doing things differently. After having encountered the job announcement and having had a coffee with Tillmann, I was happy to start at inyova and to help our clients make their investing process simple again. At inyova, I have the perfect conditions to learn a lot alongside my ongoing master studies – moreover, it’s fun to share a table with some of the crazy and fascinating people you can read about in this blog.

#myroadtoinyova Christoph

At inyova, we set out to bring human-centered investing to you. To make that happen, we are currently building a team of great individuals that are motivated to dive into the fast-paced startup life with us 🙂 .

To give you an idea of the amazing people that make up the inyova team, we started a series of posts about our team.


Hi all, I’m Christoph 🙂 . I’m a co-founder of inyova and responsible for financing and partnerships. This is #myroadtoinyova.

 


FAILING ENTREPRENEUR
Probably, my road to inyova started almost 10 years ago. Together with two friends from university, I tried to set up my first startup: An impact investing fund to be launched at a private bank in Germany. We pitched in big old banking buildings in Dusseldorf, Cologne, and Frankfurt, but we didn’t get anyone to sign. Kinda no surprise since we were three naive students without any fund management experience whatsoever 😉


IMPACT HUB
However, I still had the entrepreneurial flame burning. So together with Michel, Niels and Hagen, I founded the Impact Hub Zurich in 2009. Since then our baby has grown to the largest startup and innovation community in Switzerland with 900 members, four locations, and several successful education, startup, corporate programs. Impact Hub has been a hell of a ride: It has seen many impact startups grow, like Urban Farmers AG, Electric Feel, eaternity, as well as co-initiated other Impact Hubs in Berlin, Bern, and Manila. However, so far I never committed to more than friendly advice for any other project – until inyova came around the corner.


KICKSTARTING FINANCE
In 2016, I took on the development of Kickstart Accelerator, a large startup acceleration program. While at Kickstart we work with very committed partners in the large banking industry, I also realized that something is fundamentally wrong in banking: The culture, the incumbency and, yes, sometimes also the people in banking will not lead us to a desirable, sustainable and digital financial future. It needs ventures that put technology and sustainability at their core, in order to innovate the financial sector – like inyova does.


CO-FOUNDING INYOVA
I’ve been knowing my good friend Tillmann for 10 years and we’ve been spinning around entrepreneurial ideas and exchanging advice since then. So, when he came along with the vision and pace of the young inyova team around 2 months into the startup, I couldn’t resist but ask to become a cofounder. So while I never saw myself working in Fintech, I actually do now.

With the development since spring, and the amazing individuals we have on the team, I am already super happy to dedicate some of my time to inyova. The rest is still fully dedicated to my partner Katrin, surfing and volleyball, as well as, of course, the Impact Hub.

#myroadtoinyova Sergi

At inyova, we set out to bring human-centered investing to you. To make that happen, we are currently building a team of great individuals that are motivated to dive into the fast-paced startup life with us 🙂 .

To give you an idea of the amazing people that make up the inyova team, we started a series of posts about our team.


Hey you!
I’m Sergi. I joined inyova in August 2017 as a Software Engineer. And I’m happy to share with you #myroadtoinyova :).

 


MALLORCA
Everything started when I was living in Mallorca with my parents (the real Mallorca, not the German one…).

The best thing about growing up on an island is that everything is close. You can go hiking into an awesome forest and find great spots for climbing on the same day. And the next day relax, sunbathing on the beach or surfing with your colleagues.
Can you now imagine how great it was over there? Seriously, Mallorca is so much more than just party! But at one point I had to move to Barcelona for studying an engineering degree.


BARCELONA
Once off the island, I spent 5 years studying Engineering and Digital Art in the “Ciudad condal” Barcelona. I can summarize these years as hard times at the library, long nights studying without sleeping, meanwhile an offer of parties 24/7… yes, you are right, really hard times for someone in his early 20’s .

Once done with university, I joined the small Marketing, SEO, and SaaS company iEstrategic as a Developer. And I spent 2 great years there.
However, at some point, I felt like I could benefit from a change of scenery. I was eager for new goals to achieve. And also, I missed the calm that Mallorca used to provide me – but I wasn’t quite ready to go back home yet.


SWITZERLAND
Luckily, my girlfriend comes from Switzerland. The stars aligned to let me start a new adventure… in a country that is known for being peaceful, with awesome clean landscapes, and full of professional opportunities: die Schweiz!!

To get started in Switzerland, I kept working part-time for iEstrategic at first. I also studied more to improve my skills. Eventually, I met inyova, a startup who wants to make the world a better place for all of us. I couldn’t think a better way to start working in Switzerland than becoming part of their team.
The first time I met Erik and Tillmann I knew I wanted to work with them and be part of the company; the good vibes and the entrepreneurship that they showed me were exactly what I was looking for. New goals were approaching.

Now I feel quite home here. In a certain sense, Switzerland is like Mallorca. You can do many different things in one day. The only thing that can not be done here is surfing, but hey, maybe it’s time to switch to skiing .

#myroadtoinyova Tillmann

At inyova, we set out to bring human-centered investing to you. To make that happen, we are currently building a team of great individuals that are motivated to dive into the fast-paced startup life with us 🙂

To give you an idea of the amazing people that make up the inyova team, we started a series of posts about our team.


Hi everybody,
this is Tillmann (and yes, that’s my first name). Just like Erik I am one of the inyova co-founders. Today it’s my turn to tell you a bit about my path – and how it all culminated in the awesome thing that we are building now with this fabulous team 🙂

 

Here’s #myroadtoinyova:


SUSTAINABILITY PROFESSIONAL
I’ve had many jobs and roles since leaving university – consultant, scientist, investor, entrepreneur. In all those roles, I’ve worked on “sustainability questions”. How can we shift to a low-carbon economy? How can we bring renewable energies to the market? What can consumers, companies, states do to promote a healthier planet and society for future generations? Questions like these have always fascinated me.

One observation kept coming back to me: Almost everybody really cares about the planet and the people. Most people want to act in line with their values. But it is so hard to do that. I kept wondering: What if acting in line with your values was easier? What if it didn’t mean sacrificing other things in life? The potential for change would be so big!


INVESTMENT ACTIVIST
A great example for the difficulty to act in line with your values is investing money. I learned this the hard way! I wanted to invest my savings – you know, for my future, a family, maybe a home. But I wanted to make sure that the money I saved for my future would not destroy that future (e.g., by fueling climate change). It was frustratingly difficult to invest my savings in line with my values! In my efforts, I tried all sorts of things, from “sustainable funds” (or so they were called) to direct investing into impact startups. Ultimately, I managed to align my savings with my values. But only with A LOT of work.


INNOVATION & TECHNOLOGY AFICIONADO
As a computer scientist and mathematician, I’ve been continuously amazed by ever more awesome technologies evolving in the last decades. Ever since I first studied Neuronal Networks in 2004 (what is now the “Deep learning” hype), I’ve wondered how to put new technologies to use and get them out into the market. And luckily, I had the chance to help do exactly that in my various jobs. I’ve had the opportunity to help commercialize solar batteries, develop smart home technology, innovate mobility business models and much more.


INYOVA FOUNDER
So how can technology and innovation help people and promote a better future? For years, I’ve discussed this question with my friends Erik and Christoph (and many others) while skiing, while mountain biking or simply over beers. When I talked to my friend Miro about the difficulties of investing money, he explained how he had invested smart, personalized stock portfolios for friends and family for years. Wouldn’t this be a model to address the finance part of the problem? We started looking into this. How could we bring Miro’s approach to a large number of people? How could we build this into a self-sustaining business? We were amazed by the idea and its potential! Only 2 weeks later, Erik and I decided to to focus fulltime on the new idea. Later that day, a midnight epiphany made Erik suggest “InDeWe” as a name for the company (based on the German “Investiere in Deine Werte”). The next morning we decided that it sounded better in English: inyova – invest in your values. And off we went 🙂

#myroadtoinyova Erik

At inyova, we set out to bring human-centered investing to you. To make that happen, we are currently building a team of great individuals that are motivated to dive into the fast-paced startup life with us 🙂

To give you an idea of the amazing people that make up the inyova team, we started a series of posts about our team.


Hello folks, this is Erik on the keyboard 🙂 I’m one of the co-founders of inyova and have been with the Startup from minute one. I want to give you a quick idea of what brought me to inyova from five angles.

 

Here’s #myroadtoinyova:


SWITZERLAND
It’s funny where life takes you sometimes. I came to Zurich in 2010, originally to do my master’s degree at ETH Zurich. I would’ve never expected that I’d still be around 7 years later. I tried to leave two times to “explore the world”, but couldn’t find a match to Zurich – so I ended up back here. Mountains, friends, the mix of a big city and a village, cheese: all that kept me here.


SUSTAINABILITY
My master degree had set the direction: I studied Energy Science & Technology with a focus on renewable energy generation. I wrote my master thesis on solar power generation – supervised by my dear co-founder Tillmann 🙂 After my degree at ETH, I joined McKinsey & Company. However, I soon felt like I wasn’t working on projects I deeply cared about. After two years with them, I followed my passion: I left my employer in 2016 to combine my business knowledge with social responsibility. Saving the world, one step at a time!!


FREEDOM
There was another massive reason to leave McKinsey. While I enjoyed the skills and analytical thinking it taught me, I quickly noticed that the working environment in large corporations wasn’t right for me. This was probably the biggest learning from the two years there: I was drawn towards the thought of being free and starting my own thing. So I finally left the straight career path in early 2016 – and dove right into freedom.


ELEGANCE
One thing that I always liked throughout my journey was elegance of new solutions. As an engineer, I love when I look at the solution to a problem and see beauty in it (yes, that’s a nerd talking). After a year I came across the idea for inyova – and loved the innovation it brings. It makes so much sense to have enable people to directly invest in what they care about, without all the superfluous layers in banks that have built up over the centuries. There is no drawback for anybody – except for the existing structures in the financial sphere. Whoops 🙂


CONNECTING
And here’s the last point – and maybe the most important one for me. I have had some immersion into Eastern Philosophy and got fascinated. One of the cores of those teachings there is interconnectedness. I know how good it feels to feel connected to what you do. And then something as important as investing money is an abstract and painful process nowadays. This seems fundamentally wrong to me. We at inyova want to bring you closer to your money again – so that you feel connected with what you invest in. This might be the most important thing that keeps me going: the surprise of our customers when they realize they invest in a portfolio that really fits them. Like a tailor-made suit… that also makes you money.

#myroadtoinyova Lenka

At inyova, we set out to bring human-centered investing to you. To make that happen, we are currently building a team of great individuals that are motivated to dive into the fast-paced startup life with us 🙂

To give you an idea of the amazing people that make up the inyova team, we started a series of posts about our team.


Hey everyone! My name is Lenka and I joined inyova in July 2017 as a Frontend Developer. I am originally from Slovakia, I lived in Czech republic for 6 years and now I moved to Switzerland.

 

Here’s #myroadtoinyova:


BUYING A HORSE
My road to inyova started when I realized that I wanted to buy a horse. I did what every other human would do: I went to study Computer Science to earn the money for a dark-brown horse.


5-YEAR-OLD APPROACH
In university, I was lucky enough to become a member of a graphic studio. A few years later, I had the feeling that I didn’t have enough work to keep me awake at night. So I started coding websites. I began coding as any 5-year-old would: structured through tables. These crazy websites are actually still online for developers to take a look and laugh.


COFFEES COFFEES COFFEES
In parallel to my master studies, I worked for Red Hat and later for the start-up Sygic Travel.  I was working like a squirrel after 5 coffees. All of this happened while I finished my studies with a master thesis about security and usability. I have a feeling that no one ever will read those 100 pages, but you never know. People read Twilight, so fingers crossed.


A JOURNEY
While I was finishing my studies, my boyfriend suggested to move to Zurich. And studies+working+moving in parallel sounded like the best idea ever. Once in Zurich, it was a journey. I created a portfolio website. Then a CV. And found a sweet new job.


WIN
Who did I pick? inyova! And why? Well, I could tell you general boring stuff why someone picks a company. But as my crazy nature commands, here is the truth: I picked them because they were polite, curious, open, serious, funny, they listened and asked, they knew my name, they seemed prepared, they answered all my questions with honesty and defended their business idea with passion and sense. That made them unique. Now I only have to make inyova a massive success. So I can finally get that horse.

#myroadtoinyova Anna

At inyova, we set out to bring human-centered investing to you. To make that happen, we are currently building a team of great individuals that are motivated to dive into the fast-paced startup life with us 🙂

To give you an idea of the amazing people that make up the inyova team, we are starting a series of posts about our team. To kick off this series of #myroadtoinyova, our product development intern Anna will share her story today.

More of our team members will follow up over the next weeks. Stay tuned and enjoy 🙂


Hey everybody, this is Anna! I joined inyova for an internship and have been working on product development. In my job description it says that I am “successful if people love our investment strategies more and more each day”. So you get to decide how well I am doing 🙂 I am originally from Moscow, and are now working on my masters degree in St. Gallen and Rotterdam (when I am not interning at inyova).

Here’s #myroadtoinyova:


SKIING
When I was 13, I went skiing in the Swiss Alps with my family for the first time. One day, we went down to a picturesque city by the lake, Montreux. I fell in love with it and told my parents that I want to live in one of those Swiss cities some day. And now look at where I am – not in Montreux, but in beautiful Zurich instead!


CROSSROADS
In school, I was the kind of student who could never decide what to focus on, and which passion I should dedicate my efforts to. I liked both Math and Social Sciences a lot, so unable to make a decision, I had only one option: go in the field of Economics – and postpone the decision a few more years =)


PROBLEMS WITH AUTHORITIES
No, I am not a criminal, so no revelations here. Well, almost none anyway. Originally, my plan was to work for an investment bank. I had an offer signed and was just waiting for my visa. The bank was going to handle the visa process. When the day of my internship came, I received a phone call saying that the visa process is too troublesome for them to handle. They left me out dry, devastated and confused. But as a saying goes, you never lose – either you win, or you learn. What I learned here, is that it is important to me that the company I work for cares. Cares for its employees, for its clients, for the world, for the way it does business in general. Being one of the 5 current full-time team members at inyova, I sure feel like the everyone cares a lot about each other.


COOL FINTECH START-UP
During the interview process, Erik and Tillmann asked me, how I had heard about the job posting. inyova was not yet listed on Google (it still isn’t, since we are still operating on a by-invitation-only basis). They said that I could not just google “Cool fintech start-up internships”. But the truth was that it was exactly what I did and guess what? It worked! It somehow took me to website with job postings and I found the position at inyova.

Hello world, this is inyova!

So Ihr Lieben! Wir werden mittlerweile recht oft gefragt werden, wie es läuft – und tatsächlich gibt es eine Menge zu erzählen.

Daher voilà: der erste inyova-Blogpost! Mit einem kurzen Überblick zum Wichtigsten von Gründung Mitte März bis heute.

11.4.2017. Happy Birthday inyova (und Tillmann)! Und nein, der Kuchen ist natürlich NICHT selbstgebacken

 

Die letzten 4 Monate in vielen vielen Fragen:

Ende März sind wir mit unserer Idee losgerannt. Seitdem sind wir ner Menge Fragen auf den Grund gegangen. Hier mal eine Auswahl:

Wie wollen wir heissen? Wie designt man ein Logo? Wie evaluiert man die Nachhaltigkeit von Unternehmen “at scale”? Wie nehmen wir den Kampf mit Banken auf? Sollen wir unsere Community wirklich “Die Zeugen inyovas” nennen? Wer ist der Kunde überhaupt: eher Hipsterine oder werdender Hausmann? Wie ändert sich unser Cash Flow in 2019, wenn unsere Customer Acquisition Cost Reduction Rate über der Attrition liegt? Wie kreieren wir derbe geile “Aha-Momente” bei unseren Kunden? Wie garantieren wir solide geschnürte Portfolios? Was ist Growth Hacking? Wie minimieren wir FX Transaction Losses? IT insourcen oder outsourcen oder beides? Was will die Finanzaufsichtsbehörde von uns wissen? Was ist der Unterschied zwischen Rails und Laravel? Wie lange kann ich aufs Meditationsretreat in Interlaken? Treten wir als “grüne Investmentfirma” oder als “people-centered investment group” auf? AG oder GmbH? Krassomat, ich werde Vater! Mädchen oder Junge? Was ist der Unterschied zwischen User Experience und Design Thinking? Was ist eigentlich Buchhaltung und wo findet man jemanden, der Bücher hält? Ist Fasten mit Sonnenbrand gesund? An wen überweist man Lohnnebenkosten?

Für jede Lebenslage ein Post-It. Das ist das Motto beim Fragenbeantworten.

Manche der Fragen konnten wir inzwischen beantworten. Dabei habt IHR als unsere ersten Kunden uns extrem geholfen – denn Vieles, was wir machen wollen, probieren wir zuerst mit Euch aus. Wir haben inyova auf Basis eures Feedbacks aufgebaut. Viel von Eurer Leidenschaft und Euren Ideen steckt jetzt in inyova! Getestet haben wir dabei mit weit mehr als 100 Leuten – inklusive Euch, Menschen auf der Strasse, in Cafés, Freunden, Familie, Kollegen und unseren Haustieren.

Der Stiftdurchsatz beim Beantworten dieser Fragen ist nicht zu unterschätzen. Es wird an dieser Stelle nicht offengelegt, dass Tillmann sämtliche Stifte bei inyova in Rekordzeit zerkaut.

 

Wo stehen wir jetzt?

  • Webpage: Seit dieser Woche haben wir eine erste richtige Webpage (click) online (richtig heisst: Da haben Designer draufgeguckt, nicht nur Erik und Tillmann). Natürlich wird die in den kommenden Wochen weiter überarbeitet, aber sagt uns gerne schon, was Ihr denkt!
  • “Biz Development”: Inzwischen haben mehr als 20 Kunden ihr klares Interesse bekundet. YEY!!! Zusätzlich haben wir eine lange Liste an Leuten, die inyova ausprobieren wollen – und das ohne Marketingkosten! Danke an Euch für Euer Vertrauen und für’s Weitererzählen.
  • Team: Inzwischen sind wir zu acht. In Zahlen: 8. Neben den Gründern Christoph, Erik, Tillmann und Investmentspezialist M (tritt zur Zeit nicht nach aussen in Erscheinung) haben wir inzwischen mächtig Verstärkung. Anna, Hendrik, Lenka und Natalie entwickeln mit uns unsere Anlagestrategien und bauen unsere IT-Landschaft auf. Und ab August kommt mit Sergi Nummer 9 ins Team. inyova wächst und gedeiht in jeder Hinsicht!

    Anna, Tillmann, Erik und Lenka bei der Arbeit (N.B.: die zwei Gründer haben auch eigene Laptops)

 

Was kommt als nächstes?

Zwar haben wir eine ganze Reihe an Tools gebaut – aber vieles machen wir noch von Hand.

Daher liegt unser Limit momentan bei 2-3 neuen Kunden pro Woche. Es muss jetzt also schnellstmöglich die interaktive inyova-IT-Plattform her. Im Moment reden wir daher viel mit Investoren, um den Aufbau zu finanzieren. Dabei wird es weiter als Lean Startup gehen: auch die IT-Plattform wird von uns Schritt für Schritt aufgebaut und mit Kundenfeedback verfeinert werden. So sind wir weiter ein Speedboot und kein Tanker 🙂

Wie Ihr seht: Viele erste Male – und das war nun der erste Newsletter (und gleichzeitig der erste Eintrag in unserem neuen Blog).

Wie immer freuen wir uns sehr von Euch zu hören!

Schreibt uns einfach: tillmann@inyova.com oder erik@inyova.com

Und so oder so gilt: Die nächsten News werde nicht lange auf sich warten lassen!

 

Stay tuned!!

Tillmann & Erik