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Uppersky Podcast

Uppersky Podcast

By Uppersky
Talking with entrepreneurs, investors, and managers running impact-driven organizations. The main areas our guests are working on are digital innovation, social businesses, food tech, impact investment, deep tech, edu tech and clean energies. We strive to ask the right questions and discover practical insights from our guests so you can apply them in your business and life right after each episode.
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Episode # 12: Talk with Shawn Drost - CEO & Co-Founder @ Phoenix Hydrogen

Uppersky Podcast

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Episode # 21: Talk with Eleanor Manley - Co-Founder & CTO @ Metta Space
Eleanor Manley is the co-founder & CTO of Metta Space. She is building tech for gender equality and better workplaces. In this podcast episode, Eleanor tells us about her role as CTO and her transition to the role of CSO, what steps they have followed to build their digital product, informs us about the impact of harassment in the workspace, and how they are working to reduce this issue. If you would like to know more about Metta Space, you can visit their website: https://www.metta-space.com/ - Feel free to follow Eleanor on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/eleanormanley/ --- To know more about Uppersky - you can follow us via Instagram or LinkedIn.
58:42
September 27, 2022
Episode # 20: Talk with Andrew Gray - Investment Manager @ Tilia Impact Ventures
Andrew Gray is an Investment Manager at Tilia Impact Ventures. He supports founders in the CEE region to develop scalable solutions to solve social and environmental problems. In this podcast episode, Andrew tells us about his role as an investment manager in an impact-focused VC firm, what's Tilia Impact Ventures, its portfolio, and vision, get to know about the mindset of VC investors, his advice for early-stage startup founders to raise funds, and recommendations to improve the chances to get product-market fit. If you would like to know more about Tilia, you can visit their website: https://tilia.vc/ Some of the resources shared by Andrew during the conversation are over here: Social Impact Award ClimAccelerator Future of Food Prusa Lab Accelerator 321 dilna Ashoka Visionary Program SDGs Awards New Foundations Podcast Stuff You Should Know Podcast - Feel free to follow Andrew on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/andy-m-gray/ --- To know more about Uppersky - you can follow us via Instagram or LinkedIn.
01:04:44
August 31, 2022
Episode # 19: Talk with Andrea Monti - Managing Director @ Founder Institute - Impact and Sustainability Chapter
Andrea Monti is the managing director of Founder Institute - Impact & Sustainability Chapter. Andrea has led several acceleration programs (like Hatch CoLab in Geneva, Switzerland) and helped different impact-driven startups to scale up. In this podcast episode, Andrea tells us how he arrived to work with impact & sustainability-focused startups, what's the Founder Institute and its program for impact-driven companies, which are his advice for early-stage startup founders while building their ideas, and what are his recommendations for work-life balance. - If you would like to join to the Founder Institute Impact and Sustainability program you can apply over here: https://fi.co/apply/impact - Feel free to follow Andrea on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/montiandrea/ --- To know more about Uppersky - you can follow us via Instagram or LinkedIn.
56:30
August 18, 2022
Episode # 18: Talk with Will Dzama - Entrepreneur, Senior Product Manager
Will Dzama is an entrepreneur and CPO of Encubate. Will loves to build digital products and has worked on different early-stage startups, software development studios, and scale-ups. In this podcast episode, Will tells us his story of working as a product manager in different companies, what recommendations and processes to follow while building a tech startup, how to validate ideas with users, and what skills are necessary for the role of product management. - Feel free to follow Will on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/viliamdzama/ --- To know more about Uppersky - you can follow us via Instagram or LinkedIn.
01:23:21
August 10, 2022
Episode # 17: Talk with Sven Trautner - Senior Innovation Manager @ Munich Re
Sven Trautner is a Senior Innovation Manager of Munich Re. Sven loves to work towards innovation in the insurance industry with a framework called Business Building. At Munich Re, with their Business Building practice, they strengthen their partners’ value proposition combining their industry expertise, technology and capacity with the shared goal of building the insurance of tomorrow. In this podcast episode, Sven tells us his story working as an innovation manager, what is the Munich Re process in the Business Building practice, what are the challenges faced by the insurance industry during these times, what are the skills needed to work as an innovation manager and what resources he uses to keep learning about innovation and the insurance industry. Some of the resources shared by Sven are: The Reinsurance Podcast Exponential View Podcast Business Building by Munich Re - Feel free to follow Sven on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sven-trautner-ab0286125/ - Get to know more about Munich Re over here: https://www.munichre.com/en.html --- To know more about Uppersky - you can follow us via Instagram or LinkedIn.
01:02:40
July 22, 2022
Episode # 16: Talk with Tanja Koch - Co-Founder & CCO @ Amplo
Tanja Koch is the Co-Founder and Chief Customer Officer of Amplo. Tanja is a mechanical engineer building bridges between product, R&D, and B2B customer success. She is dedicated to B2B growth by triggering human emotions, keeping high standards, and educating customers. With Amplo, Tanja and her team are working to make maintenance smart with a digital solution and leveraging AI. In this podcast episode, Tanja tells us the story of Amplo, what is their process of building the software, how they are working to find product-market fit in different markets, what are her responsibilities & advice as a Chief Customer Officer, how to keep her motivation while building her tech startup, and different tips to raise funds from angel investors and VCs. - Feel free to follow Tanja on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/tanjankoch/ - Get to know more about Amplo over here: https://amplo.ch/ --- To know more about Uppersky - you can follow us via Instagram or LinkedIn.
54:56
July 08, 2022
Episode # 15: Talk with Renate Andersen Straume - Founder & CEO @ Varig
Renate Andersen Straume is the founder and CEO of Varig. She has studied property development and facilities management and currently focused on bringing technology as a key enabler for sustainability within the use and ownership of buildings. With Varig, they are making sustainability reporting easy for commercial real estate. During our conversation, we got the chance to talk about Renate's process to define the scope of the minimum viable product, her story finding investors, how to make the right questions to the software users / customers, her vision for the software & real estate sustainability, and resources / places to follow if you are planning to start a tech company in Norway. - Feel free to follow Renate on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/renateandersen/ - Get to know more about Varig over here: https://varig.tech/ --- To know more about Uppersky - you can follow us via Instagram or LinkedIn.
01:01:02
June 30, 2022
Episode # 14: Talk with Hermann Arnold - Co-Founder @ 42hacks, serial entrepreneur, investor and democracy reformer
Hermann Arnold is a serial entrepreneur, investor, and democracy reformer. He is currently working on 42Hacks - closing the gap between climate promises and protests with actions. Also, Hermann has invested in more than 30 startups in different industries. During this podcast episode, we're talking about Hermann's journey as an entrepreneur & investor, how 42Hacks is helping to implement actions to reduce the climate crisis, what are the changes he is working towards improving democracy, what is his process and recommendations to invest in startups and the resources & books he follows for aspiring entrepreneurs and investors. - Feel free to follow Hermann on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/hermannarnold/ - Get to know more about 42Hacks over here: https://www.42hacks.com/ --- To know more about Uppersky - you can follow us via Instagram or LinkedIn.
59:57
June 16, 2022
Episode # 13: Talk with Pavla Lokajova - Senior Copywriter & Storyteller
Pavla Lokajova is a senior copywriter & storyteller helping businesses to use storytelling to engage with their customers. She has interviewed more than 500 CEOs and written about their stories. Currently, she provides copywriting services to eCommerce, FoodTech, and FemTech companies. She loves to create long-format content like blog posts, case studies, whitepapers, and e-books to tell honest, unplugged stories of businesses, their industry, their teams, and customers. During this podcast episode, we're talking about Pavla's approach to writing stories, the resources & books she follows, why companies must invest in content marketing and storytelling, what's the process companies need to follow to engage better with their customers, and some examples of good approach towards copywriting. Some of the resources and links shared by Pavla are: Books On Writing by Stephen King   Living to Tell the Tale (Vivir para contarla) by Gabriel Garcia Marquez Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert Hero's Journey by Joseph Campbell 12 Archetypes by Carol S Pearson Heroines's Journey by Maureen Murdock Do/Story by Bobette Buster  Newsletters Irene Caselli (journalist)  Sarah Peck (writer, entrepreneur)  Dave Ursillo (writer, coach)  TED Talks Your creative genius by Elizabeth Gilbert The Danger of a Single Story by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie Feel free to follow Pavla on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/pavlaloka/ --- To know more about Uppersky - you can follow us via Instagram or LinkedIn.
01:01:30
June 03, 2022
Episode # 12: Talk with Shawn Drost - CEO & Co-Founder @ Phoenix Hydrogen
Shawn Drost is the CEO & co-founder of Phoenix Hydrogen based in Berkeley, California, USA. He has previously co-founded and led a company training software engineers called Hack Reactor (https://www.hackreactor.com/) and has an exit of this company with Galvanize (https://www.galvanize.com/). After selling his startup, Shawn decided to embark on a journey to learn more about climate change and look for potential improvements he could build. He gained significant knowledge about clean hydrogen and then kickstarted Phoenix Hydrogen. With Phoenix Hydrogen, Shawn and his team are building the first marketplace of clean hydrogen combining his software development skills with the expertise of his co-founder on hydrogen. They have participated in one of the batches of Y Combinator and managed to raise their seed capital during the previous months. During this podcast episode, we are talking about Shawn's way to learn about climate change and clean energy, the resources & companies he follows, what is green hydrogen, his vision of the use of hydrogen in the upcoming years, advice to aspiring entrepreneurs on finding co-founders, how he has approached fundraising for the company, and what's the process to build his marketplace. Some of the resources and links shared by Shawn are: https://www.terra.do https://elementalexcelerator.com https://climatebase.org https://www.mcjcollective.com/media/podcast https://xenetwork.org/ets/ - Feel free to follow Shawn on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/shawndrost/ - To know more about Phoenix Hydrogen, you can visit their website at https://www.phoenixhydrogen.com/ --- To know more about Uppersky - you can follow us via Instagram or LinkedIn.
51:44
May 12, 2022
Episode # 11: Talk with Øyvind Vesterdal - Co-Founder & CEO @ Norsk Solar
Øyvind Vesterdal is the Co-Founder & CEO of Norsk Solar based in Stavanger, Norway. He has been working in the renewable energy sector for more than six years. With Norsk Solar, Øyvind and his team are developing, investing, building, and operating solar power PV plants in emerging markets (LATAM, Africa, and Asia), with a special focus on commercial and industrial clients. The company has an installation track record of 60 MW. They are aiming to have 2 GW in operation or under construction by 2025. During this podcast episode, we are talking about his starting point to work in the solar energy industry, advice for people to find ideas and execute them in profitable businesses, how does it work the Norsk Solar business model, the thinking behind and process of listing their company on the Euronext Growth Oslo stock exchange, and the resources he uses to keep updated in a constantly changing world. - Feel free to follow Øyvind on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/oyvind-laugen-vesterdal/ - To know more about Norsk Solar, you can visit their website at https://norsksolar.com/ --- To know more about Uppersky - you can follow us via Instagram or LinkedIn.
52:30
April 26, 2022
Episode # 10: Talk with Silvan Krähenbühl - Entrepreneur, Swisspreneur Podcast Host, Enterprise Account Director at Rentouch
Silvan Krähenbühl is an entrepreneur and podcast host based in Zürich, Switzerland. He loves to put ideas into action with great teams and hit goals he didn’t think were possible. Currently, he is the host of the podcast Swisspreneur (Switzerland's # 1 podcast for entrepreneurs) and Enterprise Account Director at Rentouch. During this episode, we are talking about his experience building GymHopper and exiting this startup, how his gym routine has helped in the entrepreneurship path, how Silvan arrives to work as an ecosystem builder in Swisspreneur, key lessons learned from all the interviewees of the podcast, his passion for B2B sales and insights about it. - Some of the resources mentioned during the conversation are: Swisspreneur Podcast (https://www.swisspreneur.org/podcast) Swisspreneur Syndicate (https://www.swisspreneur.org/syndicate) Swisspreneur Coaching (https://www.swisspreneur.org/coaching) Swisspreneur Events (https://www.swisspreneur.org/events) Blue Lion Accelerator (https://bluelion.ch/) Swiss Startup Mafia Map (https://www.swisspreneur.org/swiss-startup-mafia-map) - If you want to read really interesting articles written by Silvan, check out: https://www.silvankraehenbuehl.com/things-i-write - Feel free to follow Silvan on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/silvankraehenbuehl/ - To know more about Swisspreneur & Rentouch, you can visit their website at https://www.swisspreneur.org/ and https://rentouch.ch/ --- To know more about Uppersky - you can follow us via Instagram or LinkedIn.
47:40
April 08, 2022
Episode # 9: Talk with Vaclav Gregor - CEO & Partner @ Soulmates Ventures
Vaclav Gregor is the CEO & Partner of Soulmates Ventures. His mission is to accelerate bold entrepreneurs building a more sustainable future. Since 2020, the fund has been investing in a portfolio of companies addressing the most urgent and pressing environmental challenges. Some of the portfolio startups are Tesla Medical, Precismo, Perfect-Air, edlab, and sensetio. During this episode, we are talking about the beginnings of Soulmates Ventures, how Vaclav arrives to work on this mission to accelerate purpose-driven companies, what are his recommendations to aspiring founders while creating their business, what is their criteria to invest in companies, how to approach hiring senior talent for your startup, and what is his next move with Soulmates. - If you want to read really interesting articles, check out the Soulmates Ventures Journal: https://www.soulmatesventures.com/journal/ - Feel free to follow Vaclav on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/vaclavgregor/ - To know more about Soulmates Ventures, you can visit their website at http://www.soulmatesventures.com/. --- To know more about Uppersky - you can follow us via Instagram or LinkedIn.
53:48
March 14, 2022
Episode # 8: Talk with Charlotte Melkert - Co-Founder & CEO @ Equalture
Charlotte Melkert is the Co-Founder & CEO of Equalture. She is on the journey to disrupt the HR market with a digital tool shaping the world of unbiased hiring. Since 2018, Charlotte has started this company with her twin sister, Fleur Melkert, and they are currently a team of 37 people with their main headquarter in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. Equalture is an HR software that helps SMBs collect unbiased insights on the skills and behaviors of both their team and candidates to hire the best-fits without bias, by using a gamified approach. During this episode, we are talking about the beginnings of Equalture, how Charlotte arrives to work on this mission to fix the hiring process, what are her recommendations to aspiring founders while creating their tech startups, what has been their process to build the product, and what's the future of hiring. Also, if you are planning to build a digital product soon, Charlotte recommends checking out this book: Hooked - How to Build Habit-Forming Products by Nir Eyal (https://www.nirandfar.com/hooked/). - Feel free to follow Charlotte Melkert on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/charlotte-melkert-07987b81/. - To know more about Equalture, you can visit their website at https://www.equalture.com. --- To know more about Uppersky - you can follow us via Instagram or LinkedIn.
51:57
March 07, 2022
Episode # 7: Talk with Sasha Lipman - Founder @ tech2impact
Sasha Lipman is the founder of tech2impact. She is currently leading a team of 20+ people on a mission to support impact tech founders in scaling and fundraising. tech2impact is a global digital hub for impact tech, supporting founders with needed resources and opportunities, and providing tailored guidance on corporate impact innovation. The heart of their ecosystem are founders, who build solutions to real global problems, using technology or science with a business model in place. During the episode, we are talking about the story of tech2impact, what are the main challenges which startups are dealing with, the status of the impact-driven companies funding in Europe, how Sasha manages her time as the CEO of tech2impact, and valuable resources that she keeps using to grow this venture. - Feel free to follow Sasha Lipman at her LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sashalipman/  - Also get to know more about tech2impact over here: https://www.linkedin.com/company/tech2impact/ --- To know more about Uppersky - you can follow us via Instagram or LinkedIn.
53:38
February 22, 2022
Episode # 6: Talk with Richard Gabor - CEO @ reWATT
Richard Gabor is the CEO at reWATT. He has been working in the Solar Energy sector for more than 4 years now with Solarity as a Chief Financial Officer and started reWATT in 2020. At reWATT, they are designing & implementing Solar Energy solutions for commercial entities to help with the reduction of CO2 emissions, reduction of electricity costs, and dependence on electricity supply. During this episode, we are talking about the story of reWATT and Solarity, what is the process to set up solar energy plants in factories, what’s the current status of the energy sector in the Czech Republic and Europe, how Richard managed his time to build this company, and other ventures, and which are the resources he uses to keep learning as an entrepreneur. - Feel free to follow Richard Gabor at his LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/richardgabor/  - Also to know more about reWATT over here: https://www.linkedin.com/company/rewattepc/ ---- To know more about Uppersky - you can follow us via Instagram or LinkedIn.
59:42
February 15, 2022
Episode # 5: Talk with Julia Devecchi - Founder & CEO @ naanu
Julia Devecchi is the founder & CEO of naanu. She is passionate about making plant-based products. In naanu, she is making cookies that are tasty and also can provide you with 100% of your daily needs of vitamins & minerals. During this podcast episode, we are talking about the story of naanu, what is the process she recommends to kickstart a company, what are the mentors/institutions to follow when starting a business, what’s the status of the FoodTech ecosystem in Switzerland and other countries, how did she create a team to move forward, and other important topics of her business journey. Feel free to follow Julia on her LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/julia-devecchi-mas and get to know more about naanu over here: https://www.linkedin.com/company/mynaanu/  ---- Some of the recommended resources by Julia in the podcast are: https://foodhack.global https://www.swissfoodresearch.ch/en https://swissfoodnutritionvalley.com https://helloalice.com https://zurich.impacthub.ch https://www.campus.co https://fi.co/s/zurich https://masschallenge.org/programs-switzerland http://momtestbook.com ---- To know more about Uppersky - you can follow us via Instagram or LinkedIn.
52:16
January 26, 2022
Episode # 4: Talk with Phil Newman - Founder @ First Longevity & Editor-in-chief @ Longevity Technology
Phil Newman is the founder of First Longevity and editor-in-chief of www.longevity.technology. He focuses on bringing together innovators and investors to commercialize the companies that will form the Longevity economy.  ---- During this podcast episode, we are talking about the story of founding First Longevity, what does it mean Longevity for him, what's the current state of the Longevity Ecosystem, what's the future of this sector, and his recommendations for aspiring founders to follow. Feel free to follow Phil on his LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/phil-newman-61544b/ ---- To know more about Uppersky - you can follow us via Instagram or LinkedIn.
51:10
January 18, 2022
Episode # 3: Talk with Linda Armbruster - Managing Partner @ Spark Works
Linda is the managing partner of Spark Works (https://www.sparkworks.ch/). She is an innovation consultant, service designer and lecturer with a background in strategic design, visual communication and art. Having worked in the field of arts and visual design, she realized that her passion and responsibility as a designer go beyond the sole creation of objects and appearances, towards generating innovative solutions with value for users, businesses and society as a whole. At Spark Works she builds and leads inspiring research programs with interdisciplinary teams to tackle complex innovation challenges and contribute insights and creative thinking to projects in the private and public sector. The company blends methods grounded in Design Thinking and apply them throughout the design process to inform and inspire insight-driven and human-centered opportunities. ---- During this podcast episode, we are talking about her story of founding Spark Works, how her company is helping companies to tackle complex innovation challenges, what's the Design Thinking process and her recommendations for aspiring founders to follow. ---- To know more about Uppersky - you can follow us via Instagram or LinkedIn.
56:37
November 30, 2021
Episode # 2: Talk with Michaela Thomas - Founder & Design Director @ Butterflies & Hurricanes
Michaela is the founder & design director of Butterflies & Hurricanes (https://www.butterflies-hurricanes.cz/) - it's a design studio based in Prague, Czech Republic - they are helping NGOs and SMEs be more sustainable in the design of brands and their packagings. Her company is involved in different activities and social media campaigns to make the world a better place in recycling and other issues. Also, she is offering her help to brands going from Marketing to Mattering. Feel free to listen to this episode, learn how is the process to design sustainable packaging, and join her movement. ---- To know more about Uppersky - you can follow us via Instagram or LinkedIn.
48:01
November 11, 2021
Episode # 1: Talk with Anna Weissensteiner - COO @ Startup Guide & Co-Founder @ WeBread
Anna is the COO of Startup Guide (https://www.startupguide.com). She is currently making sure the business operations are running smoothly. Anna has been working in Startup Guide for more than 3 years and she is going to tell us more about her story working at Startup Guide, the process behind, tips while running the business, the exciting mission they are up to and their future plans. Also if you love eating and baking bread, we talked about her family venture WeBread (https://www.we-bread.com/). WeBread promises beautiful bread that’s easy to bake at home and is made from all-natural ingredients sourced locally in the Nock Mountains, Austria. --- To know more about Uppersky - you can follow us via Instagram or LinkedIn.
49:04
October 26, 2021