Mostly Awesome is a podcast about the personal journeys of innovators. We talk to the doers and thinkers of our time to understand what motivates them and why they do what they do. Together we reflect upon their decisions, wins, and setbacks. Meet our inspiring yet relatable guests from the world of entrepreneurship and technology to find out what may help you to become an innovator of tomorrow!
Get ready for bi-weekly episodes on Wednesdays. We are looking forward to our guests and your feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mostly Awesome is brought to you by the Center for Digital Technology and Management (CDTM) in Munich. For more information, check www.cdtm.de/podcast.
And now lean back, listen in, and learn from the thought leaders of our time!
#17 Daniel Besendorfer: Creating a mutual dialogue between business and technology
Daniel Besendorfer is the CEO of Allianz Technology, the IT service provider of the Allianz Group. He studied economics in Freiburg and Boston and holds a Ph.D. from the University of Freiburg. He started his career as an executive assistant in the German life insurance division of Allianz. Daniel quickly took on leadership responsibilities and progressed through many different positions at Allianz for almost 17 years before taking on his role as Chief Executive Officer of Allianz Technology earlier this year.
2:40 Daniel’s role as CEO of Allianz Technology:
Daniel tells us how he got into this position and what it means to set the right guardrails as CEO of a large corporate.
24:33 Working at Allianz:
Daniel speaks about Allianz’s corporate values and how Allianz understands its social and environmental responsibilities. He also shares what Allianz is doing to bring women into leadership.
35:39 Innovation in the corporate world:
Daniel talks about how innovation is driven at Allianz and why an entrepreneurial mindset is necessary also in the corporate context. He also shares how decisions regarding the adaption of new technologies are made at Allianz Technology.
#16 Alev Canoglu: Promoting equal opportunities
Alev Canoglu is the founder of the Munich-based non-profit organisation Female Tech Leaders, which aims to empower women in STEM and leadership positions and mentor tech-savvy girls. After graduating and working in the documentary film industry, Alev decided to change fields and studied computer science at LMU and TUM. Alev has previously led product initiatives at Siemens, Microsoft and Autoscout.
2:25 Alev's career path:
In the beginning, Alev tells us why she moved from the arts to the tech industry. She shares the challenges she faced and talks about the differences between these two fields. Alev also tells us why and how she founded Female Tech Leaders and what projects she is pursuing with it.
22:44 Women in the tech industry:
Alev shares her opinion on the status quo and speaks about what she thinks needs to be done next to achieve equal opportunities. Alev also tells us what she would advise every girl who wants to start a career in the tech industry.
#15 Folkert Behrends: Balancing performance and recovery
Folkert Behrends is a triathlete and professional coach. After an accident in 2008, doctors told him he might never be able to walk again. But 15 months later, Folkert successfully competed in the Iron Man triathlon and became world champion in his age group. Building on this experience, he is now active as a speaker and as a coach for individuals, teams, and companies. In this role, he shares his insights on taking risks, believing in yourself, and striving for more, but also on patience and taking breaks.
2:17 Folkert’s thoughts on ambition:
In the beginning, Folkert tells us how he keeps the discipline to do triathlons and why he thinks time off and relaxation are important. He also talks about what ambition can look like for different people and the differences between ambitious or striving and status quo.
32:38 Turning adversity into opportunity:
Folkert shares how he turned adversity into opportunity in his personal story and what he learned from this experience.
#14 Saskia Bruysten on social businesses – using economic thinking to generate social impact
Saskia Bruysten is co-founder and CEO of Yunus Social Business. After studying economics at EBS and LSE, Saskia started her career at Boston Consulting Group. After a crucial meeting with Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Prof. Muhammad Yunus, she decided to go into social business, and they eventually co-founded Yunus Social Business. Saskia is also an active member of the UN Commission's Expert Group on Social Business, as well as a lecturer at events including the World Economic Forum and the Clinton Global Initiative. In 2020, she co-initiated the COVID Alliance for Social Entrepreneurs with the World Economic Forum.
3:02 Saskia's career path from consulting to social business:
In the beginning, Saskia describes how a typical day looks like for her. She also tells us how she decided what career to pursue after her time in consulting.
13:29 Saskia's experiences in social businesses
Saskia explains how to target a client group that doesn't have a lot of money. She also shares how YSB decides which companies to invest in and how they measure the social and environmental impact.
#13 Hana Milanov: A career in academia - a different perspective on entrepreneurship
Hana Milanov is a Professor of International Entrepreneurship at the Technical University of Munich and an active board member and mentor at CDTM. Hana studied management in Croatia, earned her Ph.D. in Entrepreneurship and Strategy in the U.S. and worked as a professor at IE Business School in Spain for 5 years.
3:07 Hana’s career in academia:
In the beginning, Hana explains why she decided to do research and teach instead of being an entrepreneur. She also shares her initial challenges as an academic and how she stays motivated to keep researching.
17:10 Teaching and mentoring:
Hana tells us about the first question she always asks her classes, why she doesn't give advice to her mentees and what she has learned from them. She also talks about particular challenges that women entrepreneurs are facing.
35:34 Hana’s international experiences:
Hana shares her international experiences from Croatia, Spain, the U.S. and Germany and how the different cultures have shaped her.
#12 Jakob Assmann: Why we need more entrepreneurs to avoid a climate crisis
Jakob is the founder of Greengas Concepts and Polarstern Energie, which are pioneers in developing sustainable energy and heating solutions. He is also the co-owner and managing director of Impact Hub Munich, which supports sustainable entrepreneurship and innovation. Before entering entrepreneurship, Jakob studied business administration and earned his Ph.D. at LMU Munich.
2:19 Jakob's career path:
Jakob tells us about his journey to earn a Ph.D. and how this gave him time to reflect and figure out what he really wanted in life. He also shares his experience as a founder of two sustainable startups and explains his perspective on measuring impact.
26:52 Jakob's opinions about the future and entrepreneurship:
Jakob shares his rather critical thoughts about the future and the climate crises and tells us why he thinks you should become an entrepreneur.
Inspiring guests and interesting topics
I rarely stick to a podcast, but this one has captured my attention.
It’s great to listen to the guests and get inspiration from their career paths and learnings. Favorite episodes so far are the ones with Dan Ram and Hana Milanov!
Open and personal
I really love the open and personal atmosphere and fresh perspective on innovation and entrepreneurship - looking forward to many episodes to come! 🚀