Innovation is hands-on: it’s a case of “roll-up your sleeves and get testing”! | University of St.Gallen MBA

Innovation is hands-on: it’s a case of “roll-up your sleeves and get testing”!

10 May 2022


An interview with Matthias Weissl, Course Lecturer

You want innovation? I give you Matthias Weissl. Matthias is the real deal. A thoroughbred entrepreneur with an instinctive sense of how to use technology to disrupt, with purpose.

Following a nine-year career as a professional basketball player in the US and UK, which included five years travelling the world with the Austrian men’s national team, Matthias made the brave decision to leave it all behind him, seeking, as he put it, “To innovate, transform, and be a bit more intellectually stimulated.”

And that’s exactly what he did. After studying a master’s in finance and accounting, and then working in corporate finance M&A and tech-focused strategy consulting, he became convinced that, “Traditional finance will decline as technology continues to take over this, and most other industries.” So, he co-founded Verum Capital, a “web3.0 venture studio & company builder” in Zurich, and, as CEO, has led over 70 international web3.0 blockchain projects since 2017.

I wanted to know what drives Matthias to succeed. He is fascinated by blockchain, decentralised finance, and its unmatched level of transparency – “It’s pure peer-to-peer play,” he enthused. But, as an entrepreneur, focused on designing, building, and investing in “bold and curious” businesses that set out to disrupt industries, he must often be exposed to failure. How does he deal with it?

“Failure hurts. It’s very simple,” came his response. “In basketball, we had times where we lost in double overtime on a last-second shot. That sucks. It’s really painful. But we’re here trying to do things differently, to make the world a better place. So, it’s about openly discussing failure, embracing it, engaging in positive reinforcement – pushing each other up – and focussing on what failure can teach you.”

Matthias insists that innovation does not have a common foundation. “Students will be exposed to what success and failure can feel like and, through this, develop their own unique approach to innovation,” he explained. “Innovation is hands-on. It’s a case of “roll up your sleeves and get testing!”

Matthias will be bringing his innovation experience into the 5th mega course in our new full-time MBA programme: “Innovate.” So, get ready to roll up those sleeves!