The following post is an interview with Mario Steinbuch – the managing director of the Founders Kite Club.
We’ve met in Tarifa and Cape Town in the past. Mario is doing an amazing job organizing events for founders and kitepros and I think what he’s doing could be very interesting for many of you. So I asked him for an interview to tell us more about the Founders Kite Club.
Mario, you’re managing the Founders Kite Club. Tell us a bit more about the concept?
The concept is pretty simple. In our opinion the single most important issue in a business relationship is trust. In order to trust somebody you will have to get to know the person on a deeper level than exchanging business cards. We created a strong and trustful network of entrepreneurs and investors through the medium of kitesurfing.
Sports have always created particularly strong bonds between people and even more when it’s an extreme sport like Kiteboarding. Let’s just say that people sharing a passion for entrepreneurship and kiteboarding don’t usually have a rough start…
So I have to be able to kite to join an event?
No. Except for Cape Town we gladly invite and encourage beginners to try out this amazing sport! For our advanced participants BEST Kiteboarding pro-riders like Ruben Lenten, Youri Zoon or Gisela Pulido help them to improve on their tricks in private clinics.
More importantly, the event is accessible per invite only. Entrepreneurs have to apply for an event on our website and we then get in touch with them.
Your slogan is “Business & Kiteboarding” and you’ve explained the kitesurfing – What’s the business part?
After dinner the structured business part is taking place. Pre-arranged keynotes are being held by participants or specific business topics are being discussed at the table.
Kitesurfing is a big part of it, too . You pump your kite, wait for wind, help others into their wetsuits, get kite started, crash in front of the others, get your board back from sb. who picked it up etc. This is exactly where trust is built.
In which destinations did you organize events so far?
So far we’ve been to
- Tarifa (Spain)
- El Gouna (Egypt)
- Cape Town (South Africa)
- Ulcinj (Montenegro)
- Soma Bay (Egypt)
We like to return to our favourites, but also looking forward to exploring new spots like Brazil at the end of this year.
What has been your favourite kite destination so far?
That’s a really tough question and I really can’t give one answer here.
In Egypt the conditions are nothing but perfect to get your kiting started. Flat water lagoons, no waves, steady wind starting at 7 in the morning with no gusts and water temperatures around 28° – so no wetsuit needed!
Cape Town on the other hand has a lot to offer for advanced kiters with its big waves and strong wind. On top of that the city and landscape are simply amazing with their vineyards, the Table Mountain and lovely people all around. Cape Town also has a vivid entrepreneurial scene we are closely connected to.
Tarifa is kind of our “homecoming” event. The mix of kite- and surf enthusiasts and the spanish way of life creates an incredibly special atmosphere. But I certainly don’t have to tell you…
You’re also working while travelling a lot. Can you share any productivity hacks with us?
At some point I realized that I sucked really bad at getting to-do’s off my chest in an appropriate manner. New tasks would pop in and I’d get to them right away, not having in mind that it might be smarter to put them aside first. What helped me most is a combination of an “urgent-important-matrix” and a segmentation into day and night work.
With this setting of priorities I know exactly what to do when and can adjust my free time accordingly.
What is it that you love most about your job?
Don’t get me started… If I had to pick one particular thing out of all this surreal job experience it would be our participants. I’m very fortunate to get to know so many successful people who are special in all kinds of ways. I don’t only learn a lot from these inspiring personalities, but also become friends with them over time. This is what the FKC does for all participants. You leave the events with new business friends who are ticking just like you in many ways.
When and where will upcoming events take place and how can we apply?
For this year we have two more events to come:
- Soma Bay, Egypt – 27. – 30.08.
- Cumbuco, Brazil – 29.10. – 01.11.
Right now we’re already preparing 5 events for 2016. If you’re a business-kiter already or want to give it a try we’re happy to receive your application and will get in touch soon after.
Thanks for the interview Mario!
Got questions about the Founders Kite Club? Leave your comment below!