Kaspar is the man behind Excelerate. Throughout his professional and personal life he saw there was a gap between students and companies. For that very reason, he established Excelerate – the online platform that connects students and companies through thesis collaborations.
Kaspar is the man and the mind behind Excelerate. He is both the founder and the CEO of Excelerate, and the reason why students and companies have a platform that can lead to value creation in so many ways. He takes care of all the work tasks, which are not related to marketing, nor IT developments. Meaning that amongst other things, Kaspar manages accounts, sales, strategy, and general development in Excelerate.
I’ve chatted a bit with Kaspar about his life experience and *drum roll* … passion! A topic Kaspar is eager to shed light upon, and the very reason why he started Excelerate. It also explains his big enthusiasm for herring. But that’s a whole different talk.
In order to start from the very beginning of Kaspar’s professional life, Kaspar started on a Business Academy degree in Multimedia Design at Zealand. A 20-year-old guy, interested in IT, design, and frontend development (Flash). He was part of the second year group enrolling at that program, so it was quite new.
Position in Excelerate:
Founder and CEO
2007: Business Academy Degree in Multimedia Design at Zealand, in Køge
2008: Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science at Anglia Ruskin University (by taking courses for 1 year as a continuation of the business academy degree)
2019: Master in IT Management at IT University of Copenhagen
While Kaspar, the mind behind Excelerate was working on his academy degree, he got a job as a flash developer. One who develops Adobe Flash websites, web applications, and desktop applications through animation and interaction. However, it came to his attention that Zealand had connections with English Universities, where he would be able to get a bachelor’s degree after one year of studies due to his finished academy degree. Thus, he studied Computer Science in London for one year.
As he got home from London he got a job at SkandiaWeb, a company that sold websites to other companies. Hence, he got to work with the more creative part of IT instead of general IT development – as when he worked as a flash developer. After some time one guy from SkandiaWeb started his own company, which Kaspar joined. Their paths also went different ways after some time. That took Kaspar in a different direction at Sociable ApS where he got to work as a project manager:
I really liked managing different projects, it took me to a lot of different places where I got hands on experience on all the different dynamics there are when leading a project.
After a couple of years at Sociable ApS, followed up with a year at Marvelous as a technical project manager Kaspar moved on to Pentia, also as a project manager. Pentia is a company that creates digital solutions for mostly the public sector. And Kaspar was hired out for Danske Spil where he worked in their innovations department. Among other things, his job was to mediate between Danske Spil’s IT department and various IT agencies in the creation of the new Oddset and Lotto mobile apps.
Realizing the Importance of Education
While being occupied with work throughout the years, Kaspar also took a lot of individual courses at the IT University of Copenhagen. The passion enthusiast took amongst other things individual courses on project management and methodology and scrum. Scrum is a type of framework for developing, delivering and sustaining complex products concerning software development. Thus, he could improve his professional profile with more theoretical tools and competencies he could use when applying for jobs:
In Denmark, It’s very important to have an education. I knew that if I took a lot of relevant courses within my field of interests, I could increase my job opportunities. It makes a great difference for a future employer if you can show official school papers on your competencies.
Besides Kaspar taking a lot of different individual courses at the IT University of Copenhagen and enjoying his time at Pentia, Kaspar’s ex-girlfriend, Mette, wanted to start a new chapter with him. A new chapter in London.
In London, Mette got the opportunity to study at London School of Economics, and Kaspar could explore new job opportunities in a foreign country. He reached out to the 5 biggest Sitecore agencies in London, which got him three job interviews. One of them being LAB, which was the most appealing place for Kaspar.
Kaspar worked as a Lead Digital Producer, which implied that he coordinated, supervised, and planned projects involving the creation of digital media. He got involved in a lot of different things at LAB and really made his mark there. 98% of all the things that LAB was engaging in were human-centered. So many activities concerned with how people think, which was a great inspirational source for Kaspar.
It was at this point in time that he knew for sure that he wanted to create something by himself. Something that was centered around projects and people. The mind behind Excelerate had previously been working on self-driven projects two times before, so he knew what it would take to build something up from scratch.
“I have always dreamt of setting up a business for myself and having the ability to say ‘this is something I have created’. It would be amazing to have this feeling of success in regards to something self build.”– Kaspar Hansen
The Personal Project
Kaspar’s thoughts and visions on what his own personal project should take shape as started as a fairly broad idea. He wanted to invent something that could affect and help as many people as possible – promptly.
So, as he got home from London in August 2019, and finished his job at LAB, he worked thoroughly on his idea. Moreover, in the summer of 2019 (and not 69, hehe), Kaspar also finished his master’s in IT Management at the IT University of Copenhagen. Wauw! He took so many individual courses from 2013 to 2019 that he thought he might as well take a full master’s degree. So he did.
During that summer, Kaspar was thinking out his idea and settled on, which kind of target group he believed he could make the greatest difference for. The answer is passionate students.
According to Kaspar, many students have not decided on what they specifically want to work with once they become graduates. Students might not have the biggest network yet either, and they are more adjustable in comparison to other groups of people. Kaspar thought that if he could invent something that could help and impact as many passionate students as possible, he could really make a difference.
Kaspar conducted a lot of research on his how own, interviewing more than 100 students and 20 companies and reading lots of reports on graduates, the labor market, companies, recruitment, and all that jazz. You can read all about that in the “Passion is Behind Excelerate” post.
With the vast amount of research that Kaspar conducted, including his experiences over the years, Kaspar founded Excelerate on the 1st of July 2020. But the initial work started in August 2019. The online platform that connects students and companies through thesis collaboration. It was not launched until October 2020, since Kaspar needed to do a lot of preparatory work and actually build up the website before it could be launched and go public. But here we are.
This is the simplified version of Kaspar’s professional story and his thoughts and work behind Excelerate. He enjoys what he does and he hopes that he can aspire and help people to feel the same.
Besides having a huge interest in people and projects, Kaspar also has a passion for fishing. It could be on Kattegat for mackerel and catfish. Øresund for cod and herring or the more delicate salmon and sea trout fishing. Kaspar marinates his own herring as well. Especially the port marinated herring is held in high regard. Sounds kinda fishy.
Get to know Kaspar a little better:
Describe yourself in 3 words: “Thoughtful, honest and ‘always be learning mindset.’”
Fun fact: “I’ve a rather vast collection of Nintendo 8-bit games – and am a little too proud of it.”
3 things to bring on a deserted island: “Mette (my girlfriend), my phone, and solar charger.”
Favorite dish: “There are so many good dishes. Something with fish – grilled. And I do love the Indian kitchen.”
The most used app or website during a day: “Shift – an app where you can gather all your apps, emails, SoMe etc.”
Role model: “I have three; Elon Musk, Arnold Schwartzenegger, and Ayrton Senna (Formula 1 driver).”