Jan Reichelt's story
A True Expert and Zapnito Advisor. I was interviewed as a Zapnito advisor recently - here's my responses
Please tell us a little bit about yourself
My name is Jan Reichelt, and I’m the previous founder of Mendeley, which was acquired by Elsevier in 2013 in one of the most significant EdTech transactions in Europe. I stayed on for almost another four years to improve academic productivity and collaboration, and to run and grow Mendeley inside Elsevier to 5 million users and 200 staff.
How did you end up becoming a Zapnito advisor?
At some point, I was introduced to Charles and Jon, and they asked me to become an advisor, given that I had a few years experience as entrepreneur and business angel and an exit behind me.
Why is Zapnito necessary and important today?
What I found intriguing about Zapnito is that it allows a professional information company to better engage with its “network of experts”; usually a publisher for example has very limited capability to actually find out and engage with their audience, and help them share knowledge. Zapnito can be the platform to accomplish that.
What in your opinion/experience is the single-most important skill in running a successful start-up?
If you want to be successful as an entrepreneur, you need to have loads of positive can-do attitude. So many things can and will go wrong, you will go through quite a few challenges, and it’s a lot easier to overcome those if you take entrepreneurship as a lifestyle decision.
What is your main career goal for the next 5 years?
If I can, I would like to further help improve science, education, publishing, and information services; either through building a new start-up, or as business angel, or related activities. For example, why can’t we make scientific knowledge more easily accessible? We’ll see how that goes.
If you could change any company in the world, what would it be and why?
I would probably pick one of the big media companies that have very extremist reporting and are aiming to exploit the vulnerabilities of society only for monetary profit, not caring about the disastrous outcomes like hatred and division amongst people.
If you had £1 billion and had to invest it in only one of the following three, which would it be and why? 1. Virtual Reality 2. Artificial Intelligence 3. Renewable Energy
If I had 1 billion to invest, it would go mainly into renewable energy, but maybe I’d be able to save some of it to invest in education.
Please do contact me if you would like to learn more about Zapnito or even to get in touch about my work. Jan Reichelt