In Your Own Words – Bastian Külzer, Co-Founder at Kader

For Bastian Külzer, a strong network is key whether you are a student, part of the CBS Business Mentor Programme, or starting your own company in Berlin. He holds an MSc in Economics and Business Administration – Management of Innovation and Business Development from CBS and has worked for several start-ups within Artificial Intelligence.


Bastian Külzer

What were you like when you studied at CBS?

In 2016, I moved to Denmark to study MSc in Management of Innovation and Business Development at CBS. I pursued the 90/10 rule, which gave me plenty of time to travel to various countries with amazing people, whom I met in the programme.

During my time at CBS, I was a rather structured person; I download all my goals and information into many Excel spreadsheets and I am then curious in the process of trying to figure it out.

One primary goal during my studies was to grow my professional and private network. Being involved in a cross-boundary student network for innovation and strategy like NIMS, I tried different ways of co-leading the team to promote a strong and growing network. It was interesting to see the importance of creating a sense of belonging within the team.

In addition, with a team of three students, we represented CBS at the Warsaw Negotiation Competition. This challenged us in various negotiation scenarios against teams from China, the US, and France. Every team had a different negotiation style with pros and cons, ranging from a stance of unwilling to compromise to teams driven by pure harmony.


How did you get your first job after graduating from CBS?

For my first job, I moved to Berlin due to the large number of start-ups within Artificial Intelligence. I joined the Berlin Talent Conference, where I met Leverton, which is an AI-powered data extraction and contract analytics platform. I then started as Sales Executive at Leverton. The talent conference made it rather easy to find a job as the first interviews took place at the conference.


Which moments of your career have been defining – and why?

Switching from Sales Executive to co-founder. Working in several start-ups exposed me to great people to work with, and to kick-start a steep learning curve by adjusting and executing in fast-paced environments.

Yet, it is not comparable to building your own company. This feeling of responsibility and to be in charge of making your own decisions. You design and optimise your day yourself. This does not leave much spare time apart from working at your company. In addition, you also see the immediate impact of your actions.

There is a certain risk involved in founding Kader but the daily reward in terms of feeling energized and exited makes it worth it every day.


What is the most valuable experience you gained while at CBS that you still use in your daily work?

CBS does a great job in teaching reflective thinking about concepts and theories. In other words, being able to grasp the contexts of a management tool and reflect on and understand why and how it is used.

This way of thinking accompanies me daily in conceptualising and executing in various areas of building a company, let it be a strategy, product development, or marketing.

Equally important is that CBS promotes a great network. Having competent sparring partners I can trust is invaluable. It does help to move my company Kader forward.


Have you maintained a relation to CBS since graduating?

Yes, I was a mentor at the CBS Business Mentor Programme from 2018 to 2019. For this programme, I had the pleasure to have Ove Munch Ovesen, who supports the mentor programme as a senior advisor, as my advisor.

The page was last edited by: Alumni // 12/19/2019