Global Payments and the State of the Aviation Industry with Henrik Zillmer
“The entrepreneurial journey is always filled with detours, mistakes, and regrets.” It takes hard skin to power through, according to our guest. You need the ability to ideate the solution to a problem and then execute it flawlessly. Henrik Zillmer is the charismatic Co-Founder and Chairman at AirHelp, a lifelong entrepreneur, and a former First Lieutenant of the Danish Artillery. He’s also an alumnus of the Y Combinator accelerator and holds a Masters's from the prestigious Copenhagen Business School. Join us as we discuss: The problem-solving mindset every entrepreneur needs COVID’s continuing impact on the travel industry How his company became stronger, leaner, and more resilient Leveraging AirHelp’s global reach to deliver their successful new products To ensure that you never miss an episode of Payments Innovation, subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or here — and don’t forget to check out our YouTube! Until next time!
How I Got Here - Inside stories behind innovation and startups in travel
The AirHelp story is one that began in 2013 - the brainchild of its charismatic and energetic founder Henrik Zillmer.The service is actually very simple in scope: providing air passengers with the means to secure compensation from airlines when things go wrong.It has since grown to a team of 750 but the route along the way is a trademark one that illustrates just how far a startup has to go to gain recognition and forge partnerships.Like many startups in travel and transportation, AirHelp was born out of a frustration with how things are handled (or not) by existing players.Zillmer realized that to make a mark the company should take a few risks and deploy a series of unique and often hilarious marketing tactics.It worked. The company employs legal teams on over 30 countries and, in some cases, has fought to make the laws around compensation clearer and fairer for passengers.Zillmer's story around the creation and evolution of AirHelp is both fascinating and funny. He joins us for the latest of HIGH.HIGH is a weekly show produced by PhocusWire and Mozio, aimed at getting the inside stories behind startups and innovation in travel and transportation.Other episodes: on PhocusWire and Mozio.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
S1E1: Ayahuasca Inspires CEO Henrik Zillmer to Change His Approach To Leadership
The Entrepreneurs Awakening Podcast
An atheist’s first ayahuasca experience causes a spiritual awakening that liberates him and transforms his business. Through Y-Combinator he launched his most recent company, AirHelp, which during the first 4 years averaged 200% year over year growth. But there was a problem. Henrik Zillmer went from comedian to Lieutenant in the Danish army, Only to reach a dead end as a successful corporate executive. Following his call to adventure at 28, he left the corporate world behind and began his journey as a serial entrepreneur. Airhelp was a big success but the problem was that Henrik’s leadership style mirrored what he had learned in the military— To command, control and win at any cost. He relied on tough criticism as a way to motivate his employees which worked, up to a point. At around 250 employees, the collateral damage of Henrik’s anger and impatience was threatening the business. On top of that, though he was living his dream as a successful founder/CEO, he actually wasn’t happy. In this episode, you’ll learn how he applied his ayahuasca insights to transform his company culture and personal happiness in a matter of months. Let's dive in!