Meet the Team: Our Mastermind, Oliver!
Name: Oliver Naegele
Career Path: LinkedIn
- lost his drum sticks four times in a row at his first concert
- wanted to name his dog “Bowie”, but couldn’t follow through because his three children were against it
- takes a selfie in front of a place name every time before leaving
Tomas Hahn: Hello, Oliver! You founded Blockchain HELIX in 2016. Since then, you engaged in the topic of Digital Identity. This topic is quite abstract. Can you tell us more about the idea behind Blockchain HELIX?
Oliver Naegele: The idea, which led to the formation of Blockchain HELIX, came with the latest technological improvement in the internet landscape. We’ve all been part of the internet for a long time and an essential part of our lives happens digitally. Unfortunately, the World Wide Web has made some bad headlines lately: data theft and data abuse, fake accounts, and identity theft afflict the digital world. As a consequence, insecurity and collective distrust flourished among internet users.
It was this unbearable situation in the beginning of 2015 that made me come up with the idea for our Digital Identity solution, helix id. I asked myself again and again: “Is it possible to create a safe digital world, which is defined by trust and values?” There should be a way to identify internet users distinctively, ensuring data privacy, in addition to being legally compliant. Furthermore, helix id was developed holistically, so that corporates, as well as individuals, benefit from it.
TH: That sounds like you have ambitious goals. What were the biggest challenges you’ve faced so far with Blockchain HELIX?
ON: First of all, we had to decide which technology would be suitable for
helix id. The turning point was when I read some articles by Vitalik Buterin, which helped me immensely to understand the impact of Smart Contracts. It became clear to me that blockchain technology was the missing piece for
helix id. Shortly after, I founded Blockchain HELIX. We developed the first version of helix id rather quickly but noticed at the same time that we were ahead of the times. The need for a secure and trustworthy Digital Identity solution was a given, but people didn’t have the necessary trust in blockchain technology. Nobody really dared to venture.
We were looking for ways to make the topic of blockchain and digital identities more accessible. That is why we began to organize Meetups in Frankfurt. Currently, our blockchain Frankfurt community totals more than 2000 members! In addition, I am the co-founder of the Bundesverband Blockchain and I frequently speak at international events.
TH: helix id is supposed to launch in the beginning of 2020. That’s a tight schedule. What is there left to do for a successful launch?
ON: Here, we have to look at the different levels, which are linked to a successful rollout. On the technical side, we focus on the further development of helix id’s features. Since our identity solution can be used both in the B2B as well as B2C market, the technical requirements differ. For corporates, we offer a fully integrable and easy to implement identity solution. For individuals, we offer the helix id-app for their everyday use.
We also have big plans for our marketing until the rollout. We are continuing our brand building. You can see first results on our microsite. Additionally, we are creating informative articles to help with our brand awareness. We’ve also strengthened our business development team. In general, we are expanding our team as well as our partnerships constantly. On that note, collaboration with strong partners plays a crucial role for us.
TH: How does your typical day look like? How do you prioritize your work as a CEO?
ON: Luckily, I never get bored as a founder (laughs). My workdays vary greatly: From strategy meetings and communicating with the team to calls for business opportunities and preparing for presentations at national and international events. At the moment, however, my number one priority is the technical development of helix id and the successful rollout in 2020. I am also very grateful to be part of such a strong team. Everyone knows what they’re doing and the most important thing of all: the vision of a fair and trustworthy digital world unites us.
TH: What do you do outside of work? Any hobbies?
ON: Normally, I do a lot of sports and play music to clear my head. Music plays a big role in my life in every conceivable way. I have played the drums for more than 35 years now, not in a band anymore but still very passionate. Playing the guitar and the piano gives me some variety. The intensity of being part of a band can be compared to a committed team in a startup!
To stay in shape, I play soccer, I go for runs and I also ride the bicycle at our local mountain, called Großer Feldberg. That’s how I keep my mind and body in harmony.
TH: Thanks for the nice chat, Oliver!
PS: If you want to go for a run with Oliver or have a conversation about Digital Identity, feel free to send us an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject “A meeting with Oliver”.
Also, check out this list of European blockchain experts by the Frankfurt School Blockchain Center, where Oliver can be found as well.
See you soon!
Your helix id team