Meet Jesper Kjeldsen Founder of Postevand
Which team and when did you graduate?
I was on Team 17 and I graduated in 2013.
What have you been working on since you graduated as a Kaospilot?
I was a bit different from the peers on my team, as I already had a job when I started the Enterprising Leadership Program and kept this job during and after I ended my studies. I was working as Head of Sales for a large company in Greenland.
It was pretty tough working full-time and studying full-time, especially the first year of my studies, as it meant I wasn’t the most social of people on my team. But during our team’s outpost in Bogota and onwards I made some amazing connections and became very close with people on my team.
Together with my teammate, Andreas Lemche, we started Postevand (EN: Tap Water) as our final project. The project was, and is still, about challenging the bottled water industry and minimising plastic consumption in society. The tap water in Denmark is very clean and drinkable, so this project is a great opportunity to make a real contribution to our environment.
A year after I graduated, I quit my well-paid job and focused on building Postevand up as a business and giving it a real chance. Not too long after working in Postevand, we landed some big contracts to supply our product in a Danish high-end supermarket chain, and hereafter some of Denmark’s largest companies.
Whilst working on building Postevand, I took my ambitions and interests within environment and became politically active within the Social Democratic Party. I started working behind the scenes with other politicians’ political campaigns. In parallel with this, I also helped launch a new concept for a co-working space in Aarhus called KAOSPILOT HIVE, which in 2015 won the prize as Idealist of the Year in the Danish Entrepreneurship space. It’s a prize endorsed and sponsored by the Danish Ministry of Industry, Business and Financial Affairs, Google and Visma. The intention was, and still is, to create the best work place, and co-working place, in Aarhus.
Fast forward a couple of years and I’m still working with Postevand and we’ve now got the music artist, MØ, and former CEO of LEGO, Søren Torp Laursen, as co-owners of Postevand. I’m also still running KAOSPILOT HIVE and working in politics – but now instead of being in the background of other politicians’ campaigns, I’ve now become a front figure as I got elected to Aarhus City Council. I can really see how my background as a Kaospilot is helping me move ideas and people forward.
In all of my work, I use the tools that I got whilst studying the program and I bring these into everything that I do.
What are the next steps for your business, Postevand?
The ambition is to plant as many trees as possible in Denmark as a means to protect our ground water. It’s all about leaving nature better than we found it. The 1st of November 2020, we will be planting 7000 trees in Billund Municipality, surrounding a groundwater drilling site. We are also looking at creating better ways of sorting garbage as well.
Postevand and my politics go hand-in-hand as my key issues surrounding environmental preservation are important not just in developing our product and business but also in defining what key issues to bring to the table in Aarhus City Council.
For me personally, it’s about protecting nature and our ground water.
What is your biggest source for inspiration right now?
I could recommend a lot of things that are my biggest source of inspiration right now.
I’m listening to a lot of Podcasts at the moment and I can highly recommend
“Hacks on Tap” and POLITICO’s “Nerdcast”.
Any advice for future Kaospilot graduates?
Don’t give up! Try not to become the consultant, who creates meaningless Power Point presentations. Stand by yourself and your Kaospilot background.
Be humble and dare to be vulnerable. The best leaders that I’ve ever met have also been the most humble and vulnerable ones, which make them more than just a leader. With vulnerable I mean being empathetic and dare stand by oneself.
Don’t be afraid of being stupid or asking stupid questions. Sometimes it’s the only way you’ll learn.
I ended up dropping out of my MBA program. If you think that a master’s degree gives you access to a special life and a special job, it doesn’t. The tools you get in the Enterprising Leadership Program give you the opportunity to create something meaningful from scratch!
Jesper Krogh Kjeldsen is the CEO and Co-Founder of Postevand, Candidate for Aarhus City Council, Entrepreneur, Aarhusianer, Greenland Expert, Process designer, project manager. Social Democrat – Campaign leader for MF Christian Rabjerg Madsen (S), Former Chairman of board at Aarhus Fremad Football Club. Former member of a Danish teen popband.