Meet Nikolaj Køster
Please introduce yourself
My name is Nikolaj. I am Danish and live in San Francisco. My passion is mobility and how we can use technology to solve the significant challenges in our cities of car congestion, pollution, safety and give everyone access to green, ubiquitous mobility while claiming back our cities from cars!
Which team and when did you graduate?
Team 6 graduated in 2002
What have you been doing since you graduated as a Kaospilot?
Two chapters: In the first one, I did nine years in sales leadership and business development on the agency side of advertising and design. The second and current chapter has been ten years in mobility in technology companies; the first seven years as a co-founder of Drivr and Spiri based in Copenhagen and London. Our company was aqui-hired by Karhoo (owned by Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi), and I then relocated to New York to run their US operations. In Dec. 2020, I was recruited by the corporate travel tech platform Deem to head their new mobility efforts, and I am now based in San Francisco.
What is important for you in your job?
It is being able to focus on what I love doing: To shape the future of mobility. Next to that, it’s working with genuinely good humans who are skilled and passionate about what they do.
What major learnings would you point out from your experience that have shaped you as a leader?
Being ambitious, passionate, not settling, while still being humble and always thinking of how I can be helpful to people around me.
What is your biggest source for inspiration right now?
Haha, I know it’s going to sound cheesy, but my girlfriend Melanie is a big source of inspiration with her positive approach to life and completely different background than mine.
What would be an example of a learning or an experience from your time at Kaospilot that has been important to you?
I was very close to failing my final exam based on a project with LEGO in Billund. It was a pretty awful experience. I got in way over my head in the project and couldn’t navigate out of it. The lackluster result was caused by a gap in realism, planning, inability to ask for help, and being genuine about what I know and don’t know.
There are many career paths out there, and it can be easy to fall in love with hype, titles, and paychecks. It’s the purpose that makes me truly happy and motivated
What is a piece of advice that you would like to give future Kaospilot graduates?
Keep on trying to work with both purpose and people that you genuinely care about and believe in. There are many career paths out there, and it can be easy to fall in love with hype, titles, and paychecks. It’s the purpose that makes me truly happy and motivated.
Secondly, ask people for help and give help; I am astounded by the amount of time and knowledge people will give when you reach out and ask them, and equally, I try to find ways to help others. I love being part of that fabric of world community and karma.