Christina Kehl
President and Managing Director of Swiss Finance Startups, Switzerland

Q: How do you react to challenges/obstacles?

A: Relaxed and cheeky.

The most amazing journey, but also the toughest

I am an entrepreneur at heart, and my drive to succeed in business was clear at an early age. My parents served as great role models, encouraging my freedom and exploration of who I am and what I want to do. They had completely different backgrounds but always let me go my own way. I started my first company at the age of 19, selling it five years later.

Building your own business is the most amazing journey you can go on, but it’s also the toughest. Most women are expecting stability from a job, and this is definitely not something you get when you’re a founder. I didn’t have any idea how things would develop and couldn’t predict my company’s path – mostly because Knip was the one of the first companies in the FinTech industry at the time. You have to have the guts to accept that you might fail.

For anyone looking to become an entrepreneur, I recommend gaining initial experience in the startup field – perhaps by working for a startup incubator. Being a part of a startup meant that, for the first time in my life, I could meet people as crazy as I was who shared my way of thinking. This is what really helped my future as a founder.

Christina Kehl is a co-founder of Swiss Finance Startups, Switzerland’s first and biggest association of fintech startups and a co-founder of Knip, a digital insurance broker. She has a PhD in German and European Law from University of Würzburg. She previously worked as an Investment Scout at GMPVC German Media Pool GmbH. In 2013, together with her co-founder, Dennis Just, she decided to conquer the FinTech insurance industry. Two years later, Knip has 110 employees working in Switzerland, Germany and Serbia.

This article was published in ‘the Hundert Vol. 8 – Female Startup Founders Europe’, May 2016.