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If you haven’t met him yet, allow me to introduce you to Thomas Tanner, a Swiss QiGong and e-commerce guru. In 2013, he moved to Prague, started his bachelor in Business Administration at AAU, and co-founded a website development company Tanner & Marth. A proper European cosmopolitan who travels by rail and bus to reduce his carbon footprint, he lives between Bern, Prague and Kraków running Tanner & Marth and sitting on the board of Hatimeria, an e-commerce company.
1. Tanner & Marth… What’s the story behind it?
While enjoying a beer to start off the weekend, my friend Levin and I decided to start selling websites. From the beginning, the idea was to provide reasonable solutions. We think that a lot of websites out there are either quite unprofessional or a huge overkill resulting in low cost-effectiveness. So, our clients are mainly small Swiss businesses and private persons who appreciate the golden mean.
2. Explain what your experiences have been like with Hatimeria?
Thanks to Martyna Wujas, a fellow student at AAU, I was introduced to her brother Michal Wujas, Co-Founder of Hatimeria, an e-commerce development company. After weighing all my job options, given that Tanner & Marth doesn’t occupy me 100%, I decided to join Hatimeria by opening a GmbH for them in Switzerland, as a means of expanding to the German-speaking markets. I’m also in the board of the main company in Poland, responsible for Business Development. It’s been an incredible journey so far, and I expect nothing less for the future.
3. What do you think the future of e-commerce is?
I think there will be a lot of headless single page application stores using specialized services over APIs, which make the creation of truly custom solutions possible; omnichannel will be the norm (using all available channels for customer interaction); Big Data and BI, as well as machine learning will help businesses to make calculated decisions; SaaS / PaaS solutions will decrease spending for website owners and enable service providers like Hatimeria to streamline their efforts; countless blockchain startups will pop up like mushrooms in fall; cryptocurrencies will be more widely accepted; and much more… It’s an incredibly fast-paced industry.
4. AAU in three words?
Colorful – Cozy – Potential
5. Most memorable class(es) or professors?
I almost feel bad mentioning one professor and not mentioning another one, I really enjoyed most of my professors so much. Nevertheless, I’d like to mention Professor Muir’s Corporate Finance class, especially the part before the break!
6. How do you think the school has evolved since you’ve known it?
I would say it got even more international, there are also more CEA students now, and more exchange programs available. It’s more organized, and PR and Marketing efforts increased.
7. Compare your academic experiences at AAU and your exchange in Florida?
Once I experienced the “up to 150 students per classroom environment” at Florida Atlantic University (FAU), so that’s how I started to appreciate the cozy atmosphere of AAU. By US comparison, FAU is a small university, and yet, it felt a bit like mass production. Besides, I get suspicious when professors obtain PhDs in Marketing or Entrepreneurship.
8. Your cultural impressions of Florida?
I had a great time in the Sunshine State. On day one at the gated community residence, I already met lots of friendly neighbors. I think we Europeans can learn a lot from the openness of US Americans. On the other hand, I felt like Europeans care more about sustainability in all aspects of life, and are a bit more conscious of the world in its entirety, as well as cultural differences.
9. What does Prague mean to you?
I see Prague as the gate between Western Europe and Central Europe, a perfect mixture of innovation and tradition, art and business, and I just really like the vibe of the city.
10. Other life passions or dreams?
I recently discovered meditation and the practice of QiGong. You could say that I’m in a pursuit of higher consciousness, but essentially, I’m just changing the way I look at things a bit, and I’d like to never stop learning.