André Borschberg is a serial entrepreneur, environmentalist, and pilot fueled by a passion for doing what is deemed impossible. As CEO of Solar Impulse, Borschberg led the team that built and designed the first airplane able to fly for an unlimited duration thanks to renewable energies. He flew the airplanes alone for 5 consecutive days and nights over the Pacific Ocean. This world record reflects the common topics he speaks about like overcoming obstacles and turning them into opportunities and achievements.
Fuelled by a drive to push the boundaries of the possible in both technology and human endeavors, André Borschberg is an entrepreneur whose passion for exploration is matched only by his persistence to drive economic, environmental and spiritual growth.
Today, he is Co-founder and Chairman of H55, a spinoff from Solar Impulse, providing electric propulsion systems for aircrafts to enable the development of a clean and sustainable aviation
A leader in pioneering technologies, André enjoys sharing his experiences as a speaker and lending his point of view on topics ranging from ‘Making the Impossible, Possible’; ‘The Pivot Point from Explorer to Leader’; to ‘From Vision to Reality’; and, ‘Turning Obstacles into Opportunities’.
André contributes as a mentor and by driving initiatives as a member of the Young Presidents’ Organizations and speaks frequently at leadership forums such as the World Economic Forum. He also received a Doctor Honoris Causa from the University of Mons in Belgium and was decorated with the Wissam Al Alaoui distinction from the King of Morocco and the Swiss, British and French Governments’ Medal for Aeronautics.
A builder of companies at the edge of the known and the possible, André enjoys deep respect and loyalty from his teams for his strategic thinking and leadership. He’s valued for his ability to unite an enormous diversity of talent, personalities and expertise around a higher goal; for bringing out the full potential of all his collaborators; for his accountability, leadership and perspective in periods of high risk and misfortune; and for his investment in individuals to tap their deeper drives and achieve broader personal goals through the team’s shared mission.
While serving in the Air Force, André earned an engineering degree in mechanics and thermodynamics from EPFL, along with certificates in financial management and business management at HEC Lausanne. After earning a master’s degree in management from the Sloan School at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, he joined McKinsey, serving as a consultant for five years, before embarking on his own entrepreneurial activities. In addition to partnering in a venture capital firm for eight years, André successfully launched two start-ups, including Innovative Silicon, a technology company in the field of microprocessor memories.
Thanks to his wife Yasemin, André discovered yoga and meditation, which have been essential to his successes in exploration and entrepreneurship. These practices have helped him develop a state of being that aligns the mind with the body, and have played a critical role in his preparation for stressful and physically taxing situations, such as piloting Solar Impulse.
As he mentors students and coaches managers, André encourages them to think about the implications of their ideas on both an operational and higher level. Good ideas can benefit both business and humanity. André has pursued this approach through his philanthropic work in food assistance and AIDS treatment while providing the means required to enable educative and environmental actions for the most needy.
Married to Yasemin and father of three children, André Borschberg lives in Switzerland, in a house built with environmentally friendly technologies and materials.