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Insights to Pioneers.Peak: An Intrapreneurial Journey with Daniel Rass

By August 2, 2023June 3rd, 2024No Comments
Daniel Rass at Pioneers.Peak 2022

Daniel Rass was one of the 32 intrapreneurs that joined the Pioneers.Peak Pre-Seed Program 2022 with his team from Porsche Holding Salzburg to work on a solution for customer loyalty in mobility services. We talked to him about his experience and learnings during the Pioneers.Peak journey.

Q: Hi Daniel! Can you please quickly introduce yourself?

Sure! I am Daniel Rass, and I work as the Head of International Procurement at Porsche Holding Salzburg, a leading international automotive retail company based in Austria. My role involved building up an international procurement network in a complex organisation and pioneering new ways. I am passionate about exploring new markets and shaping the business model for the future.

Q: What was your motivation to apply for Pioneers Peak?

My motivation stemmed from my interest in joining a network of people who are actively shaping new business models. Furthermore, I wanted to be part of a venture that explores web 3.0 opportunities and loyalty for PHS. The idea of improving current business, exploring the potential of new technologies and possibly finding new revenue streams sounded exciting to me.

Q: How did your idea get selected?

The selection process was part of a global PHS-internal idea pitching program coordinated by our strategy and innovation unit. There were three similar ideas connecting web 3.0 concepts with our core business model – one of them handed in by me. Florian Steiner, our head of strategy, was convinced about the potential around web 3.0 and loyalty. So we merged the three ideas into one team to enhance collaboration.

Q: How did you organise yourself as a venture building team?

Our team was super diverse, with members from various countries and with different backgrounds, from IT to sales to procurement, all contributing their distinct perspectives to our idea. Some of us knew each other before, which helped in the setup. However, the initial phase was challenging as we had to strike a balance between productive flow and necessary discussions. We learned that having a common understanding of the goals was essential to gain traction and set the right pace.

Full Focus: The PHS Team has been working with their international team on an idea that focuses on customer loyalty in the web 3.0 space

Q: What’s the idea you worked on in a nutshell?

Our team focused on exploring how to implement web 3.0 opportunities in our mobility-oriented business model increasing customer loyalty and attracting younger customer groups. We aimed to leverage blockchain technology and gamification elements and created new services that provide value to our customers. During our testing phase, we evaluated services such as drive-to-earn compensation models, rewarding car owners for sharing automotive data, and a blockchain-based trading platform for digital collectibles of cars.

Q: How did you benefit from the Pioneers.Peak venture building platform?

The structured innovation process provided by Pioneers.Peak was a game-changer for us. While we had some experience with design thinking, we never ran through a whole business and product validation process in such a structured way before. The guidance we received from Pioneers Mentors proved to be very valuable, and we also benefited greatly from the insights shared by market experts like Markus Lang from Speedinvest and Alice dal Fuoco from Postfinance. They were helping us to stay focused on what truly mattered and to evaluate the real problem we were solving. 

In-person collaboration during decisive moments fuels innovative processes. The on-site sprints in Vienna were key to our success.

Q: What were the developments and milestones you achieved?

Initially, we had to validate several hypotheses to understand the user problem better. For instance, we investigated whether users want to be rewarded for loyalty behaviour in mobility. This process helped us gain insights into customer expectations and pain points. We realised that loyalty was crucial, and by adopting web 3.0 concepts, we could refine and improve the existing customer journey.

Q: What do you think about having on-site sprints once per month in Vienna?

On-site sprints in Vienna were crucial for our success. While remote work has its merits, you need to put yourself out to work on the innovation topic and let in-person collaboration thrive during decisive moments. We also appreciated the physical interaction with other teams from OMV, Pioneers, and BOSCH at the co-working spaces in Vienna. Despite being in different industries, the cross-industry exchange provided valuable insights and fresh perspectives on each other’s challenges.

Daniel and Carola presenting their idea at the Pioneers.Peak Event

The most rewarding aspect of being an intrapreneur is witnessing the impact of our innovation. We initiated significant developments and contributed to one of our company's core applications.

Q: What is the status of your idea now? What did you achieve and what are your next steps?

At the end of the 4-month Pioneers.Peak pre-seed phase, we had a successful internal presentation in front of our management board where we showcased our customer validation and a digital prototype around customer loyalty. We are currently integrating our learnings and product development suggestions from our idea into an existing customer loyalty initiative at PHS. Overall, we initiated significant developments and contributed to the company’s core applications, which I am very proud of. 

Q: What did you learn along the journey?

One of the most important lessons I learned was to be brave and not dwell on why things may not work. Instead, I focused on finding solutions and being confident in our capable team. Our successful output with web 3.0 concepts and blockchain technology wouldn’t have been possible without this mindset.


Thank you for sharing your insights, Daniel!

Do you want to learn more about Pioneer.Peak and how you can join the next round?

Schedule a brief introductory call with our Innovation Manager Michael Obrist to learn more about Pioneers.Peak and the Pre-Seed Phase 2023. Simply send a quick email to

Foto von Micha Obrist rund

Michael Obrist
Innovation Manager

Michael Obrist

Michael Obrist

Innovation Manager