Marcel Harmann is the Founder and CEO of THORWallet DEX and a board member of the CVA (Crypto Valley Association). A seasoned entrepreneur with a deep background in academia, having previously co-founded the DEC Institute, which provides online certification for digital assets specialists backed by leading blockchain universities. Before joining THORWallet DEX, Marcel contributed to award-winning tech startups in various roles, from founder to early management member, and angel investor.
Tell us about your childhood and where you grew up?
I grew up in Zurich, Switzerland. Even after traveling quite a lot, it is still my favorite city. It’s an organized and well-ran city, and small enough to avoid the chaos of massive urban jungles. My favorite part of the city is its beautiful scenery, making any casual trip in or around the city feel special. Growing up in Switzerland is a privilege. You get accustomed to functional public systems, like high quality, accessible education, and excellent public transport. I feel very lucky to be from here. The school was a positive experience for me, I had the chance to try out many things. I played a lot of sports, including tennis, and football. Of course, the addictive thrill of skiing and snowboarding cannot go unmentioned! The most addictive of all has been working with software technology. I discovered my passion for computers around the age of 12 and feel as compelled as ever. Having later studied at the University of Zurich, I became interested in other countries and their customs. I traveled between Zurich and Sydney, Australia during my studies. I spent a lot of time in Sydney and learned how things are handled differently depending on where you are in the world. I began to understand my own freedom and developed an appreciation for the human right of self-determination. These are values I still cherish today and try to implement on a daily basis as the founder of decentralized finance (DeFi) company. Our vision is to deliver a fairer, more transparent, and open financial system.
How did you get started as an entrepreneur?
My father is self-employed, so I have the self-starter genes. My entrepreneurial journey started at a very young age, seizing an opportunity to sell Tamagotchis at an inflated price during the shortage of ‘97. Supply and demand! I started earning a respectable wage in high school when I was employed to take care of the computer facilities. Some other students and I made sure that the machines and network were maintained, which was really interesting for me. We had access to the entire facility and had a high degree of autonomy. I founded an IT and sports project management company called HRZ Projects GmbH (Ltd) with two friends of mine after completing my university studies.
What is one business lesson you would tell a startup founder?
You can work hard at something you don’t enjoy and fail, so don’t just work for a paycheck. Do something you love, something that is worth the struggle. There will be plenty of bumps along the way, but if you keep going everything will eventually work out.