Startups / Thought Leaders June 05, 2020

Ignite Podcast – Episode 06 – Kasper Dam – CEO & Founder, Kandio – At Some Point, I Actually Thought I Could Walk on Water

Episode Summary

In this episode of the Ignite Podcast, Michael Waitze is joined by Kasper Dam, the founder and CEO of Kandio, a company that helps businesses recruit better tech employees. They discussed how Dam went from being a bartender to an entrepreneur, separating poor candidates from great candidates, and other sticky workplace dilemmas along the way. 

Breathing fire 

“At the time, I was a very simple student bartender at  my local bar, and I participated in a bartending competition and won.” It was through intense prep work, training and establishing his uniqueness in the crowd that granted him this victory – the man even breathed fire. 

Following that, Kasper got picked up by Diageo, the biggest spirits company in the world, who were eager to hire him to develop and execute concepts for their “Cocktail of the Month” project during Copenhagen Fashion Week in 2013. 

Although winning this bartending competition seemed quite simple, as a result of being in the right place at the right time, this moment allowed Kasper to hit the ground running in this entrepreneurial journey. It would not be long after this that Kasper established his own company. 

Failure is Not Fatal

But just like any journey, it wasn’t always smooth sailing. 

He told Michael about a time when one of his projects “failed miserably.” He recalled how he bounced back afterwards through gaining more experience on how to identify and capitalise on opportunities.

The two discussed how early success can be both a blessing and a curse as one may not be equipped to handle failures later on. 

From working in bars to setting the bar

Following that, Kasper explained the idea that got him to where he is now. “80% of the population think that they are in the top 20% of driving skills” said Kasper as he explained to Michael why he created Kandio. 

He said: “People really can’t judge themselves, and if you can’t judge yourself, how is a company supposed to?”

Which is why he created a method to help companies conduct an unbiased and professional assessment of any individual before hiring them. 

Companies will not only get a final assessment score from each individual candidate, but they are also given the distributed benchmark score of how they did, compared to other candidates, as well as the chances you will find a one that is better for that role. 

To learn more about Kasper Dam and his journey on becoming an entrepreneur for Kandio, listen to this episode of Ignite today.


Michael has been podcasting with some of the best investors and business builders globally and discussing all things startup with them from an Asian perspective.

Michael I. Waitze worked in Global Finance for more than 20 years, employed by firms like Citigroup, Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs, primarily in Tokyo.

Michael always maintained a particular focus on how technology could be used successfully to make businesses more efficient and to drive P/L growth.

After more than 20 years in Tokyo, Michael moved to Southeast Asia to get more involved in the Private Equity and Venture Capital business and invest his own capital.

Michael is quite skilled at connecting people and capital to innovative ideas and is a trusted advisor to both investors and founders. Michael has raised capital and advised some of the most famous startups in the region.

Michael is a leader in the digital media space, having pioneered the concept of a podcast network in Asia, while building the biggest and fastest growing listener base in the region. His flagship website,, has listeners in over 100 countries and is available on virtually every podcast player that supports RSS feeds.


Kasper Dam


As founder and CEO of Kandio, I help companies hiring better coders, engineers, and online marketers. Kandio will be the best $19 you ever spent if you're struggling with hiring great tech employees. I spend most days collaborating with the peak of tech authorities and publishing online assessment tests, and perfecting our HRtech platform. But entrepreneurship and HRtech didn't wasn't always (and is still not) a walk in the park. Throughout almost half my life, I've been engaged in my ventures and solved problems ranging from not having money for salaries at month-end, to breaking down competitors, and seeing them close. Entrepreneurship, and the art of making something out of nothing, is one of the most beautiful things that this world has to offer.