This article is a part of our encyclopedia, and is editable by you. Edit ➜
No early career info added yet...
Olivier started Ekster in 2015. They detail the beginnings of their company in their Starter Story interview: 
Q: How did you get started on Ekster?
We launched the company on Kickstarter, a few months after Rick and I met in the USA. We were both on a Fulbright scholarship in Pittsburgh, and being Dutch gave us something to bond over. Both of us knew from day one that we wouldn’t end up working a 9-to-5 job and were both keen on building something from the ground up. In addition, we had a couple of frustrations in common, one of which was; why are all the things you carry with you on a daily basis not evolving as quickly as our phones are? Take the traditional leather bi-fold wallet for example. Why does it have so little security built into it and why is it still so bulky?
I quickly learned that Rick was always searching for his wallet, his cards, his keys - sometimes he found them, and sometimes he didn’t - but we spent so much time looking for stuff that we thought, hey, we can probably make this easier. A quick search on Kickstarter validated our frustration, we were going to build the “Next Generation Wallet”.
We validated the product through market research; we started with our own demographic and surveyed our peers to see if there was an interest in what would become the Parliament. We received positive responses, which gave us one certain demographic to work with. A big part of building Ekster was using our own frustrations, little annoyances which we wanted to go away, to make products that can do the same for other people.
> Good partners are key. It’s sometimes okay to pay a bit more to get the service you need, especially in fulfillment.
We were students at the time, so we looked for someone with more career expertise and found Richard, an EDC enthusiast, who came on board as the third founder. We then went to Kickstarter for the first iteration of the wallet, and we’ve been back three times since then (twice for new generation wallets, and now for the Key Holder).