Malte Zeeck has always had a true passion for travel, cultures and people. He grew up in Bonn, Germany and during his high school years, Malte traveled to all the continents of the world.
At the age of 16, he did a one-year high school exchange in Syracuse, New York. His thirst for new cultures could hardly be quenched. After doing his military service in Budel, Holland, and in Sardinia, Italy, in 1997 Malte enrolled in an MBA program at the University of St. Gallen, Switzerland. Two exchange semesters brought him to Milan’s Bocconi University and to Fundação Getúlio Vargas in Sao Paulo.
On top of his studies, Malte worked as a flight attendant for Lufthansa, thus traveling the world. It was during these studies that he encountered Philipp von Plato, who would in turn become his good friend and co-founder of InterNations.
Before deciding on founding a company, Malte studied for one year at the Deutsche Film- und Fernsehakademie in Berlin and continued his adventure as a globe-trotter by working as an international television reporter for the media: Spiegel TV, N24, CNN International, n-tv and ARD. In his last post, he reported from New Delhi and it was in India that he was confronted with the issues of being an expatriate the most.
Through all of his travels around the world, in Europe, Brazil and India to name but a few, it occured to him that settling in as an expatriate, most of the time not speaking the local language, getting one’s bearings and building a new circle of friends is a bigger challenge than one would imagine. Malte felt the need to support expatriates all over the world.
Early in 2007, Philipp and Malte met again in Cologne and, both having gone through the difficulties of living abroad, immediately saw the potential of a platform aimed at those living and working in a foreign city or country. This is how the idea of creating a social network, especially for expatriates which would help make their life abroad easier, came to life.
Within months, InterNations was founded and in September 2007, the platform was launched.
Check out my conversation with him here or click play below.