Reinhardt Kotzé is a hard-working scientist who moved his whole family across the world to fulfill the long-term goal of turning his science into products. – The goal was always clear to me. Already when I started my master’s degree in 2004, my supervisor Prof Haldenwang said to me; Listen, if we can make this work, then there will be a new product in the world. Because this doesn’t exist. When I heard that, I knew: I must try.

Reinhardt Kotzé grew up in Cape Town, South Africa, and was always interested in technology. Since his master’s thesis in the beginning of the 2000s, Reinhard has devoted all his time to the field of ultrasound velocity profiling and rheology.

During his master’s degree, Reinhardt worked with an ultrasound project. The technology was similar to the one used in Incipientus products, but Reinhardt worked more towards the markets relevant to South Africa, such as mining. At the same time but on the other side of the world, Johan Wiklund, today the CEO of Incipientus, was doing research on the same technology.
They both obviously belonged to the same research community and met for the first time at a conference in Switzerland. A couple of years later, Reinhardt needed an expert in the field to supervise his further research, and Johan Wiklund was a natural choice. Their collaboration started several years of traveling back and forth between continents. The work done by Reinhardt was the missing piece of the puzzle to complete the Incipientus technology.

"If we can make this work, then there will be a new product in the world. Because this doesn't exist. When I heard that, I knew: I must try."

2017 was a big year, both in Reinhardt’s career and personal life. He brought his family and moved to Sweden. Traveling back and forth was consuming – money, time, and energy. To reach the goal and turning Incipientus into the company it is today, the two founders needed to work side by side.
– There was never any alternative career for me. This was it. If we had had our eyes on other things, we wouldn’t have been where we are today. Incipientus is the only company in the world that can do what we do. And believe me, others have tried. There are patens out there from 1995, but there are no companies, no one is selling any products, Reinhardt says.

Developing the products, writing and filing patents, carrying through a spin-out, and starting a company is a process. It is all critical steps, and critical steps sometimes need time. The patent for example took four years, from filing it to getting it granted.
– It is nothing unusual about that process of the patent, but we just didn’t know that beforehand. You know, you think you will be Richard Branson immediately, maybe being on a big boat on the ocean. But I still drive my average car, he laughs.

"Incipientus is the only company in the world that can do what we do. And believe me, others have tried."

​​Incipientus has recently attracted several global companies in different fields who are testing the products and instruments of Incipientus. The possibility to work with these companies is thanks to a breakthrough Reinhardt had last year regarding what data Incipientus can provide to the customer.
​​– It was quite complicated, and we haven’t been able to solve it for these 20 years. I didn’t think we could do this thing, it was very challenging, but I actually figured it out this last year. It made us expand to a new kind of data, and now we can show these complex flow behavior to the customers. It unlocks new big global companies, and I think it might be my biggest achievement so far.
​​The thing he is most proud of, though, is the whole process of moving and starting a company.
​​– Leaving Cape Town, moving to Sweden, and bring my family; wife, two kids, two dogs. Creating a new home, learning a new system, and still managing everything with starting a new company. Yeah, it was a big change. It is not an easy thing to do. I can look back and see that it was a significant achievement. That is actually what I am most proud of.
​​Reinhardt describes himself as a hard-working person with a good eye for complex problems. With his grit, experience, and expertise, he has the ability to solve even the most complicated problems. He also says he is very direct and would never waste anyone’s time.
​​– But it is also important to me to enjoy working with my colleagues, make jokes and have fun. Me and Johan go back many years, and we have good times together.

"It is important to have a nice fika with my colleagues, have a laugh, talk to everyone about what's going on in their life."

​​The atmosphere at work is also the first thing that comes to mind when Reinhardt thinks about what makes a good workday.
​​– it only takes one person in a bad mood to set a bad vibe. So for me, it is important to have a nice fika with my colleagues, have a laugh, talk to everyone about what’s going on in their life.
​​He also appreciates if all activities and tasks are up to date, when nothing lags behind, and you can start a new week on a clean slate. And of course, a good workday would preferably start with having a sale.
​​– Haha, I should probably have said it first. Selling our products is the most important thing for our business. Without sales we wouldn’t have a job, no task to keep up to date and no colleagues to have a nice fika with. So, I’d say sales is probably number one.