Three years ago, Max Thake, now 24, dropped everything in Malta to seize an opportunity in Berlin and set up a deep-tech start-up that has recently signed a partnership with one of the world’s largest data centres.
Thake, co-founder of Peaq, now wants to share his story and experience to inspire others to take the leap and follow their dreams.
“I want to bring my experience back here to Malta, where there is so much potential. Unfortunately, however, the start-up culture is lacking. This is why I want to use my experience to show that this sort of thing is possible. I know a lot of people who get close to taking the step, get close to jumping, then they don’t – and regret it. If I did it, it’s possible. It’s a not a question of luck or genius, it’s seizing an opportunity and working hard,” he says.
Ever since he was a teenager, Thake always knew he wanted to set up his own company. So when he got the opportunity to attend an internship at a start-up hub in Berlin, at the age of 21, he accepted.
He was there at a time when blockchain technology was gaining traction. While there, he met Peaq co-founders Leonard Dorlöchter and Till Wendler and the three knew they could take the blockchain technology to a different level.
So Thake dropped out of the business enterprise course he was attending at MCAST to move to Berlin.
“We just went for it and we haven’t looked back for about three-and-a-half years,” he says.
The three young men started by consulting with some 20 large companies to understand the gaps in existing blockchain solutions.
“We spent a lot of time researching and developing an alternative. We took a step back before taking five forward,” he says.
This is how Peaq was born – a deep-tech start-up which creates decentralised platforms for the Internet of Things.
“This technology, by its nature, brings in verifiability and transparency to the digital world. It’s a slow-moving tech but when we come out on the other side we will have a digital landscape where everything has digital identities that are verifiable online,” he says.
Since Peaq was set up, it has worked with a large German car company to create a platform by which all car companies will pool their resources to create a decentralised network of charging stations for electric vehicles. This will aim to speed up the adoption of electric cars that is currently hindered by the fragmented nature of charging stations.
Recently, Peaq announced its biggest partnership with one of the world’s largest data centres: NTT Global Data Centres. Peaq successfully integrated an innovative access control system for data centres by developing a blockchain solution to better secure data.
Peaq is in the process of raising €5 million it will use to scale the company, develop more solutions, possibly open offices abroad and double its 20-person team by employing more engineers, developers and a sales team.
“We are looking to the future. All this would have never happened had I not just taken the leap three years ago. I believe others can do the same if they want to,” Thake says.