Kindred spirits that like to overcome impossible challenges: That is how Mark Slats ended up with main sponsor Ohpen. However, impossible is not part of the vocabulary at Ohpen. The same applies for Mark. Similar to Ohpen’s story of going against multi-billion giants in our industry, Mark Slats also faces giant obstacles of his own. Mark enlisted for the 2017 Talisker Transatlantic Rowing Challenge with a partner. This challenge is known as the world’s toughest 3,000 miles rowing trans-Atlantic. Mark had never rowed in his life before, so he had to take up an intense training regime to be able to compete in the race. He was set on completing the race, not only for himself, but for his mother, who became seriously ill with cancer. However, shortly before the race, his partner dropped out, leaving Mark to face the challenge alone vs the rest of the 2-man crews.
Mark not only exceeded his own expectations, but everyone else’s by finishing the race on his own and breaking the Guinness World Record by 5 days as he completed it in 30 days, 7 hours and 49 minutes. Only 5,5 months after the Talisker finish Mark will join the Golden Globe Race. The Golden Globe Race is extremely challenging and gruelling: sailing 30,000 miles across the world, non-stop, solo, without any modern technology or outside assistance. For Mark, joining the race 5,5 months after his latest adventure, meant that what his competitors of the Golden Globe Race had achieved in a year or more of preparation, he would have to achieve in less. He would have to accomplish everything, including getting sponsors and funding in little less than 5 months if he wanted to meet the deadlines.
Giving it all. Mark is willing to go all in when taking on any challenge. He had already sold his house for his previous rowing race, and he was willing to give it all again to join the 50th anniversary of the Golden Globe Race: even his old rowing boat ‘Peanuts’ with which he completed the Talisker is now up for sale. On top of that, he had to start a race of his own against time to get enough funds to cover the costs to enter this new race. But all his efforts didn’t cut it. Just when he was about to lose hope and drop out of the race, a mutual friend introduced him to Chris Zadeh, founder of Ohpen.
Chris knows everything about giving it all. Approximately a decade ago, along with his co-founders, he quit his job to start from scratch something that hadn’t been done before: Build a cloud-based core banking engine, reinventing technology that hadn’t been built in over 30 years. When Chris met Mark, he immediately saw the splitting image of Ohpen’s core values in him and decided to support Mark’s journey.
Mark teamed up with Ohpen to make sure that everything gets done before the race kicks-off. What would seem impossible to other competing teams who have had a full year and more to prepare, Mark and Ohpen are doing in a week and half. A challenge the team of mavericks, the ‘Ohpen mavericks’ decided to take: give it all and exceed expectations by doing more with less, and in this case, way less…especially time.
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