International -- The Stars of Europe -- Innovators
Stefan Rover (int'l edition)
CEO -- Brokat Infosystems -- Germany
Stefan Rover returned to Germany after a few years in Silicon Valley a changed person. A common tale these days perhaps, but Rover was only 14 at the time and had just finished eighth grade. Instead of preparing for a career at one of the country's conglomerates, such as Siemens, Rover did something that was very un-German in 1982: He founded his own software company. "Back then it wasn't the thing to do," says Rover, now 35.
Rover has stayed ahead of the curve ever since. That first entrepreneurial step led him to establish Internet software developer Brokat Infosystems in 1994 with four partners. It was a risky step, since Rover and his partners had to come up with their own $25,000 in startup capital. But it has paid off in spades. Rover now oversees an industry leader in providing software solutions for e-commerce and electronic financial services. Brokat's client list includes the likes of America Online and Deutsche Bank. Since listing on Frankfurt's Neuer Markt in 1998, the company's stock has soared nearly fivefold, making Rover a millionaire.
Rover's ambitions don't stop there. He plans to turn Brokat's authentication software into the industry standard for secure e-commerce transactions. "We want to make Brokat one of the household names in the software world," he declares. If he has his way, Germany may have its own Microsoft.Return to top