“I grew up in the Austrian Prealps and my parents took me to the mountains from a very early stage,” says Paul Niel, who describes himself as a social entrepreneur and “future thinker”. “I never lost the desire to go out into nature and have an adventure.”
Those adventures have included climbing the “seven summits”, the highest peaks on each continent, and becoming one of only a handful of mountaineers to have scaled two 8,000-metre peaks (Everest and Lhotse) within 24 hours.
Niel moved to Hong Kong 3-1⁄2 years ago, for a job in finance. But when he left the industry, the Austrian saw no reason to leave the city.
Hong Kong is “the best combination of outdoors and city that I know”, says Niel, who lives in Chai Wan, which affords him the “opportunity to run the Dragon’s Back every morning”.
He now works with and invests in social start-ups (“companies that are not just maximising profit but also have a social mission”). He is co-founder of Peared, a lifestyle company for older adults, and Luxarity, a Hong Kong-based enterprise with a mission to upcycle luxury fashion.
As well as working with charities in Nepal and Hong Kong, Niel is the local ambassador for the Singularity University, an unaccredited teaching organisation based in America’s Silicon Valley whose mission is to “educate, inspire and empower leaders to apply exponential technologies to address humanity’s grand challenges”.
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Paul Niel is a Hong Kong based entrepreneur, future thinker and adventurer. He supports and sponsors enterprises that use exponential technologies to solve grand challenges. He is co-founder of Peared, a lifestyle company for older adults and Luxarity, a Hong Kong based enterprise with a mission to up cycle luxury fashion. He is also an active angel and early stage investor supporting innovative businesses in Europe and Asia and is an expert for the Exponential Organisations Program and an alumni and ambassador of Singularity University.
Paul worked for more than 12 years for JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs and worked in New York, London and Hong Kong. His passion to explore the planet led him into adventures and expeditions around the globe. In 2013 he claimed the top of Mt Everest, successfully completing his quest for the highest mountain on every continent, the seven summits.