Daniel Korski invests in start-ups that make a difference to others using pioneering technologies. These businesses could become game-changers in our society’s future.
As they grow, they have the benefit of Korski’s unique position in entrepreneurship: an extensive background in international and domestic politics.
Here’s how Korski has evolved from being a political advisor to being an innovator on the tech scene.
Daniel Korski’s Roots as a Political Advisor
Serving Lord Paddy Ashdown
Korski moved to Bosnia to hold the first major role in his political career. In this position, he served Lord Paddy Ashdown, the then-UN high representative. Korski developed the first intelligence agency after the Bosnian War and played a key role in the merging of the three warring army factions.
On top of this, he came up with the unique idea of an indirect taxation authority, which he built in collaboration with the World Bank.
Advising The British Defence Select Committee in Parliament
After serving Lord Paddy Ashdown for four years, Korski relocated to England to become the advisor to the Defence Select Committee in Parliament. From here, he also briefed the then-Prime Minister David Cameron on the Afghanistan mission. After this, when the Conservative Party came to power, he worked as an advisor to the international development secretary.
Advising The Government in Afghanistan
Later in his political career, Daniel Korski volunteered to work in Afghanistan, advising President Hamid Karzai’s government, working in the British Embassy and the then-Ministry of Counter-Narcotics, where he advised the minister and drafted Afghanistan’s counter-narcotic strategy.
Next, Korski completed several short-term projects on an international scale. He volunteered in Yemen, dedicated a year to working in the UK for the State Department, and launched some of his own projects.
He then led the reconstruction of Southern Iraq, which he describes as “an extraordinarily difficult assignment,” as he worked in “the most bombed base in all of Iraq.”
From here, Korski helped establish the European Council of Foreign Relations and then was one of the first writers on the “Coffee House” blog for The Spectator.
After completing these projects, Korski worried in Egypt, creating the Middle East Programme for the European Council on Foreign Relations. This programme aimed to support young democratic forces, and Korski raised funds to support it.
During Korski’s time in Egypt, conflict arose in Libya. Korski travelled over the border to report on the crisis for The Spectator.
Next, Korski relocated to Brussels to take on his next political career opportunity. He worked for the High Representative for Foreign Affairs in the E.U.
Moving between so many locations in a short space of time, Korski quickly adapted to understand each country’s politics and social expectations.
“I’m a very curious person, so I draw in information from all sorts of sources all the time,” Korski says. Having learnt multiple languages at home and grown up with parents who had been refugees in Sweden and Demark, he also benefited from his “reasonably easy facility with languages.”
Supporting The UK Prime Minister’s Office
After two years in Belgium, Korski returned to the UK to work at the Prime Minister’s Office. He explains that this role came with the responsibility to “do good or prevent bad” from happening to many people. He spent his time here “always trying to judge [his] intervention in the best way.”
Korski enjoyed being able to “make a huge impact in a small way,” especially at a time when the UK had just emerged from the economic crisis. This was a “great opportunity to make a difference, rejuvenate the economy, and support the creation of the digital ecosystem,” he says.
Korski was instrumental in several digitisation efforts, including the GovTech Summit. Korski built this platform, enabling leaders to plan the digitisation of Britain’s public services.
Then, when Tom Tugendhat ran in the July 2022 Conservative Party leadership election, Korski stepped up to act as his campaign leader.
Fundraising For Ukraine
Korski’s most recent political activity has been to support the war in Ukraine. When the war escalated in 2022, he travelled to Ukraine to assist, organised fundraisers, and oversaw the delivery of supplies like drones, helmets, and bulletproof vests.
Daniel Korski Now: An Innovative Entrepreneur
Korski’s vast experience and expertise in international politics puts him in a unique position for entrepreneurship. As a business innovator, he seeks start-ups that he can support via acquisition and development.
Deciding whether to invest in a business requires strategy and foresight. Korski pays as much attention to business owner(s) as he does to their companies. He wants to know that the owner(s) has the flexibility to respond effectively when faced with challenges.
“When the market or life throws them a curveball, are they able to duck and dive and still be on the road to success?” he says. If the owner(s) doesn’t have this flexibility, they may not have laid the groundwork for the business to achieve favourable outcomes.
Korski also digs deep to identify whether an investment candidate solves a big enough problem. If the business doesn’t solve a real problem with an impressive solution, converting sales may be difficult, no matter how strong the marketing is.
“There are lots of problems in the world that look big but in the end are survivable irritants,” Korski says.
Just as he acquires businesses that show potential, as an entrepreneur, Korski also identifies the most strategic times to sell a business. This can be a high-risk decision because, as Korski explains, “a lot of things are out of your hands. What you think the business is worth may not be what the market thinks it’s worth.”
A company’s value can change from day to day depending on external factors. For example, the value of the video communications software Zoom jumped when governments imposed Covid-19 lockdowns and organisations worldwide began to rely on video software to communicate.
Daniel Korski’s Resilient Mindset
Much like working in politics, acquiring and selling businesses requires a resilient mindset. While a political career comes with the responsibility of ensuring fair systems for society, entrepreneurship comes with the responsibility of building your own wealth. There is no safety net to fall back on without an employer.
“When you’re trying to build your own business, you’re by yourself,” Korski says. “There’s no system, there’s no echo chamber.” Korski is embracing this challenge. He doesn’t allow himself to feel dejected quickly. Instead, he is “very forward-looking” and “always thinking about the next thing.”
He refers to an American soldier he once worked with, Commander of the 82nd Airborne, General Virgil Packett. This soldier told Korski, “You’ve got to have stick-to-it-iveness.” His words have always stuck with Korski, who says, “I have stick-to-it-iveness. I stick to things, I deliver things.”
The Importance of Connections in Politics and Entrepreneurship
Korski has made many influential connections throughout his extensive political career. Rather than applying for his roles, he secured many of these through his network. In turn, he has also recommended various individuals for roles in the political space.
“I never asked for anything,” he says. “You do good by people, and good will come to you.”
The value of authentic networking is just as valuable in entrepreneurship as it is in politics. Now, Korski is developing a business network of connections who can support each other.
“I’m a very proactive networker, although I’ve never thought of it in that highly clinical way,” he says. “I love talking to people. I love listening to people, getting to know people, and helping people.”
About Daniel Korski
Having spent 15 years at the forefront of global politics, Korski’s knowledge in this space is unrivalled. Playing a crucial role in the British government’s digitisation efforts, he found his passion for technology-centred initiatives. Today, he supports several businesses that use technology for the benefit of others, investing in these to help them grow and thrive.
Korski holds an MPhil in International Relations from the University of Cambridge. He also holds a first-class BSc in International Relations and History from the London School of Economics.
Learn more about Daniel Korski.