From mistake to success
In a remarkable journey from financial adversity and technical setbacks to pioneering the art of human flight, Ivars Beitans, the visionary of “AERODIUM,” shares his inspiring tale of turning a colossal mistake into a soaring success.
In the world of adventure sports and extreme experiences, few can claim to have turned a childhood dream into a global phenomenon. Ivars Beitans, the owner and CEO of “AERODIUM” and “Sigulda Adventures,” has done just that. With unwavering determination and an unshakable belief in his vision, Beitans has transformed the concept of human flight into a thrilling and safe reality. In this interview excerpt, we delve into his remarkable journey from a risky business venture to a thriving global enterprise.
The Dream of Flight
At the core of Beitans’ journey lies a universal dream – the dream of flight. As he puts it, “Somehow subconsciously, I think, every person has dreamed that it would be nice to fly like a bird. To feel some sense of freedom.” Beitans recognized this longing and set out to fulfill it in a safe and controlled environment, leading to the birth of “AERODIUM.”
The Birth of “AERODIUM”
Beitans’ journey with “AERODIUM” began with a fascination for adventure. In the early days, his entrepreneurial spirit led him into the world of bungee jumping and inflatable attractions. However, the desire for something more daring and unique pushed him further. He discovered the concept of vertical wind tunnels and, after a challenging journey involving technical defects and a steep learning curve, he brought the first AERODIUM machine to Latvia.
A Risky Leap at the Olympics
The turning point in the “AERODIUM” story came when they received an invitation to perform at the Winter Olympics. It was a moment of immense risk and opportunity. Minutes before the show, the safety cushions failed to inflate. It was a huge risk but the whole team was ready to do the performance without the safety cushions. Any fall could have resulted in a severe injury. Luckily they resolved the issue right before the start. Despite technical challenges and the pressure of a global stage, Beitans and his team rose to the occasion and successfully presented their invention, catapulting “AERODIUM” into the global spotlight.
The Growth of an Industry
Beitans’ perseverance and willingness to learn from early mistakes played a pivotal role in the growth of the vertical wind tunnel industry. Today, there are over 200 tunnels worldwide, transforming what was once a niche sport into a mainstream activity. Talks with the Olympic Committee about including wind tunnel flying as an Olympic sport underscore the industry’s rapid development.
Beitans doesn’t shy away from admitting that his journey was filled with challenges. He describes the early days of “Aerodium” as a “colossal failure” and shares stories of technical glitches, financial struggles, and last-minute crises, including a near-disaster at the Olympics. However, his ability to persevere through adversity and learn from his mistakes has been instrumental in “AERODIUM’s” success.
The Importance of Honesty
Throughout his journey, Beitans emphasizes the importance of honesty. He believes that being transparent, trustworthy, and true to one’s word is essential in building lasting relationships with customers and partners. This commitment to integrity has earned “AERODIUM” trust and credibility in the industry.
Teaching Young Entrepreneurs
Beitans encourages aspiring entrepreneurs to trust their instincts, believe in themselves, and continuously seek knowledge. He believes that success is attainable for anyone who has a vision and the determination to see it through.
Ivars Beitans’ journey from a childhood dream to the realization of “AERODIUM” is a testament to the power of perseverance, innovation, and honesty in the world of entrepreneurship. His story serves as an inspiration for those looking to turn their own dreams into reality and reminds us that with unwavering commitment, even the most challenging obstacles can be overcome.
Watch the full interview below (in Latvian).