My entrepreneurial journey...

Published on Aug 25, 2020

...began on a Monday after Startup Weekend Hamburg in 2013. We were 25, about to graduate and my friend Silvan asked me whether I wanted to pursue the idea we worked on over the last 54h, instead of applying for a job. I thought: 

"Why not?" 

and so we applied and got accepted into the incubator of our university. After six intense and educational months we decided to not invest more time into that idea. Who knows maybe if we hadn't given up it would have been successful? ;)

Equipped with lots of new experiences, contacts in the startup scene and learnings, we organised and facilitated the Startup Weekend in the Impact Hub Zurich. Over the weekend teams experienced startup life as they worked on building and testing their business ideas and models. I enjoyed connecting with experienced entrepreneurs that we asked to coach, mentor and judge. 

Sofia, Simon and me noticed that there was a lack of women participating, pitching their ideas and leading teams. And it was hard to find experienced female entrepreneurs who would join as coaches and judges. So we asked ourselves: 

"Where are all the female entrepreneurs in Switzerland?" 

Our curiosity led us to investigate that question and initiate the ASPIRE association to foster female entrepreneurship. Our first project was an interview series and exhibition with 27 female entrepreneurs leading diverse companies, in different industries throughout Switzerland. Here is the video of the launch event

Our second project was a mentoring program where we connected aspiring female entrepreneurs with experienced entrepreneurs. 

Thanks to Aspire, I was selected to participate in the International Visitor Leadership Program about Entrepreneurship and Innovation in the US. The three-week program took me to Washington DC, Jacksonville FL, Seattle and LA. 

Within one year of graduating, thanks to all the projects and events, I knew I enjoyed project-work, communication, building community and connecting with clients. So when the job offer from the user experience agency Ginetta came in, I happily joined. 

At Ginetta, I had the pleasure to dive into the world of user experience, work with psychologists, designers and software developers who built digital products. One of my highlights, was to be part of the process of building the first landing page and web app with the startup Crowdhouse. Another was to conceptualise and launch the UX Academy to teach potential clients the process of user centred design. The third was to work closely with the founder Simon, be involved in business strategy and experience the growth from a team of 13 to a team of 26. 

After my further education in Human Computer Interaction Design, I saw the need to change the way computer science is taught. I asked myself:

How can we teach coding in a joyful way, so that more people understand and speak tech? 

I decided to build a coding school that would teach beginners the basics in a hands-on and joyful way. That's how the Master21 Academy was born. I setup the first landing page while still at Ginetta. As the itch to build something of my own got stronger and I saw Master21's potential, I wanted to push it further and asked myself: 

If I don't push it, who will? If not now, when then? 

So I took a leap of faith, left my full-time job and went all in on Master21 when I was 29. Within a year, I made a six-figure revenue. 

Founding and leading Master21 was the rollercoaster ride of my life. I had my ups when clients booked us and had sparks in their eyes and AHA-moments while learning. I had my downs when needing to fire a team member or the strategy was unclear. 

I had the honour of giving talks, incl. a TEDxtalk, coach entrepreneurs in Sarajevo, get on the Forbes 30 under 30 list in the sector technology and receive the Female Innovation Recognition Award.   

Over three years, I built and lead Master21 to a team of 5 and designed exciting programs, like the Women Tech Bootcamp for Deloitte. In total, we taught 1100+ people to write their first lines of code. 

Towards the end of 2019, while doing the THNK School of Creative Leadership I felt the need for a change. I wished to have more time to be creative and not be that involved leading the team alone. I wanted to facilitate my own workshops, not just sell them. And I saw the need for fostering skills and build community beyond digital literacy, like creativity and entrepreneurial thinking. 

That led me to make one of the hardest decisions of my life and sell my "baby" Master21 on Dec 31, 2019 to Codegestalt.

In 2020, I took time to reflect (write and explore) how I can best use my strengths, knowledge and experiences for a purpose that I care deeply about. 

The result is what you see here. :)


I believe we need more purpose-driven entrepreneurs who enjoy what they do, inspire and build valuable products and services, that leave the world a bit better. 

I am convinced that life is about learning, that there's a lot of wisdom in each of us and we can learn from one another. 

->

I am the joyful adventurer who encourages people to explore (the paths of entrepreneurship) and share their wisdom.


If this purpose resonates with you, 

if you want to explore what kind of entrepreneur you could be or 

how you can share your expertise,

let's talk! 



If you're not into reading or want some more info, find me on Linkedin.