Life so far
After school, I was clueless about my calling. I tried to hedge my options by choosing a broad field, so I started to study International Business Administration. Needless to say that this didn’t bring the expected spark but made me unhappy and even more aimless. I wanted to take a break of my studies, and because of friendship, I applied for an internship in Brussels.
For the first time, I wanted something in my adult life.
I was surprised what you can achieve if you focus your energy on one idea.
Two months later, I started as an intern at the European Parliament in Brussels funded by a scholarship. The change of location and entering working life in such a unique surrounding buzzing with all kinds of intentions gave me clarity about my journey. Back in Vienna, I combined economics with political and communication sciences, the pillars that move the world (at least that was what I thought at the time).
After finishing my studies, I was drawn to the booming, colorful world of start-ups and became marketing manager of the internet platforms SMS.at, uboot.com, and handy.at. I received a rapid all-round training in everything that working in a start-up means.
Three learnings are still vital to me:
‘Yes, you can’: The freedom to follow ideas, to create and implement everything that seems sensible to get the job done proofed to be my way of working. A start-up with a flat structure and short decision-making paths was the ideal place for this.
‘There is no free lunch’: Freedom also means bearing full responsibility, followed by self-chosen 15 hours of workdays and well-worked weekends. I had barely avoided a burnout.
‘Everything changes’: I experienced the bursting of the first ‘dot-com bubble’ from the perspective of a start-up.
One of my next stations was working as mobile-business-development manager at www.bwin.com. I negotiated and drew up contracts with mobile phone operators throughout Europe. Meeting in person improves working relationships, so I traveled so much that airports became almost more home than home.
Becoming pregnant with our son, I settled down as a Data Protection Counselor at the people search engine www.123people.com, where I dealt with security and privacy topics and accompanied the exit of the start-up.
In 2011 my husband, Mike Weinzettl, physicist and I founded www.taskfarm.com, a marketplace for the distribution of knowledge-based services and projects. Almost at the same time, our daughter was born. In addition to the familiar ‘start-up’ business of turning an idea created on ‘a napkin’ into a marketable product, we met with investors and applied successfully for a governmental grant. And finally realized that despite investments, awards, and implementation strength, that the market was not yet ready for our concept.
We shifted our business to software development and innovation consulting, focusing on supporting start-ups, and I started the interview series Taskfarm – Future of Work.
I wanted to learn directly from persons who influence our future how their projects, scientific findings, and initiatives will shape our society.
This desire led to an extensive collection of interviews with world-renowned innovators and my work as an author, blogger, and influencer in the field of future and innovation.
To balance the top-heavy work, I draw energy from practicing Shotokan Karate, the union of body, and remembrance in movement.