Tech companies are attractive employers in many industries and ready to offer young talents remarkable growth opportunities. However, getting your first job, in a start-up or otherwise, might seem daunting. How to stand out from the other candidates? How to present yourself to a recruiter? 🤔
To find answers to all those questions, we interviewed Giedre Dubisevaite, People Manager at Whatagraph, which is a SaaS platform for collecting and visualizing marketing data gathered from many channels. She is a perfect interviewee because Whatagraph has been on a bit of a hiring spree lately, tripling its team to 60+ people in 2020 with ambitious plans for 2021 as well.
The interview is divided into two parts: this article will cover what recruiters look like besides the work experience, how to make your application stand out, and how to build a professional LinkedIn presence. The second part focuses on everything that happens after you have been invited to an interview.
🔵 The summer is nearing, which means people are out there eyeing a new job, maybe their first job ever. Suppose you are such a person without a lot of industry experience. Do you really have a chance in the job market at all when every job seems to require previous work experience?
Absolutely, the beginning of a new season tends to summon the longing for change, right? The good news is that Whatagraph already has several entry positions open, and we will have a lot more in the next few weeks. It’s enough to have strong motivation and interpersonal skills to apply for entry positions – we invest heavily in new people and make sure they receive sufficient training to succeed.
Of course, there are positions where experience is a must, like leadership roles. And having worked in similar positions is always seen as an advantage. That said, when we are recruiting for junior positions at Whatagraph, experience is not the only thing we look at, but also things like internships, volunteering projects, courses, and life experiences that might have developed the skills needed.
🔵 Could you give a specific example of what you look for in candidates applying for junior positions? Besides the relevant work experience, of course.
Sure, let’s take our Partnerships Development Executive (PDE) role as an example. It is a junior sales position, so I do not expect people to have a strong B2B SaaS sales knowledge. Instead, I look at:
LinkedIn profile. PDEs will be communicating a lot with our leads, so it is crucial to have a LinkedIn presence. Is the profile filled out? Is it professional? Does the person know how to sell himself or herself? If yes, then there’s a huge chance he/she will know how to sell to others as well.
Life experience. You can gain the skills needed to excel as a PDE anywhere: Customer-facing positions, fast-paced environments, even leading a school committee – all these experiences tell a story. When I read ‘a waiter’, I see a person who is most likely used to working long hours under pressure. When I read ‘studied abroad’, I see a person who is not afraid of challenges. These are all super beneficial skills when working in our Sales team at Whatagraph.
🔵 There’s, of course, truth to the fact that your first job might be one of the hardest to get, even if you have been active as a student. How should you present yourself as a junior to be seen as a serious candidate by recruiters?
1️⃣ First, put the effort into the application. There’s nothing worse than getting just an attached resume in an empty email. Spend some time saying hi, explaining why you are interested in this position and what makes you a good candidate. It doesn’t have to be too long – a few accurate and witty sentences are more than enough.
2️⃣ Second, show that you know the company. Do your research. Offer solutions/ideas. For example, we had a developer applying for a position where instead of sending a resume, he researched our website and sent a list of possible improvements. Guess what? He got invited to a job interview and was hired soon after.
3️⃣ Third, adapt your resume to the position. Look through the job specs – what skills are we after? Try to showcase them in your resume and application letter. Tell a story of how you have gained these skills through previous experiences.
4️⃣ Fourth, make sure your social media presence shows the best side of you, especially the LinkedIn profile. Don’t just leave it empty and thus open for interpretation.
5️⃣ Fifth, and probably most important, show your motivation and excitement to join a company like Whatagraph.
🔵 You mentioned building a LinkedIn profile, which is a fascinating subject in itself. Do you have any tips on how to present yourself professionally on LinkedIn? Are there any red lines that the candidate should avoid at all cost?
There are so many things that make up a good LinkedIn profile! We could do a separate interview just on this. 🙂
First of all, if you do not have a LinkedIn profile already, create it. An up-to-date LinkedIn profile works as your resume, so in many cases, it is enough to apply for a job at Whatagraph.
Your profile photo leaves a first impression. It will do you a favour if it’s recent and professional. Avoid cropped images where your face is invisible as well as too distracting accessories.
Your LinkedIn headline is also one of the main fields that make up the first impression when someone lands on your LinkedIn profile. It should be quite generic but still reflect what and where you do.
Make sure your experience section it’s updated regularly and matches your resume. Mention things like the organizations you have worked or volunteered in, add a list of specific responsibilities and note your main achievements.
The number of connections shows your social presence and reputation in a sense. If it’s 500+, you’re doing a good job. But if you’ve just created your LinkedIn profile and have two connections, I’ll tell you a secret – some tools automatically send requests to connect with people without you lifting a finger.
🔵 If a person has already covered the LinkedIn profile basics, then what are some of the advanced features?
Write an “About” section. It should introduce you professionally in a few sentences and cover a couple of different things:
What is your speciality?
How many years of experience do you have?
In what industries have you worked?
Your achievements, ideally reflected in numbers. We love data.
Licences and certification. If you have something to add – do it, it does give a sense of credibility. Also, use a custom LinkedIn URL – it looks way more professional than default-full-of-random-digits URL that LinkedIn automatically generates.
That’s it for this time! Check out Part Two to find out how to nail the interview and the rest of the recruiting process.
🔵 However, if the previous answers left you wondering about a career in Whatagraph, what open positions do you have right now? Do you have any entry-level opportunities at the moment?
Absolutely! Our hiring plan is ambitious, and we need a lot of people to jump on this train with us. We have openings in Engineering, Product Design, Marketing and Sales teams.
Check out Whatagraph’s open positions on MeetFrank:
We have already started scaling our Engineering team, so we are looking for Backend Engineers, Frontend Engineers, Engineering Managers and QA Specialists. By the time this interview is out, we’ll have settled in our new Klaipeda office overlooking the Curonian Lagoon with the perfect view for our weekly tech breakfasts. Having grown the engineering team, we’ll definitely need additional hands in the Product Design team as well.
We are also growing our Marketing team, so we are searching for Outreach Specialists, which is the perfect entry position for those looking to advance their skills in SEO. Other open positions in Marketing include PPC Specialists and Influencer Managers.
The Sales team will welcome Client Partners and Partnerships Development Executives, the latter is the perfect entry position for anyone looking to kick off their career in B2B SaaS sales.
Rakettitiede is a Finnish software development company specialising in web and mobile services, IoT and embedded systems. Instead of blending in with other similar consulting businesses, the five founders agreed in 2011 to combine high-quality software development with a quirky culture of humour.
The Finnish word rakettitiede means rocket science in English – that’s why they call themselves the Rocket Scientists. Not only because it’s more fun, but because the Rakettitiede crew consists of only top skilled developers.
Let’s be honest, you wouldn’t want a rookie to steer 🚀 if the goal is to reach the Moon.
At the moment, almost 40 experienced Rocket Scientists have boarded the Rakettitiede shuttle, and they arepicking up some new ones full speed ahead. Rakettitiede only recruits top software developers who can carry out complex technical development, as well as consult different clients with different projects.
But why should you board this shuttle? To hear more about what working life looks like at Rakettitiede, we talked with consultantsSaska and Johnny about Rakettitiede salaries, “no bullshit” mentality and everything in between.👇👇👇
Rakettitiede proudly states to have the best and most transparent salaries in the industry. How is this wonderful promise implemented in real life?
Johnny: It was rather extraordinary at the beginning. Coming from Germany, the salary is a rather well-kept secret there. You just don’t talk about it.
At Rakettitiede our sales teamalways posts the latest rates negotiated with clients, which leads to small celebrations in our internal Slack channels. By getting the idea what each skill set is worth, it motivates to grow as a group.
On top of that, we’re also getting monthly reports via email. This outlines the whole business side of things – sales information, the deals continued and/or closed and what the financial situation of the company is.
Saska: In short, thehourly rates are public for everyone within the company. The salary is 50% of that. No need for complicated math.
It’s no secret that software developers are in high demand. What motivated you to board the Rakettitiede shuttle?
Saska: I checked the vacancy in the MeetFrank app. The salary range was public and it caught my eye. Also, cannot deny that I had also heard only good things about the competency in the company.
Johnny: After the initial point of contact with Rakettitiede and after my first job interview, I was astonished how nice things can be!
The job interview consisted of code review and small talk. Something I have never experienced before – everyone was super friendly, yet professional. I was quite confused, as interviews went a bit different “back in the days” (I hadn’t been on a job interview like a decade).
I didn’t focus on the financial side in the beginning, the truly relaxing atmosphere won me over. The friendly and open communication showed I was in the right place. Being with Rakettitiede for a year and a half now, I appreciate the extensive healthcare package, the general supportive attitude and the possibility to grow personally and professionally.
Brands are different, projects are different, people are different – what do you do when you feel like that current development project is not your-cup-of-tea?
Johnny: Let’s just start with the fact that I’m truly happy with my current assignment! It’s a perfect match with my skill set and my passion.
Part of Rakettitiede’s interview process is a small meet-and-greet with our awesome sales ladies Marietta and Iida. Their goal is to do everything (and believe me they do!) to find the right match for us, based on what the market has to offer.
Saska: Yeah, obviously depends on the contract but if you feel like you’re in the wrong place it’s in everyone’s interest to get you to the right one.
Johnny: We can openly say if mismatch occurs and after some notification period we can leave the project. And switch over to something more exciting and refreshing. Although it has never happened to me, it gives me a lot of peace of mind, knowing I’m not chained down somewhere!
Can you name the most memorable project or client during your time as a Rocket Scientist?
Saska: I’m on my first project – and it’s been pretty great! The reputation of Rakettitiede gives positive effect – we’re trusted with a lot of freedom.
Even when creating a platform (almost entirely by Raketti resources) that’s very core to the operation of the entire client. There is a lot of actual consulting – not just outsourced development.
Johnny: It’s been a blessing. Getting a chance to deep-dive into new technologies and to be a part of the R&D team at the client.
The client will stay nameless, due to NDA in place. But I’m currently building a platform that deals with forecasting air quality data. This means collaboration with meteorologists and scientists. I learn a lot along the way!
As I love working with spatial data on a bigger scale, this is the perfect playground to improve my originally “side-project” skills on a daily basis. Currently, a strong focus is on data-science (Python, Pandas, Postgis etc) and infrastructure (Kubernetes, Jenkins, Docker and Golang).
Looking at Rakettitiede’s channels, the tone of voice really reflects the company’s culture. The terms like “no bullshit” mentality and a fluffy sarcastic mind were used. Do you only hire people with quirky humour?
Johnny: What happens, if you put 40 nerds into a one room? It gets interesting.
Back in a normal universe, when we had our little #night-out’s, we talked about everything and nothing. It’s great to get everyone’s and someone’s opinion on things, and not always in a straight-forward way.
*Johnny was cut off by his own laugh*
Saska: The minimum requirement is to tolerate quirky humour (read: terrible jokes) because it’s very hard to operate without it while reading Slack.
Johnny: I must admit that I don’t get every joke. But this is how it goes, when having such a broad range of characters. No one gets judged and everybody’s helpful.
Who are you looking for to join the team?
Johnny: Personally I enjoy colleagues I can learn from. We never stop improving. Our profession just doesn’t allow us to stop, and it becomes a useful habit. Changing ideas and discussing other projects consultants are working on, gives a family feeling.
If you’re interested in working at Rakettitiede, then just contact us! Our sales team can match your skill set with our vacant projects.
Saska: Also, don’t get too hung up on the embedded / mobile / web header pigeonhole – we have loads of different projects and could also find the right fit outside those competencies. So if you’re good at doing the computer stuff you might just want to give it a shot, even if you’ve never made a custom Linux distro for a pair of ski pants or whatever.
Job ads aren’t always enough and sometimes more information is needed before hitting that ‘Apply’ button. If our readers would like to hear more about how working life looks like at Rakettitiede, what should they do?
Ping our Recruitment Commander Kristo on social media. Send a smoke signal, bottle mail, email (firstname.lastname@example.org), text message or call +358 50 551 3552.
Connecting with us viacareer siteis also an option. Don’t hold yourself back, let’s start a conversation!
Want to know more? Take a look at these recruitment experiences at Rakettitiede:
Providing modern manufacturing & inventory software for scaling businesses, Katana is part of an industry that was strongly boosted by the pandemic. Staying at home and not being able to socialise has led to a higher amount of online shopping and higher need of e-commerce tools.
Enterprise planning software is one of the biggest individual software categories, yet the sector has seen the least innovation. In other words, the long-established market leading systems are like horses in the world of Teslas (no longer fulfilling the market needs).
The ability to support both D2C (direct-to-consumer) and B2B (business-to-business) sales channels is crucial for emerging new manufacturing brands. This flexible integration is exactly the need of modern manufactures that Katana is catering.
Katana’s advantage is powered by its ability to provide smart manufacturing in a simpler way. According to CEO Kristjan Vilosius, their service is the world’s most self on-board-able manufacturing software.
🏆 Clarity in the company’s vision – catering to market needs by offering software for every manufacturer globally.
🏆 The simple self on-board-ability – being global from the start and bringing in an outstanding number of organic leads.
🏆 Stellar delivery – surpassing the goals with an ease (revenue growth, churn reduction etc).
Transitioning “making and crafting” into “manufacturing”
Katana’s mission in simpler terms is to find scaling manufacturers that are growing out of Excel and provide them with smart production planning software combined with inventory/warehouse management. Katana has stepped in to save modern growing manufacturers from taking the huge leap from spreadsheets to overly complex and expensive enterprise software.
As mentioned before, simpler and smarter is the magic formula.
They started off as a service for micro manufacturers. But by now, over30% of Katana’s product subscriptions come from the SME (small and medium-sized enterprises) segment. And nearly 50% of customers are located in the USA.
Our readers, who love Japanese culture, probably have a question. Is there any connection between Katana the company and katana the samurai sword?
Indeed, while the founders assembled a pitch to build a Manufacturing SaaS, they met the following term: Toyota Production System. For them, the samurais and ninjas were pretty logical topics to explore. Katana, the cutting-edge manufacturing software won by a landslide. 🥷🥷🥷
Expanding the team and scaling Katana
We can safely say that the boom of e-commerce is not slowing down any time soon. But before Katana can grow their family of manufacturers, they need to grow their own team first.
You might have heard about the product called NordVPN, but do you know the company behind it, Nord Security? The company started its journey in 2012 inside the Tesonet accelerator, and it has rapidly grown ever since. Today, Nord Security is one of the largest tech-companies in Lithuania in its own right, with nearly 700 employees and 15 million users worldwide.
Only recently they stepped outside of Tesonet to separately start building their company culture and employer brand. We talked with Karina Dirvonskienė, Head of HR at Nord Security, about why they are doing this, how it is going and why should the talent care?
First of all, congratulations on starting your employer journey. Could you tell us a bit about how it came to life? Why did you choose to do it now, and what challenges did it bring?
Thanks! Starting Nord Security’s employer journey is indeed a big step for us.
It’s no secret that the story of our company began with the inception of NordVPN, which at the moment is one of the most popular VPN service providers worldwide. It was the 35th project developed inside the ecosystem of the Tesonet accelerator, and over time it grew beyond our expectations. Today we are a team of nearly 700 employees and have expanded our product family by adding four new cybersecurity tools (NordPass, NordLocker, NordVPN Teams, and NordWL). And it’s definitely not the end – we are still growing exponentially.
As it often happens, the new beginning brought us some challenges. In the past, we could rely on the Tesonet brand to fulfil our needs as an employer, but now we have to build our own employer brand from scratch. However, we’re optimistic about it since we’ve already made some progress.
Could you introduce your products to people not too familiar with the cybersecurity market? How are they received in the market so far?
At the moment, Nord Security has more than 15 million users worldwide that trust our products to ensure their privacy online. Basically, our goal is to provide true online privacy and security to as many people as we can. That also means building awareness around cybersecurity issues and their importance in the connected world.
As I’ve already mentioned, our story began with NordVPN – currently the fastest VPN on the planet, built to protect our users’ online presence from cybersecurity threats. To put it simply, you can secure your internet data and safely access personal information while browsing with NordVPN.
We also built the same solution for businesses to ensure their employee privacy online while working – NordVPNTeams. Then, there’s NordPass – an easy-to-use password manager used for storing and creating credentials. NordLocker helps to store and share confidential files securely. Finally, NordWL – a collection of tools, know-how, and infrastructure for building your own VPN products.
These five products form the Nord Security productfamily and have gained global recognition with high praise from major tech outlets and cybersec experts alike. However, we’re always looking for new opportunities to grow, so the product line-up is definitely not final.
In your first month as a separate entity, Nord Security already became the 4th most popular company on MeetFrank in Lithuania. Clearly, there’s a lot of interest from the jobseekers at the moment. What’s special about working for Nord Security? Why should people join your organization?
Where do I even begin 🙂 Well, first of all, we’re a fast-growing company with a very dynamic environment set up for professional growth. The essential thing is that every person joining our team gets to build global solutions that solve relevant problems. You can be sure that you’ll be working with top experts from all over the world and gain valuable experience.
Knowledge sharing is vastly promoted in our company and is, in fact, one of our key values – we have various initiatives, internal and external events, and even separate programs designed for personal and professional growth. Nord Security is also a very diverse company that gives people the freedom to act – you will find plenty of opportunities to express yourself and show initiative.
Could you list some of the perks that your employees enjoy?
Our colleagues enjoy numerous benefits focused on increasing their well-being, like private health insurance, mental health programs, bonus vacation days, in-house physiotherapists, flexible work hours, and more. Also, we’re famous for our workations and various celebrations.
However, in our opinion, all these perks are simply an addition to our main benefits – a great team, ambitious goals and exciting projects to work on.
What about employee dynamics – do you hire more local or global specialists, and does this put additional strain on your HR team?
As our company was founded in Lithuania, we currently have more local team members. However, we’re actively growing our international ranks and have colleagues working in Belarus, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, United Kingdom, The Netherlands, Romania, Turkey, South Korea, Japan, and Brazil.
Hiring worldwide and expanding our reach is certainly more demanding than hiring locally. It’s a challenge to extend a feeling of belonging to team members working remotely. However, the current pandemic situation benefited us in this regard: It accelerated our remote work practices, and now we feel that we’ve become stronger as a global employer.
How many vacancies do you have at the moment? Which departments of the company are you expanding the most rapidly?
At the moment, we have more than 80 vacancies waiting to be filled, and mostly we’re looking for professionals to join our teams of Frontend, Backend, Mobile, and Marketing. However, we’re actively expanding other teams as well – take a look at our Career page – I’m sure you’ll find several options, including challenging leadership roles.
What are the most important qualities when hiring new people to the Nord Security team? Do you have any tips for the applicants to be successful in your hiring process?
We look for people who are passionate about tech and eager to learn new things quickly. The cybersecurity and IT markets are constantly changing. Breakthroughs are coming every day. As a team, we have to be ready for the shifting environment and the challenges it brings.
We place a high value on people, who challenge the status quo, look for better ways to do things, and do not agonize over decision making. There’s also a lot of focus on teamwork – we believe that magic happens in teams, so there are no individual agents here.
Katana, modern manufacturing & inventory software provider, has just recently raised $11M in funding. This together with the e-commerce boom will significantly fuel the Estonian SaaS startup business growth in 2021.
This left us wondering how the everyday work and life at Katana looks like these days?
We talked withPriit Kaasik, the co-founder and CTO at Katana, and asked him tonnes of questions. The conversation went deep into their technological backbone (full stack or function based delivery? in-house development or external services?). Also, the open discussion revealed a product mistake and how heavily underused their office PS5 is.
Take a look at the interview below 👇 and get a glimpse of Katana’s mindset. Or as Priit puts it “Why become a unicorn when you could be a unicorn 140 times over?”
There is no good way to hide that I am a process guy first and technology guy second. I aim to be the facilitator of technological advancement to best serve and innovate Katana’s manufacturing platform as a service.
Being a hybrid describes me well – excelling at combining various aspects, never in a singular discipline like coding. My strength lies in defining and driving towards the technological impact that needs to be achieved (I hope others would confirm this).
That said, my favourite pass-time is assembly and tinkering with small-factor but powerful gaming PC-s. I assemble about 2 per month for friends (for their kids) and for people who know this hobby of mine. Some may consider me a gamer, but I‘m really hanging in there because of the technology…
How would you characterize the fundamental values of Katana’s development team?
We emphasize the importance of putting on theend user’s hat and understand the business better – using full stack development and User Stories. Other main pillars would include:
💡 product delivery in increments and iteration,
💡 never reinventing a wheel,
💡 the meaning of “minimal viable”,
💡 writing cloud-native software that is robust and scales with the business.
Mainly, the development team is on a quest for a smart solution.
Let’s talk about Katana’s technological backbone. What stack do you use?
We are currently focusing on adopting Kafka more widely (lessening the importance of internal API to serve dependencies) to scale the service better horizontally.
Micro frontends are something we concentrate on – to improve parallel delivery and deployment from different product teams. And as a product, Katana has set our eyes to solutions that help us to become a manufacturing platform with a popular app store.
Click on the picture to find more info about Katana’s tech stack
Katana uses Heroku, which limits people who enjoy deployment pipeline building. What kind of developers would be a perfect match with Katana?
The limitation is similar to any other choice of technology. It’s just a combination of Bitbucket Pipelines and Heroku Pipelines – a Katana flavor of it. It would greatly benefit if you:
✅ Like pattern-based engineering, building Lego blocks for yourself, your team and teams.
✅ Appreciate full stack development and the need to understand a customer.
✅ Enjoy working in an Agile team.
✅ Being a self-sufficient engineer, without the need to be actively managed and supported, is a treat we value a lot. Because we really prefer to manage people as little as possible.
A person, who enjoys tinkering and overpolishing solutions, will have a hard time at Katana. We look for engineers who understand that their value lies in their ability to dish out the “right stuff at the right time”. Not in the code worthy of a monument now and 10 years later (we value good code but not overdoing it).
What aspects are not developed in-house, but bought as an external service?
Let’s say that the scope of what Katana is doing, is roughly described here. And in order to deliver it, we use following services in Katana:
It is also important to note that Katana doesn’t have any technical operations nor DevOps people on-board. We consume data (Postgres, Redis, Elasticsearch, Kafka, Bull etc.) also as a service.
The cat or dog person question. Full stack, or front end & back end separately?
Full stack. Regarding customer features and end-to-end transactions, it’s far superior compared to function based delivery.
I have observed and participated in such designs in various top notch software development companies. In the case of web-based SaaS, I would always choose full stack to win it at the market.
It’s a focus thingie – eventually a product team has to be full stack and cross-functional, you have to work with the engineers you are able to hire.
In which case would you consider hiring front end and back end specialists instead of full stack?
To compensate for a weakness, bolster skills that are lacking or not represented enough in the company, but are important.
Looking back, what were the technical mistakes that you wish that could have been avoided when building the product? How did you fix it?
Just one thing pops to mind right away. We decided to upgrade our backend node.js framework LoopBack3 onto version 4. It has turned out to be a very expensive work with very little benefits (other than LB3 is no longer supported).
Should have assembled our own modification from a more lightweight backend framework a la NEST.
What direction are you scaling (horizontal/vertical etc)?
In all directions, of course!
But seriously, in the engineering team we emphasize the importance of horizontal scaling and the code supporting it.
Vertical scaling is for the emergencies, when the performance need is miscalculated and a performance issue quickly needs addressing. That is another reason why we chose Heroku, it really excels at this type of performance management and scaling.
Let’s imagine, I’m a newly hired engineer. How will my first days at Katana look like?
Once we agree and assemble the work gear and software set with the engineer – wintel, mac and/or Linux – you will be ready to go. You choose between onboarding in the office or remotely (your gear will be delivered at home). We use Slack and Whereby to communicate and run meetings etc. Also, this setup works really well with onboarding.
We also have a compensation system to expense the cost of home office setup and including headphones with active noise cancelling (must-have product these days).
When you’re comms-capable, the first weeks are for meeting fellow katanauts – learning the heartbeat and key information sources. In software engineering our current gold standard benchmark for the first day is to get the development environment up and running by noon, join our food club, have team lunch, fix a bug and get the fix to live by the end of the first day.
Fully remote or office?
Nobody is working fully in the office nowadays. That said, we are eagerly waiting for situation improvements, so we could restore the office experience to its former glory.
Even during the pandemic (when approached with precaution), our office has its perks (heavily underused PS5, barista-grade coffee etc). And our lunch club is still functioning! About 15% of people use the office at the moment, wear masks, and have spread out. Our office is new, roomy and really well ventilated.
Actually our new office will be ready by summer. It will be located in the newly renovated building next door to Põhjala Taproom at Noblessner. Even with new ways of working, we decided that having a joint workplace and meetings in person will remain an important part of our culture.
Double up the size of the engineering team each year!
The aim is to build a team to become a world’s leading manufacturing platform able to challenge SAP and such. You cannot really catch them otherwise – why become a unicorn when you could be a unicorn 140 times over?
But (there is always a but), business also has to grow accordingly, and so far we have mostly been hampered by lack of features to fully tackle SMB/SME manufacturing space.
Sounds like your cup of tea? Check out Katana’s current openings and apply!
Together with early stage investments, 70V offers an acceleration program to help founders to build and scale their businesses. Useful connections, diverse knowhow and licence to show brilliant ideas – an attractive career path for people that love to see the birth, growth, and success of a company.
In the light of their recent 1st startup exit, we talked with the 70V’s associateAivaras Rastenis, who honestly admitted that he didn’t expect the first exit to arrive this soon.
Despite that research shows that90% of all global startups fail, 70V is a safety net for talents. In the worst case scenario, good performers (the growth journey lovers) will have a secure place in another startup as soon as possible. 💪
How do they do it? Without further ado, let’s jump and find out! 👇
We gave a little introduction to 70V, but you, as an insider, could you please open up more. What is 70V all about?
Imagine having a business idea that helps other businesses to reach their goals. And you want to go global, but lack of money and knowledge sets its limitations. What to do?
No need to be alone in this – fundraise and find partners with experience! This is where accelerator funds, like us, come into the picture.
70V invests in ambitious B2B entrepreneurs globally. We help them to build and scale predictable sales machines with talent from Lithuania. Our predictable revenue playbook has been already used with more than 70 companies.
70V partner Jean-Baptiste Daguené has said “I eat SaaS for breakfast, B2B sales for lunch and data for dinner”. Is there still something new to offer to the table?
Oh yes, there’s still plenty of room on the table!
The B2B tech startup ecosystem is an exciting space to work in. It’s a very fast paced environment with tonnes of possibilities for stellar growth. All the top Lead Research Specialists (LRS) and Sales Development Representatives (SDR) in our portfolio have been promoted within 8-12 months.
Higher risk comes with higher reward. Seeing the birth, growth and success of the company is something extremely special. Do 70V portfolio companies share their achievement stories with each other, or you keep them strictly apart?
This is a very good question!
Working in a startup and B2B sales is challenging. That’s why building a B2B community is a top priority for us. We can’t wait to get back to normal but we are very proud that we moved our community online.
Every month we connect talents in our portfolio to share their triumphs and their mistakes. Also, 70V rewards accomplishments highly through our portfolio leaderboard where SDRs (Sales Development Representatives) compete for monthly cash prizes.
Could you share with us, what is the next big thing?
We search for the next big thing in the Nordics and Baltics. Each month we make two to three investments in various B2B companies. Fintech, adtech/marktech, legaltech, accounting solutions – just to name a few.
Our portfolio companies might go after the same customer but with different value propositions.
As we speak, we have already invested in 35+ companies and all of them compete for the best talent!
Want to see the full portfolio? Click on the picture and find our out more.
70V together with its portfolio companies provide unique career opportunities. However, we cannot avoid the elephant in the room –the startup 90% failure rate. How does 70V provide job stability/security?
In short, 70V is like a safety net for talents. Once you pass our application process and prove that you can deliver, we will hold your back no matter what.
As investors we also think how we can minimise the investment risk and maximise the returns. We focus on identifying the top founders who are 100% committed to their business venture. It takes at least 7 qualification steps and only a small fraction of founders we meet get an investment.
In the worst case scenario, If you are a good performer and enjoy the startup journey, we will definitely secure you a place in another startup as soon as possible. When you join one of our portfolio companies, you join the 70V community as well.
Mad respect that you’re not trying to claim that the 70V portfolio always falls on the successful 10% side. The startup life can be tough and not suitable for everyone. Who are the people you are looking for to join the team?
We look for people who enjoy working with customers and are born competitors.
If you are a go-getter, speed is your religion and discomfort attracts you, then we’d be a perfect fit. However, if life is happening to you and you’re full of excuses, then it’s a no go.
The top performers earn 7000 EUR+ monthly and all of them share the values written in our B2B Sales Manifesto.
How do you usually find the candidates to hire? What % of hired candidates have been sourced and headhunted?
It is really the top talent that we’re looking for. The top 10% of the ideal candidates.
We combine both passive and active sourcing. I wouldn’t be surprised if someone who’s reading this article was already approached by us. 🙂
Sometimes the best talent comes to us through referrals or platforms like MeetFrank. I’m extremely happy that talents who already work in 70V startups keep recommending their friends to join.
70V has only one religion – the TARGET. What is the key to motivate team members to make smart decisions and take responsibility for the consequences?
It’s about the mindset. When you have a sense of ownership then all of that comes naturally. We look for people who care about delivery.
The main motivation comes from the dynamic environment, speed of decision-making and clearly seeing the impact of our actions.
In the end of the day, 70V is the best B2B sales school in town. We cultivate a training-intensive environment that inspires to learn, grow and lead by example. Each new talent goes through a 2 weeks onboarding program with clear steps and training. People keep saying that after the 1st month here they feel like 3 or 4 months have passed already.
You have probably sacrificed some of your weekends and holidays to work. Be honest, has the startup hustle killed your social life?
Haha. True that. However, I don’t label that as a sacrifice. I really enjoy what I do here and understand the scale of my impact to our startups and new hires. On the contrary, I have improved my social life by focusing on building meaningful relationships and giving my undivided attention to the people who are the most important to me.
And of course, the industry I am in is plenty of networking opportunities. Almost every day I meet new people and reconnect with people I know.
Sounds like your cup of tea? Check out the 70V openings and apply!
70V is recruiting for Lead Researchers, Sales Development Representatives and Account Executives. Recently they have opened a new vacancy called Sales Operations Specialist. Read more about career possibilities on 70V’s website or check out the MeetFrank app:
💡 Besides investments from pre-seed to series A, 70V offers an acceleration program. They strongly believe that the success depends on the success of their startups.
💡 The company has invested in various B2B sectors: fintech, adtech/marktech, legaltech, accounting solutions. Their portfolio companies might go after the same customer but with different value propositions.
💡 B2B sales is the key element of success. According to 70V, the best solution is to start having meaningful customer conversations even before building a product.
💡 70V is a safety net for talents. When you join 70V portfolio companies, you join the 70V community as well – stellar performers are always secured a job.
💡 Working at a startup is a risk with a huge upside. The top performers at 70V earn €7000+ monthly and have been promoted within 8-12 months.