How many years have you been in your current role?

5 in my current role/company.

What's your backstory. How did you come to be where you are today?

After partially failing my own business (first time founder, no business education) I took up a marketing position at a startup accelerator with the aim to learn and grow. Totally fell in love with the people in my team and the  startup founders we were working with, as well as in the mission of the company – to help founders turn into entrepreneurs and make a difference through entrepreneurship in some underserved and overlooked markets.

What has been your highlight in your role?

Baltic Startup Scene Report – creating and developing the most comprehensive report about Baltic startup ecosystem for 3 consecutive years.

What has been your lowlight?

Company losing a 5M eur tender.

How did you come across Landscape?

Through an article on Sifted.

Biggest challenge right now/thing you need help on:

The biggest current challenge is surviving our companies growth – a good problem to have! More in detail, how to establish needed processes, hire the right people and grow myself personally and professionally to meet the expectations of the growing company and brand.


What's the biggest mistake you’ve made so far and what did you learn from it?

Outsourcing brand refresh without doing the important part in-house and trying to save money on this process. Lessons learned: do the homework – talk to your customers, involve your team, prepare well before you go out to an agency or designers to do the design/positioning work, and do proper research and choose the right professionals to work on your brand.

What piece of advice would you give to others?

Meditate and take care of your body. Stress, tiredness and being overwhelmed not only wear you out, but probably make you do the wrong things and keeps you from the actual success and also peace of mind that you deserve. 🥰🙏

What is the most frustrating thing you find about the startup fundraising ecosystem?

Lots of empty hustle. Founders seeking the glory of startup and unicorn life without actually building something meaningful, with purpose and solving an actual problem. And investors – also jumping on the “hot trends” or big names, often not supporting or overlooking the hard workers that are making a difference, but just don’t have the shiniest pitch or the most charming personality.

What you would like to see change in the startup fundraising ecosystem within the next 5 years?

Less “fake it till you make it attitude” and unicorn craze.

Zane is Head of Marketing & Communications at Startupwiseguys. Her LinkedIn profile can be found here.

Her email address is also zane@startupwiseguys.com and she is happy to be contacted.