I am happy to write this second blog article and interview from the series ‘The Devil Wears Technology’, which focuses on another independent, creative woman, who is mastering the financial technology world.
Enjoy, Embrace and Empower! – Maria
Please meet #Bosslady, Sara Koslinska, Co-Founder and CEO of Limitless. Sara was recently named one of Forbes 30 under 30.
Sara Koslinska, CEO of Limitless. changed the perception of what an investor looks like to millennials by creating Limitless Microinvestment App, a fintech startup providing a a microinvestment app to financial institutions willing to engage millennials.
Limitless’ mission is to provide banks and other financial institutions with a PSD2-ready, white-label micro-investment solution that helps young people reach their goals faster in a simple and engaging way. They spend, they save, they invest.
Sara has founded and worked for tech startups in London, Tel Aviv, Warsaw and Singapore. She was awarded ‘Founder of the Year’ in the 2017 Central European Startup Awards.She has travelled over 40 countries getting to know the local startup ecosystems and is an advocate for building diverse teams, and hiring women in technology.
“Women do not need to be empowered. They need to be paid.” – Sara Koslinska, CEO of Limitless
Can you tell us a bit about your career in the financial services industry?
Since 2013, when I moved to London, I have been seeing a lot of potential in fintech and big data, and when in 2015 I met my co-founder who had the initial idea, I knew right away that it was worth pursuing.
What advice do you have for women who are thinking about starting a fintech?
- Keep in mind that it will take more time than you expect, to get your first clients and get to a stable growth.
- Usually, you know what is best for your business. Do not let others influence your choices.
- Find yourself a business partner with a good sense of humor. You need to stay positive in order to withstand the tougher moments
What aspects of technology particularly interest you?
The potential of applying technology to business and how it influences us as a society and as a democracy.
What were the experiences growing up that shaped who you are today?
As the eldest child, I was effectively responsible for my three younger siblings, and I developed a very protective instinct towards them. Now, by extension, I feel the same towards all my peers, and want them to have enough money to live comfortably, especially into their later years.
What are some of the more risky career moves you have made that really paid off? How did they pay off and what would have happened if you were more risk-averse?
I moved out of my home country when I was 20. First to Tel Aviv, then London, next was Singapore and Kuala Lumpur. In each of these places, I had to build a professional and personal network from scratch, understand the local market and business culture, and adjust. I would not be the same person if not for these experiences and understanding of the world I gained from them.
What are the three trends in banking technology that you are personally watching?
WealthTech, corporate-startup collaboration, corporate venturing
How do you mentor or empower women (or people in general)?
Women do not need to be empowered. They need to be paid. We consciously hire female developers and make sure to keep our gender ratio around 50:50
Tell us more about yourself and your personal interests.What is a typical day for you?
Waking up with a head full of ideas and plans, checking all the communication channels, attending meetings (often requiring hopping on a plane), communicating with the team over Slack and talking over WhatsApp with my co-founder.
Name one unique quality about yourself
It is not unique, but I value my integrity and I like to think that I’m in this comfortable position where I can decide to only work with decent people.
What do you do in your spare time? Or what activities reinvigorate and re-energize you?
I’m actually still learning how to rest and re-energize. I try to clear my mind and do basic stretching every day.
Which blogs, publications or websites do you follow?
CB Insights, Bloomberg Businessweek, Financial Times
What is your next big project?
I have some ideas…To be continued…