The StartupYard team is excited to announce another brand new member. Helena Nehasilová will serve as StartupYard’s much needed Administrative Associate. Her many duties will include facilitating the StartupYard accelerator program, helping to organize and run StartupYard events, and managing the StartupYard team’s hectic calendar and administrative paperwork. Her job for now is to support the StartupYard team, and keep us working efficiently and effectively. She will be a welcome asset to the team when it welcomes up to 10 new startups in March, and mentoring begins in ernest.
I talked with Helena this week about what uniquely suits her to working with Startups. Here’s what she had to say:
Hi Helena! Welcome to the team. Tell us a little about yourself.
Hello there! I am young life enthusiast. I am interested in startups, creative people, music and yoga. I studied at the Economic faculty of ČZU in Prague and worked in several offices as an office manager. After some time spent in the corporate world, I decided to create my own project (Office yoga) and do more “creative” stuff in my life. When I am not at StartupYard, I do yoga or play the piano in my band Lady Merlot.
So you have some experience as an entrepreneur? What have you learned from creating Office Yoga?
I can say that I do. I am happy that i didn’t give up on my dream, and tried to create my own project. It started from the idea of doing yoga and healthy stretching right in the workplace, as a new employee benefit, and continued with all the administrative “nightmare” of dealing with public offices (trade license, financial office etc.), then with creating a business plan, website, hiring good teachers, meeting all the business HR people, etc. I ended up with lessons and workshops in companies on a regular basis. I’ve learned so many things I wouldn’t have, had I only worked as an employee. I can also say that being an entrepreneur is not a picnic, but it is worth a try at least. The company is still going steady, but slowly.
What makes you want to work with StartupYard?
I really like the atmosphere of startups. It’s a “fresh” environment full of really interesting ideas and projects. One can be really inspired, not only by the dreams which can become real, but also by the remarkable and smart people. It’s a pleasure to work in this area, with such people.
I also really love the atmosphere at Node5, where we started working this month. The people here and the Node5 team have been really welcoming and friendly, and it’s a great location, so I think our incoming startups will really enjoy being here.
What do your friends think about you working in “Startupland?”
They are really excited about it. Some of them envy the friendly and smart environment of “Startupland”. Definitely better than working for some “fossilized”, boring, non-creative public office. Some of them appreciate that my work is part of something bigger – not only myself or StartupYard, but we help other people, to grow their ideas into real and working projects and companies.
You grew up in Prague, unlike most of the StartupYard team. How have things changed here since you can remember? What has changed for the better, or the worse?
I can see Prague is becoming a more metropolitan and cosmopolitan city, but it still holds on to the hallmarks of a unique place in the heart of Europe. It is more open to foreigners (more people can speak English, more services are available in English) than before. These days there new communities of expats are still forming; local art areas with small and pleasant cafes, bars and pubs, coworking places, creative people or LGBT groups. I think the city is more open to new trends, styles and unusual activities. I can’t say anything has become worse, except for the politics. Maybe the prices have increased, but in comparison with the rest of the EU, it is still super cheap here.
How do you hope to positively influence the StartupYard program and the teams when they arrive?
I think I am a really friendly, open-minded person and I like meeting new people. I hope I will charge up the teams with my positive and welcoming attitude. Don’t worry, there won’t be just hard work. You can look forward to fun and relaxing activities. I am looking forward to all the teams! Can’t wait.
What about this type of work seems like the biggest challenge for you?
The biggest challenge for me is to arrange the smooth running of all the workshops and events organised by StartupYard and also organization of our future teams and mentors. But I am sure it will be fun and I am really excited about that.