#BEYOUROWN Interviews Marija Butkovic

Marija Butkovic, is joining this week's #BEYOUROWN. Marija, a co-founder of Kisha Smart Umbrella - a wearable tech startup designing world's smartest fashion tech umbrella, and Women of Wearables - initiative which aims to support, connect and empower women in wearable tech, fashion tech, IoT and VR/AR. She is member of Tech London Advocates - organisation aiming to support technology startups in finding new investment, new talent and achieving high growth. 

In 2013 and 2014 Marija has collaborated with Seedcamp, one of London’s most well knows accelerator, as their legal advisor and startup mentor. She currently works with many startup accelerator and incubators in London and worldwide on delivering help and advice as mentor and advisor. As PR strategist and journalist Marija works with world's leading tech and business magazines and portals, and as digital marketing strategist she also mentors startups and advises clients in wearable tech and IoT space. Prior to working in wearables and tech industry, Marija was a corporate lawyer and consultant for legal trade journals. Marija holds a BSc in Law and has also graduated from Startup Institute. 

How does your day start and how does it finish?

My day usually starts around 7am when I immediately jump out of bed and check emails and social media. If I’m running on an early meeting with a client then I’ll probably postpone that for later when I get in the office. 

Besides having my own projects - Women of Wearables and Kisha smart umbrella, I also freelance as digital marketer, so depending on a day, I might spend first half of the day in my client’s office. If not, I’m working from our WoW office in Whitechapel.

During the course of the day, I have numerous calls and check emails from partners, clients and of course my co-founders from both businesses. I try to spend two days actively working which means to meetings or events. 

In the evening I might go to an event that’s related to my business or I’ll just go home and spend some time preparing dinner for me and my husband. I love to end my day with something that’s not related to my business, because it rests my brain and sparks new ideas. 

You launched in 2014 is that correct? What has been the hardest challenge you have had to overcome?

My cofounders and I launched Kisha smart umbrella in 2014. Kisha is a windproof, high quality umbrella you cannot lose due to connection between your phone and beacon inside the umbrella, which is using Bluetooth technology. Prior to Kisha, I was a corporate lawyer in Croatia, as well as startup mentor in one of Croatian startup incubators and tech journalist. After moving to London in 2014 I started freelancing as digital marketing and PR strategist for different clients, together with running Kisha. This year my co-founder Michelle Hua and I launched Women of Wearables, community for women in wearable tech, IoT and fashion tech industries. 

My hardest challenges were:

  • Adjust not only to different country, but also different cultural and business background in UK, compared to Croatia

  • Generating income whilst developing my products / startups and doing many things at the same time, which means I had to be (and I still have to be) incredibly organised

  • Switch from legal to marketing industry and acquire completely different mindset in a short period of time

Read the full interview #BEYOUROWN here.