{ being part of the change, not disrupted by it }

In a Tweet: “Started by designing clothes, then databases & build all things digital. Finn with Sisu. Gravitate towards funny & empathy. ❤️ #OpenWeb #Movies”

paulamarttilaI was born and raised in Finland, filled with Sisu, and have the past 30 years lived and worked in beautiful Stockholm, Sweden. You can oftentimes also find me in buzzing Berlin connecting European startups and bridging ecosystems. In Stockholm I used to spend most of my awaken time at Aftonbladet, Nordic’s largest online news media outlet, a Schibsted Media House company. I was part of the small pioneering technical team to build its first and sole digital CMS incl. multi platform publishing, as well as premium subscription consumer products such as Viktklubb, the largest digital health and weight loss community service, later licensed to seven international media houses. It’s very humbling and rewarding when people trust you with their health and personal lives to overcome troubles and achieve their goals. I hold B.S. in Business Economics in International Marketing, and while technically a backend engineer, my strength is understanding the full stack. As technical project manager and deputy CTO I also carried out many direct assignments by the company board of directors, gaining valuable experience in how large enterprises operate.

Today as digital product advisor I use my experience in product strategy and management, customer acquisition, digital media monetization, and board-level media house learnings to help companies to define product/market fit, go-to-market strategies, and enable growth by building better products to better serve their customers. As an early pioneer within mobile, video, digital health, and subscription services, they’re also areas of my product expertise. I further assist with investment readiness and fundraising due my extensive investor network and insights into venture capital. I continue learning while giving back to the community by actively mentoring startups at accelerator programs on product, marketing, and growth, and have been rated as one of the best startups mentors in Europe. Since co-organizing the first Geek Girl Meetup in Stockholm in 2009, I have engaged in Women in Tech initiatives to change the ratio, and been selected as Top 100 Women in Tech in Europe.

There are few things more exciting than building a product from day one and bringing it to life and into the hands of users, why I also love to refer to Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon: “It’s always Day 1”. The urge of obsessing over customers and product. Every. Day.

Personal Guidelines

  • Be kind to everyone. You never know what people are going through.
  • I look for empathy and humility.
  • “There is a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women.” – Madeleine Albright, Fmr. U.S. Secretary of State.
  • Everything’s personal. People do business with people they trust. Building trust and relationships is everything, and takes time.
  • When you need your network, it’s too late to start building it.
  • “You never learn anything when you speak, only when you listen.” – Roelof Botha / Douglas Leone, Sequoia Capital
  • “Sit at the table.” – Sheryl Sandberg
  • Being part of the change, not disrupted by it.

Below more about my work and how I can add value:

Digital Business Growth Advisory

My clients range from technology startups, venture capital, development studios and agencies, digital media houses, to educational institutions. Please connect with me to help you with any of the following:

  • Product Strategy and Management
  • Go-To-Market / Internationalization Strategy
  • Investment Readiness / Fundraising
  • Digital Industry Research / Due Diligence

Keynote Speaker, Panel Member, Moderator and Programme Curator

Selection of Keynote Talks
Conference Panel Member:
Conference Moderator and Programme Curator:

Writings

I have covered technology trends and startups, Swedish and Nordic ones in particular, in various forms since 2009:

Besides from covering VOD, E-commerce, Women in tech and Startup ecosystems, the main topics of my writings reflect areas of my expertise:

  • Product: Product Strategy and Management, Customer experience, Product/Market Fit.
  • Growth: Go-to-market strategy, Internationalization, Startup Marketing, Inbound Marketing, Growth Hacking: Customer Acquisition and Engagement.
  • Fundraising: Venture Capital and Fundraising 101, Investment Readiness, Pitch Advice, Seed funding, Angel investing, Accelerator Programs incl. Mentor Advice.
  • Startup 101: Founder Advice, Hiring and Building Teams incl. Women in Tech, Company Culture.

Contact me for speaking and writing opportunities.

Startup Competition Judge

I have years of experience as a startup pitch competition judge, and have spent good part of my weekends at hackathons, best sunblock ever 🙂

Paying It Forward – Women In Tech, Startup Mentor on Product, Marketing, and Growth

The early days, Seedcamp Berlin 2010. Flickr CC: Seedcamp

I believe in paying it forward as a way to build sustainable businesses and viable startup communities, and it’s one of the reasons why I engage in Women in Tech initiatives and  accelerator programmes. I take mentoring very seriously and subscribe to Startup Mentoring -The Socratic Way by Fred Destin, as TechStars Mentor Manifesto. Katie Rae, former MD of TechStars Boston, is my modern day role model.

Startup Accelerator Programmes
Women in Tech Initiatives

What startups say about me:

“Paula clearly loves this event and she seemed to have actually put effort into researching us before she arrived.”

“We know Paula for some time and she was always helpful and a good mentor.”

“That was really impressive. Paula is very energetic.” – Seedcamp Teams

Be Part Of The Change, Not Disrupted By It

As a reminder of the continuous evolution and rapid change we as individuals, and as a society, need to keep adapting to, I leave you with the image below of a young skater I took in front of the Mannerheim statue in Helsinki, Finland.

Thank you for reading all the way, now please tell me more about your product. I’d love to help.  Connect with me @Twitter and @LinkedIn

Mannerheim