Joanna Drabent
Co-Founder and CEO of Prowly

© Filip Klimaszewski

Q: What are you passionate about?

A: Watersports and travels – when I’m not at work, you can meet me kitesurfing in some exotic places around the world.

A life of constant learning and adapting

Before starting Prowly, I ran my own PR agency and never understood why our industry didn’t embrace new technology. Alongside my colleague, Sebastian, I decided to build a tool that would make my PR job easier. I wasn’t sure if the industry was ready to embrace such a tool, but Prowly was a solution based on real needs. Fortunately, Sebastian made sure the software worked. Our friends and PR pros offered to test Prowly before it was released and provided useful, constructive feedback. All that made me confident it would work.

Prowly is my first startup. I constantly need to learn new things and find new paths. The same goes for the team – we all need to learn extremely fast, otherwise we would stop growing. The hardest part of running a tech startup is this neverending race against time – but no matter what, if you believe in your product and your people, you should never give up. This is the advice my father gave me. Keep doing what you started and don’t be afraid to fail, as with every failure there comes new knowledge.

Joanna Drabent, 30, from Warsaw, Poland, co-founded Prowly in May 2013 with the goal of solving the needs of the PR industry. Today, Prowly employs 17 people and operates globally from offices in Poland and the US. The company works with brands like Spotify, IKEA and Hill+Knowlton Strategies. Joanna graduated in Journalism and European Studies at University of Warsaw.

This article was published in ‘the Hundert Vol. 8 – Female Startup Founders Europe’, May 2016.