Maja Mikek
Co-Founder and CFO of Celtra

Marin Mester

Q: What are you most proud of?

A: Sticking to my “intrinsic” beliefs and values when being pressured and high stakes are on the table.

Dream, visualize and execute

I am a builder and a maker at heart and have always approached jobs with an entrepreneurial mindset. Before co-founding Celtra, I worked in the gaming industry for probably the most well known entrepreneur in Slovenia. He gave me proof that common sense prevails, and working with him helped me develop a defined way of thinking for my own venture. I now co-run a company of 170 people and his mindset still inspires me.

Celtra began when my husband (boyfriend at that time) and founder, Mihael Mikek, and I took a risk. We had come to the US for our master’s degrees, and had nothing to lose after we graduated. We were both curious about the big market for mobile advertising, so we visualized our dream and began executing on it. I felt very liberated when we started the company. I knew back then it was the right thing for me, but I don’t think it’s the right thing for everyone; a lot of people decide to do a startup because they are attracted to the lifestyle, which I think is the wrong reason to do it.

Starting your own company can be a long and lonely ride until you get some traction and venture capital, and until you build a solid team. My advice is to learn what the big trends are in the next 10 or 20 years, and then you’ll always have the wind at your back!

Maja Mikek is a Babson College MBA graduate and the CFO and co-founder of Celtra, the global leader for rich media mobile advertising and analytics. Prior to starting Celtra with her husband and CEO, Mihael Mikek, and CPO, Matevz Klanjsek, Maja was based in Slovenia and worked as a CRM Manager for mobile operator Simobil and as a marketing director in the gaming industry.

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