Yana Vlatchkova
Co-Founder and COO of Swipes

Q: What makes you happy?

A: Chocolate!

Do what you love with the people you like

I was born in the ’90s in Bulgaria. These were very turbulent times of transition from a planned to market economy in which many people started businesses to seize open market opportunities. My mom was one of these entrepreneurs, so I’ve been thinking about business for as long as I can remember – whether it be company names or repurposing old business cards and invoices into my own pretend company documents. I grew up believing that work is not something that you get, but something you create. So naturally when I graduated university and was supposed to start a career, I could not put my mind to it. All I wanted was to create things I love with the people I like. This brought me together with Kasper and Stefan, my two co-founders, who are the most brilliant people I know and who felt the same way I did. Did we know exactly what we wanted to do at the time? No. Were we experienced enough? No. Did everyone tell us we would fail? Yes. Yet, we didn’t, because we followed a simple rule: do what you love with the people you like and become the best at it.

Yana Vlatchkova is the co-founder of Swipes, a company that is building a connected workspace for your projects across apps. Swipes was founded in 2013 in Denmark, and its six-person team is currently split between offices in Sofia, Bulgaria and Palo Alto, California. Yana is leading the operations and creating a company culture focused on happiness. Her background is in marketing management.


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