Sarah Weiss, dancer, freelancer, ByBase founder
”It was a new world to me, all the brainstorming sessions, feedback sessions, hackathons.”
The world of startups can be exhausting. Let‘s face it: it’s not for everyone. You don’t always want to sell your company in two years for a million, nor scale your team from 5 to 50 people in six months.
Often, you want only to find your passion, earn enough money to pay the living, pick the projects you love and enjoy life.
Here‘s is a story of Sarah who came to this revelation over her two years in Campus.
Which company/startup/non-profit organization in CEE inspires you and why?
Vectary. It is a great example that this region can produce something of such a global impact.
I think that this project forecasts the potential of design tools and the way people will be able to create in the future. I can´t even imagine how technologically advanced the software must be. I am proud it was created by Slovaks.
Top three (audio)books/blogs/podcasts that changed your way of looking at the world?
There is plenty of content that is great but if I have to list something that truly changed the way I look at the world it would only be one podcast – lecture series by Joseph Campbell.
He was a professor of literature and a mythologist, and he has his whole semester on Spotify. If you look for them, they are listed as albums, not podcasts, and I suggest you start from the first one before deciding if you want to commit to such a vast body of content.
Your most favorite treat from Campus bar?
The best personal hack that helped you become more effective/productive/healthier/less stressed/get things done over the last 6 months?
A quote you live by?
Ouf, I am not a big fan of quotes as they are mostly taken out of context. But if I had to choose, the quote that has changed my perception and I get back to it very often it would be this one by Malcom X: “Don't be in a hurry to condemn because he doesn't do what you do or think as you think or as fast. There was a time when you didn't know what you know today.
Sarah‘s been dancing in Street Dance Academy since she can remember. It’s her passion. And it‘s also the thread connecting the dots that influenced her life.
It started off when she was fifteen. “After spending hours in the studio, I always helped at dance events, no matter how – starting from simple tasks like printing papers or setting up catering. I felt honored to be part of the dance world and to be around the people that were the reason why the whole culture started.“ Sarah explains the beginnings enthusiastically.
”The Legits, a company founded by dancers from Banska Bystrica, initiated The Legits Blast festival. First year, I started as a volunteer in a their clothing shop.“
As they noticed her communication skills and fairly decent English, she started to take care of the guests, helping them feel comfortable at the event and get the vibe of the city and the local culture. As the experience grew, Sarah embraced her unique role of a hospitality manager.
The word about her knowledge, skills, and experience spread and that potentiated her to form a team and travel all around the world to help at international events.
Okay, to be frank, it was also thanks to her additional role as a commentator which blasted off with a Chinese dance event. What in the name of MC Hammer is that?
Well, when laymen watch a breaking event, they just see people dancing for five hours. No clue, though, why someone wins, and others lose. Here comes the commentator in to explain what‘s going on, what’s next and interviews people that are responsible for these decisions.
”KOD is one of the biggest dance events in the world at the moment, and they wanted me to add my commentary after the battles. I still can´t believe they chose me… I was live for more than 200k people!”
She pulled it off.
Laying down the ByBasics
In her late teens and early twenties, the time when her mates struggled at university exams, Sarah was traveling all around the world and gathering experience.
Yup, she started as an engineering student in Bratislava. For one semester. As the reality was anything but what she had imagined, she decided to try again in London and graduated with a first class degree as a BA in Architecture.
In her free time (if there is such a thing during architecture studies), she came up with the ByBase project, a worldwide platform for dancers. Initially an app with events followed by a website magazine for dancers.
After her years in London, she came back to Bratislava not exactly knowing what to do and where to go but devoted to make ByBase the first online gateway for the dancers from all over the world.
That’s when Campus entered her life.
(not) Every day I’m hustlin’
”I joined Powerful Digital office to work on my stuff and to occasionally help with whatever Martin (of whom we’ve already spoken here) trusted me with,“ Sarah recalls. But she had taken on so many projects that she didn‘t know where her head was at. From freelance jobs through Bethereum marketing to dancing events and teaching, it contained all.
So she took a step back and sincerely asked herself what she was expecting from life.
”Everyone around here was working on such huge ideas like AI in medicine. It had been difficult to admit, but at last, I knew this was not me,“ Sarah reveals openly.
”I learned that I prefer to spend my energy on more personal projects focused around the culture that inspires me, earning enough to live and still be able to do everything that makes me happy.”
Back on the familiar ground
Yet, she loves Campus. The environment, the people, the founders.
”Since the first day, I knew I could go to Dusan or Marek (Campus co-founder) anytime and tell them I had no idea what I was doing with ByBase or even my life and ask for advice. They are much more experienced and, thus, had many relevant answers instantly.“
Sarah joined as many events and happenings as she could. ”It was a new world to me, all the brainstorming sessions, feedback sessions, hackathons. I was everywhere because I wanted to be part of it all and learn as much as I could. I even joined lectures that were not necessarily relevant to what I was doing, but they all turned out to be helpful in one way or another.“
In spite of an investment opportunity for ByBase, Sarah dropped the project except for the content platform.
Today, she is back in what she loves most. Being a teacher and creative manager at Street Dance Academy, marketing advisor for several international dance events, photographer, and she also revealed to us that she is starting a vlog really soon.
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