Mentality of a founder, or stories of both unicorns and sharks


They had an idea and a vision, courage and good timing, but sometimes they also needed a little luck and a combination of circumstances. Today, they manage large companies with millions in turnover, but they had to earn their keep. The Founder’s Mentality podcast brings business stories of founders of companies that have become love brands in Slovakia and are now known around the world.

The podcast began to be published regularly during the summer of 2022 and is the result of a long-term effort and enthusiasm for innovation, international business and getting to know the stories of people who make ambitious projects from Slovakia, which our colleague, Viktor Štefaňák, hides in himself. For some time now, Viktor has been interested in successful entrepreneurs who started their business in Slovakia and were able to enter foreign markets with it. Last year he managed to establish cooperation with Zapo official, a platform dedicated to the production of the highest quality and most popular podcasts in Slovakia.

Viktor Štefaňák and Martin Záhumenský, Chief Product Technology Officer at Ataccama

Mentality of a founder (MF) is published regularly once every 14 days, and an average of 2,000 people listen to each episode within a month. At Campus, we are extremely happy to have people in our team who can inspire others and who are successful outside of our main business, i.e. renting seats in the coworking center. Viktor definitely belongs to these people and that’s why we decided to interview him a little today.

Viktor, how did you come up with the idea to create a podcast about entrepreneurs in Slovakia? What was your initial inspiration?

It was basically my selfish idea or desire to get to know people who do great things from Slovakia, have drive, ambition, build international teams and scale abroad. In other words, they want to do something international from Slovakia. Well, I couldn’t just write to them that “come for coffee and tell me how to do it, what is your story”. It required a bigger intention and that’s how the idea to create a podcast was born. At that time, Rasťo Kiavčin, a former member of the Campus team, started the Campus podcast. I wanted a Zero2Hero (a platform that inspires young people to do business) podcast and the result was the Business Talks podcast. It was born on our knees, in Campus, with a weaker sound and almost no experience in hosting interviews.

How do you choose who to invite to the podcast? Do you have any criteria for the success of the company, or is it more about the feeling that people might be interested in this?

It’s about the feeling. Who interests me, fascinates me. I don’t have a dream guest who has achieved “this and that”. At the same time, I am constantly collecting tips and ideas for guests, warm intros and links.

When the guys from Zapo official joined the podcast, did anything change?

Huge quality of sound and dramaturgy. The quality of interviewing. The guys briefed me on how to conduct an interview, how to get a story out of a person. I started to focus more on the stories that people experienced, rather than specific situations and experiences. At the same time, the distribution of the podcast improved. It reached the wider public, we created new synergies.

You have already completed more than 19 episodes of MF and approx. 22 episodes of Business Talks. Did you learn anything new while creating them? Alternatively, don’t you feel like creating a unicorn too? 🙂

My key takeaways (so far) are people, people, people. Everyone cares about the team. Investors, co-founders, new colleagues, sometimes even customers. At the end of the day, we all interact with people, via mail, Slack, phone, Whatsapp, video.

Did you know that the co-founder of Campus, Dušan Duffek, also shares his tips and tricks in the MF podcast?

Certainly, right after people, there is a solution to a real problem. A problem that not only I have, but also a few hundred thousand people in the world – ie my potential customers. They decide (by paying for it) whether the idea makes sense or not.

Certainly not everyone should do business, own companies, or be the boss. Even a person with a “Founder’s Mentality” does not need to own a company. IF the company is set up correctly, it can enable him to develop businesses within the existing company, or, for example, through ESOP, involve him in the ownership of the company (and a share in it).

And I? One day. 😉 I still need (and maybe I don’t and it’s just an excuse) to gain new experiences. Anyway, I have world problems in my head that, from my point of view, need to be solved. Most of the ones that fascinate me are related to EduTech and HealthTech. Hacking of healthcare or education – we’ll see. 😉

Which participants can we look forward to this year?

In the future, I believe that both of Kubo Jurových and Boris Zelený, and I would be happy if Milan Dubec also accepted the invitation. Currently, I can reveal that we have already recorded parts with the late Štefan Rosin, the founder of Matador, Uršula Králova from Bloomreach and Ľuboš Fellner from BUBO.

Do you want to know more about people from our community? We will regularly inform you about them on our blog and social networks, so give us a follow and stay up to date. 🙂

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