5 min read

Healthy robots

Healthy robots
Skliautas by Morfai
Hi team! Today we drive towards profitability.
Lithuania Tech Weekly #98
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founder guide

  • If to listen to one podcast this week, let it be by Miki Kuusi from Wolt. There is many impressive founders, but just some also happen to be talented speakers.
One mistake people make in hiring is that they're looking for the person that has already done, you know what you need? We need to hire that person. He's done this before, he's gonna do it for us and it's gonna be amazing. But what people don't realize is that very few people do these things twice in their life. And actually what you need to be looking for is this person before they did that thing.


three questions

Povilas Poderskis, Development Director, Darnu Group
Former COO of Nord Security, former CEO of Vilnius Municipality

What skills are transferable - from COO Vilnius to COO in Nord Security?

I was working as CEO in Vilnius city, but it is a similar position as COO in Nord, since oversight of general back office functions was a priority. Coordination, stakeholder management and general management of an organisation of around a 1000 employees is relevant too.

What makes a great COO in technology scale-up?

The COO role varies from company to company, I have researched this quite a bit. In some cases COO is what CEO is not - filling in the skills and competencies that CEO is lacking, either inward-facing or outward-facing. So it really depends on the company and what skills and competences it needs to supplement. We have gathered a meetup of COO's in tech industry in Vilnius and there were no two people that had identical or even similar job descriptions.

What do you see as misconceptions Lithuanian politicians/policymakers hold regarding the tech industry?

Our policymakers have yet to get up to speed with what is needed in current-day business. Recently there was a change that was led by Unicorns association in regard to the law of stock companies, it was a great step towards a better regulatory environment. In the tech hubs of the west similar practices are set up and working for ages. So the misconception is that it is somehow very tech-specific and only the tech-business needs it. That's not true. A lot of companies set up their HQ's in the Netherlands or Estonia, not because of some shady tax reasons but precisely because the bureaucracy and regulations do not allow simple business transactions.

What might be holding us back? Is there a talent gap for senior operators and executive in tech in Lithuania?

I think naturally the ecosystem is growing in terms of competencies in all areas: whether it is senior executives, specialists, capital market. We are seeing growth in all these areas and I think what we need is just time for everything to unfold. We are on the right path, we have the right mindset and everything else we will just learn on the way.

What do you believe to be the most effective interventions that would further accelerate the startup ecosystem? Any non-obvious experiments we should try?

I think a faster relocation of whole companies and teams could be an idea. Currently, we are very afraid to do so, I think that is counter-productive.

What is next for you personally? (not sure how much you want to share)

As of last month, I've started working in Darnu group as Development director. I oversee attracting new build-to-suit projects, public-private partnerships and new project development. However, I am not in a sense out of the tech sector for good, since whatever sector one is working in, technology is playing a crucial role in it.