For two weeks in August, Thomas from Global {M} travelled out to Berlin to connect with our large network of developers and clients. Whilst there he also took the chance to get to know some of the city’s most exciting Start Ups.

 

This interview was conducted with Nikola Maksimovic, the Business Developer (UK Country Manager) for Ecosia. “Ecosia is a search engine that donates at least 80% of its profits from search-ad revenue to tree planting programs”. See more at https://www.ecosia.org/

 


 

1. First can you tell us a bit about your job? What does your company do?

I am a Business Developer and UK Country Manager for Ecosia – a search engine that uses it ad revenue to plant trees. We’ve planted more than 12 million trees to date across some of the world’s most threatened biodiversity hotspots. Our mission is to plant 1 billion trees by 2020. Part of my job is to help us get there!

 

2. What brought you to this area?

I have always been inspired by the potential of social businesses to create lasting positive change. For me, working for a company whose values align with my own is a must. Ecosia’s is a company that does not chase profit for profit’s sake. Its core is rooted in tackling pressing environmental and social issues by harnessing the power of the internet, technology and global connectivity.

 

3. What time does your day start, and what does your typical work day schedule look like?

We are a relatively small team so we can have quite flexible hours. Core hours are 10-16, outside of that everyone is free to manage their own time as works best for them. We also have the option to work remotely on Tuesdays and Thursdays so no two days are the same!

 

4. What kind of projects are you currently working on?

At the moment we are preparing to visit our reforestation projects in Brazil and Peru so that we can share stories from the ground with our users. A crucial part of what we do is showing our users the amazing impact they are having both on nature and people by using Ecosia. Personally, I am heading to the UK for a few weeks to take part in some talks and events, spreading the word about what we do.

 

5. What do you consider the greatest achievement in your work to date?

Hitting the 10 million trees planted mark. This was a huge milestone for us and our partners.

 

6. What is the one app you could not live without?

Citymapper, it revolutionised my late night London journeys home!

7. What’s the best thing about working at your company?

The fact that every single member of the team is here because they really believe in what we are doing. Waking up in the morning is never difficult because I know that what we are working on will have a positive impact on the environment and the communities we work with.

 

8. Where is the after work hangout?

We have a beautiful office complete with a balcony where we even grow some vegetables and plants, so we tend to stick around the office after work for drinks and the occasional BBQ (veggie ofc).

 

9. Who is your professional role model?

Marina Abramović. Although she is in a completely different field to my own I find her absolutely fascinating. She is at once unique, genuine, driven and bold.

 

10. What makes Berlin a good city for technology and startups?

The startup scene in Berlin has exploded in the last few years. Berlin is famous for its cheap rents, cheap cost of living and vibrant, creative and liberal mindset, which means that entrepreneurs from around the world have flocked here. It’s an exciting place to be.

11. Which tech trends are you most excited about?
Blockchain. I think that we could be looking at a much fairer and decentralized internet in the future whose benefits to society as well as to the tech industry could be incredible.

12. What are the top 3 qualities you look for in an employee?

Passion. Integrity. Creativity.

13. And finally, what is the one piece of advice you would give to an entrepreneur starting out?

Consider what you want your company values to be, and do not compromise on those. Honesty and transparency play an instrumental role in success.