Portrait Name: Dejan Jovicevic

Current position: Founder and CEO of Der Brutkasten

Personal mission: Providing a multimedia platform for startups, digital economy and innovation

Recipe for success: Find your passion and be rational about it

 

 

 

 

„Entrepreneurship Chose Me“

„I started as an intrapreneur at first.”, Dejan Jovicevic replied to my question about the begin of his entrepreneurial journey. The co-founder and CEO of “Der Brutkasten”, Austria’s multimedia platform for startups, began his entrepreneurial journey with a side-project for his former employer “Die Presse”. Dejan was more than satisfied with his former employment and admitted he had never seen himself as an entrepreneur running his own company. However, overly propelled by the vision he saw in his project and the yearning for being part of this lively ecosystem of dedicated entrepreneurs, he would spent all his free time developing “Der Brutkasten”. Eventually, he acquired the project from “Die Presse” through a management buyout in 2017. The rest is history.

Between Enthusiasm and Doubts

Leaving a secure employment and a regular source of income was clearly not an easy decision in the beginning, especially, in the light of becoming a father amidst these life-changing circumstances. It took a decent amount of faith and optimism in order to decide to walk down this unprecedented path. When the doubts dispersed, the enthusiasm kicked in. “I just had to do it!”, the CEO assertively said, “That does not mean that doubts would disappear, however. You just learn to have trust.”

The Rollercoaster

The period after the foundation was marked by numerous “learnings”. With a cash runway of about two weeks, the company was constantly in survival mode. If the corona crisis had happened during that time, the consequences would have been quite fatal for the company’s trajectory. Did the “survival mode” enhance the performance? “Being with the back to the wall can motivate you tremendously,”, he said, “but it can also hamper your creativity and innovation.” That being said, it did propel him and his team to work harder and they managed to overcome these difficult times. Yet, new learnings keep emerging still. He intentionally calls them “learnings” instead of “difficulties” or “failures” because he is convinced that is what they are. They are supposed to happen for you to develop yourself and the company. It is a constant up and down that lets you appreciate the ride.

God Is Love…

…would be Dejan’s chosen words for a billboard on Vienna’s trademark, the Stephansdom. With the help of his faith and belief, he knows when to listen to his intuition and when to analyze the situation rationally. To my question: “What tip would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs?”, he emphasized the importance of having a fervent passion inside, something you are truly convinced of. Once you have that, however, “Be rational about it. Ask yourself if you are actually solving a problem with your business idea. Exchange your thoughts and views with people that support you in your analysis. Find the balance between the heart and the mind.”

 

Next week: Philipp Stangl, Rebel Meat

In our weekly interview series, we will be featuring various inspirational entrepreneurs of the Austrian startup scene. Each Monday, you can expect useful insights into their lives and practical tips that you can follow in order to walk your entrepreneurial path. Like, share, comment – and feel free to reach out to us. Suggestions, ideas, remarks are all welcome – let’s shape the ecosystem together!

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