My name is Niko Laine and I am the CEO and co-founder of Calqulate. Calqulate helps digital businesses automate their financial analytics and growth metrics. Our customers are struggling with accessing their financial data from multiple sources. We help them make sense of their data, make better business decisions and utilize growth metrics to raise more money.
I have always wanted to be an entrepreneur. I want to develop, create and improve things and that kind of role is often more suitable for an entrepreneur than for an employee. Also, my family and extended family have always been small-scale entrepreneurs and it felt like a natural path for me.
I come from a working-class background. Until I was 30 years old, I suffered from impostor syndrome. It led me to feel that I didn’t belong in a crowd of university-educated, career-oriented, white-collar successful people – or entrepreneurs. I had to work hard to overcome that feeling. Also, until I turned 30 I wasn’t comfortable disclosing that I was gay, and I kept a lot of things private. Now I feel really good in my skin and can be fully open about who I am.
Now I feel really good in my skin and can be fully open about who I am.
The most rewarding thing in entrepreneurship is the fact that I can set my own path by having a clear vision and executing it in practice. I treasure being able to work with amazing people that love what they are doing. As Calqulate is a tech startup, and it creates something novel and innovative, it is really motivating to use my financial expertise and developer personality in creating an automated tool to help thousands of people better understand financial analytics and reporting. I love making a complex topic look simple.
If you want to become an entrepreneur ask for help when you need it. Talk to a lot of people, especially the people who would eventually buy your product. Getting a lot of feedback is essential, starting from the beginning, especially from industry experts, your potential buyers and potential investors. I would also advise everyone to spend a lot of time when hiring the first 5-10 employees and think about the culture they want to create. After 10 first hires, it’s really hard to change a culture.
Entrepreneurship means a lot of work. As long as you work hard, have a clear vision and keep a high bar for quality, good things will happen. Almost anyone can be an entrepreneur, but it requires persistence and being able to deal with insecurity. I started my journey with a pretty small comfort zone. I mean, I started my career in accounting, which is somewhat of a stable and predictable career compared to building a startup. The challenging thing is that there’s no magic tricks when it comes to building your sense of security. It comes with the job and builds up slowly. But it will build up.
Entrepreneurs can set an example of how to increase diversity, multiculturalism, equality and inclusion in society.
Entrepreneurs can set an example of how to increase diversity, multiculturalism, equality and inclusion in society. These are important values for Calqulate. We want to hire the most suitable people for our positions and teams, and it doesn’t matter where people come from.
The Calqulate staff comes from 5 continents and more than 10 countries, and we’ve for example paid extra attention to hiring women in tech positions. Our team represents many different minorities, nationalities, skin colours and religions to name a few. For example, our Partnership Manager Kelvin comes from Nigeria, Back-end Developer Asmaa from Egypt and Data Engineer Muhammed from Turkey. We want everyone to feel welcome and valued in the team.
During my time in Luxembourg City (where 70% of the population is international), I saw first-hand what kind of positive impact diversity and cosmopolitanism can make to the community. I have lived in 4 countries, worked in 10 countries, my friends come from all over the world and my husband is Jewish American. I wanted Calqulate to look like me and I wanted to feel comfortable in a company that I have created.
Learn more about Calqulate: https://www.calqulate.io/