«Meet the Team» with Elidh

«Meet the Team» with Elidh

At Helvengo we value people over positions. So let’s start with some personal questions before we learn more about your role at Helvengo… First an either or question: Mountains or Sea?

100% the sea… at one point in my travels I was landlocked in Germany for two years and I missed the ocean so badly that I quit my job, moved to Australia, and became a surf instructor for a while. I’ve mostly managed to live by the coast ever since.. I like to stay salty.

Awesome! So I guess it’s no coincidence that you live in a country with 832 km of Atlantic coast. Now tell us, what was your first paying job? 

I’d just finished Secondary School, desperately needed a gap year before university, and managed to score 2 weeks unpaid work experience with a graphic design studio in London (still, to this day I have no idea how..) There, I was basically either making tea for the designers, or sat in a dusty cupboard sorting out their paper archives (yes.. pre-digital, I’m THAT old!). I think that with equal amounts of good fortune and enthusiasm, those 2 weeks of volunteering became a full-time Production Assistant job for the rest of the year. It was the most brilliant opportunity to learn from really talented creatives.. it’s influenced my approach to design ever since.

Helvengo is a Startup based in Switzerland. You work 100% remote as a UX/UI Designer from our legal entity in Portugal. How is that?  What challenges do you think you’ll face working from abroad? What helps to feel part of the team despite the distance?

Well, the remote working revolution over the last few years has proven that with the right technology, location is just a coordinate – and thankfully in the case of Helvengo HQ, that coordinate has only a 1 hour time-difference for meetings 😉

In all sincerity, I’ve never felt isolated or disconnected with the rest of the team, and that’s thanks to our daily meetings, online chats or jumping on video call whenever is needed, there’s certainly no lack of support if I reach out. As a full-time working mum, it’s a dream scenario to have the remote and flexible working conditions which Helvengo offers, to balance my work and family commitments… I’d even go as far as to say it’s of benefit for the Zurich onsite team, as they don’t have to suffer my singing.

One of our core values at Helvengo is passion. What would you do for nothing?

Mentor creativity! I’m a real geek for visual design, and I love the conversations around creative inspiration, concept development and problem solving. It’s incredibly fulfilling to support enthusiastic designers on their own creative journeys, and I get to learn so much from them in return as well – we’re all in a continuous cycle of learning, creating, reflecting and improving! (of course, that’s in addition to voluntary tea-making and organising cupboards as previously mentioned)

To end with – Tell us, what would you do if your week had an eighth day? 

Can my daughter have an extra day in nursery too?!.. you mean I get an actual free day?.. time just for me!??!.. I’d go surfing!

«Meet the Team» with Bene

«Meet the Team» with Bene

At Helvengo we value people over positions. So let’s start with a quick either or game to get to know you before we learn more about your role at Helvengo

  • Mountains or Sea? Sea! I love Mallorca, but not for El Arenal and not for playing Bingo – as some of my dear co-founders like to believe.
  • Podcast, Movie or Book? Podcast! Anything about startups, new work and self improvement.
  • Make plans or spontaneous? Spontaneous!
  • Early or late? Late!

If you could live anywhere, where would you choose?

I absolutely adore warm weather, so anywhere with warm weather all year around. So if I get a say in Helvengo’s expansion plans, this would be one of the decision criteria 😉. Jokes aside, I was fortunate enough to live in Australia for a year and could definitely see myself there one day.

That makes you a great counterpart to the winter sports enthusiasts in our team! Next question: What was your first paying job?

At fourteen I did what a lot of people do: I delivered newspapers in my neighborhood. One of the most challenging but also rewarding jobs during my youth was when I picked tomatoes on a farm in the Australian outback for two months – in this case, it was sometimes even too warm for my taste at around 40° C.

Who has influenced you most when it comes to how you approach your work?

In general, I think you can learn from anyone if you have an open and reflective mindset. More specifically, my time at Google taught me how you can build a high performance and fun company culture at the same time. Being part of the wefox journey taught me to go after audacious goals and that you need to show resilience along the way if you want to succeed.

They indeed had a significant influence on you – as you are now pursuing big ambitions with Helvengo! How – in your own words – does Helvengo help startups and small businesses with?

Insurance is often seen as a useless product, because a lot of people have forgotten why it was created in the first place. I strongly believe that insurance and especially SME insurance can play an essential role in enabling more entrepreneurship as fears of (soon to be) entrepreneurs can be reduced by having a strong partner at their side and with this gives us a better chance to tackle the big problems of today’s society.

What makes you excited about Mondays?

Working together with an awesome team of entrepreneurs in bringing forward thinking insurance products to startups and SMEs and with this be part of their success story.

Let’s jump from Mondays straight to Fridays. If you could decide, what dish would our next TGIF-chef cook for us?

Still counting on my Austrian Co-founder Felix for a proper Wiener Schnitzel!

What website do you visit most often?

Helvengo.ch – the beauty of being responsible for our product and still being a small team (even though we are hiring a lot right now – check our latest job postings here) . It is great to work with the team on the nitty gritty details to turn broker and customer feedback into new functionality on a daily basis and see ourselves adding great value to how they can run & insure their business. 

To end this interview, a more philosophical one: What advice would you give to your 20 year old self?

I think I would tell myself to go down the entrepreneurial path as soon as possible and that there are plenty of opportunities out there to be successful. Going to business school, you often get the advice to first learn in a corporate environment before becoming an entrepreneur. In hindsight, I would probably take the leap into entrepreneurship earlier. Also, I would tell myself not to worry so much, rather follow the words of a wise man: “Everything will be okay in the end. If it is not okay, it’s not the end”

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