As a little kid, Belgrader Valerija Spasojević used to read a lot about Tesla, she loved robotics in the Secondary Polytechnic School, she left the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering after the first semester, and at 20 years old she and her three fellow students founded a company that left behind around one hundred websites and a robot after three years of business.
The resume of Valerija Spasojević (24), a Belgrader who will soon become a resident of Berlin, contains—among many other professional achievements—three years of running her company, called HLT studio. When she founded the company in the summer of 2014, she was met with surprised looks from administrators at the Serbian Business Registers Agency and the Tax Administration—how come that someone is registering a company at such a young age—from the IT sector nevertheless.
At the time, the bright-eyed Valerija was twenty years old, she had a savings of 400 euros, support from her parents, and three friends who soon became “employees.” She came up with the name as a 16-year-old girl, and she created her first website in the sixth grade of elementary school. (…)
According to her, she entered the world of entrepreneurship spontaneously.
– I’ve always been interested in different fields. Even my parents and teachers used to tell me that I was good at many things and that I should focus on one or two. But that was not enough for me. Just as I can’t do things that I do not like.
That is why she decided to leave the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering after the first semester and four passed exams. She felt that there she could not do or learn what she was interested in.
She spent those days of “leisure” by making, as she says, “little websites” and working as a labeler through a temping agency. Then she received the invitation to be an assistant system administrator at Beogradska otvorena škola (Belgrade Open School). Her first regular income incited a feeling of satisfaction and independence. At that same time she got invited to teach children about robotics, web design… She decided to take a step further and sent a few applications to different addresses, and finally started to work at a Swiss IT company in Belgrade. However, she stayed there for a year, and using the money she saved up—which was less than the average salary in Serbia—she launched a company with her three friends in a rented apartment.
– It wasn’t a difficult time for me. But now when I remember working 13-14 hours or pulling overnighters to finish a website, it just seems unbelievable, Valerija sums up her first entrepreneurial experience. In the first year they made 40 websites, and over the company was in business—until June 2017—almost 100. (…)
Her desire to develop professionally motivated her to look for jobs abroad while working at her own company both as a developer, a salesperson, and a designer. Unfortunately, despite two nearly done deals in Australia, she didn’t manage to move to this continent. Completely at random, she applied in a company in Germany, and she will be working for them from home this summer. In September she moves to Berlin. (…)
We asked her where she sees herself in ten years’ time. She says that she doesn’t know but that she would like to have her own studio where she would focus on applied robotics.
She also created the robot-mascot of the Battle for Knowledge campaign ran by the B92 Fund and the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development. Two years ago, an invention she designed with her colleague placed among the ten submission awarded by NASA at an international competition for astronaut suit sensors—this makes it pretty easy to assume that her wish will be fulfilled.