Women in Tech: Barbara Soltysinka
Tell us about the brains behind indaHash.
I’m the co-founder of indaHash - an international platform for connecting brands with influencersand LifeTube - the biggest YouTube multichannel network in Central Eastern Europe.
I was the first woman to win the “Man of the Year” award, by the MIXX awards IAB, Poland, 2015 for an“outstanding contribution to interactive marketing and advertising” and scooped one of the most important awards in the interactive sector. I was also awarded EY Entrepreneur of the Year in the “New Business” category this year.
In 2015, together with Włas Chorowiec, I founded indaHash - an international platform that automates content marketing campaigns with digital influencers on Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat. To date, it has run over 500 campaigns in 34 markets including Germany, UK, Poland, and South Africa for brands like Coca-cola, McDonalds, P&G and L’Oreal. Currently, the app is used by over 180 000 verified influencers, with a total reach of over 300 million followers.
What were you doing before you created indaHash?
In 2013 I founded LifeTube, a multichannel network for YouTube, which became the category leader in Poland within 3 years and the biggest network in Central Europe. It now has over 40 million subscribers, 290 million monthly views, and 320 engaged creators. Over 3 years LifeTube delivered over 1000 special projects and campaigns for the biggest brands in Poland. In 2016 LifeTube was acquired by one of the largest fund managers in Poland; Altus TFI.
Earlier in my career, I worked in PR for 7 years and held the position of Strategic Director in Ciszewski MSL (MSL Group).
Getting involved in Tech is still a new thing for women, what was the motivation for you?
For me always the motivation is to create new things. I saw a gap on the advertising (influencer marketing) market - Tech came as a solution to resolve the problem of automated co-operation with digital influencers and user generated content creation. It was the need and the idea first - Technology then made it possible to achieve.
How have you found your journey so far and what has been your greatest accomplishment?
Extremely dynamic and exciting :) Despite growing at this pace (in one year indaHash conducted almost 500 campaigns, opened in 34 markets, achieved over 100 000 registered users and hired over 70 people), I’m really glad that we managed to maintain our “start-up work atmosphere” and that we can still provide brands with authentic way of communication and not only digital stars, but also mid-tier and micro influencers can earn through their passions.
What has been the most challenging thing so far?
That there is only one of me! In the early days of indaHash it was difficult to convince our first clients to come on board and to adjust product to the market. We had to be patient and listen carefully to what people wanted to tell us instead of just trying to explain why we are so cool!
Do you think more women should get involved in Tech and why?
Yes! I think that women are more open to feedback and like to listen each other, which is crucial in developing a tech company. It helps development, not only in technology terms but also in developing a strong team who will really get behind the company.
What advice would you give to young female entrepreneurs who are stuck on an idea?
Don’t be afraid of anything, keep doing new things and improving all the time.
What does it mean to be a female tech entrepreneur and what challenges do you think women face in the industry?
I don’t challenges are unique only to women. The greatest challenge is the ability and willingness to take risk but this is not just a tech issue and not just something that is faced by women.
Overview of how indaHash works: