Your Stories

My Startup Story: Matěj Matolín, Talent Partner, Impulse Ventures

From corporates to startup and from startup to the world of venture capital. Find out Matej's journey to becoming one of the well-known Human Relations Guru in the heart of Europe. In this interview, we uncover how he got to the world of VCs, where he gets his inspiration and much more.

Hi! Great to have you here, can you tell us a little about yourself and Impulse Venture?

Matěj: Impulse Ventures is a venture fund that invests into tech companies in CEE. Our portfolio includes for example Safetica, Shoptet, Dataddo and in the past Mall or Kiwi.com. As a talent partner I’m in charge of people strategies and C-level recruitment for our companies.

What was your journey to the role of Talent Partner in a venture capital fund?

I had a successful career at international corporations but the environment made me sick. I had to leave and decided to go freelance. After several co-operations with tech firms I moved to STRV as head of HR and recruitment. Since then, I have worked with many IT startups as an advisor, interim manager or headhunter. Moving to the venture fund was a logical next step. I’m really grateful for this opportunity.

What gave you the power to take on such an important role? Was it your education, previous experience or something else?

I believe it’s the mixture of HR experience and passion for tech and startups. It seems senior HR people prefer to stay in corporations. But it’s changing. The startup scene is growing very quickly and I see many talented HR people rising. 

Tell us a little more about your blog, why did you decide to create it?

That was a couple of years ago. I was missing anything really interesting and practical about the latest recruitment trends on the local scene. Most of the stuff was boring and outdated. To see what’s really going on, you have to follow international blogs and go to meetups in London, Amsterdam or San Francisco. So I started my blog to transfer the knowledge from abroad to the local audience. But it’s super time consuming. Nowadays I focus more on podcasts, checkout: Nelidské zdroje (in Czech). It’s faster to do and more fun. 

Did you always want to be in HR?

Not really. My background is PR and marketing. But people from HR kept on coming to me asking for recruitment campaigns to boost hiring. And then I realized recruitment is pretty cool. It has a bit of sales, a bit of marketing, a bit of psychology, technologies… So I moved to HR and I focus primarily on hiring and recruitment. 

The trends in HR are constantly changing. Where do you get your inspiration? Any companies, blogs, HR figures you recommend to follow?

I attend a lot of international conferences as a speaker or a guest. Therefore I have a good network of recruitment influencers and I know what’s going on. To mention one resource - go to recruitingbrainfood.com and subscribe for a weekly newsletter curated by Hung Lee. It’s super useful and you will discover new sources of knowledge.

What is it that you love about working in the startup environment?

It’s about speed, energy, enthusiasm… I love the high concentration of brave and smart people. Changes that take months in corporations can be done in days. Especially STRV gave me the possibility to test and experiment new approaches in recruitment. Also, I like to spend time with startup founders. These people are very inspirational.

And tell me what is the hardest part?

Someone can feel hard about the lack of stability. Also, in the early stages the burden is incredibly high and there's a constant shortage of money. Our role at Impulse Ventures is to help startups not only with the investment, but also provide the know-how, help them with hiring and so on. This level of support is pretty usual in the Valley, but not here yet.

Would you recommend working for a startup to other people?

I believe the best way is to start a career in a corporation. There are good things to learn: processes, organization, scale… And once you are fed up with the corporate life, you can move to the startup and leverage your experience. Startups desperately need people with senior knowledge. You will make an impact very quickly.

Best advice you ever received?

Work on your strengths, not your weaknesses. If people do what they love and are good at, they can achieve incredible things. In startups we see this every day.

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If you want to meet Matěj in person, join us at Startup Recruitment w/ Impulse Ventures, STRV & Pipedrive on 16th of March 2020.

Klára Horton
Passionate reader | People person | COO of CzechCrunch
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