Coffee break with our Product Manager, Kati Nikopensius
Updated: Jan 12
We had a quick chat over coffee with Kati Nikopensius, our Product Manager at Intium Tech. Kati joins us in Spain and is an experienced professional with 14 years of product and business development experience.
Thank you, Kati, for joining me for a cup of coffee. You have been a part of Intium for 3 months as our Product Manager. How did you get started in product and business development?
Kati: I have been involved with tech startups since 2008 when I was a master's student at the Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden, where I was studying business design and how to bring deep tech products to the market. Our first product was a research-based product that used sensors to measure the free space in garbage bins and software that optimized the disposal routes.
After working in Sweden for a couple of years, I returned to Estonia, where I cooperated with Ambient Sound Investment, created by Skype founders. I was responsible for screening and helping their investment fund scope out investment opportunities.
What can you say has been the most valuable lesson you have learned from the beginning of your career?
Kati: If you have a great product that helps solve your client’s problems, you can develop the product together with the client as an investor. We developed our technology product together with the City of Gothenburg as an investor. We had a productive cooperation and managed to build a product to suit the client’s exact needs. So never forget to have a broader scope when thinking about clients and your cooperation format. Great ideas solve problems and that is a powerful motivation in business.
You have been involved in numerous projects, both in research and the private sector. What is the most memorable experience you can recall?
The most interesting challenge for me was the time I was the Chief Operating Officer for Ocean Visuals in Norway- a deep tech company producing software and sensor technology for environmental monitoring. I managed the daily operations of the cross-border business and product development teams between 2 countries and 3 cities.
We got to install our software onboard a cruise ship that traveled through the Norwegian fjords. This might not sound all that difficult but our technology had to work in very low temperatures and harsh weather conditions and pulling that off was a great source of pride for the whole team.
Why do you like being a product manager?
Kati: When I am building products, I get to focus on the cellular level of both the product and the market so I get to learn a great deal. At Intium I have already learned so much about the private equity sector and I get most excited about the technology aspect of my work- our Sonar product. I come from a background in venture capital and now have a great comparison between the two. These two worlds have their differences but the fundamentals for tech due diligence are the same.
How did Intium manage to persuade you to work for us?
Kati: Intium has a very ambitious team, that sets a high standard for their work. It felt like a good fit for me as a good team is imperative. Our Sonar product has numerous possibilities for scaling and automation and this is a very inspiring challenge for me. I have worked in this field before, but from the venture capital perspective and I am just amazed to see technology due diligence being conducted at such a high professional level. The tech due diligence market has not yet been disrupted and I believe we at Intium have a good chance of achieving this. Our team has the know-how and now we need to understand how to maximize customer value.
What are your first impressions of Intium and your position as Product Manager?
Kati: As you can already tell, I’m very pleased with the decision to join Intium. Agu and Mart have trusted me with creating a vision of how to best scale our Sonar product, what features are needed and how to best expand into the venture capital market.
I especially appreciate our international and professional team. We have specialists living around the world who bring vast experience to our work on every level. All my colleagues have a tech background with a variety of skills all put together that we can harness for our client’s benefit.
We all work 100% remotely in Intium. How does that suit you and do you ever miss going to the office?
Kati: I have been working fully remotely for 4 years now and I do prefer it. Since 2014 I have been a digital nomad and traveled and enjoyed that lifestyle. I have a home office that is comfortable and it makes life convenient. Also, I am a member of a co-working space where I can pop in occasionally. Of course at the height of Covid, life in Spain was tough as we had to stay at home in quarantine for 100 days. I can’t really say that I miss the office, only maybe when I need a quick break from my toddler.
Do you have another passion in life besides traveling and product development?
Kati: Yes, I do! I am very passionate about longevity, optimal health, cognitive performance, and nutrition. I like to keep myself up to date with the latest research in these fields. My main sources of inspiration are Dr. Rhonda Patrick from Found My Fitness which is a super-famous health blog, Dr. David Sinclair, a longevity expert from Harvard Medical School, and Dr. Andrew Huberman, a renowned neuroscientist from Stanford.
Thank you, Kati, for introducing yourself to us! If you would like to hear more about our Sonar product and how it can help streamline and speed up your tech due diligence, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org