Blaz Kos – the author
I am on a life mission to make the world a more organized, innovative and transcendent place to be by helping individuals, organizations and communities achieve their peak potential and an entirely new level of performance. I have helped many individuals, companies and organizations create, deliver and capture real value by becoming lean and agile.
I am obsessively passionate about hi-tech start-ups, mass media, personal development and making the world a better place. I have spent the past ten years of my career developing the start-up, entrepreneurship and venture capital ecosystem in Slovenia and Eastern Europe.
Here are some highlights from my previous work with startups and startup ecosystems:
- Helped to establish the university incubator (600 m2) at the biggest university in Slovenia (2005 – 2007)
- Established the first and biggest angel network in Slovenia with 40+ investors and 12+ investments (2007 – 2010)
- Helped establish the first business angel network in Croatia, Serbia and Macedonia (2009 – 2010)
- Was an investment manager at a 6,000,000 € seed VC fund (2010 – 2012)
- Advised the Slovenian government on business and start-up environment development (2009 – 2014)
- Was in the management board of the biggest technology park in Slovenia – 66,000 m2 (2012 – 2014)
- Established the first franchised co-working space at 7 locations in Slovenia – 7 x 200 m2 (2013 – 2014)
- Running my own consulting company Venturelab Ltd. (2009 – )
- Co-organizing one of the biggest two day CEE conferences for entrepreneurs, PODIM (2012 – )
- Established and running two start-up accelerators with a 4,800,000 € public-private fund – Start:up Geek House and Go:Global Slovenia (2014- )
- Author of the Agile and Lean Life Blog / ALL Movement (2015 – )
Over the past 10 years I have lectured at more than 600 events across the Central and Eastern Europe and mentored over 300 start-ups. My lectures used to be on traditional business topic like business planning, financial forecasting, analyzing the market, raising funds etc., but today I lecture mainly about new techniques such as lean and agile startup and how these techniques can be used in our lives as a personal development and productivity enhancement strategy.
By organizing the big regional conference PODIM, I got the chance to get to know “lean start-up” authorities such as Ash Maurya, Robert Fitzpatrick, Gregory Bernarda and others. Besides the PODIM conference, there are many other cool events I helped organize; events like Startup Weekend, mini Seedcamp, Wayra CEE tour and so on.
I have written two handbooks in the Slovenian language, one about angel investing and one about building a startup from scratch. I also spent 5 years writing a blog in my native tongue (BlazKos.com), where more than 1,000 pages are written on the topic of entrepreneurship and personal development. The blog became the most popular business and personal development blog in Slovenia.
Besides hi-tech start-ups I am also a personal development enthusiast. I was born in a broken-up poor family without any help, and the only way to a brighter future was for me to begin developing my skills and competences with no mercy, including changing my inherited mindset and attitude towards life.
I have a long way to go, but I am still very passionate about helping others achieve their personal and professional goals. I have no difficulty with sharing my struggles and what I have learnt along the way, with no deceitfulness/and taboos. Thus I can add around 100 workshops and a few hundred consultations to totally different people on personal development topics like career planning, time management, goal setting etc.
2009 – 2012: As a part of my social responsibility, I had initiated and co-founded a network of 150 most talented and socially proactive representatives of Generation Y (the Ypsilon Institute), with a mission to give as many opportunities to young people as possible.
My consulting clients at Venturelab Ltd. are: Educational institutes, such as universities and research institutes, start-up companies, small and medium enterprises, investors, governments, chambers of commerce, sometimes big companies and individuals who need help with achieving their goals.
Here are listed some of my skills:
I almost forgot: I also helped film the Slovenian Dragon’s Den. That was a really fun experience.
In my everyday life, I am a productivity freak, always working on two monitors. I cannot imagine my life without technology, gadgets and creating new cool products and services. I feel at home in Zen Buddhism, but find it incredibly difficult to practice as I am drawn to extremes.
Therefore I prefer to spend all my free time thinking, analyzing, creating, innovating or hiking high up in the mountains. I don’t like watching TV, shopping, small talk, parties and any kind of clutter. I can’t stand hypocrisy, unfairness, violence and exploitation. I believe that what is happening to us in life and where we are is just a mere reflection of our inner world.
Here you can find additional information about me, my life, work and goals:
- You can find more about my professional life on my LinkedIn profile (let’s connect!).
- My life vision (what?)
- My personal SWOT analysis (what?)
- List of my past accomplishments (what?)
- List of my biggest failures in business life (and what I have learned from failing)
- List of all the things I am really grateful for (what?)
- List of the things I enjoy the most in life (what?)
- My not-to-do list (what?)