Trust Yourself with Vera Futorjanski

Is your life driven by others? Do you succumb to the pressures of how society says your life "should" be? Do you long to break free and make decisions driven by your wants, needs, dreams, desires, and values? Then today's episode is for you! Watch as international powerhouse Vera Futorjanski chats with host Ellie Shefi about getting still, listening to the voice within, and designing an aligned, authentic life you love. Vera is the Founder and CEO of Veritas Ventures, a strategic advisory firm for innovation, technology, and digital transformation. Committed to impact and innovation, she is a member of the Expert Group on Digital Platforms and Ecosystems for the World Economic Forum, an Innovation Expert at the United Nations, and a Responsible Leader at the BMW Foundation. She is also a Venture Partner with the Founder Institute and serves as their GCC Advisor. A dedicated philanthropist and mentor, Vera sits on the advisory board of the IBM Village Capital accelerator and is a mentor with Techstars, Respond, e7, and many other global accelerators and incubators. An impassioned advocate for women empowerment and specifically for women in venture capital and technology, she is a Global Ambassador at Vital Voices and part of VV100, the Vital Voices network of 100 top influential women. If you're ready to hear your inner voice, trust your gut, and step into your power, then listen to this episode!


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Trust Yourself with Vera Futorjanski

Today's guest is the Founder and CEO of Veritas Ventures, a strategic advisory firm for innovation, technology, and digital transformation. Committed to impact and innovation, she is a member of the expert group on digital platforms and ecosystems for The World Economic Forum, an innovation expert at the United Nations, and a responsible leader at the BMW Foundation. She is also a Joint Venture Partner with the Founder Institute and serves as their GCC Advisor.

A dedicated philanthropist and mentor, she sits on the advisory board of the IBM Village Capital Accelerator and is a mentor with Techstars, Respond, E7, and many other global accelerators and incubators. She is a Global Ambassador at Vital Voices and part of the VV100, the Vital Voices Network of 100 Top Influential Women. She is an impassioned advocate for women's empowerment and specifically for women in venture capital and technology.

Welcome, Vera Futorjanski!

Now, you have had quite an international life. Tell us a little bit about your upbringing.

First of all, Ellie, thank you so much for having me. It's a pleasure to be here and it's good to see you again.

It was an international upbringing indeed. I have several nationalities in my closest family. My dad is Russian-Ukrainian. My mom is German-French. I was born in Kazakhstan. I grew up in Germany. I went to high school in the US and university in the UK. I also lived in New Zealand. I'm now living in the UAE. It's my tenth country to live in. Being an immigrant child, but also having lived in many different places shaped my values and views on the world.

When you are living such an international life, you see many perspectives, cultures, historical influences, cultural influences, and all different things. I can only imagine that imprints and informs your global perspective as you go forward. What do you say was the biggest impact that this global life has had on your perspective?

I will start with what the scariest thing I've ever done was, because that truly impacted my life. When I was seventeen years old, I received a scholarship to go to high school in the US and it was pre-WhatsApp, pre-Skype and pre-Instagram. There wasn't a way to keep in touch with my family. I remember saying "yes" to that scholarship. It was the US Senate and the German equivalent who invited me to go. But I couldn't choose where I would go. I was sent to what they believed was a "real American family." It was a family in West Texas - in Odessa, Texas. I went to Permian High School. If anybody knows Friday Night Lights, the show, that’s about the high school I went to. I loved it. It was amazing, but it was scary as a seventeen-year-old girl to leave Germany, my home, and my parents, and go into the unknown - to get on that plane, arrive and be part of a new American family, a new language, and a new way of life.

I remember my first day when I was afraid. I felt uncomfortable to even open the fridge and eat something. I was starving the first few days because I was not feeling comfortable, but that shaped so much of my views, and also allowed me to build trust and self-confidence, and open up to cultures.

Before that, I always wanted to become a lawyer but back then, being a lawyer would have tied me to Germany. I would have decided on German law.


After spending that year in the United States - my senior year - and graduating from high school in the US, I realized I did not want to be tied to one country. I want to have the experience of living in different cultures, getting to know people from all different paths of life and bringing those different concepts together. That became a passion which I still carry. That experience as a seventeen-year-old girl of going to the United States to do my senior year of high school, influenced a lot of what happened throughout my life for the next many years. 

Coming from this international family and then finding yourself in a new family in Texas, what does family mean to you?

Family is the most important thing we have. For me, it's a safe, supportive, and encouraging space. I view my family as my strong support network. I have friends and other people as well, but my family is what I rely on the most in my life.

I'm still much in touch with my American family. And I have a few friends from then who are part of my support network. We have this WhatsApp group that we call The Big Family chat. Whenever I have something important, I would mention it in the WhatsApp group. With my aunts, uncles, and grandmother, there is so much encouragement that I feel like I can get out there and do anything because I have the strong support of my family behind me. For me, this is the most important thing.

Not everyone is as fortunate to have supportive families, but I love the point that you made that you can have a chosen family and you are connected on a WhatsApp group. That's an amazing takeaway that people can implement if they're yearning for that connection, support, encouragement, and community that you're able to get with your family. I love that friends can become family and you can connect to them on your WhatsApp group.

Beyond your family, who are some of the people that you turn to most? Who are your role models?

While I know some incredible women who have made amazing careers and I look up to them tremendously, I must say my role models are my grandmothers. One of them, unfortunately, passed away. One is still alive.

I grew up with my grandmother. My parents had me young. Both my parents were still studying at university when I was born. My grandmother raised me. That's why I learned strong family structures and strong family bonds from an early age.

My mother's mother used to work for the local government in the city we used to live in. I remember her as this very sophisticated woman, always beautifully dressed with a lot of beautiful jewelry. As a child, I remember going through the jewelry box and it was my favorite thing to do when I was visiting her.


Don’t be afraid to start over again and take risks in life.


Anyway, when we suddenly moved to Germany, my grandma did not hesitate to start over. She had to leave everything behind. We left overnight and immigrated to Germany. Going from that high position of working for the government, she went to work in an elderly home. She started cleaning and washing elderly people who couldn't take care of themselves anymore. That was such a big example for me in my life that she was not attached to her ego. She was not afraid to start over and she was not defined by the outside circumstances. She said, “I need to start over. This is my new life. I do not have that other life anymore.”

We had to leave everything behind because we left overnight. We packed our books in a container and left. That gave me so much courage in my life that whatever happens to me, I'm not afraid. I'm ready to take risks because I've seen that people can start over again and become successful as long as they have this strong family bond around them.

What a powerful example your grandmother set for you - strength, resiliency, grace, tenacity, focus, and drive. I love that you mentioned that she wasn't tied to her ego, possessions, or previous position. She said, “This is where I am. This is my new life.” She dove right in. That is incredibly powerful and inspiring. Many can relate to that. I can see why your grandmother would be such a role model for you.

What's the best advice that she ever gave you?

Every time I speak to my grandmother, there is so much wisdom that comes from her. One of the most important things is to not be afraid to start over again, to take risks in life, and to potentially never become comfortable.

I realized that whenever I get too comfortable in life, I get a little bit at ease and then move into new challenges, which isn't always easy. Sometimes I ask myself, “Why do I need to create new challenges all the time?” It's because I learned from looking at my family that the moment you get comfortable, you stop learning and growing. I always push myself outside of my comfort zone and I learned that from my grandparents.

What's something that you wish she would have told you that you had to learn the hard way?

I wish I would have learned earlier to trust my intuition more and trust my inner voice. It took me a long time to fully trust myself. I'm still in this learning process because even though my gut tells me one thing, my brain starts telling me another thing. I feel, especially we women, have such strong intuition. I wish I would have listened to it earlier in my life. 

When your intuition tells you one thing and your head tells you something else, how do you navigate that? How do you silence the concerns or the thoughts that are coming up in your head, tap into your intuition and follow through on that?

A lot of that goes to my daily rituals. I meditate every day. I do mantra chanting and certain visualization processes. That helps me to listen to my inner voice. A lot of young women founders ask me what advice I would give them. I always say, “Among many other things, it's important to find a space where you can listen and hear your voice.” There's so much noise in the world. We're constantly bombarded. Especially in this digital world we live in, you constantly have so much and you have all these external influences that show you a certain life you could or "should" have. It's difficult for young women to understand that this life they are seeing online is not even real.

It's important to find that space of quiet where you can go inward, whatever that means for you. You might have to try many different things to find what works best for you. For some people, it could be cooking, yoga, running, walking, or swimming. For me, it is a process that changes. It used to be yoga. Now it is much more qigong, meditation, and mantra chanting.

There are different phases in life. In each phase, it is important to make that space and time for yourself to find the stillness and calmness that you can listen to. “What is it that I want?” In the stillness, it is important to be able to differentiate what is my voice inside of me talking and what is potentially the noise from the outside.   

Besides the daily rituals, which can change over time and can be different depending on the stage of your life you're in, it is important to take time to define and know your values. I find one of the most important things is to take time to know what my values are in life. It has helped me a lot in life to take time to define them and to realize that they can also change.

One other thing is to know how to set boundaries. When you're setting strong boundaries, it helps to use your values as your guide and to live in alignment with your values. I used to think I could help everyone. That was the reason why I burned out in 2021 - because I tried to help everyone, especially female founders. It's not sustainable or scalable because you only have so many hours in a day, so setting boundaries is essential.

Knowing your values, setting boundaries, and listening to your voice are important things we all learn with time. I did not know that when I was twenty years old. I wish I would have, but it's a typical process we all go through. We learn over time to discover ourselves and reach a certain point where we maybe feel calmer so we can listen to our inner voice.

In my case, for example, I take time to go on retreats where I can switch off. I try to go offline and turn off my phone because it's constantly reminding me of the many emails and messages I have to answer. I take time for myself. Going on retreats and switching off completely might not be possible for everyone. Not everybody can take time off and go away for a week to Costa Rica, Mexico, or Bali, but we can all find a bit of time to create something similar during the week. Take a couple of minutes and set them aside for yourself. Self-care is important. Creating that space and time for self-care is how we can get in touch more with our feeling, intuition, and inner voice that many times we don't hear because we're busy with other things.


Trust your intuition or inner voice. Sometimes, even when your brain tells you one thing, your gut tells you another.


You're so right! It's important to take the time to get still so that you can be present and listen. I love the tips that you shared for people to be able to do that. Develop that strong routine and set aside some time within their day that is for themselves if they can't get away. Carve out their boundaries, reflect on their values, and prioritize what's important to them - their dreams and hopes - all those things are powerful practices that the audience can implement. Thank you so much for sharing that.

You've talked a little bit about moving to the US and accepting that scholarship as being one of the scariest things that you've done. You've talked about your practice for clarity, centering, and self-care. How do you overcome the fear and the doubt that can creep up from time to time?

I still am afraid of so many things. I'm starting a new project and I'm afraid. What if it fails? For me, if I don't try and build it, that is much worse than having the fear. I feel the fear is much stronger as long as you think about it. It's scary to think about it before you have taken action. The moment you take action, fear almost disappears because you already own the way you're doing it. 

I am all for doing the things that scare you and getting out of your comfort zone. I've done it many times in my life. I force myself to get out of my comfort zone.

Another scary thing that I do is to speak up in controversial situations. It is important to do - and it's led me into difficult situations in my life, but because of the lines of my values, I speak up anyway. If you feel that something is not right, be it in your work or under other circumstances, it's important to speak up when you see injustice happening. I'm pushing myself to speak out more and it has definitely formed me quite a bit. I wouldn't change it even though I could have an easier and more comfortable life without pushing myself to those limits. But we only live once and it is up to us to make the most of it.

In my case, when I'm about to leave this earth, I want to look back and say, “I spoke up when I should have. I have lived my life and took the risk.”

We only live once. I find we should be taking more risks in life. What's the worst that can happen? It won't work out. We might fail but it's better to fail than not to do it at all.

What has been something that you tried and didn't go as planned? How did you navigate that and deal with the disappointment?

There will undoubtedly be lots of disappointments in life, both personally and professionally. The most important thing to deal with disappointment is to have a good support network and tribe around you. That goes back to the family that I have around me but it also goes to certain friends I have around me. Your network picks you up again. With them, you feel like you can't fall to the bottom. And even if you do, you can't go further down. The only way back is up again.

I trust people quickly and easily. It's a blessing and a curse. It's a blessing because I build relationships very easily and quickly with all kinds of people from all different walks of life and countries. Building relationships and networks are easy for me, but it also is a little bit of a curse because I open up and trust people so much. I need to do what I preach and find quiet time. I listen within and ask myself, “Is this the right relationship to invest in or not?”

While there are many ways to navigate disappointment, for me, the most powerful is to lean on my network. I might anticipate the next question is how do you build such a network?

It's not easy, especially for people who don't have family support or family structures. I love that you're going there because that's exactly what I want to talk about. How can you create these communities? How can you collaborate? How can you build these networks both personally and professionally?

It's important to talk about it because many times, we say, “Build your tribe.” I hear that a lot but how do you build your tribe? It is not easy. Invest time in the right people. Who are the right people? It's the people who share your values. People who are aligned with the values you have and that goes back to defining what your values are. Who are the people that share your values? Who are the people who lift you? What do you feel inspired by?

Energetically, we feel that sometimes but we don't realize it because we visit other things but if you feel, you can feel the energy of the other person. Who are the people that make you feel alive and inspired? You want to go and change the world because they are changing the world. You want to be part of this movement. It's important to surround yourself with more people like that. 

During COVID times and travel restrictions, it has not been easy to physically be with people, but even to be part of online communities like that, find people who align with you. That's the most important. A sense of belonging is important. Where do you have the sense of belonging?

Beyond family and friends, it's these communities filled with people of shared values, shared vision, shared mission, and shared purpose that make you feel that you belong.

Stepping for the first time in the United States as a young girl and realizing I wanted to create something that would bring different cultures together, what I'm doing is I’m building a community for women, a safe space for powerful women who always give. Usually, they are the role models, the mentors, and the inspiringly strong women. I'd like to build a peer-to-peer community where these women receive again. To be able to give more, you need to receive and fill your cup.


It’s important to define your values because they can change over time. They can differ depending on where you are at a stage of your life.


What I am building is a community for these women where they have a safe space. I create experiences for them. I help women to get on boards in C-level positions. I've also created an educational process for women where they learn how to invest in start-ups, how to buy NFTs, and what Web3 is. What does matter versus how can we diversify our wealth?

Men talk about investments much more. I had a technology conference meeting in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. At that technology conference, somebody was saying that men speak about investment opportunities in 50% or something of the conversations. Whereas we, women, it might be 5% to 10%. I want to change that. I'd like women to speak more about investment opportunities. In my communities, we talk about what have you invested in or have you bought this NFT? How can we create more wealth for women, diversify that wealth, and support each other?

I'm all for getting more funding for young women. There are more female VCs, which is important because you usually invest in somebody you relate to. How can we bring more women into the whole NFT and crypto space? I want to create that community of women where you can ask questions without feeling that somebody's going to judge you and you can have that safe space, no matter. What questions do you want to ask? Not just diversifying wealth, but anything that you're going through as a professional person. That's important.

Why I'm building this? First of all, I want to bring different cultures together. I want to bring American, German, and South African women together for them to realize we're so much more alike than different because I've sat with all those different kinds of women together. We are much more alike than we're different. I'd love for more women to share this perspective and feeling.

You're passionate about creating this network and I love it. It is so necessary. What is the genesis of that passion?

It goes back to taking risks, stepping into the unknown, and being able to start over. One of the more difficult situations I've had in my life has been that I was in a situation where I had nobody to talk to because of certain things that were happening at work. I don't want other women to be in that situation. 

I want women to have a space where they can go to and talk to other women and where they can find support. It's not just bringing cultures together, which is great, but I also want to have a support network that they potentially might not have, especially those strong women who work very high up. We know it gets lonely at the top. I want to create a sense of belonging and community, almost a family for them.

Earlier in our conversation, you were leaning into speaking up when you see injustice and the importance of using your voice. There were times in your life when you were not heard or your voice was not taken seriously. How did you navigate those and turn those experiences into this fuel for this passion, this fire, and mission that you're on?

One of the times was when I was part of a certain group of people that were not treated right or fairly. I thought it was just me but when I found out that other women were also part of this, I felt I had to speak up. I remember talking to a colleague at work and she said, “Somebody will do it.” I said, “I have to be that somebody.” I spoke up because we can't rely on others to speak up. I had to use all my courage. I knew that this could lead to me losing the job, but I felt it was the right thing to do.

There are many women whose voices are not heard. We talk about not having enough women at the table and not having enough women in the room. It's important to note that I didn't just speak up for myself - I spoke for many other women who were afraid to speak up because they were afraid to lose their jobs or couldn't afford to lose their jobs because they had children and families to feed. 

If it wouldn't have been for myself, I probably wouldn't have spoken up, but because I saw that other people were involved and other lives were affected, I felt it was the right thing to do. Looking backward, I know it was the right thing. Even if it would have been for me, it is important to speak up. We have to be that somebody because it's up to us to do the right thing.

I love that sentiment. That is powerful. “I have to be that somebody.” We can't wait for somebody else to speak up, be the change, or do the thing that we want. Be the change you want to see. Use your voice. It is your vessel for change. It is such a powerful thing. As uncomfortable as it is, there's a freedom that comes when you use your voice, speak your truth, set your boundaries, and ask for what you need. 


The moment you take action, fear almost disappears because you’re already on your way to doing it.


Many women have faced that same situation. I don't want to say it's universal but it's something so prevalent amongst women and especially women who are founders, C-Suite executives, and in traditionally male-dominated areas like tech, innovation, and VC. Far too often, their ideas are discounted. Their voices are not heard. They can be in a meeting and others will speak right over them. They have an idea and it gets responses like, “That won't work.” They're disrespected, unseen and unheard. 

Unfortunately, there are so many instances where women are not heard. I've been in the technology space for almost a decade. I’m a founder myself in an ecosystem launching accelerators in the Middle East, which is also not an easy part of the world to navigate as a female founder in this space. It’s important for me, in my case, to continue being part of the venture capital space because we need more women on this side of the table.

The statistics are horrible. Only 2% of all the VC investments have gone to female-led startups. It's a shocking number. I want to contribute to changing that. In order to change that, we need more women on the other side of the table as investors. I'm part of the movement called Female Angels in Dubai. We want to create more Female Angels by the end of 2022, because the more women we have on the investor side, the more women will get funding.

It's also important to emphasize it's about impact. It's only not about gender. I would invest in a qualified man as well, but statistics are that fewer women get funding because it's connected to the fact that more men are investors. I am an LP, a Limited Partner in a venture capital fund in Africa and out of almost 200 limited partners they have, only 9 are women. Many women think, “This is out of reach.” They think being a limited partner in the VC fund must be complicated but it's not. It's great to learn that side.

I've been a VC myself. I want to learn what it means to be an investor in a venture capital fund. It goes back to my values for always learning. Something I would like for women reading this to takeaway is to continue being curious. Be curious. Continue learning. Grow. 

I want women to know that they can be a limited partner in a VC fund. They can be an investor or an Angel investor. They can speak up because their voice should be heard no matter whether they are a woman or a man. I truly believe that women can make a difference when they use their voice, so speak up and don't hold back.

I've been in the situation many times where I was afraid to say something at the table because I felt I didn't have anything valuable to say. I would hear somebody else saying what I was thinking. I would regret, “Why did I not say this?” It was what I thought.

Too often, we don't trust ourselves. What's important is to build the self-trust. It’s difficult. I'm also still working on it. I have my days when I have a lot of doubts.

I'm circling back to the support network we talked about earlier. It's so important to have people you can go to when you feel down. Who do I call? Do I call my brother, my parents or my grandma? Do I have a girlfriend who says, “Don't forget, it's about fixing each other's crowns?” Who is that person in your life who is going to tell you, “It's okay to have down days? It's fine."

It's important to feel the range of emotions of the journey. And then, with your network, you can say, “This was enough. Let's do this. We can.”

Of course, it's easy to say, “We can do anything.” Even building this network, I am afraid. I have my doubts as well but I truly believe that it is my passion. I also want women to have a safe space because when I needed it, it wasn't there. I want to build something that will impact women.

Not just the woman who will be part of my network but also their husbands, children, girlfriends, and the wider circle. If I can achieve that, honestly, I can say that I created an impact in this world and I'll be happy, but it's a long way to go still because building such a network takes time. It's part of building trust. To be able to be vulnerable and open up to other people takes time. Rome wasn't built in a day.

When you take that first action and the next, dive in and take the fearful, messy and uncomfortable action because what's the worst thing that can happen, it doesn't work and then you try something else. I love that you're saying, “Feel the fear and do it anyway. Get out there, take that action and continue taking action until this bigger vision unfolds.” I love that.

It’s tough, but if you have the right people around you, it's doable. Some people might not have the right people around them but it's still possible! You can watch TED Talks, read about certain people, get inspiration, set goals and say, “I'd like to get to this. How do I get there? Who are the people I should reach out to that could help me get to this goal?” Have a clear vision. That could be one of the actionable items to set a goal and say, “What are the little milestones that I need to get there? Who are the people who can help me along the way?”

Ask for help. We, women, tend not to ask for help because we carry so much on our shoulders, but who says we have to carry all that weight on our shoulders ourselves? It's important to be able to ask for help. 

It's a practice. We're on this journey of this beautiful thing called life. Many of these things we learn along the way and have to develop that muscle. As women, we are conditioned from a young age not to ask for help, not to speak up, to do everything and be everything for everyone else and somehow save the world.

I love that throughout our time today, you have shared self-care practices, prioritization practices for yourself, vision, clarity, impact, inspiration, and all the things that you need to find that power within you, to use your voice and speak up. Whether that's speaking up for justice, against injustice, an idea that you have, or asking for the help that you need.

You mentioned Rome wasn't built in a day. Rome also wasn't built by one person. I love that it all ties together with this safe, empowered community that you're building. It’s the same space to speak up and ask for what you need.


We should take more risks because what's the worst that can happen? We might fail, but it's better to fail than not do it at all. 


Community is important. It's becoming even more important with Web3. It's probably a whole other conversation but Web3 is all about building community and people around you who are not just watching what you're doing but who are supporting you. That's the big difference where the world is moving. Your followers on Instagram or Twitter know what you're doing but they're not invested in you. That's a big difference from being a fan to being almost an investor in you. This is what I'd like to contribute in creating a community. If people want to be part of this community, they want to succeed.

That's an interesting point! Your social media followers and the people in the greater community follow you but don't invest in you. 

That's a big difference. They're following you and know what you're up to but they're not necessarily your supporters. What I would like to create is a community of supporters and like-minded people who care about each other and want to support and share best practices. It can be different for different people.

Find a community that aligns with who you are and what you want. I'm very spiritual. For me, having a spiritual community is very important.

For some people, it might be communities for cooking, dancing, or hiking. It's important to find that community, support group, and support network that helps you overcome the fears, doubts, or whatever it is that you need to overcome to use the full potential that you have in this life. We all came here with a gift. Everybody has their gift. It's important to share that gift and to let the world see your light and impact.

Let's imagine that you have come to the end of your life best lived. You have left it all on the table. You have used your voice, built this incredible global community, mentored, supported, and nurtured others and left it all on the field. What do you want them to say about you?

I would like for people to remember me for the impact that I created and the inspiration that I gave. I have a lot of young women who come to me and say they are inspired. Let me share this example with you. I was speaking at the technology conference. It was a physical conference, pre-COVID. A young woman came to me and said, “I'm a startup founder. Thanks to you.”

I said, “How so?” She said, “A few years ago, I saw you speaking on stage and you were wearing a dress. I realized I could be in technology and can stay feminine.” That was a defining beautiful moment in that I was able to subconsciously guide this woman to her fullest potential because she saw me as a role model there. She can stay feminine and be in technology, which is a very male-dominated field.

You show up as the full embodiment of you and being you, sharing your gift, standing in your power, your beautiful divine, feminine power in this male-dominated space at this tech conference. How did it feel to hear that you had been a role model to her and changed her life because she was able to see herself in you?

Honestly, I felt grateful to her for sharing that with me. I felt grateful to myself, knowing that I did not become somebody else to fit in. To continue being myself, even if it's tough, losing your job and not having a comfortable life has been empowering. I have a lot of gratitude. It gives meaning. It's a life worth living when you know you inspire other people to do what they previously thought they couldn't do because they haven't seen somebody like you in that space. More women should be themselves and show their beautiful strength, empowerment, and femininity. The world is becoming that place. I see a lot of change happening in the world in that respect.

At my funeral, whenever it happens one day, I'd like people to come together, drink champagne, dance, speak to each other and say, “She introduced us. This is how we met.” I want them throughout my life. Having made friends, I want women whenever I build this network to go away, not saying I made a business connection but going away saying, “I made a friend.” 

I'd love to have a lot of friends at my funeral whose life I've truly impacted and that will be a life worth living if people remember me for having made friends because I introduced them. I've been part of certain moments of their life and they became friends. I won’t see that but I'd love this to happen. People will remember me because they made truly beautiful friendships with my community, my network, or throughout my life. I'd like to be remembered for that.

How can people contact you? How can they get in touch with you? How can they learn more about the different things that you're doing and about the community that you're building?

The community is still in the making. I hope to launch in a couple of months. I will share more information once it's launched. Otherwise, I am on LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram. My website is I'm always happy to meet inspiring, amazing people from all over the world. I'm sure people who are reading your blog are some of the most inspiring and amazing people. Thank you so much for having me.

Thank you so much for being here. Before we sign off, any parting words you'd like to share with the readers?

Do not be afraid to take risks in life. Be open to fail and truly believe in yourself but also believe in the universe. I believe in the universe and in the serendipity of events that take place to be at the right place at the right time. Trust that the universe has your back. Trust in your capabilities that no matter what happens, no matter how far you fall, you can always get back up because you have strong abilities and capabilities. Trust yourself more and take risks.

The most important takeaways I'd like for you to remember from this are to speak up, take risks, and don't be afraid to start over. You can do this.

Thank you so much for spending this time with us. You are coming in fresh off of speaking at the conferences in Dubai and all of the incredible International Women's Day events there. You have just landed back in Germany. Thank you so much for taking this time to be with us here. We appreciate it.

Thank you so much for having me and it's wonderful to see you again. I hope we'll meet in person again soon.

Likewise, until next time.

Thank you.


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About Vera Futorjanski 

Vera Futorjanski is the founder and CEO of Veritas Ventures, a strategic advisory firm for innovation, technology, and digital transformation. Committed to impact and innovation, she is a member of the Expert Group on Digital Platforms and Ecosystems for the World Economic Forum, an Innovation Expert at the United Nations, and a Responsible Leader at the BMW Foundation. She is also a Venture Partner with the Founder Institute and serves as their GCC Advisor. A dedicated philanthropist and mentor, she sits on the advisory board of the IBM Village Capital accelerator and is a mentor with Techstars, Respond, e7, and many other global accelerators and incubators. An impassioned advocate for women empowerment and specifically for women in venture capital and technology, she is a Global Ambassador at Vital Voices. Recognized for her work, she is part of VV100, the Vital Voices network of 100 top influential women, and she has been named one of the top 100 Women of the Future.