What is your background?
I’ve studied IT systems development at the Estonian Information Technology College in Tallinn. This provided me with a comprehensive education in the field of software development and IT systems (computer & telecommunications networks, Internet, databases etc). Back then I wanted to become a developer but fell in love with testing during my second year in college when I got my first job as a tester.
Does it seem like a logical progression to what you do now?
Absolutely, although I never intended to become an entrepreneur – that happened quite organically. What I wanted then, was just to find a solution to the issues I was encountering working as a freelance tester on various platforms.
— Kristel Kruustük (@kristelviidik) February 25, 2017
1 min pitch for what you do now?
At Testlio we connect enterprises with a worldwide community of expert testers to provide amazing customer experiences.
Estonia is a pretty cool place, doing great things. We were just in Riga for TechChill and meet Kaidi Ruusaleep – Funderbeam, and Tarmo from ArcticStartup -> so lots of great things in the Baltics and Estonia also.
Tell us how you manage the Estonia/US aspect?
Fun fact, Testlio was actually started from London but we came to Estonia to build and establish the company. Since things weren’t moving as fast as we wanted, we went to San Francisco to participate in the Techstars Accelerator programme, which propelled us even further in the right direction and helped us grow significantly. Today having a team in both locations, I try to split my time equally between Tallinn and San Francisco to be as close as possible to the Team.
What will success look like for you in 2017 if it all goes to plan?
To me, success is a moving target and there’s always room for improvement no matter the wins along the way. However our long term goal is to become the market leader.
What are your plans for the future?
From a business point of view become the market leader and change the way QA is done. At a more personal level, I would like to improve my horse riding skills and possibly compete in a few races.
— Impact USA (@usa_impact) April 19, 2017
Who are your sources of inspiration?
My team at Testlio and our community of testers – their passion and dedication, combined with my desire to see them succeed, inspires me on a daily basis to be the best I can be. Another source of inspiration, is my grandmother who has always faced adversity (be it war or any other life’s tribulations) with remarkable aplomb!
Anything else you’d like to add/we should have asked?
I’m one of Estonia’s first three women round-raisers beside Kaidi Ruusalepp of Funderbeam and Karoli Hindriks from Jobbatical, bringing between the 3 of us more than 10% of Estonia’s total startup funding in 2016.