Ivana's been living in Munich for about two years now, and after living in many different cities she's finding it to be one of her favourite places! She's originally from Serbia and works as a Venture Capitalist in the Health Tech industry with startups all over the world. In her free time she's often travelling, but has enjoyed a slower pace of life staying mostly in Munich over the last year. We're super happy to have her as part of the LifeX Community in Munich!
It’s interesting because it was never really my plan to move to Munich, I’d lived in bigger cities and at the time I was thinking to move to Singapore or São Paulo. At the time, Munich seemed a bit too small to me. It’s funny because now that I live here it’s one of the things I appreciate the most about Munich. The fact that it’s so compact and liveable, I’m only five minutes away from the river. Now I’m thinking that I might stay and grow old in here, as funny as that sounds. You can’t really plan anything in life!
I work in venture capital as an early-stage investor, so we invest in series A and B rounds. I focus on health tech, which I really like. I’m fascinated with the startup ecosystem and I love working closely with the companies; we have companies in Germany, the UK, and the US. We’re very hands-on as an investor, so we’re always thinking about how to help them grow and strategise. You see a lot of fascinating things, especially in healthcare, and I’m always speaking with interesting, intelligent people. It took me some time to settle into this field, I was an entrepreneur for some years, but I really feel I’ve found myself in this career. At the end of the day, it’s a people’s business, so my own entrepreneurial experiences help me empathise with the companies.
I’m a personal growth junkie, so I’m always learning something new. I do speak German, but I’m still working on improving it so I’m completely fluent in a business setting. I’m always learning a lot for my job as a VC, with all the startups and health tech trends. There is a lot to learn, I’m really interested in psychology and mental health in general as well so I’m always reading about that.
If I had to pick, Lisbon would be my favourite place in the world, I was actually planning to move there, but ended up in Munich! I lived in Brazil for some years and when I came back to Europe, my plan was to move to Lisbon. Portugal is my favourite country, while I’m not living there, I do love to visit. I visited last year and did a yoga and surf retreat in the South and then spent a week in Lisbon. It was so great, hopefully, I can go back sometime soon.
I think it’s easier if you live with someone, so I feel lucky about that. It’s very important to give yourself limits, where you just stop working, whether it’s stopping at 18:00 or 21:00. Just make sure to have a stop time and go for a walk or call a friend so that your life doesn’t just become work. I got into that for a few months, and I still sometimes do, but I try not to!
Before Corona, I used to travel a lot, most weekends I would be travelling actually. That’s kind of how I’ve spent the last 10-15 years! In a sense, I’m grateful that corona taught me that it’s nice to stay where you are sometimes. I do miss travelling but you know, Munich is also very nice, you can go to the English gardens, walk along the river. You know, it’s also nice to appreciate be where you are and not just always be on the go. I’ve learned to, ‘be where I am’ it took me some years but here I am!
It will always be my home country, I lived there for 17 years and my family is still there so I visit pretty often. I think they have a great welcoming vibe and fun nightlife - but I don’t know if I would say that I miss it. I’m one of those people who feel at home wherever I am, so that really helps! I don’t want to be living somewhere and always longing for another place, that sounds too sad.
Not really, I personally think that things don’t happen ‘randomly’ or ‘just because’, I think we often don’t understand why things happen until years or decades later. But that we do always figure out the answer.
Well, there are these chocolate biscuit cookies that I just can’t have at home. I will eat the whole package no matter the size if I have them, so I guess it would have to be those! I don’t really smoke or drink so I would say this is the one.
If you’re interested in joining the LifeX community, check out our available homes here and sign up to chat with our team who will help you find the best home for you! We have homes (and more amazing members like Ivana) in, Copenhagen, London, Paris, Berlin, and Vienna!