Fe/male Switch
Meet mean CEO
Violetta
Shishkina
Violetta is an experienced startup founder with an MBA and 4 more Higher Education degrees, with a background in education and deeptech. With more than 20 years of work experience in multiple countries (incl. 5 years of being a solopreneur and a serial entrepreneur). She is the creator of the "gamepreneurship" methodology, which is the scientific basis of the startup game. She was accepted into Columbia University and has been named one of top 100 women in Europe by EU Startups.
Why Mean CEO
There are several reasons behind this provocative alias. One of them is that female entrepreneurs are expected to be agreeable, nice and a billion of other things. Those who do not fit the stereotype are labelled arrogant, aggressive and so on.

She had her own ESL (English as a Second Language) course and ended up working 7 days a week because she had a lot of clients but not enough time. She tried to scale by organizing groups and trying to switch some people onto online methods but she quickly realized that she was hitting the limit. So when someone offered her to build a startup, she immediately said Yes.

5
University degrees
20
years of work experience
5
years of entrepreneurship
Autobiography
I'm a true multiple specialist. Apart from being a researcher, I built my expertise in Linguistics, Education, Management, Blockchain, Finance, Intellectual Property, Game Design and the CAD sector. Recently I have upgraded my knowledge in AI and have come up with multiple AI-based projects.

My extensive educational journey began last century, when I earned my first Master of Arts in Linguistics and Education (1999-2004) at Immanuel Kant’s Baltic Federal University and spent several summers in the USA, perfecting my skills. The next step involved traveling to Belgium, to become an Advanced Master in Linguistics thus cementing my title of a language expert (2006-2007). At the same time, I decided to work on my MBA degree at Blekinge Institute of Technology, Sweden (2006-2008) in order to add economics and management into my skillset. In 2007 I decided to dive back into the education sphere and I was awarded a full scholarship for an Erasmus Mundus joint program of three universities: University of Oslo, Norway; University of Tampere, Finland; University of Aveiro, Portugal to become a European Master of Higher Education by 2009.


Throughout the years I mixed my educational experience with traveling, working and volunteering in multiple countries, including the USA, where I got accepted into Rutgers and Columbia University but was unable to pursue those degrees because of a force major.

It's only natural that my vast experience finally led me onto the path of entrepreneurship. The idea for CADChain, my first startup, appeared in 2018, at the moment of my deep dive into blockchain as a technology. At the end of 2018 a Dutch incubator scouted CADChain and, thus, the company was established in the Netherlands. As the CEO of CADChain, it's my responsibility to create the company vision and align it with our mission, marketing strategy and build an engaging community around us. I leverage my network across Europe, US, Asia and Australia to expand our team and partnerships. Since 2021 we have grown from 4 to 25 FTEs despite the pandemic.


As part of the company's corporate responsibility, I initiated a startup game for women called Fe/male Switch. It is an educational simulator for future female entrepreneurs and it is attracting a lot of media attention, as well as users. At F/MS I am responsible for continuous strategy building, planning and ideation of projects, educational content, game mechanics, internal economy and establishment of connections at various levels.

Over the years I have participated in many business incubators and accelerators (Yes! Delft, Startup leap, Y startup school, Brightlands, Venture Deals, TU/e Launch, Investor Readiness BOM) with different ideas. I never stop studying and have taken courses on blockchain, intellectual property, machine learning, data science from the University of Nicosia, WIPO, EU IPO, Dutch Blockchain Coalition, etc. I participated in multiple hackathons (EOS.io in Hong Kong, EUvsVirus, Block.one, etc). My startups got awarded many grants at the national and EU levels. OECD chose my startup to be one of the 12 startups globally to participate in its Global Blockchain Policy Forum.


In 2022 I got nominated for the Impact Person of the year at the Dutch Blockchain Week and was named as one of the top women in startups in EU by EUStartups. I have experience with both bootstrapping, development and getting public and private funding. And I love what I do.


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