Curtain up for our fabulous facilitator Tetiana Siianko

05/20/2015 | By Marnie Knorr

This post originally appeared on

Tetiana our fabulous facilitator from Sweden is currently cruising and flying all over Europe to support Startup Weekend events. We were so curious about getting to know this power lady, so we asked her some questions in advance:


“You have recently hosted a Startup Weekend in Paderborn and now you are coming back to Germany to support us with Startup Weekend Hamburg. So, it's not like that you are trying to avoid the German startup scene…

“Yes, indeed. And before that I was in Cologne :)  I can say nothing to defend myself - it just happens and I am very happy about it.”

“How do German Startup Weekends differ from the Swedish ones or other European ones?”

“Even though the structure/plan of the event is the same everywhere (Ideas pitching - brain dump - final presentations) every single SW is different and one can hardly compare them. Every time SW in a different country for me is like a Russian roulette - I never know what to expect, human factor is unpredictable.

What I love about German SWs, is that people respect schedule more than anywhere else. It was especially in Paderborn (Cologne was more relaxed). I was amazed by participants' being 15 minutes before the stated time waiting for presentation/workshop to start! You can hardly see that anywhere else :)))”

“How often have you hosted, organized and participated in Startup Weekend this far?”

“Surprisingly enough I participated only once :P on March 1-3, 2013 in Kiev. I remember this date very well since it was a life-changing experience for me. I was working for 150 000 employees corporation that time and I had no idea what a Startup Weekend was and my general understanding of a 'startup'   you can guess was pretty vague. That's why I didn't really appreciate the skype call with Steve Blank (!) that we were so lucky to have during the event. I thought: "who's the guy?" - and continued drinking coffee.

For me it was incredible 54 hours! Next day after the event was over one co-participant chatted me and we decided to submit the event application. We organized our first SW in 4 months. In total I organized and facilitated 15 Startup Weekends.”

“As we all know facilitators work for free as well, why do you like to host SWs?”

“The answer is quite simple: for 54 hours of the weekend I appear to be on a different planet, where all the people speak the same language, share the same values and have passion in hearts and sparkle in eyes. Sounded very romantic, but it is indeed like that.

If in the world were inhabited only by startupers, there would no war and no tears.”


“What do you do when not spending your weekend hosting Startup Weekends?”

“Since 2013 I develop my startups - that's why I can travel easily. As for hobbies: I do yoga and jogging (I always travel with my yoga mat and sneakers, being pain in ass for local organizers since I cannot fit everything into hand luggage), dance Argentine tango (I try to visit milongas in the cities where I happen to be), boating and skiing in winter.”

“What will you try to help the crowd with and how can participants help you in return?” 

“As Adeo Ressi (creator of Founder Institute) once said, Startup Weekends is not a hackathon, it is a startup party. I totally agree with him. And personally I try to create one for the participants since fun way is the best way to learn.

I always try to teach participants not to stuck with their believes and views. But on the opposite to be open and listen to people and to learn on others' mistakes.

Participants give me hope that our world will be a better place in future.”

“What is the most fun part of the facilitator job and what is the most exhausting part?”

“The most fun part is to get to know people and how/what they think. The most exhausting [energy consuming] part is to be oversensitive to what is happening within the teams. Are they progressing? Happy? Agonizing? And try to facilitate painful moments.”

“Thanks for taking the time! We are so much looking forward to meeting you!”

"Me too!!  :)“