Meet our founders

 

Impact & Innovation, Co-founder & Managing Partner

Bistra Kumbaroska, North Macedonia 

A community innovator, entrepreneur and a poet, Bistra spends her time witnessing and supporting courageous steps made by humans, combining innovative tools for business and impact. In 2008, she became one of the core drivers of a movement in Macedonia that resulted with today's most popular youth portal in CEE Region, Mladi Info. Her passion for entrepreneurship took her on a journey through Europe, Sub-Sahara Africa, and South-East Asia, supporting the creation of meaningful jobs. At the moment she lives in Vienna, Austria. She has been involved in the creation and scaling of more than 5 networks and entities across different industries in CEE and has organized, facilitated and shared her experience at more than 117 international events and conferences so far. Currently, Bistra is based in Vienna and Ljubljana.

Communication

& Content, Co-founder

Managing Partner

Christina Forster, Austria

Christina believes that every business, brand or product has a story to tell. And a good one, too.  Her own story started in the field of journalism but already in 2005 she moved from print to online. However, it was only during her 8 years in London when she discovered how Content Marketing, Storytelling and Responsible Communication can enable sustainable success for a business - something that became her biggest passion. Since then Christina is helping clients - ranging from big corporations to small social enterprises - to tell their impact by creating human-centred communication strategies for internal and external use. Throughout her career Christina has worked in the fashion, sports, music but also media and IT industry with companies such as Red Bull, Nivea, Labello, Boden or Cisco Austria. She acts as a cofounder to Heartbeats Innovation & Communication and is also an expert for Digital Marketing in the Impact Hub Vienna. Christina is currently based in Vienna and Ljubljana. 

Meet our team and experts

 
 

Coordinator for

Research & goodbizbox

Anja Forštner, Slovenia

Anja is based in our Ljubljana office and  a master's student of International Business at the School of Economics and Business at the University of Ljubljana. She is passionate about business development, social media and responsible business - ideally in an international context. During her undergraduate program she had attended various extracurricular programs in Canada, China, France, Belgium etc. and participated in business development competitions. At Heartbeats, Anja is responsible for research and creates content for our new product goodbizbox as well as Social Media.

Coordinator for

Event Design

Jasminka Mitkovska, Slovenia

Jasminka is a Slovenia-based educator, interpreter and project coordinator, working with diverse communities and networks in Slovenia and Western Balkans. At Heartbeats, she is supporting the delivery of unique online events, including online trainings, e-acceleration programs and meetings. Currently, she is coordinating a series of events on Human Rights and also supported us in the delivery of a social business program dedicated to Roma entrepreneurs in Serbia, Romania and North Macedonia. In her free time, Jasminka supports young people in career counselling and language acquisition. She is passionate about human rights, workers’ rights and feminism.

Digital Marketing /

Social Media

Željka Bosanac, Croatia

Željka is an educator and a lifelong learner. Her first experience in Digital Marketing she gained as client & advertisement coordinator for music software company, before working in the fields of child + adult education and in the area of special needs. The latter  raised her awareness of how important it is to embrace diversity and how unselfishly helping others can make this world a better place for us all. Born in Croatia and raised by the sea, she appreciates clean air, clean water and nature in all its glory. At Heartbeats, Zeljka found the perfect blend between digital marketing and her passion for working with  people that turn socially and ecologically sustainable ideas into businesses.

Expert in 

Business Modelling 

Nicci Stewart, South Africa

Nicci started her career in the communications field in 1999. During this time, she gained experience in various sectors such as advertising, public relations, and stakeholder communications. In 2015, she shifted her focus to the entrepreneurial space. Her primary objective is to grow the entrepreneurial eco-system to support the development and growth of businesses - specially businesses that have a social and impact focus. Nicci is also a graduate of the Goldman Sachs 10 000 Women programme for female entrepreneurs, a regular speaker at local and international events and foundress of The Why Effect. At Heartbeats, Nicci is based in Johannesburg and supports us as a partner for goodbizbox and business modelling.

Expert in innovation & capacity building

Jose Antonio Morales, Peru/Slovenia

Jose is originally from Peru but has been living in Slovenia for over 15 years. His professional career kicked off in IT but already for the past 20+ years Jose has been working with corporate teams, SMEs and young entrepreneurs, bringing new perspectives, challenging the status quo and sparking innovation. Back in the day, Jose co-founded one of the first international Web communities in Latin America, Exchange Latino, in partnership with Microsoft Peru. While in Slovenia Jose was recognised by Microsoft Corp as one of the 18 Global Partner Area Leads. Today, he is founder of initiatives such as Fear & Fail Global, Aurora Co-working, Lincoln Island Initiatives, Vision of Present and The Glue.

Expert in partnership building and facilitation.

Hayley Lapalme, Canada

Hayley is a dynamic facilitator and systems thinker based in Toronto. Coming from a broad interdisciplinary background, Hayley is a reflexive leader who sees connections and builds strong partnerships. Her talents in writing, community development, and intercultural communication have lead her to produce the “100 Mile Dinner Party” radio documentary for the CBC and support the development of an urban farming business in Toronto. In 2010, Hayley joined the team at My Sustainable Canada and developed a methodology to assess and expand institutional procurement of local food in Ontario. Hayley is a dedicated mentor with the Challenge: Future community of global youth social entrepreneurs and an avid canoeist. 

Intern

Ana Stojanovska, North Macedonia

Ana is a high school student at Algorithm High in Skopje. She is very interested in social media and video editing and is passionate about sustainable fashion and the responsible lifestyle required for fighting the climate crisis. In her free time she enjoys watching TV shows and movies, cooking, but most of all, she loves training cross fit. She is a dog lover and enjoys spending time with her dog Barney, too. After she graduates, Ana plans to study abroad, in the field of new media.

 

Meet some of our clients & partners

ACT

ACT

CIVICUS

CIVICUS

Helvetas

Helvetas

Impact Hub Vienna

Impact Hub Vienna

Describe your image

Center ponovne uporabe

Center ponovne uporabe

Swiss contact

Swiss contact

Innovation for change

Innovation for change

Centre for creativity

Centre for creativity

Tacso

Tacso

Feelif

Feelif

Gradanske Inicijative

Gradanske Inicijative

Fund for Innovation

Fund for Innovation

Business Impact Lab

Business Impact Lab

Globale Verantwortung

Globale Verantwortung

WWF Austria

WWF Austria

GSEN

GSEN

Coolab

Coolab

Euclid Network

Euclid Network

Brainster

Brainster

In love with paper

In love with paper

Startup Guatemala

Startup Guatemala

Lincoln Island Initiatives

Lincoln Island Initiatives

Social Impact Lab

Social Impact Lab

We want to thank ...

 

Igor Delov

- for our logo design and the whole visual identity of Heartbeats Innovation & Communication. See more of Igor's great work on http://www.igordelov.co

Tanja Ribarska

- for the photo editing and photo shootings. For work pieces by Tanja check out Tanja's website on www.tanjafish.wix.com/flyingfish

Erste Bank

- especially to the team of "Mikrokredit" for believing in our mission and supporting us. Visit them on www.erstebank.at

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Wirtschaftagentur Wien

.... especially to Dudu Gencel from Wirtschaftsagentur Wien for her support and ongoing advice.

 

Watch our videos

Certificates & qualifications

 

Certificate GENDER MAINSTREAMING

The certificate for Gender Mainstreaming is EU wide valid.

Certificate PROJECT MANAGEMENT

The international certificate for IPMA Level D is worldwide valid.

Certificate Diversity Management

The certificate for Diversity Management is EU wide valid.