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Our alumna Margarita Khartanovich: Helping startups succeed is like piecing together a puzzle

Published on 12.12.2022
updated on 12.12.2022
Tampere University
Margarita Khartanovich is a marketing professional and a doctoral candidate who is on a mission to help Tampere-based startups grow and succeed. Margarita currently works as a Chief Marketing Officer at Platform6, a hub for all things startup, and finds her position to be both demanding and highly inspiring. In Finland, Margarita particularly appreciates the freedom and flexibility to work and explore – along with the very hospitable people.

Margarita has worked at Platform6 since June 2021, almost since the hub was founded. One of the things she enjoys the most about her work is that it has no strict structure. Everyone is free to do things their way, and yet in an ecosystem where you are never alone.

“The work is fast-paced, but that’s right up my alley. The days are never boring, and you get to meet different kinds of people, and very passionate at that. The startup scene overall is a lot about passion. I am often inspired and fascinated by the way people just invent something completely new,” Margarita says.

Everyday work involves much learning

The Platform6 community and its 4,000 square metres of space are currently home to nearly 70 companies and an abundance of busy people. In her role as a marketing specialist, Margarita promotes the entire community’s interests in many ways. She manages both internal and external marketing and communications, attends to partnerships, manages PR and branding, and also organises and participates in many events throughout the year.

“Our team currently consists of three full-time employees. We are all responsible for our own specialist areas, but our shared mission is to help local startups grow and succeed. We are helping a growing number of companies through a growing number of services,” Margarita says.

To achieve results, the startup scene involves a lot of risk taking, trying out new things and building relations. Margarita’s own duties also involve much stakeholder work. Some of the key stakeholders for startups in Tampere include both local and global investors, a variety of officials, the City of Tampere, Business Tampere, and Tampere University.

“Managing and developing relationships with all these groups requires that you understand how they all really work and what inspires them. You need to understand each of their unique motivation and drivers and make all the elements work together. Therefore, our everyday work also involves a lot of learning,” Margarita notes.

Some of the biggest challenges in Margarita’s current work are time management and concentrating on what matters the most. In order to do so, you really need to understand startups and the startup state of mind.

“Basically, there’s always something to be taken care of. The resources are limited of course, so the work takes a lot of resilience and being able to operate in an environment which is never stable,“ Margarita says.

Bunnies and rolling stones

Before Platform6, Margarita had worked in several positions and for employers in a number of countries, including Russia, the Netherlands, Austria, the United Kingdom and Finland. She worked in music journalism as a reporter and journalist for the Rolling Stone Russia magazine, as an English teacher for corporate clients, as a fundraising assistant at a press institute and as a TV channel brand promoter. She also started an all-new journal with a serial entrepreneur.

In Finland, Margarita had previous work experience as a growth hacker and research assistant for the HUBS community operating under Tampere Universities and promoting sustainable entrepreneurship, and as a digital marketing and PR manager for the WordDive language learning software – to name a few.

Margarita is originally from Russia, where she completed two university degrees before fully entering working life, one in linguistics and another in PR. She came to Finland for her master’s studies in European and Russian Studies as well as Journalism and Mass Communication in 2009. Currently, she is a doctoral candidate in journalism and hopes to find some time to complete the degree at some point.

About studying in Finland, Margarita highlights the following aspects:

“It was a bit of a surprise to me how flexible studying in Finland was. There were many optional ways to complete specific courses and studies. I also really liked that there were so many international students,” Margarita reminisces.

As for extracurricular activities, Margarita felt easily integrated with the student life in Tampere and became an active board member in what was then the International Students of Tampere Association, operating under the Student Union.

“Overall, it was a big thing for me to be admitted to Tampere University. I applied to four Finnish universities that year and got admitted in two. Tampere seemed the most interesting to me, and the photos I saw were beautiful. I will also never forget when I first arrived in Tampere, at night, and we drove past the University. I could not believe my eyes as I saw two bunnies sitting right there in the yard in front of the Päätalo building. It also did not take long before I met my best Finnish friend Karoliina here. Tampere was home to me from day one.”



Who: Margarita Khartanovich

Education: Master’s degree in European and Russian Studies, Journalism and Mass Communication. Doctoral candidate in Journalism.

Work: CMO at Platform6 Startup House

Quote: “I will always have a warm place in my heart for Tampere University. I love the entire culture and the hospitable people here. That’s why I’m still here, you see!”


Text: Tiina Leivo
Picture: Carolin Büttner

Here you can read other alumni stories