Maria Almeida

Maria Almeida

Profile

Time in tech 5 years
Current role Almighty Duchess of Content @ Beta-i
Place of origin Porto

Tell us more about you:

Early years and where you came from?

I’m originally from Porto but I ended up studying and working in Lisbon. I’ve always been one of those people who couldn’t really choose what I liked the most, from startups to politics, from football to culture, it was all fascinating to me.

How were you introduced to the world of tech?

I was just an ordinary communication graduate who was underpaid and miserably unhappy with her job. I wanted to be a journalist and I ended up working for a communication agency… But then, Miguel Amaro from Uniplaces, who is really good friend of mine from Porto, told me he was starting his own company and he could use some help, I immediately said yes.

Walk me through your work and what you are doing now.

From 9am to 7pm, I’m the Almighty Duchess of Content at Beta-i, a top European organisation that supports startups and innovation through acceleration programs such as Lisbon Challenge, and events such as the Lisbon Investment Summit. At Beta-i, I basically write. I write the newsletter and targeted email marketing campaigns, I write in-depth articles and interviews for our blog, I write for our marketing materials, etc.  

From 7pm onwards, I’m the producer and co-host of a podcast called É Apenas Fumaça, which takes highly relevant issues from our society and goes deep, in a series of interviews.   

What part of what you do, you love the most?

Telling stories.

How do you think that your background and knowledge impact the way you approach your work?

I’ve always loved writing and I think that going through university helped me a lot in structuring things in my head.

What advice do you have for young women that want to get into tech and don’t know where to start?

Start talking to people. We often come up with random excuses not to do something we want, so my advice is to avoid the excuses and just get it going. Attend startup events, and reach out to other entrepreneurs and people you want to meet.  

Walk me through a day in your life.

I wake up at 7am with my hyperactive giant dog. I take him for a long walk to the park for about an hour and then I walk to the office. As soon as I get there I usually read the news and interesting articles I receive in my inbox and then I start working. I usually do all my writings in the morning because that’s when I’m most creative, and then in the afternoon I deal with all the practical stuff (set up the campaigns, publish the blog-posts, review articles, distribute content, schedule the agenda, etc.).

After 7pm, I go back home, walk the dog again and then I work on the podcast. I prepare the interviews, take care of the articles we’ll publish, prepare the newsletters, and schedule the following interviews.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

Ricardo Marvão, one of the co-founders of Beta-i, told me once that if I want to do something I just need to do it (in Portuguese: ‘se queres fazer, faz.”). It’s so simple… but, to me, that makes total sense. We usually think that something or somebody is going to stop us but we rarely think the other way around. We just need to do it, give it a try, and if that doesn’t work, well we can try something else.

What apps/software/tools can’t you live without?

Slack, Overcast, Twitter, Facebook, Hubspot, Zomato, Grammarly.

Links that you want to share?

The podcast: http://apenasfumaca.pt/