My City Series | Yana Abramova
No one knows a city better than its people. Consciously Connected Travel shares with you our global fam and friends through our My City Series. Unmasking some of the coolest places and it’s people and giving you a deeper more connected insight.
Cambridge Graduate, speaks 5 languages, global traveller and a female Venture Capitalist taking London by storm. Yana Abramova encapsulates the term boss-babe. Harnessing herself in a competitive tech industry and crafting her world to her needs. Yana shares how balance is the key to having it all.
1. Born and Raised or Expat?
Born in Russia, raised in Russia/France and have been living in the UK for the past 5 years.
2. What led you to choose your current profession? And, what steps did you take to get there?
I started my career working on infrastructure and PPP projects primarily, but occasionally spent time reviewing tech deals for the group. Then i did a Masters degree at Cambridge and during my time there, I was thinking about my next move. While choosing between PE, IB, and VC career paths, I opted for VC and started taking small steps in this direction. Attending various conferences, networking, and of course enhancing my knowledge base about the tech sector and new companies. I was always admiring entrepreneurs, but I felt the role of VC was closer to my personality and interests. In addition to being exposed to some VC’s within various companies and sectors, and constantly learning so many cool things!!
3. On your Day-to-Day routine?
I try to start my day as early as possible as it energises me. So gym time is 6.30-7.30am, then I have my fav coffee and avocado toast while looking at emails and prioritising what should be done for the day. I have a lot of meetings with other VCs and entrepreneurs, as well as calls with companies. In the evening I usually have a networking/pitch event. When that’s not happening, I enjoy staying at home, catching up on some research or doing DD on the sectors I am interested in.
4. What is your favourite brunch spot?
I love Granger & Co because they have the best banana pancakes with honeycomb butter and maple syrup! They do also have a lot of healthy things, so I am trying my best to balance. I also love Brasserie of Light in Selfridges – it is light and beautiful, and they have my favourite avocado on toast on brown bread.
5. When you have guests, where in town do you like to take them for dinner?
Hovarda on Thursday - Greek food and the bar upstairs has cool music. For some reason it’s super popular amongst finance people. I love Cecconi’s at The Ned too – amazing ambiance and live music. Meraki – another Greek place, a restaurant that can turn into a “little” party if needed.
6. How has your city grown and changed since you’ve known it? Which changes did you like best?
I am travelling a lot, but London for me is the best city in the world. I cannot see a major difference within the 5 years I have been living here. Maybe more co-working spaces, coffee shops you can work in for a whole day, implementation of electric scooters and even more bikes than before.
7. What cool festivals, if any, happen in your city?
I know only about Chelsea Flower Show – a super beautiful event at the end of May
Royal Ascot Race in June
Taste of London - June
Wimbledon in July
8. Where do you go to escape? How does this space bring you peace?
I love going outside of London. My favourite place where I feel most content and calm is Cambridge. You can take a boat or just walk around the city seeing different sites and visiting colleges across the city. Summer is definitely the time to visit.
9. What’s a local brand in your area that we must know about?
There are so many, but off the top of my head: Trish McEvoy – Mascara that doesnt run, smudge proof and can be washed off simply by water. No more black spots under eyes! M.I.H Jeans – classic and comfy jeans.
10. Where and when is your next adventure?
I am planning a trip to China this year, to imrpove my Mandarin and network with local tech companies.
11. Does Travel breed creativity?
No doubt! Sometimes I feel stuck in one place with a low energy level and routine. When you travel – you compare, you observe, you broaden your horizons and it seems that your mind is changing automatically. I immediately feel that everything is possible, my creavity boosts and I am ready to make new plans and implement them – work and life wise.
12. As for connecting the mind, body and soul, what do you do to promote self-love?
I love going to Barrys Bootcamp with my friends and get my banana pancakes from Granger and Co later on with them. I love to have 1-2 evenings per week for myself: I light a candle, turn on jazz music in the background and try to arrange my ideas/deals/everything. It makes me feel good. Or watch a movie.
13. Who is one famous figure throughout history that has particularly brought you inspiration?
I am inspired by figures in my industry rather than historical figures. Sheryl Sandberg, Sherry Coutu, Susanne Given – women that really inspire me.
14. Are there any philanthropic programmes or projects that you’re passionate about or would like to shed some light on?
Yes, I truly believe that every person needs to bring something into this world. My areas of interest are: education, children with heart problems and poverty. Recently I started to be interested in sustainability as well. I support two charities back in Russia. But i’m getting involved in the charity sector in the UK to now, mentoring girls and poverty reduction.
15. Entrepreneurs, Tastemakers and Trailblazers, where do people like you hangout in your city?
The majority of startups in London are based in Shoreditch – a place with so many coffee shops, co-working spaces. Soho is a great area too. Entrepreneurs love Soho House – we have several spots in the city. London is not only the capital of Great Britain, but in my opinion a European capital for startups, so there are plenty of accelerators in the city, and so many tech events in the evening.
16. What is the importance of global connection to you?
I consider myself very international. I speak 5 languages and feel comfortable everywhere in the world. I like the concept that many modern companies are using that you can work from anywhere, but DO YOUR JOB well and be online 24/7. Plenty of startups are hiring team members outside of the UK, or even EU, and communicate via tools like slack/phone calls or Monday.com. Talent is everywhere and people love mobility.
17. Give a shout-out to someone in your city that is doing groundbreaking things, and what is it that makes them a trailblazer?
18. Advice for budding entrepreneurs?
There is no overnight success. It is all about the trials and errors. Find people that believe and support you as well as people who can challenge you, and go ahead. If something is not working – it may be time to pivot, just don’t hesitate that long. Every failure is a new opportunity!
19. We’re living in a world where our attention to new innovation doesn’t seem to have longevity, how do you find your inspiration to make new waves with long-term prosperity?
I focus on a long term game plan, where I want to be in 10 years. I also do my yearly goals and then break down every goal (usually I have around 100 of them for a year) to sub goals. It keeps me focused.
20. A playlist that embodies your work. What about this particular music brings you inspiration?
I like French rap, jazz vibes and deep house. An eclectic mix, a reflection of me I guess.