Katana Mentors

Giving back 100 hours of mentorship in 2022

On our journey to 100 Katanauts, we managed to recruit some of the brightest minds in Estonia and beyond, which was no easy feat. Our team faced many challenges along the way, and understand just how difficult it can be to scale a team and vision — which is why we are giving  startups in our community the opportunity to learn from our experience. 



Companies eligible for mentorship

employees on a fast track to 100 team members
based and a focus of expanding globally
1-5 years
into your growth journey and counting

Meet your Katana mentors

Get to know Katana's volunteer mentors and how their knowledge and expertise can help you on your growth journey.

Kristi Schumann

Head of People and Culture at Katana

I have years of experience working with fast-scaling tech companies. My passion is seeing companies and teams and people grow — but as growth comes with challenges, I also love getting my hands dirty and putting all my people and culture expertise into practice.


I’d love to help you with:

  • Scaling the company culture and values as you grow
  • Building a successful People & Culture team through different stages of your company’s growth
  • Leadership development and coaching
See Kristi’s LinkedIn Profile

Brett Astrid Võmma

Chief Creative Officer at Katana

I have developed teams of designers (and more than that) in several fast growing start-ups. My roots are in product design that I still hold dear today. In addition to that I have gathered branding, visual communications and copywriting under the Creative umbrella. Giving back to the community is important to me and I am also a mentor at the NULA incubator.


I’d love to help you with:

  • Branding for scaling
  • Growing Design and Creative functions
See Brett’s LinkedIn Profile

Gristel Tali

Chief Product Officer at Katana

I have been a manufacturer myself and I have felt the pain of missing proper tools to grow and excel in my daily business. Also many years I have served as leader of consulting and development teams that build manufacturing solutions. These experiences have fed my passion to help manufacturers to achieve greatness by using Katana.


If manufacturers or manufacturing is your passion I’d love to help you with:

  • Defining target customer and product strategy
  • Building a product roadmap
  • Splitting product development across software development teams
See Gristel’s LinkedIn Profile

Andres Aava

Product Analyst at Katana

I’ve helped companies in manufacturing and IT industry build automation and reporting solutions that maximize value. Modern companies, especially in the SaaS space, need to be data driven and I enjoy helping them set up the solutions they need to stay competitive.


I’d love to help you with:

  • Setting up Customer Data Platform (CDP) (i.e., Segment)
  • Setting up tracking for website and product
  • Tracking events & business automations
  • Data democratization & self-service
  • Building up reporting

Mark Cohen

Head of Technology Partnerships at Katana

Passionate about the power of partnerships and their ability to expedite scale in terms of product functionality, revenue, and brand equity. Consulted and led global partnership programs across five SaaS organizations. Ex-QuickBooks Commerce (formerly TradeGecko).


I’d love to help you with:

  • Building your partnership strategy and playbook (ecosystem and channels)

See Mark’s LinkedIn Profile

Christopher Jacobs

Head of Customer Experience at Katana

I’ve been an entrepreneur in a small manufacturing business and have run customer facing teams in SaaS for the better part of my time in Estonia. My passion is very much around leadership development and building strong team culture. Having worked with Katana’s customers since the beginning I’m very much attuned to the struggles of growing manufacturing companies and how to approach them with unique solutions through software. 


I’d love to help you with: 

  • Building and scaling Support, Onboarding, and Customer success teams and processes for B2B SaaS
  • 1-1 Leadership mentoring and remote team culture building 
  • Scaling customer feedback to drive product-led growth for early stage startups
See Christophers LinkedIn Profile

Elizabete Andersone

Product Marketing Lead at Katana

I am a product marketer experienced in working with B2B SaaS companies. When it comes to growth in an environment where everyone is competing for the attention of your users and prospects, product positioning and messaging can either make it or break it. I work closely with marketing and product teams to ensure the right message reaches the intended audience at the right time in their journey.


I’d love to help you with:

  • Building and scaling product marketing function
  • Product positioning and messaging
  • Go-to-market planning and execution for products and features
See Elizabete’s LinkedIn Profile

Marina Shutova

Customer Self-Onboarding Specialist at Katana

Started volunteering my time in mentorship in 2017. Mentoring actively for SWG and Garage48 on topics from problem validation to user research.


I’d love to help you with:

  • Designing research to validate whether the problem they wish to solve is a real problem for a large enough group of users (or if it even exists)
  • Designing research for existing teams with active users to determine the value existing users get from their app or service (in case they need to prioritize feature development)
See Marina’s LinkedIn Profile

Jevgeni Bogatyrjov

Software Engineer at Katana

Experienced software engineer with background in several Estonian B2B SaaS startups (ranging from pre-seed stage to Series C ). Enduring coder, product thinker, jack of all trades and master of none.


I’d love to help you with:

  • Splitting engineering teams in a growing startup
  • Improving efficiency of engineering teams
  • Hiring for engineering roles
  • Getting unstuck with engineering challenges
See Jevgeni’s LinkedIn Profile

Christina De Giovanni

Talent Acquisition and Employer Branding Lead at Katana

I have many years of experience in multiple areas of People and Culture, which is my biggest passion. I love help building out strategies, teams, branding, and coaching/development. Your company soul is your people, so anything I can do to help within these areas would make me super happy! Ex-Apple, Ex-Microsoft.


I’d love to help you with:

  • Employer branding strategies and implementation
  • Coaching around people and culture, with an emphasis on how to build out your culture compass
  • Recruitment strategies, candidate process, selection/interview process, culture checks
See Christina’s LinkedIn Profile

Jana Naumenkova

API Integration Specialist at Katana

I like to believe that everybody can make it! Happy to share my experience of hackathons and acceleration programs. Speaking up for your dreams is not easy, but I’ll help you to make sense of and identify what business you are in, and what tone to use when you do speak up.


I’d love to help you with:

  • Building out customers’ account management flow
  • Pitching ideas and setting up a “pitch-perfect” session
See Jana’s LinkedIn Profile

Henri Viirok

Marketing Data Analyst at Katana

I’m a marketing analyst with experience in B2B and B2C companies. Fond of simple yet effective solutions and likes when marketers use data in their workflows. Let me show you that marketing analytics doesn’t need to be complex and you can easily support growth initiatives with it.


I’d love to help you with:

  • Coaching your marketing team on how to use data in daily work

  • Setting up your marketing analytics according to business goals

  • Understand how different marketing channels bring value

  • Improve your marketing operation processes

See Henri’s LinkedIn Profile