Beatrice Ionascu

Published by Marie Ideström on

Beatrice is an entrepreneur, has a bachelor’s degree in Electrical engineering, a master’s in machine learning and is a co founder of the start up company imagiLabs where she also works. imagiLabs empower girls to explore their creative side and learn programming by using their smartphones. They have created imagiCharm that is a colorful accessory that can be customized in your own personal way and at the same time learn the coding language Python. Besides her passion for tech she also loves being out in the nature hiking, do yoga and running! Beatrice is originally from Romania and in our interview we talk about her studies, how she ended up starting a company in Sweden and what keeps her motivated.

So how did Beatrice end up in Sweden as a co founder of a startup? 
Both Beatrice’s parents are working as engineers which inspired her in a young age to go in the engineering footsteps. She had an early interest of mathematics and enjoyed building things, but when it was time for university studies she had the aim at studies in biology. She started her Bachelor Degree at New York University in Abu Dhabi where she found her interest in programming and electrical engineering and therefore left the biology subject. After 3 years of studies in Abu Dhabi and 1 year in New York she decided to do a master’s in machine learning at KTH in Stockholm. And that’s how she found Sweden!

It was not only Beatrice that chose to do her master’s at KTH. Her best friend Dora, that she met during their studies in Abu Dhabi, took the same decision. In one course Dora had a project where she got the task to uplift an underrepresented group, she asked Beatrice if she wanted to tackle the task together with her and that was the birth of imagiLabs. 

For me it is so cool that she has studied in three different countries and I ask her if she wants to share a specific memory from her university time. Beatrice tells me the story of how she found out that she did not want to continue with studies in biology. At American universities you do not have to decide your major subject from the start, which means you can start to study something and then switch if you find something more interesting. So she started with biology and took some other courses in the STEM field (science, technology, engineering and mathematics). One of these STEM courses was Design and Innovation where she found her passion! Together with a team, consisting of classmates, she had to learn how to build a complete product to be shown at a final presentation in the end of the course. From scratch they built a bike lamp in the shape of a diamond that you also could wear as a ring. She absolutely loved this way of working, find something you want to build and just go get the knowledge how to do it! 

Being an entrepreneur is not always a bed of roses and I ask Beatrice how she keeps herself motivated in times when not everything goes as she wants it to. She answers that as an entrepreneur you have to be truly passionate about what you do and the problem you want to solve. If you really believe in what you do and not doing it because of the money you will survive the challenges that hit you during the journey.

“I am so passionate about what I do that sometimes I ask myself WHY are we not more people working on this?”

Beatrice thrives in situations where she is challenged and wants to inspire others to do the same! “If you go for the things that are scary it will make you grow and thrive as a person”. One advice from Beatrice to young girls is not to be frightened by the STEM subjects. These subjects will be really important in the future no matter what you decide to work with. And the beautiful knowledge of how to solve a problem that you get from an engineering education is priceless. “If you are a person who is curious and loves puzzles, engineering is for you!”



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