Founders, Makers, Doers — Tamara Mumcuoglu
Founders, Makers, Doers is a series of blogs about incredible people who are key players and leaders of significant change, ventures and initiatives. Can't you just feel the energy? Today: the incredible Tamara Mumcuoglu!
A Brief Intro to Tamara Mumcuoglo
Name: Tamara Mumcuoglo
Bio: A serial entrepreneur dedicated to environmental challenges: from obtaining two degrees in Environmental and Energy Engineering through managing large scale multidisciplinary projects, invention of “Wind-in”, a wind energy high efficiency harnessing device, and founding EVA Ltd. to reduce CO2 emissions from the construction industry.
Find EVA Ltd. on
10 Things you didn't know about Tamara
1. What I am working on right now
At EVA, Ltd. we are developing a technology that allows to turn the construction waste into valuable building material, helping companies to do good for the environment and to reduce their costs.
2. A significant event(s) that has shaped my professional self
When I was a child, I saw a movie about a world that was completely ruined by its habitants. It had acid rains, no vegetation or animals. It had an enormous effect on me then and even thougH I forgot about it when I grew up, I’m sure that the decision to study environmental engineering was influenced by this experience. I wanted to find practical and scalable solutions that can help avoid this disastrous picture.
3. What are the leadership traits that I admire the most?
I believe that a true leader lifts the people up around him or her. When you can give a meaning to your life and the lives of others, it is the best of feeling.
Another trait that I believe is important: to show that we can make mistakes. We should not be afraid of them. It is much better to do and make a mistake on the way, than to no to do at all. One cannot sit around and wait for the perfect timing, the perfect outcome etcetera. Besides which, mistakes are our bet opportunity to learn and improve.
4. Something that I would do over if I could.
I don’t regret anything. Every path I took, even when it didn’t have a successful outcome, it made me the person I am and taught me valuable lessons. The one thing I would try to do differently is to do more things in parallel. I leapt to the entrepreneurship leaving other paths behind. In hind sight maybe I could have taken it a bit slower, while completing my PhD in parallel for example.
5. The three opportunities that propelled my career forward
I participated in a delegation to USA while I was in the army. I learnt from this experience that one can stand out from the crowd if you invest more in preparing. The participation in that delegation led to me receiving an English-speaking job in the Technion visitors center during my first degree, which allowed me to meet people with very impressive achievements. Which in turn, most probably affected my global world view.
When a senior project manager resigned from the Katzir, I was asked to step into his big shoes and to manage a very large-scale project. I was a project engineer in the beginning of my career. That project was very challenging but seeing its success was very rewarding.
My invention of the novel wind turbine started my entrepreneurship journey and I have never looked back.
6. What motivates me the most?
Graduating from the Technion. It was not an easy task for me, as in addition to the studies I also worked a lot to pay the tuition and for the living. I also didn’t want to miss anything out, so I even established a singing ensemble with my friends, and I even established my first business. So, it was a pretty turbulent period, even though I can’t complain on lack of action since then also.
The Katzir project. I had to step into vetted project manager’s shoes as he resigned in the middle of the project. Among my missions was to examine engineering and financial reports of experts twice my or trice my age who had decades of experience in their fields. I did a good job there, finding crucial mistakes and gained an ultimate respect from the parties involved, though some were skeptical at first because of my young age.
Invention of my Wind turbine and actually doing something about it and not just leaving that in my head like I did with many other ideas and designs.
7. The most challenging professional obstacle(s) I have overcome
When I was doing the Katzir project, I thought it would be the most challenging obstacle to overcome. But when I started the entrepreneurship path I realized it is much more difficult.
When you are a project manager, even when the project is very complicated, you always have a clear view where you are going. You have a clear measure of your success along the way. In entrepreneurship there is no such a luxury. You can work your way really hard in one direction only to discover that you had to go in another one.
You could compare a project manager with a conductor: if all players know their notes well, a good conductor will know how to make it sound amazing together. Entrepreneurship has no musical notes. It’s a complete improvisation. You don’t know how it is supposed to sound. You learn on the way what works and what not.
I happen to love improvisations, both in music and in life. I like the steep learning curves, which are allowed by the unknowns, and yet I felt overwhelmed sometimes by all the uncertainty of this path and the roller coaster of highs and lows.
8. A few words from me to people beginning their professional career
Challenge yourself constantly. If you feel that you manage your job easily and know it all, it’s time to move on to the next challenge. Don’t be afraid to be the most inexperienced in the room and don’t be afraid to enter into “big shoes” when the opportunity presents itself. These are the opportunities when you learn the fastest.
9. Something that I would like to learn in the future
I would never want to stop learning: learning what I already know on a deeper level, learning new fields. I have a curiosity for almost everything that comes my way.
10. The question that I wish someone would ask me…
How do you deal with the startup roller coaster?
The answer to that question!
Startups have numerous up and down moments.One of the ways to deal with it is to always leave a few options to move forward. Not putting all your eggs in one basket. That way, if something doesn’t work out, it won’t pull the rag out from under your feet. You still keep going with other options you have pre-planned.