Meet the Team: Décio Sousa, CTO

Décio Sousa joined zkipster in 2016 and has been CTO since 2019.

Born and raised in Portugal, Décio speaks Portuguese, Spanish, English and some French, and splits his time between his hometown of Coimbra, Figueira da Foz and soon the Algarve.

Décio, tell us about your career before you arrived at zkipster.

“I studied for my BSc and MSc at the University of Coimbra – it’s one of the oldest universities in the world. I was accepted to the PhD program there, but after researching and teaching as part of my studies, I decided I’d had my fill of academia and was ready for some real world, hands-on experience.

“Portugal is famous for its tech and startup scene, and my first job out of college was as an engineer at Critical Software, a well-known tech company that develops software for everything from missile defense systems to eCommerce to financial services. It was another incredible learning experience that has helped me throughout my career: working there taught me best practice and to always strive for excellence, and I learnt from some of the best in the business. Next I joined a restaurant reservations startup – the company was actually based in Zurich, where zkipster was founded, though I worked from Portugal.”

Tell us about your role at zkipster.

“I first joined zkipster to direct the engineering team, became part of the management team as CTO a couple of years later, and now oversee product and everything related to technology.

zkipster is an ambitious company, working to deliver the best possible experience for our customers and their guests. Bringing digital technologies to the traditional world of events is a challenge. We need to combine the latest technologies with elegance and simplicity, providing our users with solutions that are efficient and intuitive.

“I feel that I combine a strong technological background and knowledge with business analytic skills that allow me to understand the problems customers face. This combination is key to developing a successful product and guiding the engineering team towards the right mindset when implementing it.”

“Décio’s fast thinking and analytical skills make him an excellent partner to drive zkipster’s growth: he is able to tackle complex challenges and navigate the rapidly-evolving technological landscape.”


What’s the best thing about working at zkipster?

“Balance. I was an early adopter of remote working, brought that knowledge to zkipster when I joined, and have helped build flexible working into the company’s DNA. We have a productive, connected team, and we’ve created an amazing ecosystem that allows us to thrive and find a balance between work and our personal lives. We really value our people: we try to empower them with responsibility and compensate them in the best way possible. I’m proud that no-one has resigned from the engineering  team since I’ve been here, which tells me that they are happy, and I’m proud of how we handled the pandemic. It’s testament to everyone’s hard work and loyalty that the company is back to growth.”

“We’re in safe hands working with Décio. His extensive engineering experience, strategic thinking and strong intention to deliver the perfect product for special event planners makes it a pleasure to work together.”


What are the most memorable events you’ve been part of?

“In a work capacity, the year the Nobel Peace Prize became a client Olivia (now our CRO) was on the ground on the day of the award ceremony to ensure everything went smoothly. Although I wasn’t there in person I was there to support her, and she and I were in regular contact. It was as rewarding as it was stressful! I also remember staying up late with my wife on our anniversary to watch another huge awards ceremony powered by zkipster, always with an eye on the computer in case I needed to provide any support – of course I didn’t have to! Personally, the wedding of a close friend stands out: all of my friends gathered together for three days of celebrations on the Athenian Riviera.”