This week’s guest is Julia Zeltser, Co-Founder and Creative Director of Hyperakt. Julia and her cofounder Deroy Peraza arrived in the US as refugees. She describes being very aware of how lucky they were as a key motivator to start their agency 16 years ago. They describe Hyperakt as a New York social impact design studio that partners with visionary organizations to tell their stories. In this conversation, Julia shares how challenging the early years were, how that changed as the agency matured and how alongside that growth, they have become clearer on their mission, values and company culture. Julia also shares valuable advice on hiring on the basis of passion for social impact, how they manage paid client work and foster a healthy working environment.

Julia Zeltser

Julia Zeltser of Hyperakt

Julia Zeltser is a founding partner and creative director at Hyperakt. With over 15 years of design experience in print, brand development, visualizations, and interactive media, Julia has been instrumental in establishing Hyperakt’s visual voice.

Julia leads a multi-disciplinary team of designers in a wide range of assignments. She has advised clients such as ACLU, Ford Foundation, and UNICEF to extend their brand in print and interactive media. Julia initiated and leads Lunch Talks at Hyperakt: a monthly event to ignite collaboration and idea-sharing among the design community.

Julia has received accolades for her design work from organizations such as Society of Illustrators, Communication Arts, Brand New, and How Magazine. She was born in Ukraine and graduated from Parsons The New School of Design in New York. She lives with her husband and two children in Brooklyn, NY.

"The values that you define internally need to somehow become company values.” — @juliazeltser

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Tune in to find out about:

  • How being a refugee influenced Julia's career
  • How Hyperakt was born out of the “American dream”
  • The genesis of Julia's socially impactful work
  • How Julia overcame the financial hurdles of a new business
  • Why bringing on a business consultant was a lifesaver for Hyperakt
  • How to establish whether your values align with the client’s
  • Codifying company culture and values together with a team
  • How Hyperakt manages their hiring process
  • Building an environment where employees want to come to work
  • The values that Hyperakt places on top of their list
  • Learn about the exciting Hyperakt Labs movement
  • How Hyperakt manages their paid client work

"As #refugees to this country we’ve been given an amazing opportunity to live here. @hyperakt was born out of this belief we got a fair chance & realization that some people don’t have that #fairchance & never will because there are structures placed in front of them” - @jzeltser

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