I am a
My name is Lucia Lucka Klansek, business is my passion.
I live in between New York and Ljubljana, Slovenia. I am the proud mother of Niko Klansek and Rhea Nina Klansek.
I’ve always been a strong and independent woman and throughout my life, I’ve experienced all the roles of a woman in a business family.
I have founded, built and managed several successful companies in Slovenia and the USA including Nektar, E4B and LLK. In 2017, I received the Woman of The Decade award from Women Economic Forum for my work in Slovenia 4 You Foundation.
I am currently working on my Ph.D. researching “The Evolution of Female Entrepreneurship in Former Socialist Countries” in collaboration with LLK’s Women Entrepreneur Network, Harvard Business School, Women Economic Forum, and Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia.
I was born on May 29, 1957, in Kranj, Slovenia (former Yugoslavia). I am the daughter of Viljem Klansek and Zorka Klansek.
Education in Slovenia
I received my bachelor's degree in economics from Ljubljana University, School of Economics and Business in 1981.
Education in the USA
In 2009, I studied at New York University, Philanthropy and Fundraising, before studying at Stanford Executive Education.
Currently, I am pursuing my Ph.D. at the University of Ljubljana, SEB.
My father and mother, Viljem Klansek and Zorka Klansek, were both entrepreneurs and founded the family business VIPI in 1957. I was raised from a young age to be involved in the business, starting with designing the company logo at the age of 11.
In 1976, whilst pursuing my bachelor's degree, I created my first company at the age of 19, ‘Avtomati In Sirupi’. The company was a vending machine business, with products ranging from coffee to juices. I grew the company from 4 vending machines in 1976 to a market leader in Yugoslavia. In 1992, I sold the company to my employees.
In 1991, when Slovenia became independent from Yugoslavia, I founded Nektar d.o.o., a beverage and dispensing machine company which I grew to have a 75% market share in Slovenia.
In 2001, I was recognized as one of the most successful entrepreneurs in Slovenia by “Agencija za Poslovne Raziskave” (Agency for Business Research).
In 2004 I sold my company and moved to the US.
In the United states
I moved to New York City and co-founded E4B with my son, Niko Klansek. With E4B we launched a series of innovative fruit smoothie snacks. The unique packaging was designed in Japan for Nasa and was able to extend the shelf life of the snack up to 1 year with no added preservatives. E4B became an international company in less than three years with sales in the US, Japan, and the UK. E4B was featured in the NYT, on ABC TV, and Forbes Magazine.
I later established Slovenia 4 You (S4Y, Inc) a non-profit foundation focused on building stronger business ties between the US and Slovenia. The foundation also managed the Slovenian Business Club in New York City. My work in community leadership was recognized by the Women Economic Forum from which I received the Women of the Decade Award in 2017.
In 2008, I founded LLK, llc, a consulting and investment agency focused on Family Business and Women Entrepreneurship. The company’s investment portfolio include FlyKly, LLXLLQ, and BizMe.
In 2015, LLK launched the Women In Business Initiative, a consulting and mentoring initiative aimed at supporting women business leaders in the US and Slovenia.