From consultant to successful startups: how Ukrainian businessman gave up everything and went to conquer America


Why you should never give up and always worth the risk, if the decision feels right — a successful Ukrainian businessman left everything and became a co-founder of the us start-up, surviving a 3-month hell at work. Eugene Elections, told his story for Voice of America.

От консультанта до успешного стартапера: как украинский бизнесмен бросил все и уехал покорять Америку

Photo: Facebook/Eugene Vyborov

Hereinafter in the first person.

When you sacrifice quiet life, a successful job and a steady income, what they say about you people? It is likely that you’re weird.

Hi, I’m Eugene and I’m a weirdo.

This is the story of how and why in 2016 I left my successful Ukrainian business and co-founded us start-up. It is also the story of what prompted me to this step. Complex, the most important and best step of my life. There are no “keys to success” or “10 habits that will make you a millionaire”. Just a simple but real story, which maybe useful to someone.

Today I’m co-founder and chief engineer of a startup that helps people and growing fast. But three years ago I was in hell. I was invited to the role of lead technical Advisor to the Boston start-up accelerator Techstars. Geek to the bone and the owner of Ukrainian IT-companies, I had no chance to refuse. Such a good experience! A bunch of invaluable contacts! Yes, and it is delicious …

Techstars is a three month program, during which several start-up teams are not sleeping, not eating, not doing anything besides food, compelling enough, the investor wrote a check. In the Techstars Boston Spring 2016 these teams have met 14.

As for my role … I was a technical Advisor or “that guy who knows exactly what to do with the technology.” It’s like you’re in hell 24/7 putting pressure on the pedals at the same time 14 bikes in the fire. Upside down. Venous connected to the coffee machine. So the dream, you only heard from Wikipedia and from Google’s contextual advertising.

It was a difficult three months. But I wouldn’t trade them for anything. It is on Techstars, I met my future partner. Anthony came to the program with the prototype YayPay service for automation of accounts receivable. The prototype, to put it mildly, very raw. For example, among 14 burning bikes, this still on square wheels.

But it was a brilliant idea. And Anthony did not give the impression of a man who quits his job halfway. So three months later we came out of the dark with red eyes, trembling limbs and a worthy version of the product (which we, running forward, threw and did everything again).

Immediately after Techstars Anthony invited me to become a co-owner and chief engineer YayPay. I said, “I think” and thought more than a week.

От консультанта до успешного стартапера: как украинский бизнесмен бросил все и уехал покорять Америку

Photo: Facebook/Eugene Vyborov

Imagine yourself in my place. Seven years I’ve been doing from your company in Ukraine stable business, which brought me money. Enough money to provide sufficiently detailed picture of my future and even make a nice long-term plans.

On the other scale — life on the volcano, uncertain future and daily risks. Of course, to build a successful business in the United States for the entrepreneur — how to conquer Everest. This is an opportunity to get a matchless experience, tons of contacts and a powerful portfolio for negotiations with investors. Not to mention a very attractive dividends. To accept the offer, Anthony had voluntarily fall back, hoping that someone will catch.

Well, I agreed. Weigh the potential of a startup is very difficult, because the startup is a solid suspense. You can make graphs, to analyse such experiences, current trends and market conditions, and tomorrow be left with nothing. But in my opinion there are three key factors which can and need to be considered. Because if your startup becomes successful, you’ll be on TV, and the President will shake your hand — it is these three factors that will precede it.

  1. People. In a sense, a startup is a risk to life. Therefore, the people with whom you work, it’s for people in this life willing to trust. For the three months at Techstars Anthony and I realized that we can cooperate and listen to each other, despite any pressure or stress. Besides, he already had experience of building successful projects.
  2. Idea. Yes, make money today, maybe even a app that ages your photo. But the best ideas are the ones that show the real pain and problems. Listen to the problems of the neighbor at the left or the guy in line for coffee. If you know how to make their lives better, you probably know how to improve the lives of many. The idea of a startup, in which I was invited Anthony, solve very real business problems around the world. I have no doubt that this project will blossom if you do it correctly.
  3. Adventurism. In my opinion, need to feel adventurous to agree to a life consisting of regular risk and lack of clear prospects. Startups, like Indiana Jones, wild-eyed, nervous smile and utter incomprehension of the near future, jumping for treasure in an unknown jungle.

От консультанта до успешного стартапера: как украинский бизнесмен бросил все и уехал покорять Америку

Photo: Facebook/Eugene Vyborov

As for me, combine those three elements and your chances of success will be no less than Mark Zuckerberg or Steve jobs. I tried it and happy with the result.

Yes, business in the United States is not one step, doing that, just get the fruits. Agreeing to the suggestion Anthony, I stepped on a very long and difficult track. Track daily hard work. And believe me, it is the only way to success.

But do your thing hard and the results will not keep waiting. In confirmation of his words, can only say that now our company employs 45 professionals. In addition, we have earned the trust of customers and investors and as a result $ 16 million funding. Therefore, grow and make our service better!

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