The next Silicon Valley should be born in Ukraine, — Dominique Piotet, CEO of UNIT.City

Ukraine is rich in technical talents: Ukrainians are well versed in mathematics, engineering, and many other things. Ukrainian IT specialists are valued all over the world. At the same time, Ukrainians themselves do not notice this, said during the recording of the podcast “Umnykh lyubyat” from Laba Dominique Piotet, CEO of the innovation park UNIT.City, which is developed by the holding company UFuture.

In Ukraine, there are many promising areas for technology development:

  • medicine: health is a powerful trend all over the world, and Ukraine has a lot to offer in this area;
  • renewable resources: green energy, eco-startups (this is also a very powerful trend);
  • agrotech (it is unwise to avoid opportunities for technology development on the basis of a powerful agricultural sector of Ukraine);
  • aerospace technologies, etc.
“The next Silicon Valley is to be born in Eastern Europe. There is a huge potential hidden here. And, I hope, it will be Ukraine,” said Dominique Piotet.

But for this idea to come true, a favorable business environment and a functioning legal system are needed. Without these two things, he added, no technology will radically change the situation in Ukraine and unleash its potential.

Building an ecosystem

To build an ecosystem such as Silicon Valley, or any other, you need three things:

  • people and talents (they exist in Ukraine);
  • money (for example, UNIT.City creates a fund to support startups with a volume of 100 million euros);
  • сulture (a very important element that is difficult to build, but which is extremely necessary).
“There must be a culture of innovation. This is one of those things I would like to borrow from Silicon Valley. It is very difficult to build from scratch,” dded the CEO of UNIT.City.

We need “crazy”

Chinese businessman Jack Ma created Alibaba in 1991. In those years, there was almost no Internet in China: no online payments, no delivery services. However, he started an online store with online shopping and delivery. During a visit to UNIT.City, I asked him, “How did you decide to start your own business if there were no preconditions for it?” And he said, “I knew it would happen, I foresaw it.”

I call such people dreamers, visionaries — they have a vision. And we at UNIT.City, by the way, also has a vision — we see Ukraine as a key player in the world of technology.

We need crazy people, techies who will come and say, “We know how to solve global warming.” Mankind has too many problems to deal with today. It will be impossible to solve them without these dreamers, without technicians, and the technology industry.

From managers to mentors

In general, Ukrainians need to move from management to mentoring. There are too many managers in Ukraine, too many people who only give instructions. Today the world works differently. There are more and more young entrepreneurs in the world. They have no experience, but they need a mentor.

The role of a modern leader is to develop and change people. You have to come to terms with the fact that the people on your team are smarter than you in many ways. Your task as a leader is to notice talents and invite them to your team.

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