It is always difficult to explain my origin. There are at least 2 countries I can call my homeland. I was born in Ukraine in 1991 and moved to Russia with my parents being 13 years old. 13 years later, I left behind St.Petersburg and Moscow, to name just a few Russian cities where I lived, and made a huge step forward by moving abroad to The Netherlands - a fairy-tale country of windmills, cheese, friendly people and tech. Can't say my choice was done thoroughly. I was working for IKEA in their Russian headquarters, and one day just bumped into an open position at our global headquarters (haha, IKEA is not a Swedish company for decades now). I dreamed of living abroad. Although my TOP-1 was the United States where I've spent already a few summer months, it wasn't hard to decide to move to NL, even knowing nothing but stereotypes about living here. Adventure! Why not? I felt in love with The Netherlands already upon my arrival. Can't wait to share my love and all TOP favs with you.
I moved to The Netherlands being an IT project manager with a 5-year experience working for large corporates - Ford, then IKEA. In January 2018 when Ingvar Kamprad, IKEA's fantastic founder, has passed away, the wind of change has knocked up our door and triggered lots of long-lasting transitions. At some point, I've realized that the best way for me will be to move forward, quit my job and dive into a startup world - this is where I am currently! I've raised $176k up to date, gathered a fantastic team of 10 people and we built a great product that you are using right now! Our country is one of the best places in the world to grow the startup. One of the reasons is talent. Thousands of highly skilled people from all over the world are living here. Sometimes it feels like 'United States of Europe' - so international this place is! The other reason is an inspiration. It is hard to get bored when such a lovely nature, great architecture and convenient infrastructure are around.
Authentic places. There are so many hidden spots in Amsterdam, Rotterdam and The Hague where you feel so good and comfy. There is a great Dutch word - "gezellig". Nope, don't even try to pronounce it - you'll fail if you never spoke Dutch 😅'Gezellig' means coziness, convenience, authenticity, vibe and great people around. This is what keeps impressing me, but also my friends and guests visiting me in The Netherlands. There is so much interesting outside Amsterdam canals: the nature, the sea, the cities, the people... The best travel tip you would receive about our country - never stop in Amsterdam. Explore more! Even after 2 years of living in the country, I wouldn't say I saw everything. There are so many things to do and so many places to see. Just text me here, or check my feed to learn examples.
Having experience in building an international startup, being VC backed and providing traction, I could be an interesting person to talk to for a like-minded entrepreneur. If you're interested in a startup ecosystem, I would be happy to introduce how everything is organized in The Netherlands, what are we good at and where are gaps. I'm also a fun of "hipster" places, so be prepared to visit trendy cafés and meeting places for the locals. I'll show how Dutch are transforming old abandoned industrial places and we will definitely enjoy a few spots that international projects are getting inspired from.