Opportunities to Turn Youth Initiatives Into IT Companies Were Discussed at Youth Forum in HTP

Opportunities to Turn Youth Initiatives Into IT Companies Were Discussed at Youth Forum in HTP
18 May 2015
18 May 2015
Over 200 young people attracted by IT gathered together in the HTP business incubator on May 15 to participate in the national forum IT Youth 2015.

The forum brought together students, future IT professionals, young high-tech entrepreneurs, participants of the project 100 ideas for Belarus and young people interested in innovative entrepreneurship. The event provided a platform for discussing the latest trends and challenges in the IT industry and prospects for the development of the youth start-up movement.

Chairman of the Council of the Republic of the National Assembly of the Republic of Belarus Mikhail Myasnikovich, Deputy Minister of Communications and Informatization Inessa Kontsevaya, Director of Belarus Hi-Tech Park Valery Tsepkalo and First Secretary of the Central Committee of the BRSM Youth Union Andrei Belyakov welcomed young people who will shape the future of the Belarusian IT industry.

Mikhail Myasnikovich noted that information technology represents a new era in human history and Belarus is among leaders in IT development. "The Hi-Tech Park is a calling card of Belarus today. It is noteworthy that the Park does not stop evolving, does not get content with the existing successful results. The emergence of business incubation is the seed that will produce a good harvest in the future. The Government will take all necessary steps to help youth initiatives grew into independent IT companies," said Mikhail Myasnikovich.

He also emphasized that the Belarusian IT industry attracted more than $680 million to the country last year which accounts for 30% of the total inflow of foreign funds. The most valuable asset in the IT industry is intelligence of developers.

The Hi-Tech Park celebrates its tenth anniversary in 2015. Valery Tsepkalo noticed that at the beginning there was a projection that HTP exports would worth $300- 350 million in 10 years, and it seemed to be a very optimistic projection. Today, however, HTP exports twice exceed the stated figures. "Knowledge is the greatest capital today; therefore we are building a knowledge-based society and economy. The business incubator is designed for young people. This is an environment where people possessing knowledge can meet, discuss their ideas and create new projects to become well-known all over the world like Viber, Wargaming and others," said Valery Tsepkalo.

Inessa Kontsevaya stressed: "The HTP has come a long way for the 10 years; it is recognized both in our country and internationally. With its business incubator being opened, the Park is moving to a new phase of development. We have made great progress; we can successfully implement the most complex export contracts. Belarusian programmers have reached the level when they are able to create not only successful companies but also their own Belarusian products."

Andrei Belyakov wished the young people, the authors of IT projects to find their own way and obtain a profession which will help to go forward and enable self-fulfillment: "The HTP proves that knowledge and skills of the youth can be realized in Belarus, young people can earn good money and grow professionally. Of course, the new business incubator will contribute to this."

Executives of successful HTP companies shared secrets of IT projects implementation they learnt while working on their projects which are now models for startups.

Dzmitry Karnei, Deputy General Director at Apalon Apps, advised on how to make an idea a success. Young people learnt a 10-year history of the company and its products. Currently, the Belarusian developer of mobile applications is part of Interactive Corp (IAC), an international Internet giant with over 150 brands across 100 countries.

"Most applications are a failure. Our success is based on strict adherence to development standards, extreme attention to details and the idea that determines the potential success of the application," said Dzmitry Karnei.

He drew a particular attention of the audience to the creation of the team of professionals: "Our most important achievement is our team. We believe that the major quality of an expert is communicability, with passion being the second one."

"If you want to become an IT professional, be ready to read a lot. Only by putting your heart and talent into your work, you can achieve real success and create a masterpiece," noted Dzmitry Karnei.

Igor Magazinik, Viber CTO and co-founder, shared the success story of the company: "Viber was created as a product for us. Our team was scattered around the world and we had no convenient means of communication. We tried to integrate some solutions. It did not work. But when we launched our application for iPhone in December, 2010, we were stunned by the fact that a million people downloaded it during the first three days."

However, according to Igor Magazinik, the key to success is a good team: "Everyone thinks that the idea is of most importance. It is not! There are millions of ideas. I believe that the most important thing is a team. And that is what you should think about constantly."

Vadim Zelenkov, Director of the HTP Educational Center, spoke about innovative approaches to IT Specialists Training.

"Our mission is to provide the necessary training in the shortest time possible enabling our students to successfully start a career in IT. Our approach is practice-oriented courses. We have introduced the idea of an IT workshop, laboratory; we look for small companies willing to check out their ideas and perform the task. Our lab is like a mini IT company. About 100 people work there every day. More than 80% of graduates of our laboratory are employed by the leading IT companies," said Vadim Zelenkov.

Young developer Pavel Batsylev also shared his success story. His application for solving problems in chemistry has about 120,000 users.

The forum provided an opportunity for young people to talk with the leaders of the IT industry and get information about HTP support programs for IT startups how to become a resident of the HTP business incubator.

The second part of the forum was MENTOR DAY 2. During the event, recognized industry leaders provided practical advice to young IT startuppers. The team of the most promising project will take part in SLUSH 2015, an international IT conference to be conducted in Helsinki, Finland, on November 11-12, 2015.

For reference:
The forum was organized by the Hi-Tech Park and the BRSM Youth Union and timed to World Telecommunication and Information Society Day which is celebrated annually on May 17. Its objective was to promote the development of innovative entrepreneurship in Belarus.

Kuprevicha, 1/1, 220141, Minsk, Belarus.