The winner of the Kyiv Tech Hub’19 startup competition was the Lviv project, the innovative online-platform Events Terminal, so we had a great opportunity to talk to Tetiana Divnych and Bohdana Khomyak, the funderdresses of Events Terminal.
What is the Events Terminal?
Events Terminal is an online platform with streams and records of educational events. We work with TOP video content providers and the Director of Engineering at Facebook is one of our speakers.
On Events Terminal anyone can watch educational events videos with subtitles, get a transcript or listen to the audio. You can see event ratings made by other users, you can take notes while watching to learn faster or to share insights with your friends on social media. Meanwhile, video owners can monetize every view.
Present your project in 3 words.
Innovational E-learning Platform
What problem are you solving? Who is the main addressee of your solution?
The platform solves the problem of the inability to access knowledge-sharing events that take place in different cities and countries. Apart from this, 1 billion people globally have different types of disabilities that stop them from attending events physically. Our customers are people that want to boost their careers by learning new skills or improving existing ones.
Who is behind the project? What do you do in the project?
Our team is 2 business developers, a software engineer, and a designer. We, the Founders, know each other for 5 years. We studied at the same university group, organized educational events together, and worked at a software development company before we founded Events Terminal.
You can see the Founders’ profiles below:
Tetiana Divnych, Co-Founder & Business Development.
Tetiana used to manage several non-profit projects that provided her with relevant leadership skills. Apart from this, Tetiana closed a deal with a global media company, as well as supplied the first Ukrainian historical comics for children to Canada.
Dana Khomyak, Co-Founder & Business Development.
Previously, Dana has been an entrepreneur in 2 different industries. When Dana has been working as an IT Sales Manager, she easily managed to create a long-term cooperation with the US or EU companies that lasts even to this day.
What stage is the project at? What are your current results?
We launched MVP that already brought us over 1000 users including paying customers from the EU. Speakers from different companies including Facebook and TetraPak shared their experience with viewers from 65 countries on Events Terminal.
What from your perspective is the most difficult part in developing a startup in Ukraine?
As we’re a media platform, it’s really important to work with a big market that could consume our video streams and recordings. We realized that the Ukrainian market is not big enough and that’s why we decided to go global. Also, at the very beginning startups have different needs that should be somehow covered so it would be nice if there were any grants from the Ukrainian government to support the R&D phase for early-stage startups.
What problems did you encounter during the development and before the startup launch, how did you fight them?
The main problem that we faced during the development phase was that we could not develop all features during a short period of time while being a startup. We’re taking a part in a nordic acceleration program THINK Accelerate where we had to launch our MVP, as well as gain our first customers. That was a challenge for us so we decided to cut some functionality and receive more time for publishing new events and promoting them.
What kind of support are you currently looking for for the development of your startup?
First of all, we’re looking for financial support in order to create full functionality. This will help us create a scalable solution and we’ll be able to grow much faster. As a global marketplace, Events Terminal aspires to pull as much as possible users so we’d also happy to receive advisory support in sales and marketing. Relevant knowledge and experience are pretty valuable for us. If you’re interested to make an investment into Events Terminal, contact us.
How did you get involved in the Polish-Ukrainian Startup Bridge project and how would you rate your participation in it? What did you expect and what did you get?
We came across a startup competition event on Facebook and applied. It was a good idea to have 2 rounds of participation, both regional and national as it gave us a chance to see other startups, as well as prepare for the next competition. During this project, we met potential investors and content providers so definitely, Polish-Ukrainian Startup Bridge is one of the most favorable opportunities for our team.
Are you going to start developing your project in Poland? If so, what do you like here the most? What are your expectations?
We do plan to expand into more EU markets and Poland is one of the potential countries of events to start working with. Polish people and their positive attitude, as well as dozens of educational events, are what we like a lot in Poland.
What is your experience with Polish investors (both private, public and mixed), if any? What kind of support (non-cash) do you expect to receive from the Polish partner?
During the project, we met Polish investors from private venture capital funds and received detailed feedback from them regarding financing our company. We realize how much is important to find the right investor, we believe it should be a person who would invest not only money but also his/her passion and expertise in the company. This way, we’re looking for pre-seed/seed investment from angel investors or funds that have expertise in EdTech and marketplaces and are ready to join us on this journey to make educational events accessible for everyone.
Startup to startup: give a piece of advice to other startups on early project stage.
Never stop too early. In order to gain something sometimes, you have to go a long path when you will be giving a lot of your time, efforts and didn’t get a return immediately. But here is the main trick: it’s a test to see whether you can be patient enough to win. It’s always important to remember that life is a chain of events, so every loss or victory in fact is leading us to something we believe in. We should always remember what we believe in. It’s a key. If you’ll learn how to enjoy your road towards achieving the main goal, instead of complaining about how difficult it is, then you will never have a chance to miss your end destination.