As reported in Forbes, DeckRobot attracted $1.5 million in seed round investments this fall. Solo founder of the project and HSE graduate Anton Urbanas, aka Tony Urban, promises to simplify life for office workers by automating PowerPoint: now AI will create the slides. In this interview with Success Builder, Mr Urbanas explained why mathematicians are in demand in the U.S. right now, what could save office staff from sleepless nights with PowerPoint, how a startup can survive ‘imposter syndrome,’ whether it is easy to be a solo founder and how to start converting ideas into money.
‘At Gett, I Get a Charge out of Feeling that I Influence Things. Business Is Definitely the Place for Me’
Dan Livshitz, who graduated from the ICEF programme with a Bachelor’s degree in 2014, began his career at 18. At 22, he was the youngest associate ever to work for McKinsey in Europe. Now a top manager with the Gett global technology platform, Mr. Livshitz explained how to make the transition from consulting to technology, the inner workings of Gett and what not to say in a job interview.
After graduating with a master’s degree from the HSE Faculty of Economic Sciences in 2002, Danila Vaskevich dreamed of the easy life, but the economic crisis in 2008 forced him to rethink his values. He left his management positions in consulting and retail to open the private Darovaniye (Gifted) school with the goal of, at least, helping children overcome ‘digital autism.’ He told Success Builder what HSE was like two decades ago, how to stop worshipping money, monetize your dreams, and create a ‘children’s MBA.’
With the transition online, basic education is experiencing a crisis even while specialised education is becoming more interesting and personalised. The Rebotica project has been successfully riding the digital wave with career guidance programmes for children that help students make independent choices about their future. Rebotica founder and HSE graduate Alexander Kiselev told Success Builder how the HSE incubator cultivates entrepreneurs, where to gather data on the education market, why Minecraft is useful in classes with schoolchildren and what you need to know to launch a startup.
'After ICEF, It’s Easy to Enter a Western University because You’ve Already Studied in an International Environment'
Dmitry Storcheus set out to become an economist, but then shifted gears abruptly and went into mathematics. With a Master’s degree from the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences of New York University, he now works as a software engineer for Google and continues to conduct research with his academic supervisor and work on his PhD thesis. Here, he tells Success Builder why ICEF Mathematics graduates are head and shoulders above their U.S. competitors, why Facebook and Google are opening departments at universities, what ‘self-learning neural networks’ are and whether they threaten to unleash a real-life ‘Terminator’ against humanity.
When Roman Stupin decided to go back to school after a decade of teaching and working with innovative startups, he chose HSE. That path started with continuing education programmes, then a Master’s degree and now postgraduate studies. 'I can't deny myself the pleasure of studying,' Mr Stupin admits. Here, he tells Success Builder how robotics can change education, what occupies specialists in Russian think tanks and why it’s time to replace government officials with algorithms.
Alexander Aksakov, who graduated from ICEF in 2011, now works as a Senior Associate in the New York office of Credit Suisse. He tells Success Builder how the wedding of an ICEF graduate became a gathering of economists from around the world, how U.S. employers recruit candidates in bars and how to earn an MBA from one of the world’s most prestigious schools.
Verisium project founder Vadim Kostomarov is convinced that traditional banks will disappear in the new digital world. Financiers, however, will not be left without work, he adds reassuringly. HSE graduate Vadim Kostomarov tells Success Builder whether people should be divided into ‘techies’ and ‘humanities types,’ how to survive in the fashion industry and consulting, and talk about mistakes in looking for investors, and managing a ‘teal’ company.
Alexandra Gudimova, graduate of the WEaIA Faculty, decided to study at HSE University because of an injury. She had to leave choreography academy, forget about ballet and the Bolshoi Theater, and restart her life from scratch. Now she heads a thriving business whose success attests to her professionalism. In this instalment of Success Builder, Ms Gudimova talks about how to write a graduate thesis about a family business, ride the snacking wave and create fast food for city dwellers.
Unexpectedly, one of last year’s trends was…mushrooms. Several startups have shown that mycelium is a suitable material for eco-friendly fabrics, fashionable foods and the manufacture of drugs to treat clinical depression. ‘Prototyping Future Cities’ Master’s Programme graduate Anna Budnikova took the mushroom trend one step further by inventing a building material she calls ‘mycokarst’. She tells Success Builder what the difference is between eco- and bio-materials, why to make water from air and design ‘passive homes’, and who urbanists are and how they are changing our cities.