Venture companies in the world, or investors who are willing to finance promising new development, often come to Minsk to find out about our business potential. Many of the ideas have already received start-up capital. Belarusians, for example, created the popular Internet service Viber, recently bought out by a Japanese billionaire. Gamers all over the world play Belarusian "World of Tanks", which is one of the most popular computer games of our time! So Belarusian brains are working! Ilona Volynets has more.
Scientist Vladimir Davydov, with a team of like-minded people, developed an aircraft that may revolutionize the whole services sector. Couriers will be replaced by drones, and people will get goods directly from the windows of apartments. And this is not science fiction but a real project in which investors have already invested $80,000.
Vladimir Davydov, a developer of unmanned aerial vehicles:
Yes, we did no invent the first personal computer, we do not invent the Internet or a smartphone. But because the component base of smartphones has become very cheap and affordable, here it is - our revolution, which we can do.
A startup is a newly created project with an ambitious idea to find an investor, and to grow into a successful company.
Ilona Volynets, correspondent:
The Business Incubator in the High-Tech park has opened only recently. But from the very first days it began to work at full capacity. The incubator is ready to support youth startups and advise on economic and legal issues.
Co-founder of the popular messenger Viber, Igor Magazinnik, has announced a new project, but he is not ready to disclose its essence.
Igor Magazinnik, co-founder of a mobile application:
We work with Belarusian programmers and continue to work with them, because the guys are very talented, very good. We love it here.
Last year, state support for start-ups in Belarus increased by 3.5 times. Young scientists in Belarus are assisted by industrial parks and centers of business support.
Mikhail Myasnikovich, Chairman of the Council of the Republic of the National Assembly of the Republic of Belarus:
We can talk about the competitiveness of our programmers and managers who are able to enter foreign markets with a volume of $680 million last year - a third of the balance of the Ministry of Industry of our country.
Valery Tsepkalo, director of the administration of the park of high technologies:
When we talk about start-up movement, we should not consider it in terms of brain drain. We need to look at the creation of conditions under which such companies could be established.
Facebook is eyeing cooperation with Belarusian IT specialists. One of the most successful European businessmen, millionaire and grandson of the founder of the world famous Nokia Corporation Pekka Viljakainen is also interested in our start-ups.
Pekka Viljakainen, businessman, investor:
In Minsk, I started an IT company, which employs 300 people. I like to work with Belarus. People are very motivated and active.
Viber is not the only example, when a small Belarusian company has grown into a huge corporation. Millions of gamers are united by the computer game "World of Tanks". Weather apps are also popular around the world. Dmitry Ryabov, the main "weatherman" of Belarus, is testing one.
Dmitry Ryabov, head of the hydrometeorological forecasts service of the national hydrometeocenter:
This app has a few downsides, which, from the point of view of the consumer, can be modified. Now we see stormy weather, the wind is now in Minsk 18-22 m/s. Here it shows 9 m/s.
The developers of this mobile app explain that the application uses data from international providers, which is why the forecast is not very accurate.
Yegor Kunovsky, director of a business analysis department of the company:
The next step of development is work with local meteorological agencies. It may well be that in six months or a year we will come to you for information.
This 22-year-old young man is, perhaps, the future Belarusian millionaire. Bahram created an app for shoppers. It helps them navigate in shopping malls.
Ilona Volynets, correspondent:
I want a new blouse. (Let's find!) The light green one is good.
Bahram Islamov, a developer of the mobile application:
You can see the material and find out its cost. You can study its composition and where it can be sold. And we will find the store you are interested in with the help of the application.
Bahram's project has already attracted $100,000. Investors offer the young businessmen to enter the Russian and European markets.
In Belarus, there has never been lack of ideas. More and more domestic developments appear in medicine. The latest know-how is biolazer for surgical operations. The unique feature is that the device can operate simultaneously on three kinds of waves and allows for the most complex surgeries.
Alexander Lobanevsky, director of the medical manufacturing facility:
The technology we are developing is difficult. It is aimed at professional surgery. There are no complete analogy of this product in the world.