THE GREAT RETURN

Blog: The international world requires an international mindset

Slovak Pavol Sovis, whose startup became the biggest coworking centre in Slovakia, says we should work hard to match the attitude of international entrepreneurs.

Pavol SovisPavol Sovis(Source: Zuzana Burdanova)

Studying in Germany showed me how things can work

I experienced a well-functioning system there. It exposed the lack of cooperation between universities and the private sector in Slovakia, which I find disappointing. I would love to change this.

Many top companies, like Nokia and BlackBerry, had their research centers right

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on campus.

Curriculum and the whole course of study was designed to align to the needs and requirements of the private sector. The tight collaboration between the companies and the university was beneficial for all parties involved. Students were ready to start their career immediately after getting a diploma.

I always had a dream of being an entrepreneur

Studying and working in Germany was great, however I realized that the connections I had back home were essential for starting a business of my own. A few of my friends felt the same and we just clicked and did it.

So when I finished my studies, I decided to come back and start a company

What helped me at the very beginning were a few clients of mine that I brought back from abroad. I also, quite regularly, kept attending networking events in Munich and Berlin. This proved to be vital in my later development.

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The startup camps boosted the innovation scene in Slovakia

Startups camps took off around 2010. Everybody wanted to do something new and start a company. We were hungry, but inexperienced. Around this time, the first investment funds were being created in the CEE. Startup camps and meetups were organized, providing us with lots of networking opportunities.

This is how I got to know the people from Neulogy Ventures, a Slovak investment fund

Neulogy Ventures later became our investor. Nevertheless, gaining a lot of contacts allowed me to partake in other ventures as well. It helped me startup the biggest coworking centre in Slovakia, build a network of creative minds and create a favourable environment for business development. Thanks to these efforts and activities, I got to meet my partner and the co-founder of VECTARY, our online 3D modeling tool and sharing platform.

Locally, it's not easy to find the right talent

Currently, we are looking for talented people that can help our company grow to the next level. We have a global vision. Unfortunately, a lot of Slovak talent has fled abroad. It’s not always easy to get them back.

The international world requires an international mindset

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Being fortunate enough to have met people with experience from London, Silicon Valley, Berlin and New York, I can clearly see they share a similar perspective or vision. We should work hard not only to match their know-how, but more importantly their attitude.

The experience of living abroad often results in such an understanding

This testimony was originally published in Zuzana Palovic’s book, The Great Return. You can learn more about the book as well as Palovic’s own journey as a Slovak migrant that later returned to Slovakia at http://thegreatreturn.eu/.

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