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Welcome to Silicon Valley Successes. So today we have Matt from unit city, which is the largest tech park in Ukraine. We're going to talk about startups coming from Ukraine or Eastern Europe here to Silicon Valley. We're going to talk about some of the advantages and disadvantage they have. We're talking about a lot of opportunities that many people at home that's watching this may not know about.
So to start, Matt, could you please introduce yourself? Well, first of all, I'd like to say thank you so much for having me on the show.
introducing myself. Let's see. Have you ever heard of a Rhodes Scholar before? I've heard that term, but please do elaborate. Yeah, so it's pronounced road, but it's spelled differently, r o ad. So and that means basically, I spent a lot of time on the road. So I'm from Northern California, but I lived in Europe, worked in Europe, London, Paris, and eventually ended up in Moscow for something like over 10 years. Oh, wow. Yeah. So I was doing a lot of commercial real estate in Russia and Ukraine. And today, I continue to work with Ukraine. Oh, wow. Okay. And what did you come to Silicon Valley? I'm actually from Northern California. And I started my career in tech. I was covering technology companies for an investment bank. And, and I rode that internet, boom, all the way up, and then all the way down.
And I got off the roller coaster at the very bottom. Okay, sounds good. Yeah. And then, yeah, yeah, that was an interesting ride. Then I decided to have a change of scenery. So I spent some time in London and Paris, ended up in Moscow. And I made I say, a lateral move. So so my career always had something to do with dollars and investments, initially, technology companies, then private equity, okay, so initially was investment banking, covering technology companies, then private equity, and then commercial real estate and did that for a good long time. And then came full circle. Eventually, the real estate brought me back to technology, tech innovation parks, and I represent the largest one in Ukraine. It's something like 62 acres. Wow, yeah, in the capital of the country. And, and in here, I am back in California, too. So it's kind of nice to have traveled as full circle. And it all kind of makes logical sense. And, you know, there's a storyline so I'm really happy about that.
It sounds like you've had this amazing adventure travel in the world and experience and all these cultures in that. So with your role right now, unit city, could you explain for us a little bit what unit city is and kind of the idea behind it, and what the goals are for it?
Sure. So unit city is a huge tech Innovation Park. Now, we hear those words here in the US and we think we know what it means. But I don't, I don't think we really do. So it's one place where there are all kinds of different technology companies. And we have that in Silicon Valley. But we have to drive everywhere to get from one place to another, okay. In Kenya, in unit city, we have a central square. And there are all kinds we have green areas and outdoor cafes and
food vendors when the weather's good, and, you know, it's it's very nice territory. And it's, it's huge. It's getting bigger. Every month, I took someone from Silicon Valley there who was asking me, you say, I don't really get the idea of a tech Innovation Park. And as we were crossing that central square, he met four really interesting people just by accident, got their contact information. By the time we got to the other end of the square exists. Now I get it.
Yeah. So you just bring together all these great minds from different sectors, say coding, schools, accelerators, big companies, r amp, D, centers, startups, and you just mix them all up. And I call it I like to think of it as the power of proximity or also
thought up this term driving here, forced serendipity, you know, kind of make your own luck kind of thing, bring all these people together.
So in this tech part, people are living, they're raising families everything, or is it just more for those guys, they just graduate from college, they single work six months leave, like, what's kind of the social dynamics,
you know, you had to work for us, because that was a really good question.
That's the direction we're going in. Yeah, so today, we have no trouble attracting startups. We're just we don't have to advertise nothing. They're always there. They they want to be part of our scene. And eventually we are going to build residential units will have schools for kids. So you could raise your kids there, it's gonna be a delightful place for anybody in tech who's raising a family but that comes a little bit later and a few years Okay,
so then right now with with unit city, you have companies from Europe migrating to this location to set up their their offices, is that correct?
That's correct. I would say that our emphasis is on American companies, however. Okay, so let's back up just for a minute. So So Ukraine, it's the largest outsourcing market in Europe, believe it not they they turn out more engineers per year than any other European country. Now, it's not part of the EU but it does have a free trade agreement with Europe and you don't need a visa to come to Ukraine from Europe or to go to the EU from Ukraine. Okay, so it's, it's getting economically integrated. And where did I want to go after that? What was what was your question?