Success or Failure, Startup setting up in Korea or US

Today on Silicon Valley Success we interview Junhwah and Chris who help startup go to Korea or from Korea help them setup in other countries with focus on Silicon Valley.

This is part 1 of our episode that covers

Setting your company up form the US to Korea, or from Korea to the US

Some of the areas that company fail in

Startup fund matching with the Korean Government

How to go about getting money from the Korean Government

And More


So with that, let's start part two. So Matt, could you please talk about a little bit more about the resources that unit city?


So I mentioned the coding school. Let me let me flesh that out a little bit. We call it unit factory. And the curriculum we use is from coding school. 42. Yeah. So, you know, 40 turns Fremont Oh, yeah. Then over there, yeah.


Jamie? I know, the whole to hold to a critical here. Yeah,


very nice. facilities. Yeah. So,


so we have their curriculum, okay. And the other is the most striking thing about their program is that tuition is free. Yeah, so I think that's a little bit like the Cambridge University model, or the Harvard University model. People are trying to get in there into Harvard, because it's a great reputation. 53 years of tuition free education. That sounds great from the top school. So when people arrive on their first day, we already have some outstanding minds in our you know, it class. I think the whole universities too good to be true when they arrive, or Ah, yeah, I imagine some of them are scratching their heads. How is this possible? Yeah, yeah.


Who's stealing my.


And then the other thing that's unusual about the program is that there are no instructors per se. So teams are formed, and you're given cases that resemble real life problems, and you try to solve them. And there's actually some kind of map. Have you seen that map that Labyrinth, you have to work their way through? Yeah, before you graduate? Yeah.


But, but let's go back. Tell me more about the resources of units city there. Okay. And also, let's kind of get to where we're talking about startups from unit city come in here, and maybe the difficulties that they face, right, but right, yeah, yeah,


we haven't had a lot of startups come this way, yet from unit city, because we're still relatively young. Where, what, two years old? Okay, yeah, but we have what do we have 989 buildings up beautiful office buildings. You can see the links on the on the website after this, this interview.


So talking about Ukrainian startups coming this way. So one of our accelerators is focused on global startups who are interested in the US market and I will facilitate their their transition of us what kind of problems do I see what kind of mistakes are being made over and over again? Well, a lot of startups come here and they, they, they come over here for a week or two. And they come in a big group of startups from the same country. So they show up here. And you know, we are Lotfi, instruct


people here think okay. That's a little strange. Why is that important? And what do you do, right? So you do not brand yourself is from a particular country. No one cares here. Yeah, right. Now, it's another matter if you go to, let's say a blockchain conference, you discover that, oh, all the good startups were from Ukraine. Well, that's a pretty powerful message. Yeah, but you gotta let people discover that for themselves. Okay,


so that's number one. Number two, you really need to stay here, you need someone here. And I would say not just one person, at least two, you need to have each other's back. And you need to assimilate, you need to think like a native of Silicon Valley. And to do that you need to break out of your community, whatever it is, if you're, if you're Chinese, you should not be hanging out with all the other Chinese founders. You need to need to really dive into Silicon Valley and discover it. Yeah, yeah.


Now, I've seen that with a lot of the groups here, Silicon Valley where, where they'll send a VC over from a country and they'll just hang out with their that that group, whether they're Chinese, Japanese, Korean, they never actually immerse themselves in Silicon Valley, and they never get access to the good companies because of that, or


deal flow. That's a huge mistake.


What are some of the other problems that


founders from Ukraine might face when they come here? Do they have visa problems? Or because they're startups they're able to get those? Is that again, easier? harder? That that is a good question. And I need to crack that I have a number of friends who are immigration lawyers. So I'm just going to hand the problem over to them. I'm not on top of it just yet. But I have not come across anyone who has been in such dire straits. They had leaves, okay. Yeah, and I will say this of the Ukrainian startups or the Ukrainian founders who are very successful here. They spent some time the United States before their startup got traction. So I don't know if WhatsApp is that he immigrated here pretty young, young calm but there's a Ukrainian team and WhatsApp and and Yan is originally from Ukraine. Grammarly Grammarly I don't know if we consider Grammarly Ukrainian or Canadian but they're Ukrainian guys


pet cute yeah I don't know how many years they were here before and I think I think they got your through China actually. So that's an interesting path they took how many years


do you think it takes a founder someone from Ukraine to kind of get acclimated to Silicon Valley?


Well depends on the person but if if you're applying yourself I would say a year yeah I got acclimated in Russia in about a year okay yeah I don't look Russian you know I can open a taxi door and they'll speak English to me just


look but


yeah my recommendation go to a lot of parties. Yeah, just just speak speak speak and next thing you know your local Okay,


so far we've talked about getting acclimated to Silicon Valley taken about a year the fast when they do come here, it normally will take them a little while to get acclimated and when they're here they should associate outside of just their their home countries group of course, we talked about when have a startup team here wants to outsource their their development to Ukraine best to have a project manager or one or two points of contact here for that team over overseas. There'll be a cultural difference also be a time difference.


But the cultural difference is the biggest trumps everything else trumps everything else. We also talked about the technology technological Park and the benefits of it with everyone in such a community. What are we missing? What What hasn't been covered so far?


Hmm. One area that I'm developing is events that tie together different tech ecosystems. And obviously, the one I care about is key. If Okay, I will pull them some others as well. And the time differences difficult, but you can include startups from unit city in the agenda for a particular event. So we have through Silicon Valley planet, that's a group that I formed and yeah, I think you're aware of it


is video,


too many too many organizations with Silicon Valley,


but those domain names are taken.


So we have a we have a FinTech event coming up on corporate pilots, okay. We'll have some experienced individuals from big corporations from startups in the FinTech space and telling us how to be successful in setting up a pilot. what not to do. And I'd like to have a series of such events across different sectors. Okay. Yeah. And I will be working with my colleagues at unit city and they just launched their first batch of startups and to there are FinTech. So, okay. I will, I will integrate them in my activities here.


The companies go into Ukraine. And then you said mostly not so much Europe, but focus of America. Oh, yeah, there was a statistic in my head. So something like 80% of the outsourcing revenue is is



serving US companies. Okay. Yeah. So US companies are very important to Ukraine or these companies, early stage companies, are they more corporations? Who are they? Yeah, I think they're



big corporations, their startups. I'll tell you which companies were interested in.



We're interested in startups. They're on the verge of scaling. So they can see on the horizon that they need to hire a lot of engineers and they're worried they're not going to be able to do it in Silicon Valley, because there's just so much talent to go around. And it's very expensive here. Okay. So with that expense, how much cheaper is it in Ukraine to hire engineers there versus the us you know, it depends on which language you're talking about, but I



would say the correct language, right? Well, just Yo yo yo program. Yeah, sorry. Yeah. I'd say the pecking order in terms of cost.



So Ukraine and build a ruse will be about the same level Russia is going to be a little bit more expensive really and but I really yes it is inexpensive compared to Silicon Valley but if someone is only interested in cost, how much it costs if they don't hear anything else if that's all that matters to them. We don't want that kind of customer. Okay, because they typically make a lot of mistakes. They're focused on the wrong things that I'd like to tell you. What is interesting about working with Ukrainian programmers? Yeah. So in in Asia and a lot of Asian countries. I hear complaints from people that they hear Yes, then and the yes yes. doesn't necessarily mean yes, the way we say right, I hear you. I hear you.



Yes, yes, we're speaking and I hear you. Okay. Yes. Yes.



So experiences way too many times. Okay. I said, I've heard



cases in which someone says, I'd like this done in two weeks, I'd like these features. And then two weeks go by. And it's as if that first conversation ever took place. Yeah. Okay. Now



Ukraine, Russia, that part of the world, very different. Okay. Very different. So you could ask them to finish that project with those features in two weeks, and you get a response impossible, or I don't think that's a good idea.



You get pushback. Yeah, but it's actually constructive pushback. So it's, it's a little bit jarring coming from our culture where the customer is always right. Yeah. To have to have somebody telling you know, I don't think that's a good idea or That's impossible. Yeah, but the



thing is the very next day they'll there'll be some significant process done already. Okay. Yeah so it's it's a it's a circuitous path, you know No, no no and you actually get to where you want to go. Okay. Yeah so little kind of tell me just go back to about the workflow of working with Ukraine program or development team there if you're a start up here or someone that as you'd mentioned, you know, is on a growth projector want to scale but may not be able to hire the engineers here. So yeah, say I'm a start up here. I have no contacts to Ukraine. What's the whole process? What does it look like?



Okay, so it depends on what kind of company you are and whether you've already worked with teams abroad, never worked with teams abroad. My first startup PhD from Stanford think I know everything but I don't



very good description though. And just such people just came over that Yeah,






So I in in that case, I would recommend that someone on the team is in this time zone who understands both cultures. So that could be someone like me or more ideally, it would be a say Ukrainian or a Russian program or project manager who has 10 years experience working in US



reporting to US companies and managing teams abroad. Okay, so quite a few benefits. First of all, yes, it's going to be less expensive because the bulk of the team is in Kiev to you're going to communicate in your own time zone. Yeah, and yes, there is an overlap of time zones 123 hours. Yeah, but I can tell you



I, I call someone and say Ukraine or Lithuania, wherever it is, and they're tired when I'm at the top of my game, or vice versa. And we can never both be at the top of our games.



It's very difficult. So it's nice to have someone in this time zone you can speak to and someone who understands their point of view and knows how to deliver your message in the right context. Okay. Yeah, that's key. So that person is translating both language and cultural and, and kind of that point of view. And that's actually more important than than just that language translation. Exactly. I couldn't agree more. Okay. Yeah. But tell me about the onboarding process. So I'm a startup I come to you I say I want an Ukrainian development team and you're going to be the middle person or your you'll introduce the middle person Well, I'll continue to be involved because I want the relationship to be a successful one so I'll never completely give up some kind of involvement okay. And the unit city brand is really important to us we we want only success stories in Silicon Valley so



he's appear



And so depending on on your experience love if you have no experience managing teams abroad I think would be better to



have a few local so save myself than a project manager based in wherever San Jose or San Francisco moda who's going to interface with you and manage the team abroad and you'd be signing a contract with US company



What else could I tell you if if you are a company



that has a lot of resources wants to hire a lot of engineers over time and you want flexibility. We could even create a turnkey solution where you eventually own a subsidiary in Ukraine. So we can we can create a solution across the whole spectrum of possibilities. And what's great about unit city is that we have so many resources we can pull them down. If you're scaling fast. We have code



School with nearly 1000 students, a data science school 50 startups. So and we, we know all these teams we've seen them perform over time. So it's it's not as if we're giving you some people that we that we haven't properly checked out and vetted.






that concludes part one of this interview. To find out more information, please visit Silicon Valley success is calm. And in part two, we're going to continue to talk about more of unit city the resources and startups from Ukraine coming to Silicon Valley and vice versa.