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Derek was the Keynote Speaker at Baikal Forum 2020 in Siberia



On August 20th, Alumni of the Presidential Program from all over Russia gathered in the Irkutsk region for the Baikal Forum 2020. The participants presented their investment projects, exchanged experiences, and successful practices. Presenters covered topics ranging from digital transformation of medicine, biotechnology, social architecture, industrial tourism, and others.


Derek had the opportunity to deliver a powerful keynote speech to the alumni on the topic of “Successful Strategy in Conditions of Uncertainty.”


“We are honored to be invited to deliver a keynote to the presidential alumni at Baikal Forum 2020” - Gary Fowler


With 15+ years of experience working with startups, corporate organizations, and non-profits, Derek shared many golden nuggets of wisdom in his keynote to the alumni.

He explained what makes GSD different, in that we aren’t your typical investors. GSD takes a hands-on approach as senior operational and often co-founder roles in these companies maximizing reputation, experience, and network to drive scalable growth.



Derek went on to say that when starting out with an idea, you want to “make what you can sell, and not build what you can make.” If you want long-term sustainable success you have to have conversations with your customers so you can find out how you can help them. Effective communication is always key.



During these uncertain times, it’s a good idea to renegotiate your contracts, ask for upfront discounts and stock payments. As a CEO make sure you’re reserving time for white space to write blogs, memos and have face to face meetings. It’s also not your job to manage. You must be focused on the vision, mission, and values as well as recruiting top talent to keep the company alive. And lastly, always have a winner’s circle. Create an advisory board of people who have been there. That's where we come in!


“It was a pleasure to meet with the presidential alumni and deliver a keynote at the Baikal Forum this year to help them navigate these uncertain times” - Derek

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