GSD Co-founder Derek Visits Siberia

As GSD’s co-founder, I have been traveling extensively to Russia to work closely with the startups that we support in their quest to #GoGlobal. I recently took a trip to Siberia, which is a vast region of Northern Asia also known as “the budding Silicon Valley of Russia.”

On this eventful trip, I had the opportunity to meet with government leaders, up and coming startups, establish partnerships, and deliver powerful keynote speeches to the entrepreneurs of Siberia.

My first stop was in the city of Novosibirsk, where I toured an accelerator called A:Start Academpark. This accelerator is one of the best programs in Russia for launching innovative start-ups in the field of instrumentation, information technology, nano-biotechnology, and medicine. This meeting resulted in a great understanding of their entrepreneurial ecosystem and a partnership between GSD and A:Start Academpark..

GSD will serve as mentors to the accelerator and GSD will do a special demo day where the winning startup will be automatically accepted into GSD pre-USA accelerator called GSD Labs, with the ultimate goal of helping them #GoGlobal. You can learn more about them here:

“We are honored to announce the exciting news of this new partnership with A:Start Academpark in Siberia!” - Gary Fowler

During my visit, I met with many Russian entrepreneurs such as Vladimir Volobuev of My Genetics. My Genetics is a unique spin on 23 and Me. If you’re not familiar, 23 and Me is a genetics company that is solely based on compiling your ancestry. My Genetics is much more than that! My Genetics is consumer-friendly, providing guidance and recommendations on nutrition, immunity, skincare, and child development among others to improve health, well-being, and quality of life. Learn more about this company here:

I also had the opportunity to meet with an entrepreneur named Eugene Ivanov, the founder of iKnock, which is an electronic lock that is installed on your front door, and operated digitally from anywhere in the world. We are excited to announce that we are bringing Eugene on as a GSD partner.

I then had the honor of delivering a keynote speech at the ‘Baikal Forum 2020’ where alumni of the Presidential Program from all over Russia gathered in Irkutsk. I spoke to the participants on "Successful Strategy in Conditions of Uncertainty" It was a privilege to deliver this talk to the alumni of the Presidential Program to share the important factors to focus on during uncertain times. Learn more here:

I then had the pleasure to participate in discussions about entrepreneurship with Ruslan Sitnikov, the Deputy Prime Minister of the Irkutsk Region.

“We are pleased to be making great strides with up and coming startups and to be able to meet with key leaders in Russia such as Ruslan Sitnikov” - Gary Fowler

I rounded out my trip with one final talk on straight line selling in flip flops! I discussed the 3 components of effective selling being that a buyer must like your product, they must trust and connect with you and your company in order to scale.

Otherwise, you will most likely deal with objections. Objections are smokescreens for uncertainty, every bit of your presentation is built to help build certainty in the product or the service. I also shared some insider info with them about the typical structure of Silicon Valley startups; Hackers, Hustlers and Hipsters. Engineers are the hackers, Businessmen are the hustlers, and the uncommon one to remember are your designers, which are the hipsters.

It wasn’t all business though! After all, you can’t come to a place like Siberia and not explore this amazing region. I got to tour some of the most beautiful and scenic views of Siberia, including Lake Baikal along with socializing with the locals, a quick round of archery and tasting local fare, which might be the best damn hotdog I’ve ever had!