When a startup saves lives
The SAP UP International Social Entrepreneurship Competition, held in autumn 2016 in Almaty, has become a real storehouse of fresh ideas from young Kazakhstani businessmen. The winner of the prestigious competition Said Maksimov is the author of the project "Tumar", the concept of which includes the development of swiss shots with reflective stickers. The goal of the startup is to reduce the number of road accidents, or, to be more precise, to minimize the cases when drivers knock pedestrians out in the dark. In an interview to our portal, an ambitious entrepreneur described how his useful start-up is developing, and also told about his cognitive trip to Germany.
- Said, exactly one year ago you became the winner of the SAP UP competition with your original project. What has changed over this time and did your project work?
- Yes, despite all the difficulties that we had to face, the project has worked. A lot has changed - almost everything that has been launched in test mode, as well as the model and concept. A mission and values have remained steadfast.
- As far as we know, the winners of last year's competition were given the opportunity to undergo an internship in Germany. What are your impressions of this trip?
- It was not quite an internship - we showed projects to potential partners, took them apart and discussed them. Objective feedback and external view are of great value for start-ups. I can say that the general impressions are extremely enthusiastic. As if looking into the future! I liked to observe the road ecosystem in the city: in many ways, I thus visualized the results of the project. The trip came to fame because with me I took away many insights and new contacts.
- Surely you have fresh ideas after such a fruitful journey.
- Yes, of course - a lot! Moreover, it was possible to test and discuss the ideas with which I went there. After the victory, people began to turn to me for help in preparing presentations, speeches or an official speech. I knew before that I'm good at communication: after all, 10 years of experience. But I did not observe a lot of people interested in learning this skill. Now, much has changed - people want to self-fulfilling, but they can not always communicate intelligently and intelligibly their thoughts.
- And what did you do?
- I decided to help and wrote a course on effective communication, based on my good practice. Ready 5 blocks - public speaking, pitching, storytelling, networking, and self-presentation. It was tested in Almaty, and the feedback was studied in Germany. It's nice to receive rave reviews and see the results of the students.
- What do you think, why social entrepreneurship is not very popular in our country?
- I think there is a direct connection with the standard of living. When a person covers basic needs, he has new ones - such as caring, taking responsibility for others and sharing.
- Many authoritative universities all over the world have included social entrepreneurship in their programs. In your opinion, is it worthwhile for Kazakhstan to adopt such an experience?
- Definitely. We, unfortunately, have a very low "recoil index", according to English studies. This index shows the willingness to help in difficult situations to other people. It is necessary to work on this so that the situation changes for the better.
- And finally, what advice can you give to beginning startup followers?
- Act, develop and invest in yourself knowledge. No one will invest in those who did not invest in themselves. This year, applications for participation in the SAP UP social startup competition have been extended until October 16! And this means that you have another whole week to have time to file an application and declare yourself as the best social entrepreneur this year.