In the past several years Belarus has earned the reputation of the leading “IT country” in the Eastern European region. The latest success of the Belarusian IT entrepreneurship is MSQRD, the popular face swapping app that was just recently bought by Facebook. Therefor it’s no surprise that the Russian StartUp Tour is crossing the border ever since it began.
On a sunny spring day in Minsk, hundreds of students, researchers and entrepreneurs gathered at the Belarusian State University of Agricultural Technology to attend the different lectures, seminars, mentoring sessions, and of course to network and make connections.
One of the first speakers was Skoltech professor Dzmitry Tsetserukou, who’s actually a native Belarusian. Prof. Tsetserukou presented Skoltech to the audience that filled the big hall, and told them about the cooperation with MIT, the labs and the stipends for the talented lucky ones who will get to Skoltech. After that Tsetserukou focused on his big love and expertise – robots. He started with the global perspective of the field, and in Russia and Belorussia’s rank in that industry. Then he moved on to the latest innovations in robotics, with particular emphasis on its use in agriculture (after all, it is an agricultural university and besides, agriculture is one of the main themes of the tour this year). Eventually he presented some of the robotic projects done in Skoltech. During his presentation, Tsetserukou was engaging the audience with questions and high energy. Afterwards he was surrounded by students and colleague professors, who wanted further information.
After the event we asked Prof. Tsetserukou to tell us the secret of his energized presentation. “First of all it’s my home town”, He replied and smiled, “but even more than that, I like my work, I like what I do and I’m highly motivated to make historical achievements. To be a part of this innovation is a great opportunity for me. Another motivation of mine is to make an excellent environment for my students, so the students grow up in an international level laboratory. I saw my students work as a team, encountering problems and solving them together. They were so excited that they couldn’t sleep before project demonstration. The robotics lab is like a home for the students. They are very motivated that sometimes they don’t go home, but stay to sleep in the lab. When you love what you do, you will most likely be successful in your future career in the technology innovation”.
To sum up we asked Prof. Tsetserukou how he would describe the desired students for Skoltech. “We are looking for motivation and skills. We would like to find the golden standard for Skoltech students to choose the best ones, to make them leaders in technology innovation. We need more such leaders in both Russia and Belarus, so we will have more success stories like MSQRD who will contribute the technology development in our own countries”.