Interview with Eli David, CEO StartupBlink

We started a series of interviews with global tech professionals who drive the tech ecosystems of countries and cities, develop startup communities, and push cutting-edge innovations forward across the globe.

The first person we talk to is Eli David – the founder and CEO of StartupBlink, Global Map of Startups & Ecosystem Rankings. We asked about the annual reports ranking the startup ecosystems of 1,000 cities and 100 countries made by StartupBlink, where Ukraine is on it, and why it’s matters.


TechUkraine: When and how was the idea of the project invented?

Eli: It was a hoping project as we really like startups and mentoring and innovation – so it was kind of a hoping project that started in 2015.

The idea was actually to create a global map of startups – we thought it would be fun.

TechUkraine: What are the key points for the success of the rating? How does it help the startup ecosystems to develop and flourish?

Eli: The ranking is based on analyzing the startup ecosystems of cities and countries. Basically, the idea is we check in the quantity of the entities that are relevant to the ecosystems, quality, and the business score as well. And of course, if the ecosystem is ranked, it creates a lot of traction. So we think that a startup ecosystem is like a product, a product needs marketing and a startup ecosystem needs marketing as well. It’s very important for any startup ecosystem, any city, and any country, especially now, when global innovations are so important and economic development of location to build its startup ecosystem and market it effectively.

TechUkraine: Which countries and cities are the most skyrocketed during the years? Why?

Eli: Country China – cities in China increasing very high, the capital of Taiwan – Taipei is also a top one. It seems like a lot of good things are happening there. In addition, South American cities are doing relatively well, but mainly the Asian cities are the ones that are progressing. The fastest is, in addition to the American cities, which are very, very strong and always be strong.

TechUkraine: Could you, please, overview the Ukrainian achievements since including our country and cities to the rating?

Eli: Basically, Ukraine and Kyiv, both of them, increase have substantially since 2017. We are on a very good track. It’s a really nice example of how the economic difficulties are not adversely affecting the startup ecosystem, and you create a situation when the economy is not so great, but the startup ecosystem is flourishing. I think it’s because of the high-quality developers and a high-quality talent in Ukraine. One of the goals of Ukraine is to keep this talent in Ukraine so that it wouldn’t move to other places; for example, Poland is trying to get as many high-quality migrations from Ukraine and other cities and countries from Europe as well. So the challenge of Ukraine is to keep high-quality talent in the country.

TechUkraine: Your recommendations for startups and all stakeholders of the tech industry to combat the crisis and overcome the challenges in these vulnerable times.

Eli: The main recommendation would be to adjust your business model to the new reality instead of expecting the old reality would come back. There is a new normal. Because we are so flexible, we are so fast because we are ready to update and change much faster than establishes organizations and companies. Connectivity has a quick look at reality and figures out where they should go in order to to serve and give value in this specific reality of 2020.

TechUkraine: What is coming a what shall we expect within the coming 2 years?

Eli: The world keeps changing so sometimes changes are, so fast that we haven’t’ noticed. Sometimes the other changes are relatively slow, but it’s changing regardless like every 10 years in the world is totally different from the old world.

I think it’s kind of a good reminder to us why innovation is necessary.

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