How the tech company boss helped his Ukrainian workforce to leave the country as threats from Russia increased
- In 2016, Ukrainian Oleg Rogynskyy started People.ai, applying machine learning to sales performance. The company’s latest round of funding last year valued it at more than $1bn, making it a tech “unicorn”.
- Oleg’s experience in 2014 had taught him that in “the moment of doubt and stress and danger your judgment might be clouded by events” and that it was important for the company to have a strong culture and not depend day-to-day on directions from the top.
- Rogynskyy helps co-ordinate tech contributions from Silicon Valley to support the campaign by Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who is from his hometown.
- Some Ukrainian employees feel guilty about leaving Ukraine. He reasons that they can join the war effort on full pay, or “you can help us keep on going and pay taxes and hire more Ukrainian folks and help rebuild”. This is both pragmatic and self-serving.
Read the interview via Financial Times
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Come Back Alive is one of the largest charitable foundations that supports Ukrainian soldiers, founded by the IT specialist Vitaliy Deynega. The organization collected more than 210 million UAH (more than $7M) in 2014. According to Na chasi, the Patreon page Come Back Alive is in the top ten projects by the number of financial donations.
There are several other organizations to support:
- MacPaw Development Fund
- Army SOS, which develops drones;
- Everybody Can, an organization that supports internally displaced people;
- Help on the Ministry of Defense website.