In this throwback episode from 2021, I sat down with Alex Lyhovez, formerly VP Marketing at Yozma.tech, to discuss how they go about building these teams and how entrepreneurs can go about hiring international talent, namely in Ukraine. At this time, we are hoping for peace in Ukraine.
High Tech on the Low hosted by Jordan Kastrinsky, is on a mission to make high tech accessible to the world. In my podcast, I explore the many different facets of the world of high tech from development to marketing, to sales, to entrepreneurship and more! With society turning ever more towards technological solutions to make processes more efficient and secure, it is important, now more than ever, that we unite the high-tech sector's collective resources under one roof to reap the benefits of this knowledge-sharing. There is so much opportunity out there to grow within the industry that we must provide the tools through which to do so.
Alex Lyhovez has a keen understanding of the international business arena due to his experience as a B2B marketing and business development executive for many years. Prior to his current role as Partner and VP Global Business Development at SPS, a real-time business navigation platform based in Israel, he worked scaling international teams in Ukraine for Yozma.tech as VP Marketing. Yozma.tech’s concept is to connect Israeli entrepreneurs and technology leaders with high-quality Ukrainian talent in the fields of software development and design. “For many entrepreneurs, it’s a cost thing, but it can also be an expertise or scaling issue,” Alex adds.
When choosing to move internationally, people often do it because the resources of their current ecosystem are not affording them the ability to advance their businesses at the desired pace. Going international when building teams affords entrepreneurs a new market to search in with often different talent and budget constraints. Beyond the classic challenges that come with finding talented, loyal development teams and design partners and building the right synergy, workflow, and trust, entrepreneurs need solutions that allow them to conserve the precious hours and resources that entrepreneurs must direct to their venture’s growth. Moving aspects of the venture internationally provides that solution.
“Think of it: if you have a developer in Israel that costs you 30,000 NIS/mo, you may not be able to now pay for an HR department as you grow or you may have to delay development of your machine-learning algorithm until you have more money to pay for that specialist. Going abroad to the Ukraine, that sum could potentially cover a whole team, with some room for leftover” Alex attests. When it comes down to it, the cost is often a driving factor for many entrepreneurs and that is why such platforms like Fivver and Upwork have grown in popularity in recent years. But Alex insists that Fivver and Upwork are not real solutions for international scale-ups; “they are not the dedicated teams, I am talking about dedicated teams who are there to help you as a partner and drive your venture forward.”
Alex insists that when truly trying to build internationally, you must first decide if it’s right for you. “Maybe you want your developer local, so it’s easier for you to communicate, don’t just scale internationally because it’s a trend.” And there is truth in that, cultural norms and different business cultures can impact team efficiency. Nevertheless, Alex explains that in Ukraine’s highly developed tech ecosystem, like in many other international hubs, there exists educated, specialized professionals at a fraction of the cost to Israel. This reality allows entrepreneurs to scale and dive into specific niches much more quickly, and with greater access to talent than if they kept their ventures’ teams local.
With this in mind, let us all hope that the violence there ends soon, and colleagues can return to their homes and loved ones and continue their lives.