Yaroslav Azhniuk
CEO and one of the three co-founders of the company Petcube Inc that was founded in September 2012 by Yaroslav Azhniuk, Oleksandr Neskin and Andrii Klen. Petcube creates devices that allow people to keep track of, speak with, feed and play laser games with domestic pets through a mobile application. Since the moment of its founding, the company has participated in the prestigious Y Combinator programme and attracted more than $25 million of investments. Petcube products received praise from dozens of American and European publications such as the NYT, Wired, TechCrunch, WSJ, Forbes, Ellen Show and others, and amongst the users of Petcube are Emma Watson, Karl Lagerfeld and many others.
Many entrepreneurs were inspired by this and founded their own companies. Some of them have already surpassed us in their successes, or will surpass us in the future. This makes me very happy.

I am driven by the enthusiastic attitude people have to what we are doing. When you meet satisfied users by chance on the streets and in airports, you listen to their stories. You find out that now they are able to leave their pets at home alone, and not worry whether they are feeling good. It is a wonderful feeling. The main task of any company is to create value.

We see this value every day, for the hundreds of thousands of users of Petcube communicate with their animals. On average people spend 55 minutes a week speaking to their pets through our system. It is more than they speak to their parents, and 1/7 of the time that people spend on Facebook. We are often sent stories of how Petcube saved an animal's life. Such as when one of our users in the USA shared a story about how their dog ate rat poison, and they only discovered this thanks to watching a recording from Petcube. If the animal had not been given help in time, it would have died.
Every entrepreneur is an artist. Just as artists make musical works or paintings, the artistic creation of an entrepreneur is his company and its products. It is also important to be humane in business, to have faith in one's colleagues. But this needs to be combined with an insistence on high standards. Ambitions are an effective but dangerous weapon: on the one hand, they push us to great achievements. On the other, at times they transform us into toxic, unpleasant people for society. Use of this instrument is an art that is necessary for every entrepreneur to master.
New ideas are always being born in borderlands, progress happens there. Thanks to our knowledge and enthusiasm, we can do a lot of good for the world. Therefore, I am optimistic about the country's next thirty years.

Already today, the potential of creative energy in Ukraine is extremely high, sometimes significantly more than in many countries of Western Europe or the USA. This concentration of creative resources, for example in start-ups, attracts attention on the global market.

Among the advantages our country has, there is also the high level of qualification of its specialists, alongside the moderate cost of labour. Potential investors are only just beginning to find out about this and make use of the opportunities.

Having founded Petcube in 2012, we were one of the first start-ups that received widespread support in the media, and began to speak about business publicly. To speak about the fact that it is possible to create a successful product for the Western market in Ukraine, to invent important things.
I grew up in a patriotic environment, and Ukrainian statehood and independence were always important in our family. In 1991, when the Ukraine-wide referendum took place, I was two years old. It seems that I remember the moment when I was held in someone's arms and I cast the ballot.

When I was 13, my grandfather showed me his laboratory where he worked with particle accelerators. They accelerated particles to almost the speed of light. The equipment itself looked very futuristic. Then I understood that every person is capable of more than they consider possible. My grandad is originally from the small village Sorochyntsi in the Poltava region, and thanks to unremitting toil he was able to achieve his dream: to become an experimental physicist. It was one of the great moments of truth for me.
Over the course of thirty years the two revolutions, the war and the occupation of Crimea have become the most important and influential events in the history of independent Ukraine. They have accelerated the maturation of Ukrainians, an awareness of the personal responsibility every person has for themselves and their society. It is important to learn from the lessons of history.

Ukrainians did not allow power to be usurped, did not allow their European choice to be cancelled, and now are systematically improving and restoring important state institutions. We also founded Petcube with the goal to create cutting-edge electronics using the strengths of Ukrainian engineers.

A trident is printed on one of the first Petcube motherboards with the inscription 'designed in Ukraine'. A motherboard is the electronic centre of a device: its brain and heart. It is responsible for connection to the internet, processing images and sound, and their transmission to the user. And with this inscription it also reflects our pride in Ukrainian specialists. For everything that they are doing for the restoration of the country's scientific potential.

I am confident that Ukraine will surprise the world with its inventions many more times.
Our story worked as an example: three simple guys from Kyiv thought of an idea, attracted international investment, and their product is now used by hundreds of thousands of people in the world
I think that success comes to those who study well, work a lot and create value for the world
The most important characteristic of Ukrainians is a striving for freedom and self-realisation. There is a saying: "Where there are two Ukrainians, there are three hetmans*"
*'Where there are two Ukrainians, there are three hetmans' is a saying that means that all Ukrainians have ambition to gain power.

Hetman is the highest leader in the Ukrainian states that existed during the 16-20th centuries.
Ukraine is the Eastern edge of Western civilisation