We meet Nadya Bobova, a young Belarusian doctoral student in the Department of Sociology and Social Research, to learn about the startup that came out of the project Kissmybike, which she has decided to invest in for her future.
Hello Nadya, can you tell us about your studies and about your current plans for your business?
I completed a master’s in communication science in 2010 at the Belarusian State University, with a thesis on integrated marketing communications. In 2012 I started the doctoral program in Sociology at Trento, and I hope to finish soon. My thesis is on the lives of highly qualified Belarusian professionals who have returned to Belarus after a long period abroad. So the Kissmybike project really doesn’t have much to do with my academic research, but my academic studies have definitely contributed to my ability to manage my time, to multitask, and to interact with a variety of people.
Where did the idea of founding a startup come from? Have you always wanted to go into business or did you find a project that got you unexpectedly involved?
To tell the truth I’d never really thought of setting up a business. The Kissmybike project started with friends, almost as a joke, but as time went on I got completely involved in it. I decided to accept this challenge and all the risks it brings.
Can you tell us a bit more about the project? What is your role in Kissmybike?
Kissmybike is an antitheft system for bicycles that lets you find your stolen bicycle through a series of advanced technologies and algorithms. The electronics and software parts were developed by my partners, Ivan Minakov and Uladzimir Kharkevich. They also studied at the University of Trento, completing PhDs in computer science and telecommunications. I look after the administrative side, and communications and marketing. The Kissmybike project won the Dana Mechatronics prize in the D2T Start Cup competition run by Trentino Sviluppo.
What do you think are the most important qualities that someone needs to start on this path? What advice would you give to a young person to wants to create a startup? To work in your own startup you have to be prepared to have no holidays or days off. We were already used to this during our PhD studies, but people who want to create a startup have to be aware that everything depends only on them. If you work hard sooner or later you will get results. You have to knock on a lot of doors and some are bound to open.
What are your plans for the immediate future?
Two weeks ago we registered the company (KMB Lab srl), so now almost all my effort is going into developing the company. I say “almost all” because I have to defend my thesis soon, the result of three years work. After that we will try to conquer the world.