Wednesday 20 September 2017

READY BUSINESS PODCAST: Anastasia Volkova’s App journey from Moscow to Cork

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Anastasia Volkova is a Russian teacher and singer turned businesswoman who secured funding for her Survival Russian app through Enterprise Ireland’s Competitive Start Fund in 2015.

The app is a new mobile platform for Russian language learners and the idea came about when she became frustrated at the low quality of Russian-language books available for beginners. But her book idea was rejected on the grounds they already had a curriculum in place. In response, she decided to turn the book into a mobile phone app. She put together a small team in Moscow in summer 2015 and began searching for start-up funding.

“I had no prior business experience, but when I heard about Enterprise Ireland’s Competitive Start Fund, it was too good an opportunity to miss,” she said.

After just two weeks, Anastasia was told that she had been successful and that she would have to move to Ireland if she wanted to avail of the funding. “It was really quick. No other venture capital funding programme would give this kind of timing.“

The platform aims to help people visiting Russia develop enough language skills to survive in conversation with native Russian speakers.  The advantage of this particular language app, she says, is that it helps people learn essential foreign language conversation skills through the modern medium of text messaging.

Within weeks she had moved her life from Russia to Ireland and chose Cork as her base.

“When I arrived in Cork, it was mild and sunny and I thought Cork was such a cosy place, you just want to walk along the streets and explore. Cork is like St. Petersburg in Russia. It’s the second city but the people are friendlier and it’s less intimidating than Dublin.”

“I have no idea where the business will take me. Ireland is the best place in the world to be a start up, so for now, I’m now the Russian founder of an Irish company and it’s very exciting.”

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In association with: Vodafone

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