Oleksandr Tashyrev: The Invaluable Experience of Our GMP Team’s Participation in the GIST Innovates Ukraine Program

For six months, our team named “Granular Microbial Preparation” (GMP) had the honor to participate in the GIST Innovates Ukraine program, which aims to support scientists from 130 developing countries. The development of entrepreneurial skills of promising innovators from all over the world is the important stage of the program training.

In 2020, Ukrainian scientists were given the opportunity to participate in the program and gain access to invaluable resources needed to bring the results of laboratory tests to the industrial market. In addition, the teams received professional mentoring support in the development of their own startups. They started creating business plans and finally went beyond the laboratory and began to study the customer sector (societal needs and optimal conditions for the implementation of new products and technologies). Thanks to the program, our team gained invaluable experience and the opportunity to properly understand the needs of the customer.

The scientific sphere of society in Ukraine was in decline during decades. Usually, the most promising Ukrainian scientific developments do not go far beyond the scientific institutions where they were created. In Ukraine, there is a demand for products and technologies of well-known and advertised industrial foreign enterprises and private companies.

For our team, participation in the program was a great incentive for active work on our own project. The key point of the work was to understand the need to study the customers segment and communicate directly with them. It was a step out of the comfort zone for each team member, because initiating hundreds of interviews with potential clients is not an easy task. However, the continuous support of the program coaches, access to training materials, work instructions helped not only to obtain useful information from each interview, but also to permanently get rid of the discomfort of the communication with customers and bring our product to a new industrial level.

Yesterday, we studied in detail the scientific parameters of our microbial preparation in the laboratory.  Yesterday, we believed that the availability of super-technology and super-product is a determining factor of success. However, today, after participating in the GIST Innovates program, we clearly understand that it is no less important to conduct not only scientific, but also economic and logistical research of our developments.

Thanks to our coaches Max Green, Rhonda Shrader and Heath Naquin, we realized that the super-preparation itself, which saves the world from the global accumulation of rotting household waste, is more like a fantasy script for a Hollywood movie. In order to be able to apply undoubtedly effective, but new and completely unknown technologies and products, it is necessary to bring them to the social and industrial market, to study the needs of mankind and to calculate the economic factors of their implementation. This is exactly what our team did during the Global Innovation through Science and Technology (GIST) program.

We are convinced that these 6 months of work are crucial in the work of our team. We listened to well-known American mentors in the field of marketing and entrepreneurship (Marcia Dawood and Gregory A. Campbell). We are grateful to them for sharing the experience. We performed practical tasks under the guidance of our coaches, developed a business plan for the startup, and gained several dozen new acquaintances with fellow innovators. It was an invaluable experience. The following goals are set - only forward!

We are extremely grateful to the entire GIST Innovates team. Your activity is not only important, but also a noble cause, as it aims to raise the economy of the developing world, which will sooner or later lead to an improvement in the lives of the population and the planet as a whole.

Description of GMP team's developments can be found at the following link:

GMP Team:
Olesia Havryliuk
Vira Hovorukha
Oleksandr Tashyrev

Read more about their research:

GIST Innovates Ukraine is a program of the U.S. Department of State implemented by VentureWell in partnership with the U.S. Ukraine Foundation Biotech Initiative and the University of Georgia.