Kazakh IT start-ups enter global market

ASTANA – SmartLab was named one of the top 10 best start-ups at the Startupbootcamp international competition last month in Australia. The Kazakh company presented its new product – IVCbox, a video platform for communication.

Photo credit: kapital.kz.

“We are creating information technologies for automating and optimising business processes for companies in the banking and commercial sectors. We also work with areas such as industrial, construction and agricultural business. For example, in the banking sector, we help with the integration of scoring systems and unique business processes,” said SmartLab Managing Partner Ablai Makhmudov, reported Kapital.kz.

He noted more than 1,000 companies currently use SmartLab products, including at least five of the country’s largest banks, government agencies and more than 35 auto centres.

“If you convert it into the equivalent of a regular user, you get over a million people. In our free time, we continue to work on our own projects. In addition, we help local projects financially and technically and provide services to attract the best developers in the country to solve problems at the global level,” he added.

SmartLab makes scoring systems and other programmes to accelerate business processes.

“For example, earlier, it took a couple of days to consider your application; now, it takes 20 minutes. We also created a successful project this year – Monocle. It combines restaurants and hairdressers. Calling this or that company using the downloaded application, your mobile operator does not charge you for the call. Moreover, the companies you call pay you with bonuses and privileges,” said Makhmudov.

Merely forming a start-up does not guarantee success and developing unique new products can take a long time.

“Creation of many start-ups does not guarantee success, so you need to invest your soul in every new start-up. The most important thing that I understood while communicating with start-up entrepreneurs from all over the world is that a start-up is not about a product or a development – it is about people. Here, it is important to have certain qualities for a project. You need to spend a lot of time and effort to make it successful. We, in turn, have now turned our attention to working with projects for companies,” he noted.

IVCbox is the company’s latest communications product.

“Now you need to use, for example, Skype to connect with someone. Our programme helps you to contact anybody using your browser by clicking only one button. The product is already ready, but there will be many improvements,” said Makhmudov.

Startupbootcamp, its mentors and coaches have offered a great deal of help by providing resources and necessary mechanisms.

“Relatively speaking, our idea at the competition was appreciated because of its uniqueness and we hit the top ten among more than 650 participants. Now, part of the team will go to Australia in January. The product is already famous in some countries and in the communities of mentors and coaches,” he noted.

“Also, this year we won the top 15 in Europe among start-up events. We received offers to present our product in India and Canada and were invited to international forums and seminars, including in Hong Kong, where we acted as speakers. We have already visited Singapore and Romania,” he added.

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