A new business accelerator, christened “iQSpace,” was launch in late December in Odessa, southern Ukraine, to promote both entrepreneurship activity and IT literacy. It has three activity areas: technology school, lectureship and IT incubator.

Using curriculum provided by the Lviv IT School, the school teaches the elderly basic IT skills and young professionals sophisticated programming languages.

By teaching pensioners things like how to use their bank cards, according to IQSpace CEO Vadim Rogovskiy, “we fulfill a social function” and introduce “new technologies that are in demand.”

The incubator’s lectures are designed for professionals in search of new business approaches or those seeking inspiration.

“We are ready to carry out loads of various events – attract popular IT specialists, CEOs to talk with people about self-development, communication, crucial soft skills, IT-English, leadership,” iQSpace marketing specialist Diana Tereshchenko told the Kyiv Post.

Startups are also taught how to make the best of their ideas and skills. Most of the current startups came from another accelerator, WannaBiz,  which recently stopped activity to focus on venture investment. It now works with startups in the second stage by financing them.

“We are taking up WannaBiz’s niche,” Rogovskiy, 55, said. “From now on WannaBiz will take our successful IT projects and put money into them.”

He’d also been WannaBiz CEO from the day it was founded on June 1, 2012 until the end of last year.

“We gained experienced and understood that startups don’t usually need much money at the beginning – advice, help, and mentorship are needed instead,” he said. “Here we can help, teach and eventually make a product. And if one has a well-developed product or project, skillfully presented with correctly compiled financial documents, investors themselves will come.”

Rogovskiy said that universities cannot provide a business approach to people because they show only one side of the coin.

“Schools tend to teach to code, measure, saw, plane, but they don’t give a general understanding of a business. They show students one path,” he said. “To talk to an investor, one should use investor-speak.”

iQSpace was financed by 111PIX UA, an international IT company with roots in Odessa, and GLS Group, a logistics and supply chain. They parked $100,000 in the company, which built a two-floor, 200-square-meter office furnished with modern equipment.

Rogovskiy predicts that iQSpace will raise about three to four startups in Odessa in each year.

“We are planning to arrange at least three-four deals by the end of 2016. Our priority is the IT industry,” he said. “Innovations will raise our country to a completely new level.”

This story is based on an article published by The Kyiv Post