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by Dana Khomyak

A Better Business Incubator

There are countless gifted students not only in Ukraine but throughout the world who, unfortunately, don’t know how and where to start on the journey towards advanced technological expertise. These students rightly feel that too often, universities are not meeting expectations, or worse yet, have inappropriate approaches for creating technical programs for students.

The unfortunate result is teenagers who don’t know how gifted they are because the system doesn’t equip and empower talent.

For companies, attracting the best minds is not as simple as it was, even a few years ago. Because it is so difficult to gain advanced training and experience, those young professionals who possess the greatest skill sets also possess the power. To stay competitive, businesses must embrace a new approach for reaching and hiring the best talent. To this end, SoftServe launched a standout program called R&D Incubator.

Business incubator is defined as, “a company that helps new and startup business development by providing services such as management, training, or office space. SoftServe took this concept further by basing our incubator on a tech program aimed to grow high performance young people in innovative technology fields.

For the SoftServe R&D Incubator students are provided with:

  • Interesting projects
  • Office workspace
  • Weekly educational lectures
  • Knowledgeable mentors

Our incubator slogan (like our objective) is simple and straightforward, “Be an innovator. Be a creator.”

The R&D Incubator consists out of two groups with four students each. As long as individuals are still enrolled at universities, the program is part-time which means students are working four hours per day.

SoftServe’s R&D Incubator is not just about working, but education as well. We invite top minds from among our 7,800 global experts to share knowledge on a highly diverse selection of topics including: communications, security, IT, marketing, product management, and creativity.

Each week there are different sessions and speakers, typically taking place at SoftServe’s HQ in Lviv. We also invite Lviv ITA students to provide more opportunity for potential students. This creates a highly diversified and empowering environment. R&D Incubator unleashes student potential, showing each participant his or her true talent and potential for making an impact on the world—while building a strong foundation for a future career in technology.

There are two incubator groups currently focusing on artificial intelligence (AI) and augmented reality (AR) respectively. Let’s take a closer look at each of them.

Artificial intelligence group

This group is working on an emotion recognition project. The idea is to design and develop an intelligent system that will help speakers to manage the emotional state of meeting participants. (This solution will eventually be used in SoftServe meetings.)

Augmented Reality group

This group is developing a project called AR Auto—a solution that will assist in navigation, detect dangerous situations on the road, and provide relevant information about a vehicle’s surroundings.

For both projects, SoftServe provided advanced equipment that enables incubator students to achieve objectives. (Examples: Magic Leap glasses and Picam360 panoramic cameras.)

Each group is also assigned a mentor and project manager who helps students to focus on the right development direction while providing extensive support.

After three intense months of work and study, incubator teams present a demonstration for graduation—and also present interim demos every two weeks thereafter for tracking progress.

Becoming part of a SoftServe R&D Incubator is straight forward—a student must simply meet all three of the following requirements:

  1. A current student
  2. Advanced experience in the technologies required for the projected applied for
  3. Highly motivated and enthusiastic about this opportunity (Example: one student moved from another city just to be accepted and lived in a hostel for a period of time!)

At R&D Incubator, we know that digital transformation is vital for enterprise companies so we’re dedicated to educating, equipping, and empowering our incubator students for the future.