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How did Minsk, Belarus become the “Silicon Valley” of Eastern Europe?

by Igor Epshteyn

I get this question a lot. After all, many Americans could not find Minsk on a map, let alone describe its industrial base or economic strengths. But it’s true. Minsk is a powerhouse of software development capability, which is how we at Coherent Solutions are able to continue growing our development center there. The reasons are many, and I will give you a few here.

  1. As part of the former USSR, Belarus and its capital, Minsk, built a higher education system on a philosophy emphasizing the STEM fields. This strength remains, and some of Belarus’s best universities, like Belarusian State University as well as my own alma mater, Belarusian State University of Informatics and Radioelectronics, continue to turn out excellent science and engineering students. This is a reliable feeder for software development companies based there.
  2. Even within the USSR, Belarus was a leader in technical manufacturing and expertise. The country manufactured 50 percent of all computers and computer components for the USSR.
  3. Belarus became an early center for technology entrepreneurs during the nineties and early twenty-first century. Industry giants EPAM and IBA Group both grew out of Belarus and continue to maintain major software development centers there.
  4. Having established itself as a software development hub, Belarus is sometimes referred to as Eastern Europe’s Silicon Valley. A virtual high-tech park was created in 2005, facilitating the on-going education of software professionals and advocating for the industry to the government. The association has helped clear the way for doing business with countries in Western Europe and the US by creating a trade zone that normalizes currencies and tax structures. Coherent Solutions has grown to be among the ten largest companies represented in the park.

So it is no accident that we have tied Coherent Solutions’ technical capabilities to the country of my birth. Besides the deep connections that I still have there, Belarus is one of the best places in Europe to find top talent for developing commercial grade, world-class software.

Igor Epshteyn

Igor Epshteyn

CEO and President

Igor has been an entrepreneur, technical architect, business strategist, and project manager in the information technology industry since 1988. As a teenager, Igor started and sold his first company in his native Belarus. As the founder of Coherent Solutions, Igor is responsible for its strategic management. Igor holds an MBA from the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management and an MS in Electrical Engineering from the Minsk Institute of Radio Technology.

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