Ekaterina Lyapustina is the CEO and Founder of JetNest, a program designed to bring adventurous entrepreneurs of multiple industries together for trips to foreign countries. The first trip will be hosted in Dubai this November, and 30 individuals will be chosen based on their talent, background, goals and personalities.
If chosen, the trip will run you $5,000, which includes a 3 week stay in a 4 star hotel, 4 workshops, five incubator visits (meeting approx. 2500 local entrepreneurs) and introductions to potential investors and strategic partners. Lyapustina’s goal is to bring foreign capital back to the American economy.
In each workshop, JetNesters will learn about the economy of each respective country represented, and have the opportunity to pitch investors. Each entrepreneur will have a specific online profile so that potential investors will have a backgrounder prior to meeting.
DLX had an opportunity to speak with Lyapustina, about how this venture began and where she plans to take it.
Destination Luxury: How did you decide to start the company?
Lyapustina: I traveled a lot internationally because I did international marketing. I have traveled to approximately 75 and 300 cities in seven years and it was exhausting. I traveled a lot by myself so I helped businesses expand internationally. If you want expand into another country, you’ll need to change your marketing strategy as well as respect cultural boundaries.
In the US, everyone is fighting for the same money in Silicon Valley and I thought, why not go abroad and get funding and bring it back into the United States? There are so many investors that would love to fund American conferences.
My goal is to bring smart entrepreneurs together and put them face to face with foreign investors.
Destination Luxury: Who are some of the applicants so far?
Lyapustina: I plan to bring 50/50 (male/female) from a variety of different industries (e-commerce, medicine, VCs, fashion, consumer goods, etc).
Destination Luxury: What was Dubai chosen as the first destination?
Lyapustina: I wanted to start the JetNest concept with the world’s most dynamic business centers, and Dubai is especially attractive to entrepreneurs and others seeking to expand their global presence. The United Arab Emirates (UAE), which has the second largest economy in the Gulf Cooperation Council (after Saudi Arabia), has become a top destination for businesses around the world.
Its positive market outlook and favorable regulatory environment contributed to its being ranked the 31st best nation in the world for doing business, according to the World Bank’s, “Doing Business in 2016 Report,” and an appealing destination for U.S. entrepreneurs. Export.gov says “The United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.) represents a major market for U.S. exports and serves as an important regional hub for American companies conducting business throughout the Middle East, Africa and South Asia. The U.A.E. is the largest market for American product exports in the Middle East”
The UAE has a variety of features that make it appealing to companies ranging from entrepreneurial startups to multinational giants. It offers a very favorable tax environment, including no income tax. Its central location makes it a strong travel and distribution hub for people and companies interested in the Middle East, Africa and India. And its sheer wealth has made it an attractive market for luxury goods manufacturers and distributors.
As a result, the UAE has attracted a huge number of expatriates, who make up some 80 percent of the population. You can read more in my blog about Dubai here.
Destination Luxury: What can people expect from the workshops?
Lyapustina: Here are some of the topics we will cover:
- The economy of the country (from U.S. Embassy and U.S. Dept of Commerce)
- How to do business in each respective country
- Cultural nuances on pitching business to local investors
- Organizing your finances
- Business writing and communications
I plan to collaborate with American universities in foreign countries and bring American professors to hold some of these workshops.
Destination Luxury: How are investors chosen to meet entrepreneurs?
Lyapustina: There is a team allocated and a system in place, where JetNest concept is being pitched to investors on location (for example, Dubai). The team carefully screens all potential investors to make sure we can bring the most qualified and interested people face-to-face with America JetNest entrepreneurs.
Find out more information about Jetnest here.