Rustam Gilfanov: “The main asset of a Startup is its Team”

Rustam Gilfanov

Investors often pay attention to small startups with well-organized, competent teams. The focus is shifting from an idea to a smart team with strong competencies. IT businessman and investor Rustam Gilfanov talks about the principles of a successful startup team.

Flexibility and Relationship Skills

A startup involves creating a new product — something that has never been present on the market. Working on such a product, each team member should be able to listen, hear and defend their position.

Professional and Managerial Skills

The key competencies lie in the spheres of technology, marketing and product. Each startup member needs to know how to share the duties and handle proposed initiatives. The team needs hierarchy but it should not be formal.


Launching a startup is a time-limited process. The team will constantly lack time and resources. Enthusiasm and positive thinking will help team members to approach the goal.

Rustam Gilfanov says that investors pay attention to education, experience and team spirit. Experience of working in large technology corporations would be a big plus. In an ideal world, a startup should be launched by childhood friends or fellow students — in such cases, conflicts would be extremely rare.

The effectiveness of the team depends on the founder. Often the team burns out in the first six months — then, the leader should do everything possible to convince the team to go on with their work.

Mr. Gilfanov reminds us that even if one works together with their best friends, one needs to fix agreements and sign papers from the initial stage.

Brief Curriculum Vitae

Rustam Gilfanov is an IT company co-founder, IT businessman and international investor.

Rustam Gilfanov was born on January 6, 1983, in the small settlement of Basim, Perm region, in the family of a military man and a teacher.

In 2006, Rustam Gilfanov, together with his partners, opened an international outsourcing IT company in Kyiv. Today, this company is the largest software developer for the gaming industry, marketing and finance.

A few years ago, Mr. Gilfanov moved away from operational duties in an IT company to focus on international investment in the field of financial technology, gaming and video streaming. It is also important for Rustam Gilfanov to develop charity projects in Ukraine, the largest of which are “ЛакіБукс” and “Бібліотеки Майбутнього”.

About Mohit Tater

Mohit is the co-founder and editor of Entrepreneurship Life, a place where entrepreneurs, start-ups, and business owners can find wide ranging information, advice, resources, and tools for starting, running, and growing their businesses.