Dana Khomyak is living in Sweden and creating the biggest event streams aggregator in the world. She is co-founder of Events Terminal and is passionate about making information and education accessible globally.
Mike: What is the goal of EventsTerminal.com and how are you toward achieving that goal?
Dana: Before developing Events Terminal, we (Co-Founders of ET) organized business events. Indeed, thanks to this experience we’ve seen what problems events organizers and events visitors have. One of the most boiling was that it’s hard to visit an event that is in another city or even country. Therefore, we created a marketplace for knowledge-sharing events streams and records, so people wherever they are based will be able to watch and learn. A couple of months ago we successfully launched our website eventsterminal.com and within a few days had 250+ users from 40+ countries.
Mike: How did you come up with the name for the company?
Dana: Honestly, it wasn’t that quick and easy to find a good company name. We spent a few weeks discussing different options before choosing Events Terminal. Thinking about a name, I knew that it should be somehow connected with events. Later I saw in the internet word “Terminal” and thought it should be a good match for us as terminal is a machine where you can buy a ticket. You also can buy tickets to events on Events Terminal. After discussing this option with another co-founder, we agreed on Events Terminal, that’s it.
Mike: The company has been up and running for about a year, what challenges and success have you faced?
Dana: When you’re a startup, challenges are with you all the time. And if you can’t make challenges your friend, you will lose. Since we founded the startup, we have faced challenges literally everyday: finding a team, working remotely, building a prototype, building a website, finding your first customers and hundreds more. We like challenges (we don’t call it problems) because overcoming it we become wiser, smarter and stronger. If you don’t like it, I suppose building a company will be a really tough thing for you.
Mike: You were a project manager intern at a startup accelerator. What lessons did you learn there?
Dana: Startup Depot is rather a business incubator and I had an opportunity to have an internship there. It was one of my first working experiences and I learnt a lot of good staff there – starting from work with the MS Excel ending learning how to be a team member, now I see it was a really good push for my further career.
Mike: Events Terminal appears to be backed by Think Accelerate. Explain what it means to work with an accelerator and your experience thus far.
Dana: Last autumn (’18) we’ve got an opportunity that I won’t lie if say we’ll be grateful for the rest of our lives. We were accepted into one of the best Swedish Accelerators – Think Accelerate. Think team provided our team with an office, great mentors, advice and an environment where we could develop our startup quickly. During this program we’ve finally launched our website, established cooperation with Swedish organizations and gained traction. Such an amazing time, people and priceless experience.
Mike: Are there any books that have inspired you or shaped your style that you would recommend to us?
Dana: I like how books can make us think from a different perspective, change our mind, feelings or even actions. I’d recommend you to read “Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking” by Susan Cain, it will make you appreciate and love yourself the way you are more. Also, all we know that a lot of women nowadays have different working conditions, salaries for the same job and attitude comparing to men, read Sheryl Sandberg’s “Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead” to know why it’s not just a stereotype, how to overcome it and become a real professional having a work-life balance.