After 10 years working in IT in Russia, Valentina Taranova spent a year in Melbourne at a large digital agency before making the change to join start-up Billy, working on a meaningful, exciting mission.
She spoke with us about what it’s like working for a start-up, purposeful work, and innovations in technology.
Following a Mission
Valentina joined Billy because she connected with their mission to improve the lives of our aging population. Billy aims to change the current path of aging by allowing seniors to live independently at home for longer.
They do this through placing a series of sensors around a senior’s home to build up a pattern of daily routine. Information about that routine is shared with loved ones through a phone app. Billy looks at how the routine changes over time and uses that information to understand potential changes in health and what the changes might mean.
Valentina shared, “It's good to be part of a project which is changing people's lives in a good way. Billy tries to improve life for seniors.”
Why Join a Start-Up
It was Billy’s mission that attracted Valentina, but another big difference was moving from an established company to a start-up. We spoke about some of the differences she’s experienced being in a start-up. Because it’s a small team everyone is important and it’s all hands on deck when there’s a challenge.
She loves the team at Billy, who are friendly and passionate about making a difference, and shares; “I feel equal here. It's easy to share ideas, and people listen to you.”
Innovation at Billy
Valentina likes working in technology because it changes quickly and is like solving puzzles. She does share that if you stop learning then your development as an engineer stalls, so there’s a combination of excitement and pressure.
To Valentina, the agility of a start-up is exciting because Billy, “really tries to find the best technologists to solve their business tasks. In start-ups, you have this ability to find out how new technology can be applied.”
Into the Future
Billy actively looks to diversify their team to bring alternative points of view to solving problems, while continuing to focus on machine learning and data analysis.
There’s a lot of excitement about the human outcome of the project, so people are passionate about their work. For Valentina, the best thing about working at Billy is “being part of a great team working together on a worthwhile project.”
Billy is on a mission to keep seniors living in their own homes for longer and they believe that putting behavioural routine data in the hands of seniors and their families makes that goal easier.
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