Monday, June 24, 2024

Pioneering Invention Through Software Development with Vention CEO and co-founder, Sergei Kovalenko


Vention Solutions is a global industry-leading custom software development company. In this interview with TechBullion, Sergei Kovalenko, CEO and co-founder of Vention gives us some valuable insights into the state of software development heading into 2024, the VC funding landscape’s sparking concerns among startups and the impact of Artificial Intelligence on software developers.

Please tell us more about yourself?

My name is Sergei Kovalenko and I am the CEO and co-founder of Vention, a global industry-leading custom software development company. For more than 20 years, my mission and passion has revolved around providing both startups and fast-growing companies equal access to the engineering power needed to bring their visions to life. 

I began my career as a software engineer during the dot-com bubble — when large legacy enterprises were number one and startups hadn’t taken off as they have in the past couple decades. These early-stage startups didn’t have access to or pique the interest of top engineering talent, causing a growing gap between them and their nearest enterprise competitor and unfortunately, a usual ending fate due to the new age of digitization. I saw this market as an opportunity to support startup visionaries with Vention’s custom software development services; and at the same time, I won a green card raffle to the US, and I knew this was our opportunity to make a difference. The demand for software engineering paired with Vention’s high-quality services and the peace of mind we gave to founders were key drivers to Vention’s success. All of this has led us to become the award-winning company we are today, still working with the clients from year one.

What is Vention, what industries do you serve and what  expertise do you provide to your clients? 

After years as the “secret sauce” behind some of the world’s most successful startups and industry innovators, today, Vention is also a partner of choice for enterprises and Fortune 500s. Vention’s engineers — the Ventioneers — bring extensive experience in AI/ML, application development, cloud, data analytics, DevOps, IoT, mobile, and web to deliver high-ROI and -performing products. Headquartered in New York with 20+ offices, Vention provides access to 3,000+ engineers worldwide and equips decision-makers with the top engineering talent from the world’s most respected tech hubs. Our teams seamlessly integrate with in-house engineers to advise and execute their product vision, accelerate their roadmap, and innovate faster and more efficiently.

Could you give us some insights into the custom software development market, what were the most prevalent trends of 2023 and how is the landscape evolving as we head into 2024?

In 2023, companies hunkered down to survive the whiplash and uncertainty brought by several global events, including the looming recession, the SVB collapse, and reserved VC investments. At the same time, the dissemination of generative AI and natural language processors like ChatGPT and Jasper, pushed organizations to try to do more with less. 

Now, the custom software development market is rapidly evolving due to the increased demand for companies to keep pace with emerging technologies. We are continuing to see artificial intelligence — specifically generative AI — be a need amongst clients and prospects. With more tasks being augmented by generative AI, it’s crucial companies integrate these capabilities to hand over mundane and repetitive tasks to focus on more value-adding tasks like problem-solving, and creative. 

As for the players in this space: there are the “big guys” who offer generic products that are slightly customized for their clients. Then there are the quick and cheap shops that churn out code without much critical thinking. Lastly, you have the niche boutiques that are hyper-focused on specific industries or domains. Where Vention is in all this — we are tech-agnostic and build custom solutions. I’ve curated our company culture so that Ventioneers are truly interested in understanding each company we work with to get things right the first time, ensure peace of mind for the decision-makers who choose us, and grow with each organization.

AI is everyone and making impacts in amazing aways, could you take us through this landscape and how Artificial Intelligence has impacted the role of software developers in recent years?

Despite concerns, artificial intelligence has positively impacted software development, with the industry expected to surpass $145 billion by 2030, and AI-related jobs rising by 42%.

 Our 2024 technology business trends survey, involving over 160 US- and UK-based technology CEOs and decision-makers, illustrates a surge in offshore talent interest by 85%, driven by the increasing integration of AI into business models. However, it is not one size fits all. Seed-stage companies lean towards predictive analytics and chatbots, while scaling companies prioritize predictive analytics, cybersecurity, and task streamlining. 

96% of surveyed companies view AI as critical to their success in 2024, with nearly two-thirds recognizing AI expertise as essential within their teams. This underscores the importance of skilled software engineers and the need for continuous upskilling in the field.

How can software developers stay competitive and relevant amidst rapid advancements in AI technology, can you provide examples of how AI technology is being integrated into custom software development projects?

As AI continues to flourish, companies across all industries must adopt a tech-centric mindset to stay ahead. This involves hiring software developers who understand their business needs to leverage AI technology for business efficiency, increased user experiences, and data proficiencies.

 AI is being used in custom software projects for tasks like predictive analytics in healthcare software, automated customer service chatbots for e-commerce platforms, and image recognition algorithms for agriculture software. Software developers can remain competitive by proactively adapting to AI integration trends and upskilling at the pace that AI is advancing.

 For example, Vention actively promotes education in software development and encourages employees to share knowledge through reports, blog posts, and learning sessions to continue upskilling. By reinforcing the importance of continuous education, our software developers are empowered to integrate AI solutions for our clients that drive tangible business results while staying ahead of the innovation curve.

What is happening now In the financial technology Industry, what software solutions are shaping fintechs and what trends should we look out for?

Amidst unprecedented events, the fintech industry continues to undergo significant transformations driven by various software solutions and trends. AI and ML are becoming increasingly crucial, with fintechs integrating AI-powered features, specifically, customer self-service capabilities like chatbots, to stay competitive.

 Building trust is vital for fintech companies to maintain strong relationships with clients. We can expect in the next year that AI, natural language processing, and ChatGPT will see increased use in financial firms. While there are challenges in deploying client-facing AI technologies due to regulatory constraints, risk and compliance teams are increasingly leveraging AI for tasks such as identifying and managing problematic communications. Old models required a certain sample of client communications to be reviewed by humans in compliance. However, AI integrations such as ChatGPT are trained on internal rules and regulations which can automatically perform these tasks and flag, route or block the messages preventing them from becoming problematic.

What are the challenges startups are facing when choosing the right software developer and how does a good software influence investor decision on startups?

Startups can struggle to find the right software developers due to financials or time zone restraints, which leads to fragile solutions, data privacy risks, and unscalable technology that can deter investors seeking long-term scalability. Partnering with skilled developers can influence investor decisions positively by demonstrating the potential for long-term success.

 Having a strong Chief Technology Officer (CTO) is crucial for identifying the right talent. Our CTO as a Service initiative aims to provide expertise in technical oversight, quality improvement, and roadmap planning, ensuring startups have the leadership and talent needed to meet their goals. This combination of skilled development and strategic leadership enhances a startup’s appeal to investors.

What are some key trends that startups in the industry should be aware of when seeking VC funding and what advice do you have for startups looking to navigate the current VC funding environment?

The top three trends for startups looking for VC funding are:

1) Unprecedented global events have slowed VC funding: VCs have raised their investment standards, resulting in overall funding decreasing. It’s crucial for founders to demonstrate a clear path to profitability and to continue optimizing stability and cash flow to meet the challenges of the current market.

2) Specific stage impacts by funding rounds: Startups should be aware of how their stage may be impacted by funding trends. Late-stage and venture-growth deals are stable, but pre-seed deals hit their lowest since 2020, leading to a consistent drop in pre-seed to early-stage deals over the past year.

3) Tech advanced startups standout: With AI-technology optimizing user experiences and streamlining solutions, startups must re-strategize and consider integrating generative AI to enhance attractiveness to VCs, particularly in hard-hit sectors like healthtech and fintech.

How does Vention set itself apart from other custom software development companies in the market, in what ways does Vention prioritize innovation and staying ahead of industry trends in its work with clients?

At Vention, we prioritize our people, fostering a culture of re-/up-skilling, encouraging out-of-office projects, and celebrating personal milestones. Passion-driven innovation encompasses our ethos. 

We distinguish ourselves by being a partner every step of the way, fearlessly supporting both our current and growing roster of clients. For over 20 years, we’ve been a trusted name in the startup community that isn’t afraid of change. We’re proud to be changemakers and in 2023, underwent a complete rebrand to modernize our image to highlight this quality and amplify our brand awareness.  

We’re on a mission to provide technology leaders with top talent, accelerating their roadmap, innovating faster, and scaling operations to new heights. As a result, we continue expanding our global footprint and enhancing client service to all regions. Reaching nearly 15 countries, our newest software development hub opened last year in Mexico City, Mexico.

 At Vention, we believe in supporting our employees’ personal and professional growth, allowing for relocation and fostering a diverse global team. Our clients and the work we do are what make us unique. We embrace change, whether it’s opening new locations or rebranding, to better serve our clients and strengthen our people-first approach.

Do you have any special milestones or events you would like to share with us, any available opportunities for investors and partnerships at Vention?

On May 16, Vention will launch the inaugural International Invention Day and the first-ever In:Vention Incubator, an incubator program offering free custom software development services for three months. 

International Invention Day celebrates human creativity and ingenuity, showcasing groundbreaking innovations that shape our world. From life-changing technologies to revolutionary concepts, this global observance honors inventors and their contributions to progress and problem-solving across diverse fields. It’s a day to recognize the power of ideas and the relentless pursuit of solutions to improve lives and inspire future generations. We invite everyone —industry innovators, visionaries, and creative minds — to share their greatest invention or idea on social media with the #InventionDay hashtag. 

The In:Vention Incubator program invites startups from around the world to submit their companies to bring their ideas into reality free software engineering services for three months — a $150K in-house market value. Applications open on Thursday, May 16, and close to submissions on June 28, with winners announced in early July.

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Muhammad Burhan (Admin)
Hi, I'm Muhammad Burhan. I'm a tech blogger and content writer who is here to help you stay up to date with the latest advancements in technology. We cover everything from the newest gadgets, software trends, and even industry news! Our unique approach combines user-friendly explanations of complex topics with concise summaries that make it easy for you to understand how technologies can help improve your life.



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