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Q&A with Entrepreneur in Residence Vladimir Baranov

Image features Vladimir Baranov with the text "EIR SPOTLIGHT" and a quote from Vlad

Q&A with Entrepreneur in Residence Vladimir Baranov

Rev: Ithaca Startup Works’ member companies receive invaluable mentorship and guidance from the incubator’s skilled team of Entrepreneurs in Residence (EIRs) that bring a diverse range of backgrounds and experiences to the table to help founders on their startup journeys. One of Rev’s newest additions to the EIR team is Vladimir Baranov, who harnesses his own entrepreneurial expertise to coach founders and develop the tech leaders of tomorrow. 

Vladimir is the founder of Human Interfaces, a coaching practice aimed towards tech leaders and founders. He completed his undergraduate studies at Stony Brook University where he earned degrees in computer engineering and computer science. Baranov later received his Global EMBA from London Business School and Columbia Business School.  

Vladimir previously served as the CIO, COO, and co-founding advisor at Scout Space, Inc. He is an entrepreneur mentor at the National Science Foundation and has also worked on technology solutions for online wealth management and financial firms. 

With Vladimir’s work in software and finance, as well as his focus and experience as an advisor who understands the nuances and complexity of interpersonal business interactions, he is a great asset to any Rev member company. We sat down with Vladimir to learn more about his experience and what he’s looking forward to in the new role as an EIR. 

Why do you think Upstate-NY attracts entrepreneurs from a variety of industries? 
I believe that a certain type of opportunity in the Finger Lakes region is becoming more available with more visitors and investment provided for the businesses. 
What is the best piece of advice you would give an up-and-coming entrepreneur? 
Start working on your business now and don’t put it away. Your first idea will most likely fail, but you will quickly learn how to succeed with your next one. 
How has your experience shaped how you view entrepreneurship and the startup world? 
It allowed me to have a unique perspective. With experience, it becomes much easier to identify parts of the whole and to imagine in different ways how to put them back together. This kind of thinking allows one to be more flexible and to generate more creative approaches in planning and decision-making. 
Your advice for young entrepreneurs is that the more experiments they perform “the greater the chance of achieving market traction”. How does this idea apply to more established businesses and how did experimenting get you to where you are today? 
Established businesses have survived to this point because they were able to identify a unique market fit. However, at the same time, this journey over time became less creative overall as the business machine became more operational and less entrepreneurial. This runs a risk of being displaced by a newcomer or a more agile established business. It is generally recommended that some of the staff of the established business should be dedicated to new business lines and new ventures to remain relevant in the market-fit game. 
My experimenting has allowed me to grow businesses that I was part of in the direction that the market was more receptive to. This approach has allowed me to switch industries and successfully help to launch a payload into orbit.