Ivano-Frankivsk: Promprylad.Renovation a Trendsetter in Collaboration Among Creative Businesses
Promprylad.Renovation is an Ivano-Frankivsk-based innovative centre created on the premises of a decommissioned plant. Its activities are centred on the intersection of four development vectors of the region: a new economy, urbanism, contemporary art, and education. In recent years, Promprylad has become more than just a popular venue for tours or training events. People from all over Ukraine flock to this place, while creative business owners even relocate to Ivano-Frankivsk so they can join Promprylad as residents and become part of this creative space that churns out new ideas. While still in its early growth phase, Promprylad.Renovation is already home to 25 organizations and companies employing more than 300 people.
The International Technical Assistance Project: “Partnership for Local Economic Development and Democratic Governance” (PLEDDG) also contributed to the growth of this unique innovative space in Ivano-Frankivsk. With the backing of PLEDDG, Promprylad equipped a new conference hall, hosted a cycle of training activities to build the competencies of local business owners, and engineered and installed a communications and navigation system called Lokki, designed to improve and streamline collaboration among creative industry entrepreneurs.
“The Promprylad.Renovation project is a magnet for high-quality educational content. Thanks to good infrastructure, it can host both training activities for local businesses and world-class events. Training events help local business owners reconnect with a global world and expand beyond the narrow local market. They gain an understanding of broader contexts and a sense of belonging to a broader entity. We are glad that we can actively develop Ukraine’s business community with the support of PLEDDG,” says Yuriy Fyliuk, CEO of Promprylad.Renovation.
With the backing of PLEDDG, in the spring of 2019 Promprylad.Renovation fully equipped a conference hall that can comfortably seat up to 80 people during all sorts of training and business events. Around the same time, the centre hosted training events for some 200 small and medium business owners: two 3-day programs and two 1-day events staged in partnership with the Lviv Business School of Ukrainian Catholic University. Every event focused on one of the topics for which demand is currently highest: a design approach, financial literacy, modern approaches to HR, and business strategies. Feedback from participants suggests that the training helped them systematize knowledge, reassess their outdated abilities and skills, and, most importantly, gain an understanding of how they can put the new knowledge to practical use.
“For three years now, the Vio Agency marketing enterprise has been my business. The company is a Promprylad member and, to tell you the truth, renting an office at this very location was a matter of principle for me. I realized a long time ago that Promprylad would become a magnet for the entire city. Last year it hosted a three-day training program called ‘Strategy in Business’, which I attended. We had a wonderful coach, Oleksandra Baklanova. It was a very informative experience, and this course made a difference for me. The new knowledge served as an impetus for qualitative changes in my business. It was crucial to understand how to move forward and in which direction. On completing the training, we revisited the agency’s activities from a fresh perspective and shifted the focus of our attention. Over the past year, we have been actively gravitating towards product exports, particularly to the USA. I also staged a few strategy sessions with my clients using the course methods. And they yielded good results,” says Ivan Mateyko, Co-Owner of the Vio Agency marketing enterprise, who attended the ‘Strategy in Business’ training program.
Meanwhile, a new initiative was being brought to life at Promprylad.Renovation during 2019 with PLEDDG support; namely a project to create an innovative communication system designed to streamline collaboration among small and medium businesses by increasing the number of interpersonal contacts and spreading information about existing projects and companies. The system is called Lokki. It was developed by a team of experts who are tenants of Promprylad, as well as the Lviv-based space Re: Zavod. The overall concept and product design were created by the Hochu Rayu team.
“Lokki is running in test mode. Users can already interact with the application, but the final version will be updated. It looks like this: four screens have been mounted on the wall of the Promprylad.Renovation pilot floor. Usually it streams various videos about Promprylad, or social projects implemented here. There is an illuminated circle on the floor right next to it. When somebody steps into it, the system detects a person and displays a different interactive screen. The system currently includes information about Promprylad and Re: Zavod members. One of the two spaces can be selected on the screen, and the relevant tags can be chosen to learn more about the businesses in question. 120 business owners are already registered in the system. Lokki displays a brief summary of their activities, contact details, and the specific location,” says Tetiana Vasylyk, Coordinator of Partner Relations at Promprylad.Renovation.
Training events were also held as part of the Lokki initiative: a workshop on designing the physical appearance of the system and a “hackathon” involving several creative teams, who collectively looked for innovative solutions for Lokki software. These events drew more than 35 design and product development professionals and creative economy entrepreneurs. Coaches of the Re: Zavod team — Vitaliy Kyryliv and his brother Yuriy — delivered a lecture on product design for businesses and a master class in creating one’s own product to develop creative thinking.
“We plan to expand the database of business owners significantly. Since Lokki has not been finalized yet, we are not overloading it with too much data, so we will not have to update a lot of data. We are test-running the application with local businesses. We will soon be adding other business owners, and not necessarily only those based in Ivano-Frankivsk. We originally planned for at least 10,000 visitors getting a glimpse of the Lokki system during its first year at Promprylad. Thus far it is too soon to speak of such numbers, especially considering the quarantine, which drastically reduced the visitor traffic to the centre. The floor was off limits for a month and a half, after which it was accessible only to employees of offices on the same floor. The conference hall is still not being used to full capacity. So far it has been hosting small groups of people during private events,” Tetiana Vasylyk added.
In summary, with the backing of PLEDDG, Promprylad.Renovation has created not just the training facilities and infrastructure that help business owners build their competencies and do business more effectively, but has also provided an integrated solution for communication problems experienced in the creative industry. The Lokki platform will subsequently promote the networking of business owners in various creative spaces in Ukraine and beyond. The system can be scaled up by installing hardware at new locations and expanding the database of business owners. Lokki will help establish dialogues, serve as a marketing tool and, most importantly, facilitate new partnerships, the creation of specialized clusters or even joint exports by building trust within the network.
Громади:Івано-Франківська територіальна громада
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