Founder Focus: Nikita Eelen of AMVONET
Few have accomplished as much as Nikita Eelen when it comes to building a business. Considering that Eelen is just 26-years-old only adds insult to injury. We caught up with Eelen to see how things have been going since he first told us about AMVONET, his e-learning software suite last fall.
Nikita Eelen and his father Vadim conjure up images of a savvy entrepreneurial team typically featured in a Hollywood movie. Except instead of being based in Los Angeles or New York City, Eelen is establishing and achieving his career goals in tiny Alliance, Ohio in between Canton and Youngstown.
“It’s exciting since Alliance isn’t really too well known,” says Eelen. “I hope it attracts more startups that are ready to go to the next level.” Should any budding entrepreneurs need a place to call home, Eelen thinks Alliance offers a great opportunity. “I feel it’s a great small city,” he says, noting the advantage of having the University of Mount Union
in town. Eelen believes the university’s computer science department in particular will develop some innovative entrepreneurs in the near future.
Regarding his age, Eelen says he feels older than 26. Perhaps that’s because it takes most entrepreneurs a few more years to create an enterprise with the stature of AMVONET,
the comprehensive e-learning management, collaboration and authoring software suite he co-created with his father. “I think there was an article that says it takes 10 years to be good in your field,” says Eelen, who has been working full-time since he was 16. “I think that is a fair assumption, and I already feel like a veteran in the startup environment in all aspects.” And with no plans to slow down anytime soon, Eelen is acting like a veteran.
Outside of his professional life, Eelen has only found enough free time to get married, which he did back in April. “Other then spending time with my wife, I am trying to complete my degree in the network administration specialty,” he says of his daily life. “I'm a junior in that program, so apart from work, school and married life, there isn't much time for anything else.”
Despite the hectic schedule, Eelen isn’t losing his focus on AMVONET. Eelen and his father have explored the possibility of expanding into other countries, especially their homeland of Russia. Until then, growth is still their ultimate goal.
“Continuing to grow the company is what I am focused on at the moment.”
Interview by Joe Baur