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Revolutionizing Tech: From Curiosity to Major Investments

Vasily Kolosov: My priority is cultivating long-term relationships with customers and partners rather than focusing on short-term profit gains.

Technologies and engineering have long been at the forefront of innovation, shaping the way we live, work, and interact with the world. The constant advancements in these fields offer endless possibilities for creativity, problem-solving, and pushing the boundaries of what is possible. In this article, we delve into the experiences and insights of a seasoned expert in the industry. Vasily Kolosov is an accomplished engineer with over two decades of experience in developing cutting-edge solutions for complex challenges across various sectors. Join us as we explore the fascinating journey and valuable lessons shared by this trailblazer in the tech world.

Technology and Engineering World

Vasily Kolosov’s journey into the world of technology and engineering began in his early years, driven by a profound interest in unraveling the complexities of technology and a natural inclination toward problem-solving. This passion led them to pursue a degree in Flight Dynamics and Control of Aircraft at the Bauman Moscow State Technical University, laying the foundation for their future endeavors in the tech industry. Vasily promptly started putting his knowledge into practice. In 2010, during their third year of studies, they entered the tech field by joining a photo agency, Global Look Press / Picvario, as a system administrator, gaining valuable experience in IT infrastructure and handling large volumes of media data. The work was successful, and the agency became their client in 9 years.

Becoming a professional

Throughout his career journey, various projects have stood out as significant achievements in product development and software solutions. One notable accomplishment involved establishing a robust infrastructure for Krasny Kvadrat during his time at Shortcut, facilitating high-availability storage and archiving of media data. This infrastructure supported post-production activities for popular shows, solidifying its significance in the media industry.

Another remarkable project they worked on was implementing technical solutions for the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2014 Olympics and Paralympics in Sochi. His contributions included developing a virtual ceremony model and optimizing data storage systems, significantly enhancing the ceremonies’ outcomes.

In his role at Smartex, Vasily Kolosov led the development of Picvario, a leading digital asset management system that is now widely used by Digital Asset Management systems in Russia, now widely used in various companies. They also developed Riskhunter, a product aimed at tracking and eliminating risks in production environments, which is utilized in factories within the KDV holding.

In his professional career, Vasily Kolosov adheres to fundamental principles of innovation, collaboration, and customer-centric solutions in navigating the media data and information technology industry. By embracing cutting-edge technologies, fostering teamwork, and prioritizing customer satisfaction, they strive to deliver impactful products and services that resonate with clients and drive success in the ever-evolving tech landscape.

During our engaging discussion, Vasily shared intricate insights into several novel methodologies, cutting-edge technologies, groundbreaking projects, innovative developments, and exceptional products in which he has played a pivotal role.

500 Startups

Working at Smartex, Vasily led the development of the Picvario product, which has now become a market leader in Digital Asset Management (DAM) systems in Russia and is used by companies such as Sber, RBC,, the Federation Council, Dynamo, Spartak, Avangard Omsk, Lisa Alert, Freemotion, RusHydro, Polymetal, and many others. Currently, the product is entering the USA and South Africa markets, where it has already experienced initial success. Vasily has made numerous important technical, architectural, and product decisions that have significantly contributed to the product’s success. He is sure that the system is structured in a way that makes it easy to find the required information. This can be achieved by structuring the product around metadata and search functionality and incorporating the philosophy that any displayed content should be the result of a search.

Thus, Picvario has become a sophisticated media bank organization system tailored for enterprises and stands out for its prowess in efficiently managing and sifting through extensive volumes of media data. Tailored to serve sports teams, media outlets, and the PR/marketing departments of medium to large companies, this web-based application offers a seamless user experience accessible through standard web browsers. Flaunting a myriad of integrations and the adaptability to function both in the cloud and on a client’s hardware, Picvario serves as a powerful ally in the realm of data management.

Good work pays off

In late 2019, Picvario was selected to participate in the 500 Startups and Sberbank joint acceleration program. It was selected by the 500 team from more than 600 startups that wanted to take part in the program, making it to the list of 25 companies joining the accelerator.

500 Startups is a US venture capital firm with $2,5 billion in assets under management that invests in founders building fast-growing technology companies. Sberbank is the largest bank in Russia. Together, they formed an accelerator program for prospective startup companies in the tech industry. Taking part in such a program creates unique opportunities for the startup, enabling it to learn from world-class mentors, expand its social network, and attract investment.

While in the program, Vasily and his team received a lot of support from the accelerator team. Vasily states that he was deeply involved into this process and they could immediately translate many of the findings and insights we had into the product itself, changing or improving its features, further increasing the value we got from the acceleration program, and enabling the product growth.

By the end of the program, as someone who had the most context about the product, its technical side, and business side, and also exhibited firm presentational skills, Vasily was elected to be the speaker on acceleration program demo day, being the one to present the product to a large group of high-profile executives from various industries, including Herman Gref, Alexander Mamut, Sergey Emdin, and multiple others.

As a result, the product was able to raise its first investment round after the demo day — 6 million rubles from Sberbank itself, that time about $93000, for 5% of the company, setting the company valuation at ~$1.8 million:

Vasily states, “I was absolutely happy to play my role in the acceleration program. I did my best to help the product to fuel its growth, attract its first investments from a major fund, and pave the way for more high-profile sales.”

Market presence

Later, following up on the success with Sber, Picvario was able to land multiple sales with the largest companies in Russia, including Sber (Marketing Department), RusHydro, Rosatom, Liza Alert, and many others.

Picvario also launched in the US in 2022, starting a new company in Delaware.

Right now Picvario serves about 30 active clients in the US and Canada, and is looking into its further expansion in the market.

Vasily played a vital role in every sale process, consulting the customer and clients, coming up with the optimal solution for each case, and then leading the team to the successful implementation. As each case was different, this demanded a lot of creative work to balance the needs of individual customers with the product’s positioning, without it becoming too specific for one of the clients, but instead broadening its feature set in a way that suits a wide range of clients. Vasily states, “Many of the decisions I was making on product development were focused precisely on this issue and helped the customer to successfully close some of the most complicated sales to large enterprise clients”.

Success is not one-stop

Along with this, Vasily successfully worked on the Riskhunter system, meticulously crafted for identifying and preempting risks within enterprises, which stands as a beacon of foresight and efficiency,

the Regulatory Documentation Management System emerging as a sophisticated tool designed to streamline the handling of regulatory documents. Vasily Kolosov actively shares his expertise with colleagues by presenting at conferences and participating in specialized events, such as Kazan Digital Week 2023: Round table “Modern Practices for Training IT Specialists in Education” with the subject of “Portal for Digitizing Professional Exams and Certification of Nanoindustry Specialists in Russia: Results, Challenges, and Perspectives Cross-platform application development conference CrossConf 2023: Rejecting Flutter and React, and writing everything in the exotic NativeScript: a mistake or a successful experience. His presentations cover various topics related to product development, risk management, agile methodologies, and more, showcasing his commitment to knowledge exchange and continuous improvement.

Vasily states that the success of the products we implement for his clients is crucial, and is proud that he is entrusted with the development of business-critical products. This trust is the best recognition of him as a professional.

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