From Startup Visionary to UK Success: Iliya Shiyan's Inspiring Journey with Tech Nomads

In the fast-paced world of technology and startups, success stories often inspire and motivate aspiring entrepreneurs. Today, we delve into the remarkable journey of Iliya Shiyan, an accomplished entrepreneur with a burning passion for innovation. With the expert guidance and support of Tech Nomads, Iliya realised his dream of relocating to the UK and launching a successful startup business. This article sheds light on Iliya's background, his motivation for moving to the UK, and the invaluable role played by Tech Nomads in his journey.

Iliya's Journey

Background in the Tech Industry

liya Shiyan has over 15 years of extensive experience in various industries, making him a seasoned professional in the field. His work history includes serving as Chief Executive Officer at JIQ AI and KVINT, where he showcased his expertise in direct sales, marketing strategy development, financial analysis, and project management. Furthermore, Iliya's role as Chief Commercial Officer (CCO) at United Wagon Company, one of the world's largest freight rail and heavy industry holdings, demonstrated his leadership acumen. With a strong educational foundation in financial management and civil law, complemented by an Executive Master of Business Administration (EMBA) from Antwerp Management School, Iliya's qualifications positioned him as a valuable asset in the tech industry.

Motivation and Aspirations for Moving to the UK

Ilia Shiyan's journey to the UK was fuelled by his unwavering determination to explore new horizons in the tech industry. The project with which Ilia came to the UK is developing virtual voice assistants for various purposes to deliver a superior customer experience and reduce operational costs simultaneously. They provide their clients with a conversational AI solution that revamps customer engagement through voice assistance for handling incoming and outgoing phone calls. Technical support, consulting, telemarketing, various customer reminders, customer surveys, increasing the consumer basket, receiving calls on the first line, replacing IVR, replacing voice mail with smart voice robots — these are the few tasks that voice virtual assistants can easily handle. The key feature of the project is the creation of virtual voice and video agents on the Proprietary Conversational AI Platform in a no-code environment. The platform is powered by artificial neural networks, deep machine learning methods, speech synthesis, and voice recognition technologies, allowing robots to be indistinguishable from humans. Ilia and his team firstly developed AI solutions in CIS countries, where their voice virtual assistants proved its efficiency and became one of the leading in the segment. But then Ilia realised that CIS countries are not the only markets where he would like to embrace and develop his innovative ideas. He conducted thorough research to identify countries offering favourable conditions for AI development and entrepreneurial opportunities. The UK emerged as an ideal destination, providing an ecosystem conducive to his aspirations. Recognising the growing potential in the UK for AI advancements and with a desire for personal and professional growth, Ilia set his sights on relocating. As Ilia explored possibilities for relocating, he learned about the Innovator Founder Visa and the Global Talent Visa through friends who had similar aspirations. Seeking guidance, he turned to Tech Nomads to determine the most suitable visa option. Tech Nomads carefully analysed his qualifications, requirements, and goals, ultimately recommending the Innovator FounderVisa as the ideal pathway to success.

Initial Thoughts and Excitement

The Innovator Founder Visa offered Iliya Shiyan a clear pathway to permanent residence within three years and a beneficial environment for his startup arena. The visa's streamlined requirements and Tech Nomads' support instilled confidence in Iliya, inspiring him to embark on this life-changing journey with enthusiasm and optimism. The prospect of building a thriving startup and contributing to the vibrant UK tech scene energised Iliya's excitement.

Brainstorming and Refining the Business Idea

He sought validation regarding the feasibility of this idea in the UK market. Tech Nomads, leveraging their industry insights and knowledge of the UK ecosystem, confirmed the potential success of the AI-based virtual assistant concept. Together, we delved into problem-solving aspects, identified target audiences, and developed a product that would effectively address market needs.

One of the key aspects that set Iliya's business idea apart was the existence of pre-developed innovative product prototypes powered by AI technology. This uniqueness gave his venture a competitive edge in the UK market and ensured its potential for growth and success.

Creating a Detailed and Comprehensive Plan

During the preparation phase, after receiving the endorsement, Iliya focused on analysing and selecting a temporary place of residence. This allowed him to familiarise himself with the city and surrounding areas before finalising his permanent location. Concurrently, he made arrangements for logistics, such as transporting belongings and pets, opening a bank account, registering with local healthcare facilities, and addressing educational and integration needs. TechNomads offered invaluable support, guiding him through the process of company registration, consulting with accountants, finding suitable office space, trademark registration, and fostering connections with accelerators and venture funds.

Tech Nomads played an instrumental role in assisting Iliya throughout the visa application process. Their experienced consultants meticulously reviewed and refined his business plan, ensuring it met the stringent requirements of the Innovator Founder Visa. We provided invaluable advice on market positioning, scalability, and the importance of establishing strategic partnerships within the UK tech community. With Tech Nomads' expertise and support, Iliya's application for the Innovator Founder Visa stood out among competitors, securing him a golden opportunity to turn his vision into reality.

Challenges and Opportunities Encountered

The journey was not without its challenges, particularly due to the lack of prior experience in paperwork for establishing a company in the UK. Tech Nomads provided expert guidance in preparing the necessary documents tailored to Iliya's unique situation.

Additionally, Tech Nomads' extensive knowledge of the investment climate in the UK allowed them to determine which ideas would thrive and flourish.

Thriving in the UK

Iliya Shiyan successfully obtained the Innovator Founder Visa and set foot in the UK, ready to realise his entrepreneurial ambitions. Since obtaining the Innovator Visa, Iliya's company has made significant strides. Within just five months, they launched their operating system and had the honour of speaking at a prestigious technology conference in Edinburgh. They are now actively preparing to secure investments, and Tech Nomads continues to provide invaluable support throughout this process.


Iliya Shiyan's inspiring success story showcases the transformative impact of Tech Nomads' expertise and guidance in helping entrepreneurs comprehend their dreams. Through our collaboration, Iliya successfully relocated to the UK, established his AI-based startup, and achieved remarkable growth. His journey serves as a testament to the power of determination, expert support, and seizing opportunities in the tech industry. With Tech Nomads by their side, future innovators like Iliya can confidently pursue his dreams and embark on his own path to success.

You also may like

Learn more about Visas and Destinations on our Online Events

Explore our Events