2 min read
“Moving to the UK instills a new sense of opportunity and allows you to reinvent yourself”
When he received the Tech Nation Visa in 2016, Udi and fellow alumni Lisa Gray formed the Tech Nation Visa Alumni, a lively network of people who offer support and encouragement to the hundreds of other tech talents who have followed in their footsteps to come to the UK.
From assisting hopeful applicants, to helping new arrivals to set-up and adjust to their new life in the UK, the Visa Alumni are a welcoming social and support network that is another benefit of receiving this particular visa.
Here is Udi’s story, as well as some words from some of the Visa Alumni he has worked with or helped over the years.
“I came to the UK with my family in 2011 when I was working for HP. During the first few years, when I was on a Tier 2 Visa, I felt the need to balance corporate life with startup activity, as most of my early career was in startups and scaleups.
“I put together a mentor matching program between HP (the original Silicon Valley company!) and a couple of accelerators in London and Cambridge. Having started down that path, I wanted to be in a position to transition into a board, or work in consulting or startup roles, so I could contribute more to the then-budding startup ecosystem. The Tech Nation Visa made total sense.”
Kyle Redelinghuys, Tech Nation Visa Ambassador: Udi was incredibly welcoming when I joined the Tech Nation alumni. He’s friendly, knowledgeable and always willing to help, actively asking how he could assist in whatever I was working with. Having Udi as a friend since I’ve joined the alumni network has been fantastic and I hope to help make others as welcome as he made me feel.
“Even if coming to the UK has been a lifelong dream, it’s important to admit once in a while that immigration is not an easy path. From the point of view of language, culture, customs, and, above all, identity, it can be challenging. But it also instills a new sense of opportunity and initiative and allows you in some way to reinvent yourself, which in places like the UK, you can leverage to create a better life.
“While it’s always good to get to know people from your home country and feel connected to where you came from, places like the UK also allow you to get to know people from all over the world, and really change your perspective about things. I think that this balance is crucial.”
Lisa Gray, Tech Nation Visa Ambassador and Alumni Network Founder: There are many reasons I was incredibly grateful to receive this Visa, but one of the key reasons is the time I’ve spent with Udi setting up the Alumni Chapter. From being inspired by the other recipients and just wanting to spend more time getting to know them, to establishing and growing a community with him through monthly meetups and a social network – it’s all been an absolute pleasure.
Udi and I often discuss the many similar traits of the alumni we’ve met. One of them is that they aren’t aware of how truly extraordinary they are – Udi is no exception. Udi is one of the best leaders I know. Every one of our diverse group has been heard and supported by him – including me. Udi’s natural generosity, especially when it comes to sharing his experience of living in multiple countries and being a part of multiple startups, combined with his brilliant intellect, has further added to the support that new members of the alumni group have felt. Udi is a big reason why this experience of volunteering has been a joy – and why the alumni group feel like my second family. Udi, thank you so much for putting in so much to making this community what it is today.
“As one of a small group of people who wanted to plant the seeds for a community back in 2016, I couldn’t be more proud of what has grown in our little garden. People are friends, business colleagues, investors, and it is all out of that belief we had that a talented group of people in the same industry, sharing an entrepreneurial mindset, and passionate about their adopted home can become a real community of friends who help each other and work together to build great businesses in the UK. Like some others, I recently received my Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) and it is great to see people who don’t “need” the visa anymore still engaging with the community.”
Susan Fowler, Tech Nation Visa Ambassador: I’m truly grateful to Udi for helping to found the Tech Nation Visa Alumni chapter. He has devoted much personal time and energy to create events, partnerships and communication channels which enables our exceptional talent to connect. Our chapter is a game changing resource and support system that enables us to quickly plug into other brilliant minds, crowdsource information and share opportunities. We have all had our lives impacted positively due to the invaluable friendships and professional connections we have made as a result of Udi’s hard work and leadership. On a one-to-one level, Udi is known for his wit, generosity in helping others, ability to genuinely connect, and keen insights. I’m proud and privileged to call Udi my friend and have the opportunity to continue to learn from him.
“The UK is a diverse and welcoming place, and very friendly towards enterprise. The easier access to early capital and flexibility around tax incentives, company setup and wind-down processes etc, are a clear advantage over the continent that should be further developed.
“I don’t really believe in retrospective advice or regrets, at least not until somebody invents a time machine. I think it’s better to look at the decisions I’ve made and the things that happened to me, and try to understand the key lessons within those, so I can make better decisions next time when a somewhat-similar situation occurs. It’s the choices we make that define us, and in summary, I am OK with mine.”
Jessica Mendoza, Tech Nation Visa Alumni: Udi is hands-down the top supporter I have in Tech Nation. He has opened a world of opportunities for me, offered to help in my business, and we banter and laugh all the time. His warmth, support and introductions to new possibilities have allowed me to step into a new version of myself that I didn’t know existed. His ability to see me and my company’s potential has given me valuable food for thought and much needed positive reinforcement. I know that the bond that we’ve created is one that will last for many years to come.
Herman Komashko, Tech Nation Visa Ambassador: Udi’s brilliant mind and exceptionally kind smile is a glue for our little Tech Nation Visa community. Udi was the very first person who ever gave me general advice about the TN Visa application process. He was extremely patient and added a positive vibe into my journey.
As well as being one of the key motivators towards monthly meetups, it is also a pure joy to listen to updates on his achievements in the DevOps world – particularly his brilliant contribution into the day-to-day lives of those (including me) who use Kubernetes for Cloud formation processes.
I am so grateful for everything that he has done for our community and look forward to seeing the outcome of his hard work in the future.