Anna Bichevskaya, is a start up manager living in Moscow since 2002. She graduated at the Kaliningrad State Technical University. Her constant search of herself lead her to try a lot of professional areas – from the election campaigns and rebranding of Railways, to gourmet markets and reconstruction of Gorky Park. On December 1st 2011 together with her team she’s launched their own project for advanced travelers named Iknow.travel – a social platform for sharing experiences and stories of travel and a ticket service.
You went through many different professional areas, could you please summarize your career and background?
During the last 13 years I worked for the best PR agencies and corporations as top-manager. I was involved in almost one hundred different projects and start-ups. All of them were humanitarian projects, connected with social and cultural events. Such as informational campaigns against AIDS, promotional campaigns for Moscow city as a centre of world tourism, cultural programs for Moscow people (promotion of city parks and festivals etc.). If I’ve to summarize everything, I’d like to think that my career was based on socially meaningful projects.
How did the idea of Iknow.travel came about?
I travel a lot and every time I meet the same thing: when you are back, you are full of impressions, new skills and experiences. But your friends are always too busy to listen to your stories in that moment. So, later, when your friends wish to visit the same places, they start to attack you with questions about where to eat, where to stay, how to get to… but you already don’t remember every detail. So, there is a time gap between your wish to share impressions about travel and other people readiness to get it. So we lose our priceless practical and useful experience and knowledge, which we’ve got with our trips. And once I’ve awaked with an absolutely certain idea – we need a place where we can store all our travel “treasures” – tips, spots, favorite places, in this way people, who plan to travel can use our best advices.
What are your essentials to carry for a short trip?
Wallet, mobile, iPad, a bit of clothes, backpack, current book
What is your ideal way of traveling?
My ideal way of traveling is to go somewhere, where you already have recommended “friends-of-friends”, open-minded people who are ready to show you something and to give some tips about the city. For me it is always more interesting to travel with certain purpose – for example, to learn about local gastronomy, urban story or street art.
What kind of project would you like to be involved in afterwards? Why?
I’d like to be involved in media and gastronomy projects. One day I would like to launch my own restaurant or chain of small street cafés.
What is the place that you would like to travel to in the future? Why?
Of course, I want to travel around the world with opportunity to stay for a while in every place I’d like – to feel a bit like locals. My next destination is New York.
What are your favorite spots in your city? Why?
There are two kinds of places I love to be in: the places I’d like to be with a big company and the places I’d like to stay alone. The best place for me to be in big company – is the Strelka’s summer terrace. This is the strange and exciting mix of beautiful people, nice music and fresh air in the very centre of Moscow. Also I love Solyanka club – the best place to see friends all together. If to talk about lazy Sunday lunch with friends – the best place in Moscow is “Madame Galife” with the best Georgian cuisine and fantastic view through big panorama windows to Aptekarsky Ogorod. If you will ask about my favorite Asian place in Moscow – no doubts, it will be Zu Cafe at Novy Arbat street – fresh spicy wok and noisy crowd around long bar counter. If I go for coffee – it will be Upsidedown cafe with it fantastic banana desserts. I love places with big panorama windows. It’s my passion, and I know all of them in Moscow. Not long time ago The Osteria Uno was opened at Cvetnoy Boulevard, and it deserve to be adored because of its windows and 24-hours work. I love Gorky Park. Last year I was too busy and haven’t enjoyed its activities such as open-air yoga classes, petanque, roller skating and so on, but I hope I will do it this summer. Surely, we all miss Garage Center for contemporary culture, which was closed a few months ago, but – hopefully – will be open again this autumn at Gorky Park.
What does bore you and what does get you excited?
I am madly excited about creativity and plan making, going often outside the reality. It doesn’t have certain shapes or borders, and looks like something “ideal”. I love the energy of creative thinking, new-born ideas and the feeling of unlimited opportunities. I like to share the joy of creation with same-minded people. And the most boring things for me are bureaucracy and routine work.
Who is the woman you’d like to see featured/ interviewed here?
Natalya Sindeeva head of TV Rain.
File under: Interview