Environmental Advocacy and Entrepreneurship Combined: The Unique Story of Vasiliy Kolebanov

Today, in our Behind The Sucess series, we’re thrilled to introduce you to Vasiliy Kolebanov—a Bulgarian-Russian entrepreneur, living in the Netherlands—and his amazing story of ambition, perseverance, and environmental awareness.

Vasiliy describes himself as “a passionate sustainability advocate, dedicated to driving positive change through community engagement and impactful action.”

And those are not mere words. He put them into action by creating the Bindl.green platform.

The Beginning Before the Beginning

Born in a small village deep in the Russian taiga, surrounded by lush nature, Vasiliy Kolebanov’s path seemed predestined from the very start. He’s had the benefit of loving, caring parents who instilled in him the concept of environmental responsibility.

Years later, when he and his family settled in Silistra—a small Bulgarian town on the banks of the Danube—Vasiliy’s love for nature never faded but only increased. The preservation of nature’s balance and integrity intrigued him more and more.

“There are too many stories from my childhood and early years that were perhaps giving hints as to what direction I would go in life,” he admits.

Bindl: From Hypothesis to Reality

Working with sustainable startups and later with Expedia, Vasiliy witnessed firsthand the abundance of innovative ideas and technologies aimed at sustainability.

“I had the chance to work with many sustainable and socially-oriented startups at my job after graduation. I was advising them and helping them obtain direct EU funding, so I saw how many creative ideas, products, and technologies people were implementing. This job only further developed my natural out-of-the-box creative thinking as I had to adjust their products and services to the requirements of a grant call and adjust them in a way that they could be compatible with their consortium partners.”

The seed of Bindl was planted during that period, evolving from a blurry hypothesis to a tangible business solution.

As Vasiliy refined his concept, Bindl was officially registered in the Netherlands in 2021, setting the stage for its transformative journey.

“The function that Bindl has now though needed more time to be thought through. The initial purpose of Bindl was very different from what it aims to do now, so the idea keeps changing,” Vasiliy tells us.

As of today, Bindl.green is a gamified community platform that connects users from all around the world and lets them solve sustainability issues together.

The Hardest Moments While Bringing Bindl to Life

Revealing what it’s like behind the scenes of Bindl creation and development, Vasiliy says that challenges are “always present, always new ones, always bigger than the last ones.”

However, he points out two significant hurdles he had to face.

First of all, he had no examples to follow of how business is actually developed. He had to start everything from scratch. Transforming his mindset is an ongoing process that is still taking place.

“Coming from a highly educated and skilled, but less fortunate family from a country that fell apart and took everything we had in its chaos (Russia), we had no knowledge of private affairs and no such way of thinking.”, he says.

Vasiliy’s innate curiosity and love for nature, with which he grew up, help him overcome every obstacle, day after day.

Secondly, during the initial stages of launching Bindl, he had a hard time balancing multiple jobs, validating hypotheses, building and testing MVPs, pivoting, learning, and finally building a market-ready product.

Vasiliy also shares that he “traded time and career for the ability to maintain a family life and make this project happen.”

Vasiliy’s Best Achievement Through His Eyes

For Vasiliy, the journey with Bindl is not just about achieving milestones but also about self-discovery.

That’s why he considers personal growth his number one achievement.

“When you undertake such a large endeavor and put your life and livelihood on the line, you immediately encounter your own flaws. And you think that you start solving them one by one, but suddenly they turn out to be just the head of a hydra that you cut, and two new ones pop up in its place. The body of this hydra of flaws is still nowhere to be seen. As long as I do not give up cutting those heads and find a way to deal with them and progress, I consider this an achievement,” he shares.

Being a driven and explorative person, Vasiliy has had a variety of interests. He used to immerse himself in a subject and become very good at it. But he admits that he lacked the ambition to become the best.

“That always seemed like a fruitless exercise to me, and perhaps it still does. However, there is a big world and so many things to see, do, and learn. Being able to offer people a way to do that with a positive cause is my ambition. I have found it!”, concludes Vasiliy.

Today’s Most Pressing Environmental Issues, According to Vasiliy

Vasiliy thinks that people’s biggest mistake toward nature is that they are willing to sacrifice it for their own comfort. Without putting so much as a thought into it, without even realizing the consequences of their actions.

Unfortunately, that’s what most people do.

He believes that living in cities and villages, in concrete buildings, and moving along asphalt streets, people view nature as something distant and separate from them.

The truth is that we, as well as all plants and animals, are part of an ecosystem, and each element of this ecosystem must be in its place.

“I personally am most concerned with the pollution, destruction of natural habitat, and extinction of wildlife. Our society should be concerned with the same because it is going to cut its own water, food, and air supply. If nothing changes, society will collapse on its own from diseases, hunger, thirst, and infighting,” conveys Vasiliy.

Meanwhile, he underscores that although not every environmental issue is caused by humans, we do find a way to aggravate them.

“Climate change, for example, is a natural phenomenon, but we manage to exacerbate it and speed it up not only with fossil fuel burning, mind you, but also with the destruction of the natural environment. We drain swamps and bogs; we cut the forests; we poison the ocean; and we destroy the delicate ecosystems all around us.”

Bindl’s Future: What’s in Store?

“My plans for Bindl are to help prevent the gloomy picture described in my answer to the previous question. I want to help people change themselves,” reveals Vasiliy.

Vasily is a true animal lover. So far, he has sheltered two cats found on the street and helped many other animals. He refrains from using air conditioning. He does his best to live by what he preaches, while not judging anyone or completely avoiding the use of current technologies in his daily life, of course.

“I am no saint; I am not a specialist in everything, but I want to change with the people. We need to push each other. Nobody achieves much significance alone,” states Vasiliy.

As Bindl prepares for the next phase of growth, Vasiliy seeks to expand his undertaking through strategic partnerships and scalable solutions.

“We can only grow so fast and reach so many people with our own efforts and resources. I have not been part of such growth myself before, so I am new to this. I need help from anywhere it can come from.”

Through his platform, Vasiliy works to reach more people and make them see the vital truth that we are all part of one.

Vasiliy’s Advice to Rising Entrepreneurs

According to Vasiliy, following your passion is the most important condition for actually succeeding and not giving up too soon. Then he adds:

“You might be lucky, talented, or knowledgeable, which might help you succeed in earning money, growing a business, and whatnot, but there are two measures of success I recognize personally: Are you growing as a person? Are you helping others grow?”

Vasiliy also advises not to sacrifice family and loved ones for the sake of pursuing business goals and never be ashamed to seek help.

“Ask, learn, and better yourself. This is why you are in what you are doing. Perhaps even follow for a while. You don’t always have to be the leader. Anyone can become a leader, but not everyone has to be one,” he wisely concludes.

As his final remark, Vasiliy expressed his belief that continuous learning ultimately bears fruit.

“If you can, keep pushing and keep learning. It might not pay off as you expected. But if you are alive and with your close ones, it will pay off somewhere. Your effort and experience might help your kids or someone else one day; you might not even see it. Someone might get inspired by you, but not if you do not progress as a person.”

Sustainability is not another trendy word that will soon be replaced and forgotten. It’s a lifestyle that’s worth exploring, so we can enjoy the present and build a stable future for the next generations.

Published: April 26, 2024

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StorsenDigital is a leading company that specializes in sourcing the best outsourcing talents in Europe. With the rise of remote work and digital transformation, skilled professionals are in high demand, and StorsenDigital is at the forefront of managing the supply and demand of these talents.
StorsenDigital is a leading company that specializes in sourcing the best outsourcing talents in Europe. With the rise of remote work and digital transformation, skilled professionals are in high demand, and StorsenDigital is at the forefront of managing the supply and demand of these talents.