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Stefano Polasek: Italian CEO choosing contracts or products with Gaudos

This Italian entrepreneur is a two-time American transplant and is now ready to launch two new mobile products under his Gaudos Inc. banner. Depending on their success, he'll either focus on growing them or move onto contract work.

Stefano Polasek, CEO of Gaudos, Inc. Photo by Brady Dale.

When we met Stefano Polasek at the Bed-Vyne Brew happy hour in Bed-Stuy on Wednesday, he was just coming out of a day of wrestling an unreleased app his team was working on after shifting it to iOS 7.1.

“A problem caused by the shift to 64 bit architecture,” he said. The app is new, so they want it to come out updated to the latest version. Polasek is an Italian transplant to Brooklyn and CEO of mobile dev firm Gaudos, Inc

Most of his team is abroad, some in Italy, partly in Vietnam, where his CTO has strong ties. He’d like to grow the firm here, but so far his work has been on projects he has carried over from Italy. His two main projects these days are WineTerminal, an app, and MuseTrade, a web project.

  • WineTerminal is a notebook for wines that already has some details filled in. Find out more about the vintners’ stories and keep track of what you liked best.
  • MuseTrade is a way for curators who have put together strong museum exhibits to rent them out to other museums that might like to show it as well.

“I moved here for work. After 18 years of IT in Italy, I thought it would be important for me to move here,” Polasek said. We met him at the latest Brooklyn Entrepreneurs Meetup. He’s been here for a year now, though work was not his only reason for coming. He also got married.

When he came here he started Gaudos., but created it with his business partner from his previous company, Parsec Tech.

Once the Gaudos team launches its first two projects, what’s next for them will depend entirely on their success.

Historically, his team has worked as a project company in the agency model — taking contract work. They can always return to that work or they can grow the applications they’ve created.

He’s beginning to realize that doing so here may start to lock him in to a certain area of business.

“Here it seems natural that if you work in a space you develop with companies in that space,” he said of the niche that many mobile dev companies develop.

Whereas in Italy, it’s so much smaller, that nothing is thought of moving between wildly different business areas, so long as the team has the technical acumen to cover them.

That said, there are advantages to the New York scene as well. “What I like about the tech community here is it seems to have a stronger tie to the real economy,” Gaudos said. It’s not just a subculture, but a dominant part of New York business today.

Moving to the States was not an entirely new move for the entrepreneur. He was a high school exchange student in the suburbs of Minneapolis in the mid-80s.

“When I decided to move here, I had a glimpse of the side of American culture that I loved. I also knew some things i didn’t love, so I think it was a mature decision,” he said.

Series: Brooklyn
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