Kazakh leaders visit Fox Valley

Kazakhs at Fox Valley Tech on March 12, 2018 (WLUK/Mike Moon)

GRAND CHUTE (WLUK) -- Showing off our area to international visitors: A foreign exchange program brings future leaders of former Soviet states to the United States.

And a group from Kazakhstan is visiting the Fox Valley this week.

This group came from Kazakhstan to the Fox Valley as part of Open World, a project sponsored by Congress.

"And it's to help people in Eurasia understand how we do what we do in the United States," explained Amy Pietsch, the director of Fox Valley Technical College's Venture Center.

The Kazakhs will be spending the week here touring businesses and meeting entrepreneurs and local leaders.

"We came with our delegates to have some experience in supporting small and medium businesses," said Ruslan Sameteyev, one of the visitors from Kazakhstan.

"And how do we help entrepreneurs lead businesses to be successful?" added Pietsch.

Monday the group stopped at Fox Valley Technical College's Fab Lab to learn about technical design.

"How we provide support services to inventors who have an idea for a product and need to develop that into an actual prototype," Pietsch told FOX 11 News.

The school's Venture Center is hosting the Kazakhs. Pietsch told us this visit shows the strong resources for business and entrepreneurship locally.

"At the Venture Center, since we launched, we've helped more than 400 people launch or grow their own businesses and the ecosystem today is stronger than it's ever been," she said.

The visitors we spoke to said they're happy to be here.

"Because they have a really good reputation in the Open World program," said Sameteyev.

Pietsch told FOX 11 this is a testament to the local business climate.

"The Midwest approach to entrepreneurship, that practical approach, built on solid ideas is an approach that works," she said.

And the hope is that this is just the beginning of a relationship with these visitors.

"Hopefully we can spawn joint ventures, partnerships and even increase potential for imports and exports," Pietsch told us.

This is the fourth time Fox Valley Tech has hosted a group from the Open World Leadership Center sponsored by the U.S. House of Representatives.

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