Meet Business Administration Alumnus Kassym Kabylgali

Alumnus Kassym Kabylgali earned an Associate Degree in Business Administration in Fall 2018. In early 2021, Kassym and fellow JCU alumnus Daniil Matskevich founded Squares, a platform that “helps users find and rent all types of spaces for a day or an hour.” In that same year, Kassym and his business partner Daniil were featured in Forbes “30 Under 30 Kazakhstan.”

From right: Daniil Matskevich and Kassym Kabylgali
From right: Daniil Matskevich and Kassym Kabylgali

Tell us about your background.
I was born and raised in Almaty, Kazakhstan. I wanted to get an American degree in Europe, and my friends’ feedback about studying at JCU and living in the heart of Rome helped me make the final decision, which I never regretted. The mix of cultures and high-quality education JCU offered were key factors in my decision.

How’s life after JCU?
Life after university has been exciting. Thanks to JCU’s Center for Career Services, I started working at an Italian startup called in my senior year. It was a life-changing experience, and after spending three years there, I decided to launch Squares, my own startup.

Tell us about your company, what you do, and where you got the idea from.
At Squares, we solve the problem of underutilized commercial spaces with a platform that gives users access to over 1500 locations to work, meet, and create. We connect individuals and businesses with unique event spaces and flexible workplaces in 17 cities of the world. The idea came from a desire to optimize space utilization and provide a seamless experience for both hosts and guests.

Congratulations on being featured in Forbes “30 Under 30 Kazakhstan.” Tell us about this achievement and what it means to you.
Thank you! Being recognized in Forbes “30 Under 30 Kazakhstan” was a tremendous honor. It validated the hard work and dedication my team and I put into Squares. It also reinforced my belief in the potential of our platform to make a significant impact.

How did JCU prepare you for starting your own business? What was one class and/or professor that impacted you the most and why?
JCU played a pivotal role in shaping my entrepreneurial mindset. It taught me a lot about business and marketing, along with other important things. I was also part of the Business Club, which helped me learn even more. The class that helped me the most was Business Communications with Professor Michèle Favorite. It taught me how to communicate with people in business, and those lessons were crucial to shaping the person I am today. 

What lessons have you learned from starting your own business?
Starting a business has taught me the importance of adaptability, persistence, and the value of a strong team. It’s crucial to be agile in the face of challenges and to surround yourself with dedicated individuals who share your vision.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to start their own business?
Embrace challenges as opportunities for growth. Seek out mentors, build a reliable team, and never underestimate the power of networking. Most importantly, believe in your idea and be prepared to put in the hard work.

What are your plans for the future?
We’re mostly focused on expanding our presence in untapped markets and enhancing our platform’s capabilities. The goal is to continue to revolutionize the way people utilize spaces for events and work in every corner of the world.

Join the Career Services Office on October 13, 2023, for the talk “Entrepreneurial Skills and Career Development with JCU Alumni Daniil Matskevich and Kassym Kabylgali – Squares”