Last week at the IDCEE international tech conference in Kyiv (Kiev) the Global Technology Foundation (GTF) awarded hardware startup Petcube a grant of 240,000 hryvnias (approximately $18,500). The Foundation’s jury believes Petcube is the best Ukrainian startup, due to the fact that it is now well-known in Europe and the US and that it has a good audience and sales.

Petcube is working on a gadget designed to allow pet-owners to remotely chat and play with their animal through a mobile app. Thanks to the idea and quality PR, the company has picked up no less than $500,000 on Kickstarter from more than 1,700 backers.

In spring this year, the startup won in the “Best Hardware Startup of 2014” category at the prestigious European startup competition “The Europas.” Petcube earlier led various Ukrainian ratings.

“Thanks to the funds raised via Kickstarter we now have 18 people in our team, and we’re currently preparing for a $1.5 million seed-stage round,” Petcube’s founder Yaroslav Azhnyuk told Ukraine Digital News.

As reported by Ukrainian tech blog AIN.UA, other finalists in this year’s GTF awards included online ad platform ClickGanic, payment-processing system Kaznachey, e-commerce solution providers Softcube and Picreel, P2P storage platform Abovobo and online art encyclopedia WikiArt.org as well as Ecois, which has developed a system for managing energy at home, and Multitest.me, a service for selecting an internet provider.