On April 22-23, a 24-hour hackathon devoted to innovative IT solutions in education will be held in Kharkiv (Kharkov), Eastern Ukraine. Participants will pitch to the representatives of Ukrainian tech universities, IT business and venture funds to compete for a 30,000 hryvnia award (approximately $1,100).
Christened “IT-Eureka! Ukraine,” the event will attract Ukrainian student teams, which will create a prototype based on their ideas with support from mentors.
YEP Incubators, which is presented as the first Ukrainian network of academic business incubators, will launch its first incubation program in April. Startups are invited to apply till March 26. A Demo Day is scheduled for June 10, 2017.
Four Ukrainian universities — Kyiv National Economic University, National Aviation University, Taras Shevchenko University and Donetsk National Technical University — are involved in the project.
BrainBasket Foundation, a Ukrainian NGO dedicated to IT education, has launched an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign with a flexible goal to raise $50,000 for its national education program Technology Nation in two months.
“We want to demonstrate that Ukraine and its potential in IT is a global matter, as the future developments created by our graduates can benefit anyone in the world,” BrainBasket’s PR manager Andrii Petrunia told Ukraine Digital News.
A group of Silicon Valley-based engineers from Ukraine have launched UA Internships, a non-profit initiative to help Ukrainian students get an internship at US technology giants. The news was reported earlier this week by Ukrainian tech blog AIN.UA.
Internships may take place in either the European or the American offices of these companies.
Multimillionaire Vasyl Khmelnytsky, 50, couldn’t even wait for the construction workers to finish the new IT school that he’s building in the northwest part of Kyiv.
Reflecting the fast pace of the IT industry, Khmelnytsky went ahead and opened the first classroom in the semi-constructed building in August. Today — two months before opening, — 300 applicants are sitting in the large classroom, taking tests to get into the school, with construction work still going on in the building around them.
Preply, a platform to find foreign language tutors for home or Skype lessons, has closed a $1.3 million seed round to fund its expansion across Europe and further R&D activities.
The round was led by Mariusz Gralewski and the Hedgehog fund, from Poland, with support from former Booking.com CMO Arthur Kosten and Przemysław Gacek, another Polish business angel. Some of Preply’s existing investors — including venture firms from Poland, Ukraine and Germany — followed on in the round, Preply’s co-founder and CEO Kirill Bigai told Ukraine Digital News.
Andreas Flodström and Gustav Henman, two young Swedish entrepreneurs, came to Ukraine in September 2012 knowing “OK Russian” and with the shared goal of setting up a business in Eastern Europe “from scratch.”
That same year they set up a software development company in Poltava, a provincial capital of 290,000 people some 350 kilometers east of Kyiv (Kiev). They started an information technology business in Ukraine because the country has the reputation of being a regional leader in this sector.
“Mr Soros is supporting the program personally through the International Renaissance Foundation,” BrainBasket’s PR manager Andrii Petrunia told Ukraine Digital News. This foundation was created by the US billionnaire and philanthropist as early as 1990 to support the democratic transition in Ukraine.
Earlier this week BrainTV, a non-profit media project that aims to cultivate IT specialists in Ukraine, launched in beta mode on multimedia OTT service Divan.TV in 200 countries around the world.
The channel has become the first Ukrainian one to provide access to educational content about IT. Already included in its free programs are Harvard’s CS50 course, computer programming courses from Ukrainian IT schools, interviews with Ukrainian startup entrepreneurs and investors, video reports from industry events, and other features.