People Category: People

16-year-old Ukrainian entrepreneur launches fintech startup in Australia

Stas Prisiazhnuk, a 16-year-old entrepreneur from Donetsk, a war-torn city in Eastern Ukraine, is expecting to receive $40,000 in seed-stage funding from Muru-D, a Australian startup accelerator program, to develop his fintech project Persollo. Muru-D will receive a 4% stake in the company.

The young entrepreneur told Ukrainian tech blog AIN.UA that the project had been valued at $1 million.

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Californian investor wants to “help Ukrainain startups attract investors from all over the world”

The first stage of “Ukraine Is Looking for Startups,” a Ukrainain startup competition, brought together more than 1,000 attendees in Kyiv (Kiev) on December 19-20.

The contest aims to provide 20 best native early-stage companies with an opportunity to meet international investors willing to invest 200,000 to 2 million hryvnias (approximately $8,500 and $85,000 respectively).

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Dmytro Shymkiv, Deputy Head of the Presidential Administration: “We want the high-tech sector to become one of the pillars of this country’s future”

A technology entrepreneur with a rich background in Ukraine, Europe and the USA, Dmytro Shymkiv headed Microsoft Ukraine when he was appointed to the Presidential Administration in the months that followed the Maidan revolution. He shared with Ukraine Digital News his vision of Ukraine as a country of innovators and analyzes Ukraine’s first steps on the path to reform.

Below are the main excerpts from this interview. The full version is available in “High Tech Ukraine From A to Z,” a research study just released by Ukraine Digital News and AVentures Capital.

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Ukrainian IT professionals may benefit from Germany’s Blue Card program

Ukrainian software developers are taking advantage of Germany’s Blue Card program for highly skilled immigrants. The program’s fast-track system for obtaining visas is one of the main reasons why Germany is becoming the main destination for Ukrainian information technology professionals.

“They [the German embassy] only needed a work contract and a few documents with translations,” says Andrey Tkachenko, a software developer from Dnipropetrovsk who moved to Berlin in 2014 together with his wife and two children. “We brought the documents to the embassy, and the next day the visas for the whole family were waiting.”

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Madberry CEO Dmitry Sverdlik: “Like Israel, Ukraine may build a fantastic tech sector in spite of external threats”

Helsinki-based Madberry offers a global automated advertising system specially designed for the needs of game companies. The company does not outsource its research and development works; yet it has launched an R&D center in Kyiv (Kiev) in partnership with Ukrainain IT firm Innovecs.

Dmitry Sverdlik, Madberry’s co-founder and CEO, explains the strategy behind this offshore center and speaks frankly about the Ukrainian high tech and business environment.

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Turkcell executive sees “huge potential” in Ukrainian telecom and IT sectors

Picture the scene: Ukraine in 2035 has become a hub of IT innovation, with some of the sector’s leaders having their gleaming new headquarters located in the high-tech capital of Kyiv (Kiev).

Seems far-fetched? Not to Burak Ersoy, newly appointed CEO of Life :), Turkcell’s subsidiary in Ukraine. “Due to its huge human capital in terms of IT development, Ukraine might give birth to national IT giants and become the Silicon Valley of Eastern Europe,” he told The Kyiv Post.

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IBM Ukraine head unhappy with slow pace of reforms

Global technology players with offices in Ukraine are as disappointed as anyone with the halting pace of Ukraine’s post-revolutionary changes.

“Everybody observes that there is a certain, let’s say, decline in the speed of reforms… We see that the reforms that were promised year and a half ago are not taking place as fast as we would like,” says Penko Dinev, IBM Ukraine general manager.

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MacPaw and the Ukrainian app revolution: From passionate student to successful entrepreneur

Oleksandr has been an Apple fan since he was a student. In the middle of the first decade of the 2000s, earning only 200 hryvnas (about 20 dollars) a month, he couldn’t afford much. In one of computer shops in Kiev he was attracted by the desk-lamp-like iMac G4, but figured that he could only afford the Apple keyboard that went with it.

Oleksandr’s father and brother — like many Ukrainians — emigrated to the West, to Paris. Thanks to their support and his own savings, Oleksandr bought a PowerBook. At that time he was probably the only student at Kiev Polytechnic who was working on a Mac. He remembers that lecturers were glowering at him, since he was the only student who was taking notes not on paper, but on his laptop. Oleksandr’s diploma work was done on the Mac — a neural network app using image recognition to register the state of water meters.

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Ukrainian soldier won gold at Europe’s drone modeling championship

An ex-volunteer and a soldier of the Ukrainian Battalion “Luhansk-1,” Andrii Umrykhin won gold at the FAI F2 European Championships for Control Line Model Aircraft. Contestants from 40 countries participated in the competition, which was held by the World Air Sports Federation (FAI) in Bulgaria in late August.

Umrykhin defeated two Russian contestants, Igor Trifonov, a three-time drone modeling world champion, and Andrey Belyayev, a three-time European champion, in the semi-final and the finale respectively.

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Czech entrepreneur and startup adviser Pavel Curda: “The best time to invest in Ukrainian startups is now”

“The country is probably one of the best mid- and long-term investment opportunities in the world at the moment,” believes Pavel Curda, who follows closely the Central and Eastern European startup scene.

Having spent two weeks  in Lviv (Lvov) and Odessa in August, the Czech entrepreneur suggests western investors to co-invest with local business angels.

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