Two months ago I welcomed a delegation of European investors and tech entrepreneurs for an informal 3-day WEF/YGL/GS Ukraine Discovery Tour in Kyiv. I had met them at the World Economic Forum in Davos in January, and invited them to Ukraine despite skeptical views on the “country in war.”
These views weren’t surprising because Russian propaganda considerably amplified the perception of this war with the purpose of scaring off all business people and investors.
Upon his first visit to Ukraine in late May, technology entrepreneur Mark Turrell had no idea what to expect from a country that is at war. By his fourth visit two months later, though, he already had a team of six Ukrainian website and mobile application developers working on his new business.
Born in Canada, Turrell, 45, is an envoy for the Young Global Leaders Forum (YGL). According to the group’s website, the forum is a “unique, multi-stakeholder community of more than 900 exceptional young leaders” who are “bold, brave, action-oriented and entrepreneurial” that “commit both their time and talent to make the world a better place.”
Ukrainian serial entrepreneur Yegor Anchishkin, who sold his startup Viewdle to Google-owned Motorola in 2012, is gearing up to enter the American produce delivery market. Last year he raised $2.5 million to fund Zakaz.ua, an online service that delivers produce from five grocery stores in Ukraine.
War and economic crisis have scared away many foreign business people but for Ukraine’s technology industry the future looks bright.
Lior Tal, a 45-year-old serial entrepreneur from Israel, arrived in Ukraine for the first time in late May to participate in the Tech Bridge Israel-Ukraine networking event. He talked to young tech entrepreneurs and Kyiv university students about the effect that social media can make on people’s professional lives.
How Microsoft is helping Ukrainian government and academia with IT amid political and business instability
In October 2014 Nadiya Vasylieva was appointed the new head of Microsoft’s Ukrainian division, while Dmitry Shimkiv, who had served as Microsoft’s Ukraine chief since 2009, joined the presidential administration to carry out reforms.
In an interview with The Kiyv Post and Ukraine Digital News, Ms. Vasylieva commented on the group’s situation in Ukraine, its cooperation with the government and current business prospects.
Wojciech Bajda of Ericsson Ukraine: “Ukrainians use smartphones in the same way as consumers from EU countries”
Sweden’s Ericsson was one of the first telecommunications equipment providers to enter Ukraine, opening an office in 1995. The move paid off as it turned into a core supplier to Ukrainian mobile network operators and Internet vendors.
Now, as Ukraine makes the transition to third generation Internet, Ericsson sees more opportunities.
Sir Peter Bonfield: “Ukraine’s core differentiator is its skills in science and technologies, engineering and math”
Sir Peter Bonfield is a true veteran of the high-tech industry. He has over 45 years of experience in the fields of electronics, computers, and communications. Currently he serves as Chairman of the Board for NXP Semiconductors N.V., Director of L.M. Ericsson, Director of Mentor Graphics Corporation Inc., Director of Sony Corporation, and Board member for GlobalLogic and several other tech companies.
During a recent meeting of GlobalLogic’s Board of Directors, Sir Peter Bonfield had a chance to visit Kyiv, Ukraine. He was accompanied by Igor Byeda, Managing Director of GlobalLogic Ukraine, to a meeting with KyivPost, Ukraine’s leading English-language newspaper. During this interview, Sir Bonfield expressed his views on Ukraine’s R&D potential and the country’s role in an international tech landscape.
Andrzej Malinowski, GM of Rocket Internet’s Lamoda: “In spite of the tragic events in the country, the Ukrainian market is still quite attractive”
In 2014 — three years after successful launch on the Russian market — footwear and clothing online retailer Lamoda entered the Ukrainian market. In spite of the political and economic turmoil, the Rocket Internet creature has asserted itself as one of the country’s main e-commerce companies.
Its general manager, Poland’s Andrzej Malinowski, unveiled his strategy in an interview with Ukrainian online publication iGate in Russian language. Here are the main translated excerpts.
Ukraine’s rapidly developing tech scene saw global giant Google, mostly known for its popular search engine, establish an office in Kyiv in 2006. Today, Google’s country manager for Ukraine, Dmytro Sholomko, says that behemoths like his employer are now looking for stability in Ukraine in order to develop.
Sholomko hopes for support from Ukraine’s government to tech businesses. Tax benefits are not needed, he said, but providing discounts on rent or utilities for companies that make innovative products would be helpful.
Ukrainian startup Poptop.fm, which provides a marketplace for hiring musicians and photographers, has obtained $30,000 from Torben Majgaard, the Danish businessman who founded Ciklum, a leading Ukrainian nearshore software development firm. Further details of the deal were not disclosed.
“I like Poptop’s area of business as well as the team’s attitude,” Majgaard said in an exchange with Ukraine Digital News. “The fact that they have moved their focus to the UK market, in which I have strong connections, has put me in a good position to contribute.”