Ukrainian tech sector to showcase its emerging talent in San Francisco

In a case of East meets West, the most dynamic representatives of Ukraine’s emerging tech industry are set to gather in the USA at the breakthrough U.T. Gem conference. The event will be held in San Francisco on September 18 at the Hyatt Regency hotel in partnership with Ukraine Digital News.

Ukraine has become one of the most efficient and cost-effective IT outsourcing markets in Europe, with the local outsourcing sector set to reach $4 billion in value by 2016. A well-educated and innovative IT workforce has attracted some of the world’s leading tech companies. Samsung, Huawei, Siemens, NetCracker and others have developed R&D centers in Ukraine.

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Ukrainian startup myTips receives $75,000 and a place at Californian incubator 500 Startups

The myTips team has been accepted into the famous American incubator 500 Startups, and has moved to San Francisco. The team received an investment of $75,000 from the incubator, and now intends to develop its business in the USA.

myTips is developing interactive online tutorials for complex interfaces without coding. Previously, the startup had already incubated in a famous foreign accelerator – London SeedCamp. From them, the team received an investment of 25,000 euros for 5% of the company and spent the funds on the development and refinement of its product.

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IT programmers and businesses run away from Donbass unrest

Due to the unrest in Eastern Ukraine, many programmers have run away from the Donbass region to other parts of Ukraine or abroad. Liga.Business reports that, as of early June, one-fourth of programmers had left the region, with most IT companies directing their employees to cities like Kyiv (Kiev), Uzhgorod, Lviv (Lvov), or even out of Ukraine altogether. All told, more than 1,000 IT specialists had reportedly left Donetsk as of 2 months ago.

StepInMobile, an agency dedicated to developing mobile apps, is one of these companies, as originally reported by Ukrainian online publication AIN.UA. Founded by Donetsk-native Denys Nikolayenko, the firm opened in 2012 and has maintained offices in Kyiv and the founder’s home city.

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IT programmer Ekatarina Zyryanova: “There are a lot of clever people in Donbass and it will be easy to recover the local IT industry”

Programmer Ekaterina Zyryanova, who lived in Kramatorsk, a war-torn city of the Donetsk region, for over 30 years, was forced to move to Western Ukraine to pursue a new life and career. She found a job in a Lviv (Lvov) based IT outsourcing company.

Zyryanova has been kind enough to share with Ukraine Digital News her harrowing experience of living in and relocating.

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Poroshenko unveils Instagram account while presidential website faces DDos attack

As Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and others become ubiquitous, many Ukrainian leaders now communicate via social networks. Since the Maidan revolution these networks have even been used by several top officials to announce important government decisions.

Following the trend is Petro Poroshenko. The newly-elected Ukrainian president, who already maintained an official presence on Twitter and Facebook, last week announced the creation of his personal Instagram account. Thus far, the account mainly displays primarily photos of meetings with ministers and foreign dignitaries, but also images of Poroshenko and wife sharing tender moments and of the president visiting the troops.

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Google and TNS offer portrait of typical Ukrainian Internet user

Google has revealed the results of a study of consumer behavior among Ukrainian Internet users, reports Ukrainian IT-news portal proIT. According to the report, which involved the survey of 1,000 adults (aged 16+) in in January of this year and was completed by market-research firm TNS at Google’s request, 56% of those polled state that they are regular Internet users.  However, this figure spikes to 96% when considering only those who are 16-24 years old.

The percentage of smartphone users has increased more than threefold from 7% in 2012 to 24% in 2014. 71% of Ukrainians report that they use their smartphones on a daily basis, in comparison with 69% who report daily use of computers and 67% who report daily use of tablets.

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Kyiv startup Advice Wallet secures $1.5 million from Russia’s Life.SREDA

Life.SREDA, a Moscow-based venture capital firm focusing on mobile and online fintech startups, is to invest $1.5 million in Settle, a mobile payment service developed by Kyiv (Kiev) -based startup Advice Wallet.

Combining mobile payments and a loyalty scheme in one app, Settle makes it possible to both order and then pay your bill at a restaurant or café through a smartphone. Users register via a social network and link their bank card to the app. The app displays the menu and allows clients to divide up a bill between friends, carry out P2P transactions and receive offers from establishments.

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New Ukrainian social networks emerge to challenge Facebook, VK, and Odnoklassniki in domestic market

Facebook may have established itself as a global leader in social-networking and VK (founded in Russia as Vkontakte) may have captured a strong market share in Russian speaking countries as an alternative service, but they have not stopped a host of competitors from entering the Ukrainian market. Within the past year, SocialFace, Zine, Ukrainci, Druzi, and WeUa have emerged in the country as domestic challengers to the more established players.

This past spring, several competitors to Facebook have sprung up as Ukrainians have decided to boycott Russian-founded services such as VK and Odnoklassniki. Several of these newcomers have adopted a “patriotic” approach to the social-network mold. Druzi (“Friends” in Ukrainian), for example, claims more than 215,000 users since it launched back in March.

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eBay’s Magento business under threat from continuing Ukraine crisis

The ongoing crisis in Ukraine is threatening to destabilize the operations of Magento, an open-source content management system for e-commerce web sites owned by eBay and based in Kyiv (Kiev).

In its last quarterly report for the second quarter ending June 31, 2014, eBay noted that “The current situation in Ukraine and the Crimean peninsula, along with the response of the Russian and United States governments to this situation, have the potential to adversely affect our operations in Ukraine. In addition, many of our employees in Ukraine could be required to serve in the military for extended periods of time under emergency circumstances, which could disrupt our Magento business.”

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Ukrainian social media advertising agency AdCenter acquired by US agency VertaMedia

New York-based VertaMedia, an online marketing agency, last week announced the acquisition of AdCenter for $400,000. Based in Odessa, AdCenter organizes targeted ad campaigns on Russian-language social networks including Vkontakte (VK.com) and Odnoklassninki.ru.

The agency serves Ukrainian as well as Russian clients via an office in Krasnogorsk in the Moscow region. The AdCenter site currently operates solely in Russian, but an English-language version will be created.

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