Ukraine wants to become the Silicon Valley of Europe

In the last few months, the United States has pledged to Ukraine outspoken support, military food rations, and $1 billion. But what Ukraine could really use during its standoff with Russia, its officials say, is help from American information technology companies.

The Ukrainian Embassy in the U.S. has launched a campaign aimed at Western businesses, urging them to increase their outsourcing services to Ukraine. “It’s high time for U.S. investors and IT companies to really discover Ukraine,” said Olexander Motsyk, the Ukrainian ambassador to the U.S., at a presentation at the embassy Tuesday night.

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Russia seeks to develop startup industry in Crimea

The Internet Initiatives Development Fund (IIDF, or FRII in Russian), a government-backed fund supporting startup development, will open a remote regional accelerator in Sevastopol, Crimea, as soon as this summer, the Russian business daily Kommersant reported last week.

The fund is expecting to support five to seven projects, which will be evaluated on the local and national levels. Funding will be received based on the results of three month’s work in the accelerator.

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“IT outsourcing for democracy” – Ukraine launches promotion campaign in the US

The Ukrainian Embassy to the United States will begin a campaign to support IT outsourcing to the country during its crisis with Russia. The slogan of the campaign, set to begin with an event at Ukrainian embassy in Washington, D.C. on April 29, is “Increase Profits. Support Democracy. Cloudsource to Ukraine.”

IT outsourcing has become a significant source of revenue for Ukraine. According to the embassy, the campaign is an appeal to Western businesses to increase outsourcing IT services to the Ukraine as a way to maintain global stability.

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Coppertino raises $500,000 from AVentures, TA Venture and Torben Majgaard

Coppertino, a Los Angeles-based startup with Ukrainian origins, announced today that it has raised half a million dollars at an undisclosed valuation from leading Ukrainian investment firms AVentures and TA Venture as well as from Torben Majgaard, the Danish founder of Ukrainian IT-outsourcing company Ciklum.

Founded in 2011 by Petro Bondarevskyi and Ivan Ablamskyi, Coppertino has maintained its R&D center in Ukraine. Its main product, VOX, is a minimalist and free music player for Mac capable of handling any audio format.

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Russian and Ukrainian VCs team up to invest in US software startup

As Russia and Ukraine were escalating to a new level of mutual threats and recriminations earlier this week, venture funds offered a welcome illustration that nationalism has not completely spoiled relations between the two countries.

A leading Kiev-based fund, AVentures Capital, has teamed up with two Russian funds, Almaz Capital and ABRT, to inject $3.25 million into StarWind Software, a major US-based provider of software-defined storage for Microsoft Hyper-V environments, in a Series B round.

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Ukraine’s TA Venture and Russia’s ABRT team up to invest in UK startup Zesty

Zesty, a London-based service for booking medical appointments online, announced today that it has obtained $2 million in funding at an undisclosed valuation from Ukrainian VC TA Venture and Russian VC ABRT Fund.

The company – which was backed at the seed stage by Luxembourg-based VC Mangrove Capital Partners, – says that it will use the new funding to expand its appointment service to additional health-care markets.

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Is Crimea part of Russia? – Answers found on Facebook, Vkontakte, Yandex differ; Wikipedia changes its mind

Three weeks after Russia asserted that Crimea and the city of Sebastopol have become part of its territory, Facebook and Russian-language social network Vkontakte still categorize the inhabitants of these regions as being located in Ukraine. Meanwhile, two other major social networks, Odnoklassniki (Classmates) and Moi Mir (My World), have already classified them as being part of the Russian Federation.

Wikipedia, on its side, appears to have changed Crimea’s status several times already, reported Russia Beyond The Headlines. Sparking an editing quarrel that lasted several days, Crimea was first included as part of the Russian Federation, then returned to Ukraine, before finally being reassigned to Russia – this time shaded neon green to distinguish it from the rest of the country.

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Pro-Ukrainian hackers break into Russian State Duma website

The cyber-war between participants of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict carries on. Yesterday evening hackers posted an anti-Russian message on the webpage of the Russian State Duma’s Committee on Regional Politics and Problems with the North and Far East, on behalf of Russian Communist Party member Nikolay Kharitonov.

The message was about how “all of the power of the empire known as the Russian Federation is totally based on alcoholism, fear, and cowardice.”

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Ukrainian IT community calls for government reforms to help create innovative Ukraine

Yevgen Sysoyev and Eugene Leng, partners of Ukrainian VC fundAVentures Capital have led the working group that prepared a proposal for Ukrainian government to boost its innovation industry called Strategic National Project “Innovation Ukraine”.

In an open letter, which also included names of the working group members – representatives of Internet, Outsourcing and IT community of Ukraine, a number of possible steps are proposed to improve conditions for new industry in Ukraine.

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Polish government announces $100 million fund to support Ukrainian small companies

Poland is to put $100 million (300 million zloty) into supporting small Ukrainian companies, which will obviously include tech companies by implication, and allow more Ukrainian companies to list on its stock exchange.

“We do this to support the new Ukrainian industry, new business and build a new middle class,” President Bronislaw Komorowski told Polish newspaper Gazeta.

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