Online education, e-commerce and entrepreneurship discussed in Kiev by investors and startups from all over the world
As in the previous years, the 2013 IDCEE conference attracted to Kiev, Ukraine earlier this month an impressive number of investors, startup entrepreneurs and IT professionals from over 45 countries (see videos).
The core topics of this year’s conference were online education, e-commerce, and entrepreneurship in Brazil. The event – which took place in a huge sports complex – featured over 70 outstanding speakers, 50 keynotes and 8 panel discussions from the industry leaders across the globe.
TA Venture Managing Director and IDCEE organizer Viktoriya Tigipko: “Kiev is an entry point for international VCs for Central and Eastern Europe”
Not only is Mrs Tigipko one of these exquisitely educated and beautiful ladies one can meet in Kiev, she also is an inexhaustible source of ideas and energy when it comes to innovation and venture activity. In a mere three years, she has transformed a Kiev event, IDCEE, into the international face of the East-European startup and venture scene. Meanwhile, her fund TA Venture has invested in dozens of startups in Europe and as far away as Brazil and India.
Just a few days before the opening of IDCEE 2013, the business woman presented to East-West Digital News a contrasted picture of the Ukrainian high-tech industry and shared her vision of her country’s digital future. She also unveiled behind-the-scene details on how she came to the venture industry and how IDCEE started and grew, as well as key facts and figures on TA Venture.
IDCEE 2013: Kiev meeting point for US tech veterans, Eastern European startups, global VCs – and Brazilian guitar players
A rare phenomenon in such events, investors – coming from all parts of Europe and from as far away as the USA and India – come even more numerous than startup entrepreneurs. This year, the organizers expect some 2,500 participants to attend the event, including representatives from 150 startups and 300 investors with a total of $30 billion under management.
Last week Palo Alto, California-based startup Jelastic, which offers a cloud-based hosting platform for Java application developers, announced that it has secured an investment from Maxfield Capital, a $100 million Russian venture fund that focuses on the IT and Internet segments.
The startup, which has Ukrainian and Russian roots, also announced the appointment of Silicon Valley veteran John E. Derrick as the company’s new CEO.
Google has cancelled its contract with Doctor Mobile, the developer of the mobile applications for the Quickoffice service.
Google acquired Quickoffice, which is headquartered in Dallas, Texas, in June last year for an undisclosed sum. Now, less than a year later, Google is shutting down two of its offices, namely in Saint Petersburg (Russia) and Kharkiv (Ukraine), where more than 100 people are working.
Three major venture capital funds, Moscow-based Runa Capital and Almaz Capital as well as Kiev-based TA Venture, in conjunction with BIONIC Hill innovation park, Ukraine’s first innovation park, are joining forces to establish the Global Technology Foundation (GTF).
Ukraine’s first grant fund specifically devoted to IT, the foundation will provide pre-seed stage grants and support for promising IT-related projects, aiming to facilitate the emergence of a local venture and hi-tech ecosystem in the country.
IQcard, a Moscow-based startup offering multifunction bank cards, has raised “more than $2.5 million” in a Series A round from Paradigm Investments and TA Venture, as well as from existing investors Fastlane Ventures and Direct Group. Neither the exact amount of investment nor the startup’s valuation were disclosed.
Launched in March 2012, IQcard offers a prepaid bank card service operating on the MasterCard platform and supported by several Russian banks.