3 October 2019
How was it?
Kyiv Tech Hub 2019 conference successfully summed up activities of the Ministry of Investment and Economic Development of Poland directed at fruitful cooperation with Ukraine in 2018-2019. One of the main initiatives that were aimed to support startup projects is the Polish-Ukrainian Startup Bridge. This program is supposed to encourage interaction and cooperation of entrepreneurs, researcher workers and innovators from Ukraine with Polish state and public institutions and investors. The coordinator of the project in 2018-2020 is the Cooperation Fund Foundation.
In line with this program, in 2018-2019, the Polish-Ukrainian Startup Bridge team organized 7 events in different cities of Ukraine, within which 6 startup competitions were held. Among the participants, the expert group selected the 30 most interesting projects that took part in the mentorship sessions from 14/09 to 15/09/ 2019 for thorough preparation for the final round of the startup competition in Kyiv that took place during the Kyiv Tech Hub 2019 conference.
At the official opening of the conference such distinguished guests as:
- Małgorzata Jarosińska-Jedynak – Undersecretary of State in the Ministry of Investment & Economic Development of Poland,
- Yuriy Polyukhovych – First Deputy of Minister of Education of Ukraine,
- Bartosz Cichocki – Polish Ambassador in Ukraine,
- Marek Kuberski – Deputy Director of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Poland – representative of the Ministry of Development of Communities & Territories of Ukraine,
- Dmytro Zhyvytsky – First Deputy of Minister of Development of Communities and Territories of Ukraine, addressed the audience with motivational speeches of encouragement and support.
– Such success is a synergy of efforts of the authorities at all levels, business, and our international partners. After all, the development of startups takes place on the ground. The results show that even in a small regional center it is possible to develop and implement a unique world-class product. Today, investments, first of all, depending on how much they will be protected in our country, and how much they will be supported by the state. Now it is very important to give an innovative business the opportunity to develop freely – says Dmitry Zywicki.
After the official opening of Kyiv Tech Hub’19, all guests of the conference became participants of the first part of the conference – Knowledge Stage consisted of two panel discussions.
The first panel was devoted to the introduction of the Polish innovation support system. Bartosz Musialowicz, head of the Polish Institute in Kyiv, moderated this panel. his question about the Polish innovation support ecosystem was answered by:
- Piotr Gembala – CEO GPW Ventures,
- Wlodzimierz Kuc – Deputy Director, National Centre for Research & Development in Poland,
- Boryslaw Czyzak – Head Expert, Foundation for Polish Science.
All experts unanimously stated that the Polish economy is a solid foundation for the support and development of startup projects, and expressed delight about the innovative approach of Ukrainian entrepreneurs to business creation, and the international potential of such companies.
During the second panel discussion, moderated by Krysztof Siwek, council for the Minister of Investments & Economic Development of Poland, the conference participants had the opportunity to learn more about the experience of supporting innovation directly in Ukraine. Guests of the discussion were:
- Vitaliy Cherniuk – Head of the Expert Group of the Directorate of Innovation and Technology Transfer of the Ministry of Education & Science of Ukraine,
- Henryk Sobchuk – President of Polish Academy of Sciences in Ukraine,
- Volodymyr Stavniuk – Chairman of the Board in State Financial Institution for Innovations;
- Vasyl Khmelnytskyi – founder of KFund & UNIT.Holdings,
- Alexander Romanishyn – co-founder of Re:actor Open Innovations Platform.
The second part of the conference, dedicated to innovative technologies included such events: a startup competition, which was held on the main stage, and B2B meetings between invited investors and startups, which took place in a separate room.
While preparing for the conference, we received more than 100 applications from Ukrainian innovators from different parts of the country, but the rules of the competition allowed only 30 best startups-representatives of various sectors of innovation to take part in the contest: Platform / Marketplace, SaaS, Hardware, Software, Manufacturing / New Materials, and others. The contest projects were divided into 4 blocks of 8 startups and in this order, in 4-minute pitches, each team had a possibility to present their ideas to the audience and highly esteemed jury.
The independent Judicial Council was composed of representatives of the Polish support ecosystem, that come both from the private and public sector:
- Jacek Ostrowski – board member, Cooperation Fund Foundation,
- Katarzyna Grondkowska – Investment Manager, Simpact Venture Capital,
- Krzysztof Grochowski – Head Expert of Polish – Ukrainian Startup Bridge Project,
- Borysław Czyżak – Head Expert of Foundation for Polish Science,
- Marcin Woźniak – CEO of AgriTechHub Fund and Managing Partner of KnowledgeHub Fund,
- Andrzej Żurawski – Board Member of Spinaker Venture Capital Fund.
Kyiv Tech Hub 2019 winners
All the presented projects have incredible potential and will certainly achieve their goals in the near future, but the main cash award of Kyiv Tech Hub’19 of 30 thousand PLN was awarded to two young ladies from Lviv Tatiana Dyvnych and Bogdana Khomyak, who created high-quality Events Terminal. A special prize from the friends of the project Simpact VC, in the form of research support and analysis of technology in the amount of up to 50 thousand zlotys was given to Yuri Bereznyi’s project Bioplastics (Biopolymers). In addition, the jury pointed out three very interesting projects that so far have achieved success and established itself at the international market: SPOKK, SPACE COSSACKS, and Pix Inc.
At the same time, each startup that has already been presented on the main stage of the conference received a wonderful experience of communication with investors in the format of B2B meetings (business-to-business), chaired by Project Manager of Polish-Ukrainian Startup Bridge Mykhailo Khaletskyi. The teams had a possibility to present their projects in person to the managing partners of the funds and to get their valuable remarks regarding business models, ideal group of consumers and possible investments in their projects. As organizers, it is in this format that we see the greatest value both for startups and investors. Entrepreneurs shared their experience and specifics of their projects, their strategy, and their advantages in the market. The B2B sessions were attended by representatives of successful Polish and world venture funds, for example, Agritech Hub, KnowledgeHub Starter, Spinaker Alfa, SpeedUp, ValueTech, Simpact VC, Almaz Capital.
The formal part of the conference was over at 20:00 and was followed by the most exciting moment of Kyiv Tech Hub’19, namely the ceremony of awarding of the winners and informal networking. Pleasant relaxing music and sparkling wine enganced the friendly atmosphere and made the evening a lot of fun. Thanks to everyone who had contributed to the success of this wonderful event, namely Krzysztof Siwek, counselor to Minister of Investments & Economic Development of Poland, Vladimir Zubchenko, our charismatic show-man; Wiktoria Braga, coordinator of cooperation with the Ministry of Investment and Economic Development of Poland, PUSB team: Krzysztof Grohowski, Lukasz Wawak, Mike Khaletskyi, Alina Hurova, Katarzyna Grondkowska, Galina Kravchenko, Marcel Samecki, Nikita Dolinskyi. Today we are honored to invite you to join the KYIV TECH HUB 2020 conference next year. Follow the details and news of the conference on Facebook and on our page.