Today, for Ukraine, innovations, startups, small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) are that hope, that lifeline, that cornerstone, and that bet on which they bet and win (as the experience of South Korea and Israel shows). We understood this with the team even before February 24, starting to collect and organize the Startup Association, based on the community of 111 startups that participated in the anniversary of the Ukrainian Startup Fund (USF) https://lnkd.in/d8_yrsHr where they set a record. Actually, the team was formed then, because each of us represented our startup there.
On February 24, I was caught drafting the founding documents of the Association… I was forced to leave Kyiv, saving my children with my husband, we have four of them, the youngest was 2 years old at the time.
March-April… as everyone was in shock..,
but they already had an advantage because they were safe in Bulgaria. So they started helping without delay: my husband organized the charity fund “Dobro” to help Ukrainian refugees, and I did gather several startups and they did legally register the Ukrainian Association of Startups. It was necessary to have a legal entity in order to attract the support of partners and attract financing.
Main possessions since that time:
1. A super team that volunteers tirelessly and everyone does everything based on their experience. https://lnkd.in/dWqkJaFP And with Ukrainian startups, trust the experience!
2. International partners https://lnkd.in/djTEAADY , who supported us in difficult times and continue to do so!
3. Community of 100 startups, https://lnkd.in/d9zUC5C3 which currently has more than 160 and is constantly growing. Encouraging us to move forward!
4. Partner organizations in Ukraine, most of them are also public initiatives and associations: GS “Ukrainian Cluster Alliance”, NGO “Strategy of the Future”, NGO “Digital Future of Education” and many others. We would like to see more state institutions among them, but at the moment only the Ministry of Education and Culture, the Department of Innovation supports us.
Thanks to these assets, we were able to participate in the creation of such important tools within the framework of the project “Support of Ukrainian SMEs (SU4SMEs)”* as:
1. Creation of a platform of innovative projects https://lnkd.in/d65W8YMf
2. Creation of a professional consulting team https://lnkd.in/dwiE3g-j
3. Organization of the innovative investment forum INVESTinUA https://lnkd.in/dMwbXKj4
This is what is currently extremely necessary to support SMEs, startups, and innovators. Let’s move on…!
*within the international cooperation project ReACT4UA (“Application and implementation of the Association Agreement between the EU and Ukraine in the field of trade”) funded by the German government. The project is implemented by the German federal company Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH together with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in Ukraine