Ukrainian businesses, government institutions and activists unite to organise the first-ever national pavilion at the largest tech conference in the world
For the first time in history, Ukraine will present its own pavilion at the world’s largest tech conference Web Summit. This has become possible due to the combined efforts of the co-organizers — Ukrainian Startup Fund, Ministry of Digital Transformation, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Embassy of Ukraine in Portugal, Sigma Software Group, Ukrainian Hub, Еuropean Business Association, iplace digital agency — and partners Digital Future, Kyivstar, Parimatch Tech, Rocket, Fondy, Avenga, ISSP, Concord Fintech Solutions, UNIT.City, and IT EDUCATION DEVELOPMENT.
The Ukrainian community has always been represented at Web Summit by a large number of companies. The appearance of our own pavilion for the first time is a signal that we are perceived as serious and influential players in the technology field. It is extremely important for a country’s image to be well represented at an event that encoumpasses the whole ecosystem.Alexandra Govorukha, a representative of the organizing committee, and head of international PR at Sigma Software Group also believes that the creation of a national pavilion at events of such scale is the best path and next logical step for Ukraine.
Just a few whooping numbers about this premier event in the tech space:
- More than 70,000 people attended the Summit in 2019, and in 2020 over 100,000 joined remotely when it was held online
- 168 countries were represented at the event in 2020
- Over 1,200 speakers gave speeches in 2019, and over 1,130 in 2020
- Each year the Summit gathers at least 2,000 startups, 1,100 investors, and 2,200 media representatives
This year on November 1st, Web Summit returns to the Portuguese capital for the first in-person event in two years. Among the speakers are the inventor of the world wide web Tim Berners-Lee, Microsoft president Brad Smith, Twitter co-founder Biz Stone, Amazon CTO Dr Werner Vogels, and many others.
Being there is a great opportunity for companies to find new clients, partners, investors and talent.
Ukrainians at Web Summit
Although it is the first official Ukrainian stand at the Summit, Ukrainians have been organising side events there since 2017.
Four years ago the UTEW Tech Tribe community led by Alexandra Govorukha and Inna Stelmakh organized a Ukrainian meetup for more than 150 guests with speakers from the US, Germany and Ireland.
In 2019 a Surf Pitch Night was held by Ukrainian tech ecosystem players (UTEW Tech Tribe, TechUkraine, IT Ukraine), government institutions (Export Promotion Office) and backed by international NGOs and funds (USAID Ukraine and GIZ Ukraine, USAID Competitive Economy Program in Ukraine). At this event, 21 startup founders pitched to the 200 international guests from Techstars, Startup Lisboa, and other leading accelerators and funds. The same year UNIT.City innovation park organized a Ukrainian party where they gathered more than 300 guests.
Next step: A Ukraine’s pavilion
With its rapidly evolving tech ecosystem, this year Ukraine is taking a step forward by organizing the very first national pavilion to represent its startups, IT service companies, funds and innovations at their best. It will be open and available during the entire conference in the 1st pavilion.
As of today, Ukraine’s IT industry is booming and is growing five times faster (25%) than the global average (4-6%). Here are some striking numbers:
- 5,000 IT companies
- 250,000 developers
- 5 unicorns
- Ukrainian startups raised $2 billion in VC investments in 6 years
- By 2025, the industry is projected to generate $10 billion
In my personal view, many Ukrainian startups are quite confident and well-prepared to enter international markets with their products. For a startup it is vitally important to be able to scale in the most efficient and easiest way possible, so USF is eager to facilitate this process. I’m confident that Web Summit is a special and unique platform and a great opportunity for networking and accelerationsays Pavlo Kartashov, CEO of Ukrainian Startup Fund.
Organisers will hold a special presentation that will be included in the official agenda of the Web Summit. On the 2nd of November, prominent Ukrainian tech companies will represent the Ukrainian tech ecosystem. The General Partner of the presentation is Digital Future, a venture capital firm that focuses on seed and early-stage investments in tech companies with Ukrainian DNA.
The joint presentation of the Ukrainian pavilion at the biggest and most well-known tech conference in Europe — Web Summit, is an indicator that business and government are moving in the same direction. Ukraine is about to become a powerful global IT hub. We have many things to offer other countries: digital public services, innovative projects and a developed IT industry. Participation in the Web Summit will have a positive effect on improving the image of Ukraine as a digital state for the future and as a favourable location for investorssays Mykhailo Fedorov, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Digital Transformation of Ukraine.
Additionally, in order to support and strengthen the brand of Ukraine as a high-tech country — Mykhailo Fedorov, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Digital Transformation of Ukraine, will deliver a separate presentation on one of the Web Summit’s stages. The Minister is going to present the top achievements of Ukrainian digitalization over the past 2 years with a special focus on the Diia ecosystem. He also plans to highlight the topics that might be of high interest to investors and IT specialists: special legal framework Diia City with tax optimization for the IT industry and the e-Residency project.
Ukrainians are known worldwide for their IT skills and creativity. As the government is introducing a special legal framework for IT companies – Diia City, we expect further development of Ukraine as a European hub for innovation and R&D. Ukraine’s participation in Web Summit 2021 became possible thanks to the joint efforts of the Ukrainian government and the private sectorsays Dmytro Senik, Deputy Foreign Minister of Ukraine, Chief Digital Transformation Officer.
Later that night a special Ukrainian evening reception will take place at one of Lisbon’s venues. The partners of this event are Kyivstar, a leading Ukrainian telecommunications company, a member of the International Telecom Group VEON and UNIT.City innovation park.
Our IT companies provide services in many areas that are booming now: Big Data, Telecom, Cloud services, E-Commerce, FinTech, etc. Also, according to Skillvalue, Ukrainian developers ranked 4th in Europe and 5th in the world in terms of service quality. So, now is the right time to show the brilliance of Ukrainian IT at the national stand.Anna Derevyanko, European Business Association Executive Director highlights that Ukrainian IT is actively developing and is gradually becoming a leading sector of the economy
On top of that, 14 teams will pitch their startups to investors. 10 of these were selected and are being sponsored by the Ukrainian Startup Fund via a competitive selection. These are the start-ups: SPOKK, Organization GG, Wantent, GIOS, Carbominer, Skyworker, Clasee, DJOOKY, AutoBI, Finmap. They will receive a promo voucher with funding of up to $3,000 per team*. (*The voucher does not include the entrance ticket)
Another 4 startups will be chosen and backed by the Ukrainian Hub (supported by CRDF Global) on October 5th.