IDCEE 2014

IDCEE 2014: Investors and entrepreneurs gathered en masse in Kyiv ignoring “politicians’ bullshit”

Lifting any possible doubt about the resilience of Ukraine’s high-tech sector in these troubled times, the IDCEE conference was held brilliantly last week at the Olympic stadium of Kyiv (Kiev). Some 2,000 local and foreign startup entrepreneurs, venture investors, representative of small and large high tech and financial companies, industry experts and other IT people gathered in the gigantic venue.

In the startup area, the Ukrainian contingent was the most numerous – perhaps even more than in the event’s previous editions. This was not fully expected given the recent calls to boycott IDCEE for political reasons, as the main organizer’s husband, Sergiy Tigipko, used to belong to ex-president Viktor Yanukovich’s Party of Regions.

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Ukraine money

Government launches web instruments for investors willing to place money in Ukraine

In a new attempt to attract additional foreign money to Ukraine, the State Agency for Investment and National Projects is developing an interactive map that’s aimed at showing a potential investor all the possibilities at a glance. The agency presented a beta version of the map on Oct. 16.

It is part of the strategy that is supposed to bring as much as $40 billion in foreign investments by 2020. This comes as the agency’s last project since the Cabinet of Ministers disbanded it on Sept. 10 and passed its functions to the Economy Ministry.

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Maidan revolutionary releases app for creating video-maps of the world

Ukrainian developers have released VideoMap, a free mobile app that allows owners of Android smartphones and tablets to create their own maps and add photos and videos, reports tech blog AIN.UA. On the map, these photos and videos are identified with special icons, which will allow the user to see what was shot in a particular place.

Photos and videos can be shot directly in the app and downloaded to the map or users can download materials which have already been prepared.

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Broadband Ukraine

Legislative initiatives to boost IT sector: What does the future hold?

Ukraine’s information technology companies already have considerable benefits, including cheaper taxes, but the industry is looking for improvement from new faces in government who understand the IT world.

One of the repeatedly stated goals of the new Ukrainian government — and of the new parliament, which will be elected on Oct. 26 — is to turn the country into an innovative state where the information technology business is acknowledged as an important part of the economy.

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Screen Shot 2014-10-15 at 12.47.07

Ukrainian oligarch Viktor Pinchuk strikes media-for-equity deal with top fashion e-commerce site

The Ukrainain Internet store, has agreed a media-for-equity transaction with broadcasting group company StarLightMedia, a property of Ukrainian billionaire Viktor Pinchuk. According to the parties to the agreement, this represents the first such deal in the Ukrainian market.

The essence of the deal is that StarLightMedia will provide concessional TV advertising on its sites valued at $3.2 million. In exchange, the media-holding firm will receive equity in the startup. The size of the share has not been disclosed. The deal is due to be closed by the end of next month.

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A high-tech black market for stolen credit card details in former Soviet countries is worth $680m

In the former USSR countries, criminal activities with stolen credit cards have created a market of $680 million. This accounts for 27% of the total high-tech crime market, says a report released by Russian cyber security firm Group-IB, covering the period from July 2013 and June 2014. The analysts say that today “Russian-speaking hackers are still one of the most important origins of global high-tech crime trends.”

Among the analysts’ findings in regard to the black market for cards is that it currently looks like any other legitimate online market. Over the past years, it has become structured and “complete with wholesalers and online trading platforms,” so that criminal customers can go through offered stolen credit card numbers as if they were doing shopping on Amazon or any other e-commerce platform. One of the biggest players in this black market is a hacker nicknamed Rescator, who allegedly lives in Ukraine.

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Computer Ukraine

Report: Almost two thirds of Ukraine’s 75,000 developers live in Kyiv and Kharkiv, salaries remain high

How many IT specialists work in Ukraine and how much do they earn? Which developer are most in-demand in the labor market and why do junior specialists struggle to find their first job? Last week at the IDCEE conference Maksim Ischenko, who founded, a portal for developers, and, a service for job-seekers, presented insights into the Ukrainian IT market by the numbers and talked about what should be expected from it in the coming year.

In Ukraine, there are currently 75,000 developers, 15,000 of whom work in major companies. 45% of developers in Ukraine live in Kyiv (Kiev), 18% reside in Kharkiv (Kharkov), and 9.3% call Lviv (Lvov) home. Dnipropetrovsk (Dnepropetrovsk) and Odessa come in 4th and 5th place, respectively.

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Petcube receives grants from Global Technology Foundation and prepares for $1.5 million seed-stage round

Last week at the IDCEE international tech conference in Kyiv (Kiev) the Global Technology Foundation (GTF) awarded hardware startup Petcube a grant of 240,000 hryvnias (approximately $18,500). The Foundation’s jury believes Petcube is the best Ukrainian startup, due to the fact that it is now well-known in Europe and the US and that it has a good audience and sales.

Petcube is working on a gadget designed to allow pet-owners to remotely chat and play with their animal through a mobile app. Thanks to the idea and quality PR, the company has picked up no less than $500,000 on Kickstarter from more than 1,700 backers.

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Pro-Ukrainian hackers have leaked secret documents from Donetsk insurgents, Crimea, and Russia

Pro-Ukrainian hackers have reported that they have hacked the Crimean cells of the Donetsk People’s Republic, as the insurgents of Eastern Ukraine call themselves (abbreviated as “DNR” in Russian). This has resulted in an online database of documents and photo-materials from the DNR, representatives of Russian nationalist organizations in Crimea, and representatives of government agencies from the Russian Federation.

The database, to which the hackers offer free access, contains many documents relating to projects within the DNR, secret services and dispatches, scans of documents of Ukrainian citizens, and many more.

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Academia - students - education

Bionic University and MacPaw will teach students programming for iOS for free

Non-profit educational initiative Bionic University, which was created as a part of currently frozen Bionic Hill project, has teamed up with Ukrainian software development company MacPaw to launch free courses on creating applications for Apple’s iOS operating system.

After completing a 2.5 months-long course, students are expected to be able to write an app from scratch in the Objective-C programming language. The new courses dubbed “iOS Dev Core” and “iOS Dev Advanced” are aimed at people with university-level knowledge of Java, C or C++ programming language and basic understanding of Objective-C.

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