Could Ukraine follow Israel’s path in building a “startup nation?” This is the scenario which many in Ukraine’s high-tech industry are hoping for, considering the country’s abundant and highly skilled IT specialists and its fast-growing startup ecosystem. The analogy with Israel also suggests that even a country affected by serious security threats may succeed on this path.
Some steps to realize this best-case scenario are being made by Kyiv (Kiev)-based business accelerator GrowthUP, in partnership with California-based entrepreneur network AmBAR and tech conference SVOD. Their joint program, christened “Israel-Ukraine Tech Bridge,” has started with a series of conferences offered in Kyiv by top representatives of the Israeli tech community.
This past November Nadav Lankin, founder of Lean Jerusalem at Lean Startup Machine, was the first guest within the program. The Israeli serial entrepreneur participated in a ‘fireside chat’ at Chasopys, a startup co-working place in central Kyiv.
The discussion concerned the latest trends in the Jerusalem startup ecosystem, the principles of ‘Lean Startup Education’ – which Lankin considers to be the best source of high-quality deal flow – and the subtleties of business models and business plans.
The “fire chat” with Nadav Lankin at a Kyiv café included intensive brainstorming
Also participating was Elizabeth Solovyova, the Israeli commercial attaché in Ukraine, who offered a presentation on the development of tech cooperation between the two countries.
A tech miracle in Ukraine?
“No surprise here – the tech community of Kiev is booming,” wrote Lankin following his trip, which also included meetings with business school and university students.
Considering Ukraine to be “the ‘best’ code-outsourcer in the world,” the Israeli startup expert expects to see “the next high-tech miracle” coming from there.
Lankin praised such figures of the local startup scene as GrowthUP founder Dennis Dovgopoliy for having created “a really amazing ‘Startup Factory’ to produce and replicate many of the innovative and creative startups made in the past decade” and for having connected the Ukrainian ecosystem “with all leading startup metropolitans all over the world.”
In December, the following guest was Guy Klajman, who founded eMonetization LTD after a decade of experience in major global tech companies and succesful startups.
Last month, another Israeli Ori Lahav – co-founder at Outbrain and a former eBay advertising executive – came to Kyiv to share his thoughts on efficient content management.
“One of the problems of our industry is the lack of access to global expertise. This gap can be filled partly by conferences, which make good content and networking available locally. In our opinion, experienced entrepreneurs and investors who visit our country and conduct focused events on a regular basis could bring our entrepreneurial ecosystem to a new level,” commented Dovgopoliy.
GrowthUP sees the Israel-Ukraine Tech Bridge as “the first stage of a large program to support the Ukrainian technology sector and venture-capital investment from the international community.”