Earlier this month, the six most influential figures of the Ukrainian venture and startup scene in 2015 were named at iForum, a major industry event held in Kyiv (Kiev). This ranking was made by a board of 30 experts.
While Yevgen Sysoyev, Andrey Kolodyuk, Nataliia Berezovska, Victor Shaburov and Illia Kenigshtein had already been featured in such rankings in the past, this year’s number one, Oleksii Vitchenko, is appearing there for the first time.
Oleksii Vitchenko is the founder of Digital Future, one of the most active venture funds in Kyiv (Kiev). The fund has been involved in four deals since the beginning of the year. Its latest investment, just weeks ago, went to Softcube, a local product recommendation startup with global ambitions.
In December 2015, Digital Future celebrated its first exit, when Jeapie was acquired by Canadian mobile e-commerce solution provider Mobify.
Yevgen Sysoyev remains one of the most reputable experts of the Ukrainian startup scene. A year ago, he topped a similar ranking.
Sysoyev is managing partner at AVentures Capital, a major, internationally oriented Ukrainian fund. Among its portfolio companies are such renowned startups as Petcube, which raised $1.1 million in seed funding last month, and Augmented Pixels.
Industry veteran Andrey Kolodyuk founded AVentures Capital more than a decade ago. He is also the founder of Divan.TV, a Ukrainian OTT service which went global last month.
Kolodyuk is chairman of the supervisory board of the Ukrainian Venture Capital Association, which he co-founded in 2014.
Nataliia Berezovska is CEO at Detonate Ventures, a Ukrainian venture fund, as well as the head of UAngel, a Ukrainian business angels association.
Victor Shaburov is best known as the founder of Looksery, an Odessa-based startup which was acquired by Snapchat for a reported $150 million in September 2015. The acquisition was one the biggest ones in the Ukrainian tech industry’s history.
Over the past two years Internet entrepreneur and investor Ilia Kenigshtein has launched several initiatives to develop the Ukrainian startup ecosystem.
He has headed lobbying efforts to develop 3G Internet in Ukraine and to have PayPal make its services fully available in Ukraine – so far unsuccessfully.
Kenigshtein is also behind Mappedinua, an interactive tool that helps visualize the country’s innovation ecosystem. More recently, he launched ‘Creative Quarter,’ a co-working and creative space project in Lviv (Lvov) in western Ukraine.
In December 2014, the Ukrainian tech blog AIN.UA released its yearly ranking of the most influential individuals in the local Internet scene.