Ten best-in-class Internet-of-Things and hardware startups were selected at the second edition of the UVCA IT Day earlier this month.
These startups will exhibit for free at the Ukrainian Expo of the International Consumer Electronic Show in Las Vegas in early January 2018, with the support of industry association UVCA and USAID-backed fund WNISEF.
Chosen out of 20 finalists and 80 initial applicants, the selected startups are the following:
- Senstone, an AI-powered wearable voice recorder. The startup raised $302,023, six times more than the pledged amount, from 2,745 backers via Kickstarter earlier this year. The shipment of the first batch is scheduled for the end of 2017, while the rest of the devices will be delivered in 2018, Markiyan Matsekh, Senstone’s co-founder told Ukraine Digital News.
- EIT Backpack, touted as “the first backpack with an LED screen.”
- Kidslox, a Ukrainian-British startup which helps parents “control kids’ mobile device time.” Its technological and business development teams are located in Ukraine. Last year the startup won the Startup Battle organized by Startup.Network as part of a series of industry events.
- Kray Technologies, a US-headquartered startup with Ukrainian roots, which touts its product as “the world’s first drone that can be used for applying crop protection at an industrial scale for almost all crop production farms.” Last month the company secured an undisclosed amount of funding from Ukrainian investment company Chernovetskyi Investment Group (CIG) and three individual investors.
- Kwambio, a US-based on-demand manufacturing platform which 3D prints ceramic and metal objects. Founded in 2013, Kwambio entered into a 3-month-long summer program at the TechStars accelerator in Boston and secured $650,000 from it in June 2015.
- MMone, a Ukrainian-founded startup offering “the world’s first three-axis virtual reality simulator, in the form of chair attached to an industrial robot-like arm that moves in response to the action in a video game.”
- PassivDom, a Ukrainian-founded startup offering “sustainable self-learning modular houses using 3D-printing technology.”
- Agrieye, a Ukrainian-founded AI-powered agritech startup aimed to help farmers in the US. Currently, the company is participating in the acceleration program by Norwegian Katapult accelerator. Agrieye is looking for $3.5 million to scale on the US market.
- LaMetric, designed by Smart Atoms, a London-headquartered startup with Ukrainian roots, presents itself as “an Internet-connected clock that makes your space unique with charming clock faces, controls smart home with a glance, tracks business metrics in real time, creates music atmosphere with the dance of pixels.” The product is already available via Amazon.
- Discoperi, a Ukrainian-founded Madrid-based startup offering an AI-enhanced road safety control system called “Eye.”
Cubomania, a team from Mykolaiv (Nikolaev), Southern Ukraine, offering interactive toy cubes for kids, won in the “Audience Choice” nomination. Earlier this year this startup received a 800,000 hryvnia grant (roughly $30,000) at the third edition of international engineering startup competition Vernadsky Challenge.
In addition to the free exhibition stand with their individual design and branding, the selected startups will benefit from additional media coverage, both local and international, as well as mentoring and other assistance.
The board of jury included prominent local and international investors, including:
- Yuliya Sychikova of AVentures Capital, a major early stage venture capital fund based in Ukraine.
- Vitaly Golomb of HP Tech Ventures, the venture arm of the US computer company, which joined the Ukrainian Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (UVCA) last year
- Andriy Dovzhenko of Ukrainian investment fund SMRK
- Michael Kharenko of CYFRD Investment
Seven out of eight startups which participated in the exhibition last year have already attracted investment, according to Olga Afanasyeva, UVCA’s executive director. Jointly organized by UVCA and WNISEF, the event was supported by iHUB, a Kyiv- (Kiev-) based IT innovation center.