On January 2017, the whole technological world was showing up the best innovations at the 50-th International Consumer Electronic Show (СES-2017), which every year takes place in Las Vegas and attracts more than 200 thousands visitors from all over the globe. This year, for the first time in the history of CES Ukraine organized its national expo, where the brightest startups presented their products. UaTech Expo Zone was jointly organized by the Ukrainian Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (UVCA) and Western NIS Enterprise Fund (WNISEF).
To choose the best 8 companies that are worthwhile to be exhibited in frames of the first national expo, UVCA organized contest “UVCA Challenge: CES Edition”, which had been conducted in three stages. Primary there were around 60 applications received. Secondly, 16 startups were selected by the expert committee, which consisted of international investors – members of UVCA. And finally these 16 chosen companies were pitching on October 12 to become one of the 8 selected winners and to have the opportunity to present product at CES.
UaTech Expo Zone was located in Eureka Park next to France, Holland, Israel, Chezh Republic etc..Overall there were 7 countries exhibiting their achievements, and Ukraine was one those.
"I am convinced that the IT-industry is certainly one of the most prospective sectors of Ukrainian economy. Today information technologies are penetrating all spheres of human activity, and the IT sector is growing rapidly. Ukraine is among the top countries with a pool of original startups, many of which stay only as ideas because of the lack of financing or even a chance to present themselves. By supporting 8 Ukrainian startups at CES-2017 in Las Vegas we open new possibilities for these promising startups at a global level, showing the world that Ukraine is not only an outsourcing country but a country with its own unique IT products"
President and CEO of Western NIS Enterprise Fund
Aside from 8 startups at the UaTech Expo in Eureka Park, there were companies taking part in CES separately. Generally there were around 20 exhibitors from Ukraine at CES 2017: some of them, like Petcube, Concepter, LaMetric, were participating not the first time, but also there were those that showed up only in 2017 – Mevics, ARTKB, which was presenting HushMe and Clovitek and IoT Hub, gathering 5 startups.
"Last year Ukraine was only represented by those companies that were singly exhibiting at CES. Nobody really thought there about Ukraine – entrepreneurs are selling the product, but not the country. Being the Executive Director of UVCA, my goal is to promote our national opportunities in a big scope. With our members, we are not only willing to give a start to Ukrainian startups and let them take part at the biggest technological event in the world, but also to help them to get maximum value from such opportunities. I do believe that we will keep on with implementing this initiative and more companies will be able to build global enterprises without moving out from Ukraine"
Executive Director of UVCA
In preparing the Ukrainian Expo, UVCA and WNISEF took all organizational and material responsibilities to let startups have more time for finishing products, pitches and presentation materials. So the final list of participants of the first Ukrainian Expo at CES was completed with:
Special thanks to Hideez team for preparing great visuals for UaTech
By the words of participants of UaTech Expo Zone, in only 4 days that CES had been lasting they received more important contacts, valuable feedback and conducted more meetings, than during months working home.
"If to summarize results of exhibiting at CES 2017 for Hideez, I can point out that we have given out more 20 devices to journalists and experts for the review, received 5 partnership offers on supplying Hideez key to specialized trading networks, have agreed joining at least three relevant for us cyber-security alliances"
"Cardiomo has attracted attention of investors from all around the world, furthermore there are distributors in U.S., Mexico, Europe and even Kazakhstan that are ready to sell our product. We were also pleased to receive a perfect feedback from cardiologists visiting us – Cardiomo device was verified by them just right at our booth. And all these results are incredibly important for us, even without mentioning we have got 130+ pre-orders from visitors"
CTO and Cofounder of Cardiomo
An important thing for UVCA in preparing to CES is helping startups in scaling their marketing strategy and improving presentation skills. Before going to Las Vegas, Association conducted several meetings for startups with investors and industry professionals that were sharing experience on how to act at the exhibition or what marketing tools could be used. During CES by itself, UVCA had also organized the press conference and interview for the “Voice of America” – having lots of journalist involved and 15 thousand people watching video-report from CES, Association put a spotlight on Ukrainian opportunities and exhibiting startups in particular.
Ukraine once again has proved the high competitiveness of its technical talents at the global market, showing undeniable potential and professionalism of our developers. Despite the ecosystem of startups being within its Early Stage, the process of structuring and institutionalization in this sector is taking place nowadays, where we can see the market's transformation from quantity into quality. Today it is a well-known fact that founders from all around the world come to our country to find a technical co-founder: here in Ukraine, we have a lot of people with strong technical backgrounds. At the same time, Ukrainian entrepreneurs are no less competitive because of their spirit – we are striving turning the great ideas into innovative global companies. And those are definitely being built under the human energy of new tech-generation.