CES 2019: how Ukrainian startups conquered Las Vegas06 Feb 2019

On Thursday, January 31, the organizers of Ukraine Tech Pavilion, which was held within the framework of CES 2019, as well as startups representing Ukraine in the pavilion gathered at 1991 Civic Tech Center.

Consumer Electronics Show is an international technological exhibition held in Las Vegas every January. Ukraine was represented by the national technological pavilion for the third year in 2019 with the support of UVCA - Ukrainian Venture Capital and Private Equity Association, Western NIS Enterprise Fund and Concepter.

Organizers of the pavilion Olga Afanasyeva, Executive Director of UVCA - Ukrainian Venture Capital and Private Equity Association and Yegor Kurguzov, Product Manager at Concepter, as well as the representatives of startups Yaroslav Kaplan, CEO at FunLight - атракціон інтерактивних проекцій, Vladislav Guritstrimba, CEO & Founder at IGlam: The First Intelligent Jewelry Set, Alina Zhoha, CEO at RAWR, Yaroslav Nelyubov, CEO & Founder at Photon_LMS and Nikita Vladykin, CEO at nuka.

During the meeting, we spoke about how to prepare for CES properly, how to get selected into the national pavilion, how it was arranged, and shared the secrets and own experience of participation in CES.

The visa is the main problem, because it's not easy to get, so it is advisable to submit the documents as soon as possible. It turned out that from our entire team I was the only one who got the visa. Being alone at the booth is very difficult, you need to take a minimum of three team members - the flow of people at the stand is constant.

Yaroslav Nelyubov
CEO & founder Photon_LMS

Be prepared to tell about your project at any time of day or night. CES closes at 6 o'clock in the evening. One day at 18:15 we are already closing the booth, packing the equipment. When two men approach us - seemingly insignificant. They ask us: What are you doing? I say: we have a cool project here, but we have already packed everything, come back tomorrow morning. But my colleague caught on and began to describe the product in details. These two guys turned out to be Vice President of Virtual Reality at Snapchat and Apple's Innovation Director. We connected on LinkedIn. Therefore, our main advice to those who plan to go to CES - always be ready to tell about yourself: in an elevator, a bar, whether you’re sober, drunk or tired - it does not matter. The main investor can turn up at any moment.

Yaroslav Kaplan
СЕО at FunLight

Determine exactly what contacts you need. People come, but there is little time, therefore, from this flow you should learn to immediately navigate who and for what purpose is suitable for you - investor, media, or just a passer by - and, depending on that, build further communication. There is even a type of such visitors at CES - "spies" who love to seek out interesting ideas to copy. They can be distinguished by two features: they are looking at the product itself very closely, but do not ask questions, and carefully hide their badges.

Alina Zhoga
CEO at RAWR

Convert each visitor into a useful contact. This applies not only to investors and partners. If a casual visitor is not interested in your product, ask what he is doing - maybe he can help your business. If it's interesting - take a contact and write a follow up letter. For us, the exhibition converted into 3,5 thousand potential orders. And around a thousand came from the exhibition itself - just the retailers. There were also many contacts of buyers, and that’s almost everyone who could be contacted in our field - for example, Staples - the largest network of stationery stores in the US.

Nikita Vladikin
CEO at nuka

Work with the media systemically. All startups registered for the CES get access to the list of media with the contacts of journalists covering the event. And this is the most valuable resource. We sent around 400 emails to these addresses, but it was December, and the Christmas holidays in the United States have already started, so about 10% of those to whom we sent letters came to our stand. It is necessary to do this in advance - a month or two prior, start writing in October-November, inviting journalists in person - so that the likelihood of them coming to you is greater.

Vladislav Guristribuba
СЕО at iGlam

Here you can find all the photos from the event.