The Ukrainian UA Tech Expo Pavilion, organized by the Ukrainian Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (UVCA) with the support of the Western NIS Enterprise Fund (WNISEF), was successfully presented at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), one of the largest consumer electronics conferences, held on 9-12 January in Las Vegas, USA.
This year the Ukrainian pavilion consisted of 10 successful startups, which is 2 more than in 2017.
This year, UA Tech Expo was represented by 10 successful startups that were selected as part of the contest held by UVCA with the support of WNISEF. We can already say that the participation of Ukrainian companies has been successful, as some of them have already been able to sell their product or to establish partnerships with the representatives of companies like Tesla, Lockheed Martin, Bosch, Samsung. In addition, the companies have expanded their business connections with the US, Korea, Japan, Germany, India and others. Now it's important to keep doing the "homework" to consolidate and multiply the results.
Executive Director of UVCA
In recent years the IT industry in Ukraine has seen a remarkable leap forward. And platforms such as CES help showcase the newest developments of Ukrainian innovations to the world. Last year 7 of 8 startups at the CES Ukrainian pavilion attracted some financing and all of them received invaluable contacts that helped their businesses to grow. This year we brought 10 of the most innovative hardware Ukrainian startups to CES who were given the same chance to present their cutting edge innovations to industry stakeholders and strategic partners from all over the world. Our participants made very valuable contacts and some of them have already started negotiating with the buyers and distributors from different countries. We see a strong interest from global companies to do business with Ukrainian tech companies, and believe that in the coming years we will hear more about innovations with "made in Ukraine" label.
Team Lead at U.Ventures,
an early stage investment arm of Western NIS Enterprise Fund
From the state’s side in 2018 UA Tech Expo was supported by the Minister of Finance Oleksandr Danyliuk for the first time, who participated in the official opening ceremony held on January 10 at Eureka Park. According to him, our country has all chances to become one of the main IT-centers in Europe, because we have excellent startups, developed infrastructure, highly skilled specialists. The minister stressed that the Ukrainian government understands the need to create better conditions for business and is ready to work on it.
Startups that were part of the UA Tech Expo after the busy days of the conference already had time to share the impressions and results from participating in the CES-2018.
The CES was very successful for Kwambio. We received the first pre-orders for the supply of 4 printers this summer. Also we made deals with distributors in 7 countries (USA, Canada, Germany, Italy, Chile, Turkey, India), received requests for cooperation and use of our technology from companies such as Sony, Lockheed Martin, Tesla.
CEO at Kwambio
AgriEye received preliminary agreements with agricultural enterprises totalling 125,000 acres, where the overall potential of contracts is 725 thousand dollars. We also received 3 offers from accelerators and 2 offers from the institutional venture fund. 2 institutional VCs from UVCA have also shown interest in our product.
CEO at AgriEye
It is important to note that UVCA and WNISEF provided full organizational and financial support in preparing for CES-2018, which allowed startups to concentrate on preparing their product presentations.
In addition, a 3-day CES Bootcamp was held, where mentors from Ukraine and the United States prepared the participants for the conference and provided valuable advice on how to successfully present their company to investors, clients and international media.
Participation of Ukrainian startups in CES caused a lively interest from Ukrainian media outlets - not only specialized ones, but also the all-Ukrainian media outlets told the public about the achievements of Ukrainian innovators.
For example, Voice of America conducted a series of livestreams and shot several stories about the Ukrainian pavilion, which was already watched by over 20 thousand people. In addition, the online version of the brochure with Ukrainian startups at CES has already been reviewed more than 5 thousand times.
We are pleased to see the positive dynamics, comparing to 2017, both in the quality of companies presenting, and in the attention from the local and foreign public, which is increasingly interested in Ukrainian innovations. It is also important to have state support in order to bring about our startups to a higher level. This year we took into account all these aspects and got a fairly high result, which we hope to surpass next year.
Ukrainian Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (UVCA) has been established by the example of the European Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (InvestEurope), and currently unites 46 members – leaders of the international and Ukrainian investment market: Almaz Capital, AVentures Capital, Digital Future, Horizon Capital, HP Tech Ventures, Intel Capital, EBRD etc. The Association shapes the future direction of the private equity industry by promoting investment opportunities in Ukraine, representing interests of private equity investors to policymakers and improving investment and business climate in Ukraine.
Western NIS Enterprise Fund (WNISEF) is a $150 million regional fund, a pioneer in Ukraine and Moldova with more than two decades of successful experience in investing in small and medium-sized companies. WNISEF was funded by the U.S. government via the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). Since its inception 20 years ago, WNISEF’s cumulative investments total over $168 million to 118 companies employing around 25 000 people and made it possible to unlock $1.5 billion for companies in Ukraine and Moldova. In 2015 WNISEF has launched a $35 million legacy program focused on export promotion, local economic development, impact investing and economic leadership. WNISEF is funding innovative, high-impact, reform focused programs aimed to transform lives of the ordinary people in Ukraine and Moldova.