What better way to highlight the fantastic ideas coming out of the Ukrainian science and technology innovation space than to showcase 18 of the most promising startup teams? That is exactly what occurred on Tuesday the 1st of December, 2020. The 8-week GIST Innovates Ukraine program culminated with a demo day, providing the program participants with a virtual audience to present their solutions and business plans. The audience included ecosystem partners, program contributors, program instructors, and corporate partners.
As lead GIST Innovates Ukraine instructor, Heath Naquin from VentureWell, pointed out, the GIST Innovates Ukraine program has become a flagship for the U.S. Department of State’s efforts to promote science and technology entrepreneurship in Ukraine.
Participants in the program pitched their solutions live via video before opening up to questions from a panel of innovation experts.
One of the featured presentations included a moving showcase from the animalstem+ team. The team’s solution treats critically injured animals with an innovative new method. Through their solution, previously terminal cases now have a renewed chance of recovery.
Carbopulse, a firefighter health monitoring system, used the GIST Innovates program as a jumping off point to conduct product-market research. The team worked directly with Ukrainian firefighters in Kyiv who praised the product. In their process they surveyed over 50 firefighters to gain better insights into their needs. As the team explained, the research helped to illustrate that their product does in fact extend functionality beyond anything else on the market. The team plans rapid expansion into other areas of high risk including the military, mining, and chemical production.
Another inspiring solution came from the Krovospas team. Their solution, designed for emergency injuries, effectively stops arterial bleeding within moments. The product has already been utilized by the Armed Forces of Ukraine. As Krovospas team member Anton Naumenko stated, “The Ukrainian military protects Ukraine but Krovospas protects them.”
Of the many special guests at demo day, participants were congratulated by Victoria Haidar from the Ukrainian Ministry of Education and Science. Ms. Haidar praised GIST’s work in Ukraine, thanking the U.S. Department of State for nurturing the national innovation network in Ukraine.
U.S. Embassy Kyiv Economic Analyst at U.S. Embassy Kyiv, Nicole Johnstone also congratulated the participants and encouraged the teams to continue their innovation journeys.
Lastly, in attendance was executive director of the Ukrainian Venture Capital and Private Equity Association, Dr. Olga Afanasieva. The 50-member-strong UVCA provides one of the most critical components of any entrepreneurship ecosystem--capital.