Ukrainian Innovation Rises to The Challenge
Learn More About Our Ongoing Support For Ukrainian Innovators, On the Ground and Around the World
As we launch our latest Ukraine-focused program with U.S. Business Incubation, we invite you to learn more about the larger work of the GIST Initiative in supporting Ukraine over the last year and beyond. We believe in the strength and resiliency of the science and technology ecosystems of Ukraine and are continually inspired by their perseverance and vision in using innovation to build a new path forward. GIST has supported Ukrainian innovation across multiple fronts, including direct support of multiple Innovation Hubs spread throughout the country, as well as supporting Ukrainian innovators in attending global ecosystem events.
GIST is proud to support 7 different Ukrainian Innovation Hubs, each working tirelessly to help foster and support Ukraine’s innovation community, now more than ever in this challenging time. Despite the difficulties of the last year, these Innovation Hubs have been able to continue doing extraordinary work. Here are updates on the tremendous work being done in Ukraine from four of our official GIST Innovation Hubs.
Located in the Kyiv Polytechnic Institute, Sikorsky Challenge Ukraine seeks to unite the country's institutions (universities, research institutions, state and local authorities, corporations, and NGOs) in the development of the Ukrainian innovation economy. Sikorsky Challenge worked to implement the Startup School project, with the additional support of the USAID Economic Resilience Activity program. Twelve startup projects were developed in the program by professors and students trained within this effort. The startups then took part in the Festival of Innovation with 5 teams winning various prizes.
The leaders of the Sikorsky Challenge described it as “a great opportunity for the startup teams to present their projects at the national and international level, in front of experts in innovation, business angels, investment funds, and major high-tech companies. It was also a good chance for networking with colleagues, experts, and investors from other regions of Ukraine and abroad, to exchange experience in the development of the innovation clusters, and finding new partners. This prompted the startup teams to improve their business models, find new areas of application for their products, try new ways to find business partners, and more.”
Six months later, in February 2022, the presentation of these projects at the regional competition showed that the startup teams had used the experience to make significant progress in the development of their projects, with a selection of the ventures having signed collaboration agreements with larger companies and others receiving their first angel investments.