€40,000 for Ukrainian Military and a Startup in the Top Pitching Competition: What Web Summit 2024 Brought to Ukraine

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Over 1,5 million Ukrainian hryvnias (appx €40.000) were raised for Ukrainian military forces at the Ukrainian charity auction held during Web Summit 2023. Ukrainian teams showcased their IT products to investors, engaged with representatives of leading international media, and established over a thousand new contacts. Here are the key insights from the summit.


What is Web Summit

Web Summit is the world’s largest technology conference and international platform for IT networking, partnership building, and investment. This year, the event brought together over 70,000 participants who established over 750,000 connections.


Artificial Intelligence and Female Leadership

One of the main themes of Web Summit 2023 was Artificial Intelligence. Serhiy Tokarev noted that the future impact of Artificial Intelligence on society would be associated with the development of human potential and increased work efficiency. Tokarev is an IT entrepreneur and co-founder of the technology company Roosh, which became the general partner of the Ukrainian delegation.

“To me, AI is more than just artificial but rather Augmented Intelligence. For a long time, a human with AI will remain stronger than AI alone. This technology is gradually taking over certain tasks, freeing people from repetitive and monotonous work and making them more efficient,” remarked Serhiy Tokarev.

Many presentations at Web Summit were dedicated to the theme of female leadership and how to make the tech environment conducive to women. Tara Chklovski, founder and CEO of Technovation, a program for AI entrepreneurship for young women, emphasized that 11 million men are working in the field of technology, compared to only three million women.

In the Ukrainian pavilion, among others, there was Elizaveta Korenko, the head of the educational project STEM is FEM, which encourages girls to choose tech professions. She shared insights on combating gender inequality and inspiring girls to engage in science and technology. Elizaveta also shared her unique experience in creating educational projects for youth during the war.

“Immediately after the COVID-19 pandemic, Russia began a full-scale invasion of Ukraine. We faced air alerts, missile attacks, and power outages. However, this did not hinder the development of our education, business, and technology. Crisis management skills are what Ukraine can teach the world,” emphasized the speaker.


Ukraine at Web Summit

For the first time, Ukraine was officially represented at the Web Summit in 2021. At that time, the Ukrainian delegation presented a mobile application and portal called Diia, the legal and tax space Diia.City, and the e-Residency project.

This year, at the Web Summit, Ukraine showcased 25 startups and scale-ups in various fields, ranging from AI to ecology and psychology. Three projects were developed by students from the Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute, including a bionic hand prosthesis, a drone for exploring water bodies, and technologies for reconnaissance drones overcoming electronic warfare means. S.Lab, a Ukrainian startup specializing in ecological packaging, made it to the top 10 of the pitching competition and presented its project on the main stage of the summit.

Iryna Volnytska, the president of the SET University, participated in one of the panels. She noted that today Ukraine can become a platform for testing international technological projects.

“There is no better place in the world than Ukraine to test miltech projects. The war has pushed numerous outstanding engineers in Ukraine to be involved in developing tech solutions. If you are looking for innovation, you should visit Ukraine,” emphasized Volnytska.


Raising €40,000 at a Charity Auction

On November 15, the Ukrainian delegation, along with partners, organized the Free People Gathering networking evening, during which they conducted a charity auction. In addition to Ukrainians, the event gathered over 150 representatives from the German, Portuguese, British, and American delegations.

“We auctioned off 10 lots, and each of them had a story behind it. The most valuable items for me were ones signed by Valerii Zaluzhnyi [the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine] and a flag signed by Kyrylo Budanov [Chief of the Main Directorate of Intelligence of Ukraine]. Thanks to the generous donations of the participants, we managed to raise funds for two mobile bath complexes for our military. The cost of one is 20,000 euros,” shared Serhiy Tokarev on Facebook.


Web Summit 2023 Results for Ukraine

Despite nearly two years of the full-scale invasion, Ukrainian IT specialists lay themselves out for 200% and create powerful technological projects that global funds are willing to invest in. Today, more than ever, Ukraine is open to international cooperation—and, as Web Summit demonstrates, the world is also interested in Ukraine, its companies, and projects.

The participation of the Ukrainian delegation was made possible through the joint efforts of co-organizers: the Ministry of Digital Transformation of Ukraine, the Ukrainian Startup Fund, and the Ukrainian Hub, with the support of the USAID Competitive Economy of Ukraine Program and the Embassy of Ukraine in Portugal. The general partner was Roosh, and partners included WNISEF, UNIT.City, GENESIS, Flyer One Ventures, the NOVA group (Nova Poshta), and the Ukrainian American Coordinating Council.

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