On February 5, the Ukrainian Startup Fund held its 21st Pitch Day to select startups for state financing. The event took place online and due to quarantine was held remotely, using a service for video conferencing – Zoom. 10 startups made presentations (pitches). All of them are at the seed stage (each of them applies for state grant funding in the amount of $ 50,000).
The event was opened by the representatives of accelerators accredited by the Fund, among whom were co-founder of eō Business Incubators Charles Whitehead, CEO of Startup Wise Guys Cristobal Alonso and Head of Demium Incubation Program in Eastern Europe Don Hatch.
Co-founder of eō Business Incubators Charles Whitehead began the speech:
“First let me start from congratulating the Ukrainian Startup Fund for doing such a great job! I am speaking you from New York. Even in distance it easy to see how well the Fund has been doing. Eō Business Incubators is quite proud to be associated with USF. I want to congratulate the other incubators that are joined us as well. We are the only US-style incubator in Ukraine. We develop the businesses in Ukraine to be global and competitive. We do in the way that consists of US practice and US expectations. We have mentors from all around the world: they are from Asia, Israel, Western Europe, the United States. The results speak for themselves: we raised four companies in Ukraine – only Ukrainian businesses in early stage, over 3.2 mln dollars in funding and grants in last 15 months”
CEO of Startup Wise Guys Cristobal Alonso continued:
“Startup Wise Guys is among TOP 10 accelerators in the world and among TOP 3 in Europe. We done 32 investments in Ukraine. It made us the largest international investor in Ukraine in the last decade. 28 from those companies have succeed”
Head of Demium Incubation Program in Eastern Europe Don Hatch closed the opening ceremony:
“At Demium we create startups from scratch, enabling local entrepreneurs to create valuable and lasting companies. We focus on the very early stages. Most of our projects are actually on pre-team and pre-idea. We have 9 current hubs after Covid (early we had 13) in different countries. My role at Demium utilizes the full range of skills and experiences: to connect all the hubs and operations throughout Eastern Europe. One of the unique thing the focus on the early stage (it is higher risk), we connect people who are really passionate about, but they not quite sure how to develop the idea or cannot find the co-founders. We start primarily with developing the idea, finding co-founders. And at the end of our 6 month program you have the investment partner. We adapt our methodology, our program is flexible to allow people work part-time on the startup to a gaining a particular stage”
Who is the jury made up of?
- Olesya Malovana. Chapter director at Startup Grind Dnipro.
- Olena Mazhuga. Investment manager at Genesis Investments.
- Arkadiy Vershebenyuk. Partner at BeeVentures.
- Mykhailo Khaletskyi. Senior Investment Analyst at Simpact VC.
- Andrii Gulyi. Head of analytics at INDAX.
- Oleksandr Riabtsev. Founder of StartupInUA.
- Sergii Dovgopolyy. Managing partner at FeelGoodLabs businesses accelerator.
The main criteria for evaluating projects at the seed stage are team, market, product, the feasibility of financing, strategy. In each category, a maximum is 5 points (in total maximum is 25). The passing score for a recommendation to the Supervisory Board for a grant is 15 points.
This time the audience award according to a vote in the telegram channel was gained by the startup Bot4Shop.
A special prize from the event partner LIFT99 Kyiv Hub in the form of two months of free access to the startup hub was received by the startup Linkaddin.
A special prize from the event partner Unit School of Business in the form of a scholarship for free education at the school for entrepreneurs according to the Berkeley methodology was received by the startup EqMan.
Startups Linkaddin and Advin received a special prize from the event partner iHUB powered by NUMA in the form of three months of free use of their workplaces.
According to the results of the Competition Сommittee’s assessments, the following startups rating list was formed (from the highest score to the lowest):
- Tradomatic. #1 agri marketplace of Ukraine. We help farmers earn more and spend less. Tradomatic unites all players of the agri market within a single messenger bot in Viber and Telegram.
- GIOS Mobile. A mobile application for learning Math and developing critical thinking of schoolchildren. EdTech solution based on AI and machine learning technologies that makes the learning process more flexible and adaptive. Interactive content, unique methodology, as well as the opportunity to learn anywhere and anytime, from now on – even offline.
- Dots Platform. A digital cloud-based platform for launching a professional food delivery service in 2 weeks. Website and mobile apps for ordering, software for kitchen, couriers and backoffice. Provided as SaaS, without capital investments at the start, with payment upon use.
- ZERNOVOZ.UA. A transport marketplace for grain commodities and SAAS for transport management. Farmers and traders use it to manage their relations with transportation companies and search empty trucks near their sites. Decrease logistics costs and management routine.
- Justo. A service for automating orders receiving via interactive menu for restaurants, hotels and resorts. The value of the service for the client is to reduce the cost of the paper menu, reduce the number of staff for service, increase the speed of service, increase data on visitors to the client’s institution. The service includes all modern restaurant technologies available on the market: interactive menu, staff call system, visitor reviews, online payment, online tips, pre-ordering and delivery. The service allows customers to make the maximum number of contact points of visitors with the interactive menu of the institution. Indoor – it’s QR codes or NFC tags, online – it`s a link, through which visitors immediately get to the menu without downloading the mobile application. The service integrates with the institution’s POS system, which allows you to automatically change menu prices, control stop lists and create new orders in the system.
- LinkAdd. A B2B SaaS service that helps companies attract customers through the Linkedin social network on full autopilot using artificial intelligence technologies.
- EqMan. A SaaS solution for SME, which allows you to keep track of assets not only in the warehouse but also outside it, in remote locations. It allows business owners to clearly understand where its inventory, tools, equipment, etc., who are responsible for it, to know the real balances in the warehouse and quickly manage their goods.
- VERUM.ERP. A B2B SaaS for effective quality control of materials and construction work on large building objects. Customers (Building companies or their contractors) can upload a bim-model of the project to the system. And our platform will help them to control the workflow of production, quality of materials and performance of works, such as density of concrete panels or integrity of piles. In Europe and in the United States, bim-modeling is a common standard. In Ukraine, bim-models are just beginning to be used.
- Advin. Goods availability controlling system on the shelves of food retail stores. It brings additional income by increasing shelf’s turnover via controlling the entire shelf depth, for bulk goods in particular.
- Bot4Shop. A cloud service for merchants and entrepreneurs allowing to easily sell goods and services in Telegram messenger via bots. Various configuration settings, API, payments and more. No programming skills or development expenses required.
At the USF Supervisory Board meeting, which will take place in the near future, it will be decided which startups will receive grant funding.