On May 14, the Ukrainian Startup Fund held its 25th Pitch Day to select startups for state financing. The event took place in offline mode on the territory of the innovation park UNIT.City. 12 startups made presentations (pitches). All of them are at the pre-seed stage (each of them applies for state grant funding in the amount of $ 25,000).
The event was opened by Maxim Pechersky, CEO and co-founder of Promo Republic, who shared his own successful experience of launching a startup:
“Promo Republic is one of the few Ukrainian product companies that has built a SaaS product for large international corporations, including Fortune 500 names. It all started seven years ago, when we, as well as the teams present, presented our startup and received 20 thousand dollars, which allowed us to make the first version of the product. Take every opportunity to present your startup and take it seriously, because you never know what pitch can change your life forever.”
Then Mikhail Khaletsky, a credit analyst at SEB AB, took the floor. He compared the startup ecosystems of Poland and Ukraine:
“The history of state support for startups in Poland began in 2007 when the first fund was created for this purpose. Then there was not even a definition of a startup. The Polish approach was based on the principle of decentralization, so there was some fragmentation of functions (selection, direct funding, promo, etc.) and there was no single gate for startups. In contrast, the Ukrainian Startup Fund has been taking a comprehensive approach to this task from the very beginning, which greatly simplifies and speeds up the process, making it more efficient in general. Ukraine is still losing in terms of capital intensity, but already at the level of Poland at least in the organization of the process, which was built there for 12 years.”
Vitaliy Lavrov, the Deputy Minister of Youth and Sports of Ukraine for Digital Development, Digital Transformation and Digitalization, also joined to support the startups:
“Last year we held a hackathon of sports startups together with the Fund and today we see its results — one of the winners of the hackathon is already fully presenting their project. This is proof of the concept of such events, which definitely need to be organized in the future and one of them will take place next month. This will be a two-day bootcamp for sports startups. Therefore, if you are interested, follow the announcement on the Fund’s pages on social networks in the near future.”
Who is the jury made up of?
- Andrii Gulyi. Head of analytics at INDAX.
- Oleksandra Balkova. Chief Operating Officer of accelerations programs at Startup Wise Guys.
- Igor Rusnak. Strategic and Development Officer at OTP Bank.
- Oleksandr Riabtsev. Founder of StartupInUA.
- Roman Kirigetov. Co-founder & CEO FlashBeats, founder of Kabanchik and Crafta.
- Andreas Flodström. Founder & CEO Beetroot.
- Kateryna Degtyar. Chapter director at Startup Grind Kyiv.
The main criteria for evaluating projects at the pre-seed stage are team, market, idea, 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 12 points.
This time the audience award according to a vote in the telegram channel was gained by the startup craftit.online.
Startups Unlink VR, Zirity and 12Climb received a special prize from the event partner iHUB powered by NUMA in the form of three months of free use of their workplaces.
The teams CASERS, elKYC and Zirity received a special prize from UNIT.City – 3 months of free access to the modern coworking – NEST, which is located on the territory of the innovation park + its infrastructure.
According to the results of the Competition Сommittee’s assessments, the following startups rating list was formed (from the highest score to the lowest):
- CASERS. An interactive case study simulations platform. Helps case development centers create simulations for individual online learning (Kyiv).
- Zirity. Zirity. A software solution for optical retailers selling online by providing a try-on tool for glasses, which can be integrated with any web-store and operate from any device in one click (Kyiv).
- 12Climb. An interactive climbing wall with thousands of climbing routes controlled by a smartphone. Also helps to track training progress (Kyiv).
- elKYC. B2b SaaS, which helps to verify and onboard customers in minutes (Kyiv).
- craftit.online. A project designed to place and promote various DIY-style products. A comprehensive solution for both B2B and B2C segments. It consists of mobile applications for iOS and Android, web portal, and representations in popular social networks (Kharkiv).
- Re:zume. An HR tech software for quick and quality job search. In its core it is a career roadmap for company employees and job seekers. The service makes it possible for companies to create clear career paths for their employees (Kyiv).
- Unlink VR. A wireless data transmission system based on directional laser radiation and tracking, which provides a continuous and untethered image quality for best VR experience (Kyiv).
- Lawyerd! Fully automated process of protection of intellectual property rights on the Internet (Kharkiv).
- Svidomo. A transparent platform for investing and borrowing sums of any size. Distribution of authority allows for high-quality risk assessment without the implementation of complex algorithms (Kyiv).
- AutoFinance. A digital marketplace and solutions provider for the automotive industry that connects car shoppers with vehicle dealers, banks and leasing companies. Empowers shoppers with the resources and information to make confident car buying decisions, while a digital platform helps sellers to improve operational efficiency, profitability, and sales (Kyiv).
- WonderWay. A mobile app platform which provides travel itineraries from locals, opinion leaders they trust and regarding users’ preferences. Every user can get an itinerary which is created automatically based on preferences of the user as well as download itinerary with recommendations from opinion leaders they trust (Kyiv).
- SANI. A solution that turns ordinary salt water into eco friendly and safe hand sanitizer (Odessa).
At the USF Supervisory Board meeting, which will take place in the near future, it will be decided which startups will receive grant funding.
We remind that according to the results of the 23rd and 24th Pitch Day 13 startups were funded: GeronCore — a living heart, Supplio, Harmix, AGRO BI, Erudito, Ademrius, Librarius, Artera, AutoBI, Effa, CareTech.Human, SmartReader і Fiway.