Ukrainian Tech Ecosystem Achievements 2021: USAID Competitive Economy Program

This was a defining year for Ukrainian tech, plenty of memorable moments: GitLab’s IPO, Grammarly became decacorn, 252 000 tech specialists in Ukraine, new VCs, media, tech educational institutions, global tech moguls hatched audacious deals.

TechUkraine initiated the project “Ukrainian Tech Ecosystem Achievements 2021,” where we share the stories of the prominent stakeholders of the sphere – tech giants, startups, clusters, funds, media, accelerators, celebrating the success of the year and discovering what lies ahead in 2022 and beyond.

Let’s deep dive into some of the most significant achievements-making developments of the year!

USAID Competitive Economy Program in Ukraine

What are the key achievements of 2021 (Top 3)? 

  • The Ukrainian tech ecosystem has never been more vibrant and actively developing. Almost every week in the recent months, new accelerators, tech Universities, entrepreneurship programs, and Venture capital funds have been opening in Ukraine. The Ukrainian government made a real breakthrough in developing a business-enabling environment for the technology industry through Diia City framework and providing services and funding for Ukrainian tech startups through Ukrainian Startup Fund. The synergy between business, education, and government sectors gives us strong optimism for the years to come, and we in CEP support this synergy through a variety of initiatives: educational activities for entrepreneurs, such as YEP! or eō business incubators, direct support of tech businesses, support, promotion, and implementation of different Diia instruments.
  • USAID CEP’s mission is to improve the competitiveness of Ukraine’s businesses globally; we contribute to the trend with the systemic instruments and platforms to connect Ukrainian IT companies to global clients, namely LvivTech, Ukrainian IT export alliance, access to OnFrontiers consultants marketplace, Lviv IT Arena B2B online matchmaking, IT Export evolution training program. These opportunities have already benefited hundreds of Ukrainian technology companies.
  • Last but not least: in 2021 we have 85+ VCs and investors into Ukrainian startups – twice the number Ukraine had in 2017. This trend is visible through the Investorbook 2021 published at the end of the year by USAID CEP, UVCA, and MDT. This analytical product is crucial for the expertise-based solutions in the industry, and it shows  solid dynamics of development of the Ukrainian tech landscape.

Which challenges were the most impactful during the year?

Covid pandemic catalyzed digitalization across the globe and provided Ukraine with a unique chance to grow its technology industry, creating thousands of new high-paid jobs in Ukraine. Sufficient availability of adequately skilled human talent, building strong business skills, and better promotion of Ukrainian tech potential at global markets are currently key challenges, which have to be addressed during the next years to allow Ukraine to build a sustainably growing tech industry with substantial value for Ukrainian economy and society.

How will Ukrainian tech be developing? Approach, projections and perspectives for 2022.

It is very likely that in 2022 we will continue seeing further development of the technology ecosystem in Ukraine.

  • Universities, powered by entrepreneurship programs such as CEP’s YEP Entrepreneurial University, will produce thousands of students interested in launching startups.
  • Incubation and acceleration programs will be building a pipeline of early startups, which will raise many rounds and build their global presence.
  • Diia City will become operational and will attract many IT companies, creating a substantial number of new high-paid long-term jobs in Ukraine.
  • IT associations and clusters will continue growth, offering more services to its member companies and local IT staff.
  • Tech market actors will strive to connect and coordinate better, making the ecosystem more coherent and sustainable, attracting more interest beyond Ukraine from new investors, mentors, programs, and partners.

Valeriy Dobrovolskiy, IT Sector Lead of USAID Competitive Economy Program

About USAID Competitive Economy Program

USAID Competitive Economy Program (CEP) advances a strong, diverse, and open Ukrainian economy by supporting business startups and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to become more competitive in domestic and international markets.  CEP’s principal objectives are: strengthening the business enabling environment, developing new and innovative industries and firms, and promoting export and trade.    

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