During the war, demand from domestic customers fell significantly, so attracting funds from customers or investors abroad is one of the main ways for companies to survive at this stage.
Ukraine has a strong and active community of more than 2000 tech companies and startups, according to the service 360 Tech Ecosystem Overview. Still, the Ukrainian economy and businesses face severe problems due to the war. Russia’s aggression against Ukraine has complicated the operation of product companies in the country and destroyed existing business processes, leading to the loss of part or all of the income. Ukrainian startups and product companies are forced to reorient quickly, change the domestic market to foreign ones and look for ways to survive in wartime as a business, save jobs and continue development.
Everyone has different financial opportunities to continue the activities of startups. A recent study by the USF (Ukrainian Startup Fund) found that more than 28% of startups have partially or wholly moved abroad. According to the survey, 24.3% of surveyed startups continue to work, and 46.7% – partially work.
To solve business problems, startups and their founders moved to different European countries.
What kind of support does the Ukrainian tech community in Poland receive?
Places to work
Many Polish companies and organizations host Ukrainian startups and companies in their offices.
- For example, The Polish Investment and Trade Agency (PAIH) provides free office space for Ukrainian companies. The center is open to workers and entrepreneurs from Ukraine.
- Also, Demium, a talent accelerator, provides Ukrainian startups with space in their coworking in Warsaw. Help with offices and workplaces often works through personal contacts and recommendations, but there will always be a place for Ukrainian startups.
Access to grants and investments
Localization helps startups enter a new market immediately, and at the same time, Ukrainian startups can receive funding from various organizations.
- The Poland Prize program is active, where companies can receive up to 66,000 euros in investment and soft-landing support.
- Also, the biggest news in recent months has been that Google is allocating $5 million to support 50 companies.
Access to the tech community
The Ukrainian tech community is actively assisted by local companies, VCs, and ecosystem organizations.
- Venture Cafe Foundation has launched the program – Thursday Gathering – which provides participants with hundreds of connection and action opportunities each week, both online and offline. At Venture Cafe events, you can access all representatives of the startup industry.
- Wolves Summit supports Ukrainian people and founders and welcomes any startups and scaleups that are currently headquartered in Ukraine to attend the event free of charge. 24-27th May, Wrocław, Poland, free for startups – register here.
The ecosystem works in harmony, launching various initiatives, such as TechForUkraine, a platform that works on an “Airbnb-style” web platform, to help Ukrainians find accommodation. TechForUkraine – was launched the day before the invasion, and within two weeks, it had 450 firms signed up and 30 projects launched.
Many Ukrainian startups could boost the Polish ecosystem. As PFR Ventures vice president of the board, Aleksandr Mokrzycki, said:
We do not see any — I repeat any — risk that investors will not invest in Poland because of Ukraine. Ukrainians relocating startups to Poland could also boost the ecosystem.
The Polish startup ecosystem is trying to meet all the needs of entrepreneurs and helps them get back to work as soon as possible and be able to launch in new markets and continue their development.
Max Grant, Venture Analyst at Center42