NYT: Inside Ukraine’s Thriving Tech Sector

Ukrainian technology companies have earned billions. But with most executives unable to meet foreign clients, the good times may not last.

  • Despite this and many genuinely terrifying intrusions, the tech sector is thriving in Ukraine, a rare bit of upbeat news in a nation in deep economic distress.
  • Figures from the National Bank of Ukraine show that in the first five months of this year, technology companies brought in $3.1 billion in revenue from thousands of customers, many in the Fortune 500, a jump from $2.5 billion a year earlier.
  • Hlib Vyshlinsky, director of the Center for Economic Strategy, a think tank in Kyiv: “These companies are getting paid in dollars and euros, and if we don’t have that, we won’t be able to pay for petrol for the army or for medication and our currency will depreciate and that will spur inflation. I.T. is crucial.”
  • Whatever the reason — fear of penury in old age or a work ethic that is “coded in the national DNA,” as a Cleveroad manager put it — Ukraine seems to burst with entrepreneurial drive. A good place to view this phenomenon is Promprylad.Renovation, a 40,000-square-foot innovation center under construction in Ivano-Frankivsk, a town of 240,000 about 80 miles southeast of Lviv.
  • Yuriy Fylyuk, the chief executive of Promprylad: “We have hundreds of old Soviet factories and brownfields like this in Ukraine. We have $12 million in funds from more than 1,000 investors, some private (BMW Group, Bosch) and others public (the U.S. Agency for International Development USAID).”
  • Once completed, in late 2023, Promprylad will be home to 150 companies, a dozen or so of them in tech. The plans presume that the tech sector remains vibrant, hardly a foregone conclusion when you speak to people like Mr. Yevgen Chernyak of CHI Software. He thinks the company is about to lose out on a lot of new contracts.
Read more via The New York Times
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