Ukrainian tech delegation make Ukraine shine at CES 2023

Ukrainian innovators were in the spotlight and had great success at the most influential global tech event, CES 2023, which gathered over 3,100 exhibitors vying for the business of 115,000 business professionals. Despite wartime challenges and brutal russian aggression, Ukraine represented 12 Ukrainian hardware startups, which met the world’s biggest brands (LVMH, Amazon, BPI France, and many others), new overseas partners and hit the stage by pitching and promoting national high-tech solutions for a global audience, alluring attention from international media from New York, Washington, Brussels, Tokyo, Paris, London.

From the first hours after opening and during four days of the conference in Las Vegas, the Ukrainian pavilion was overcrowded. Journalists from top media, techies, VCs, corporate and government representatives came to explore the innovations in GreenTech, MedTech, Security, BioTech, etc. by Ukrainian inventors who keep working and developing disruptive innovations despite all war challenges. 

Highlights of the visit: 

  • cutting ribbon ceremony with the participation of the high-level guests of the Ukrainian pavilion: Gary Shapiro, President and CEO of the Consumer Technology Association, who hosted the event, John Kelly, the Vice President of the Association; 
  • a visit to the booth by the US congressmen
  • meetings with Jasjit Singh, Executive Director of SelectUSA;
  • pitching during the Silicon Valley Funding Summit from Angel Launch and ENRICH in the USA for over 100 high-level international investors»
  • participation in the European Night by the European Commission at CES2023 and meeting with Jean-David Malo, Director of the  European Commission’s Executive Agency for European Innovation Council, and Constantijn van Oranje, Prince of Orange-Nassau & the Netherlands tech Startup Envoy at 
  • traditional Christmas Eve “Ukrainian Tech Night supported by WNISEF” within CES23 and charity auction by Spend With Ukraine;
  • “Ukrainian Technology Start-up Showcase” in Silicon Valley co-organized by the USAID Competitive Economy Program in Ukraine (USAID CEP), the US Commercial Service, the Consulate General of Ukraine in San Francisco, and Nixon Peabody LLP;
  • visits to California-based tech stars such as Berkeley Skydeck, 500 Global and Plug and Play as well as meetings with respected investors Yevhen Malobrodsky, managing partner of One Way Ventures, and Oleksandr Soroka, partner of the Network VC fund and founder of Startup.Network;
  • Insightful media reportages by The Associated Press, BBC, Euronews, Radio France Internationale, France 24, Nikkei Asia and others.

“Since 2017, Ukrainian innovators have been showing their solutions and technologies at the largest consumer technology exhibition in the world – CES. But this year, the delegation’s trip to the exhibition became a huge challenge. War, uncertainty, stress, difficult route with multiple connections, limited funding.

But we were able to successfully overcome all these obstacles. We came to the exhibition and, as always, impressed visitors with our innovations. And this once again proved that Ukrainians are extraordinary people. And these are the words we heard during the exhibition from almost every foreign visitor – “you are awesome!”

I would like to express my gratitude to our international partners, without whose support it would not be possible to make this trip this year and provide the opportunity for Ukrainian startups to present themselves at CES. First of all, this is USAID CEP, which provided financial and organizational support. This is Western NIS Enterprise Fund which provided financial support, as well as assisted in Ukrainian Tech Night preparations. And Venture Well (GIST provider) who supported the startups with personal grants and training. My deepest gratitude to all of you! And, of course, many thanks to our colleagues and partners – Ukrainian Startup Fund, TechUkraine and Ministry of Digital Transformation. We did it!” – Dmytro Kuzmenko, Executive Director at UVCA – Ukrainian Venture Capital and Private Equity Association.

Ukrainian startups

A sizable number of European tech startups attended the CES conference in Las Vegas, including 200 from France, 70 from the Netherlands, 20 plus from Germany.

12 brave Ukrainian tech teams from war-torn Ukraine impressed thousands of visitors at CES 2023. 5 years in a row, Ukrainian startups represented the country at CES in Las Vegas. Up to 50 national tech solutions have been showcased at global space for innovation since 2017, increasing their impact and success rate year on year. 

The Ukrainian pavilion was among several national pavilions visited and mentioned by high-level guests after the grand opening ceremony of CES 2023 by the President and CEO of the Consumer Technology Association, Gary Shapiro, who hosts the event, and the Vice President of the Association, John Kelly. The CTA is the largest trade association for high-technology in the USA with 2,000+ members, representing 550 billion USD in annual turnover.

I was so inspired by the Ukrainian startups who participated in CES, especially those who showed technology innovations created from necessity. We were thrilled to see Ukraine’s vibrant innovation ecosystem represented so well at the show, and hope to welcome an even bigger Ukrainian delegation for CES 2024, – the President and CEO of the Consumer Technology Association Gary Shapiro. 

Our tech teams represent unique products and solutions like renewable paper to reduce CO2 emissions; solar technology, self-contained device for rapid water purification and disinfection in emergency conditions, small robot toys, security, healthtech and foodtech.

  • Releaf PAPER & BAGS – the world’s first manufacturer of paper packaging made from fallen leaves.
  • Rekava – the Ukrainian brand of biodegradable products made from reused coffee grounds. The startup’s products include rekava cups, rekava pots, and rekava candles.
  • Melt Water Club – the technical solution for obtaining premium drinking water, thanks to the innovative Freezing Process technology.
  • OptySun filters – the technology of water purification and disinfection in any conditions.
  • i3 Engineering – the complete solution for Smart Home projects and business’s automation, which consists of controllers mounted on a DIN-rail, software and mobile application.
  • Nanit Robot – the STEM Robotics education solution with a high engineering perspective and a creative learning process for kids and adults.
  • Corner – the modern, frictionless way to set up a renovation with a pre-designed kitchen entirely online.
  • Knopka – the advanced nurse call system for patient care automation on hospital beds.
  • WheelKeep – the invisible security system that helps cycling enthusiasts to protect their bikes from thefts and enjoy the freedom of everyday cycling. It includes a smart hardware device and a mobile application.
  • Solar Plex – the service for upgrading new and already installed conventional solar (PV) panels into hybrid (PVT) ones.
  • Е – the IOT navigation field assistant for agricultural work that allows you to save resources and work more accurately.
  • G-Mak – the innovative security device equipped with a number of unique technological solutions that can physically stop or disorient an intruder.

For the RELEAF team, this is already the third participation in such a global exhibition (the first two were Slush and WebSummit) and experience has shown that participation in CES was the most significant. First, there were more visitors, and secondly, there was quite active interaction with the media and thirdly, we managed to understand the position of the US market regarding packaging materials. By setting ourselves goals, we not only achieved them, but also gained useful insights from communication at the stand, found new opportunities for growth and potential partners for business development. – Valentyn Frechka, Co-founder and CTO at RELEAF PAPER.

CES 2023

This year CES hosted over 115,000 attendees, 40,000 of them were international attendees from more than 140 countries. Eureka Park in Las Vegas has welcomed over 1000 startups, bringing new and innovative ideas across dozens of tech sectors: AI and robotics, environment and sustainability, VR, metaverse and gaming, digital health, vehicle tech, advanced mobility, home entertainment and streaming, smart home and lifestyle, TechForGood. For the first time, CES had a theme focused on Human Security for All. 

Key Numbers

  •   Nearly 2.2 million net square feet of exhibits (70% larger than CES 2022)
  •   3200+ exhibitors, including 1000 new exhibitors
  •   Over 115,000 attendees
  •   Over 40,000 international attendees from more than 140 countries 
  •   4800 global media from 69 countries
  •   60% of Fortune 500 companies represented

CES 2023 highlights and success of Ukrainian pavilion demonstrate that Ukrainian vibrant startup scene is proving globally competitive and showing innovation. 

USAID CEP will continue supporting such missions to the world’s leading events as the search continues for the next big breakthrough Ukrainian startup projects. It’s especially important to ensure the resilience of the IT Industry, stimulate employment in the sector and encourage entry  to global markets, – stated Olesya Zaluska, USAID CEP Chief of Party.

The Ukrainian startup delegation had the opportunity to meet with top-level U.S. government representatives and influential tech stakeholders: Jasjit Singh, Executive Director of SelectUSA, a U.S. government program; Daniel Giavina, International trade specialist at the U.S. Department of Commerce, U.S. Commercial Service; David Kaufman, Director of Global Strategies at Nixon Peabody LLP. Also, during the Silicon Valley tour, Ukrainian inventors started building bridges for cooperation, partnership, and scaling up in the American market based on the welcome invites and sharing the opportunities by Berkeley Skydeck, 500 Global, and Plug and Play.

This year’s powerful startup delegation of Ukraine at CES 2023 has once again confirmed the ability of Ukrainians to generate innovative solutions that help solve the world’s biggest challenges. This is the first time that the Ukrainian pavilion was represented by so many teams whose projects stood out against other representatives of the countries. During all 4 days, the stand attracted the attention of visitors, and the excitement did not subside. This illustrates the growing interest of the international community in the tech industry of Ukraine. At CES 2023, there was an atmosphere of digital technology breakthroughs, where you could simply be inspired, look for ideas, enrich yourself with experience and expertise from around the world, and Ukrainian startups became an indispensable and bright part of it, – Yana Paladiieva, Head of the Innovative Voucher Program of the Ukrainian Startup Fund.

Ukrainian Tech night supported by WNISEF

According to the tradition, which was started during the first trip of the Ukrainian delegation to the CES exhibition in 2017, every Christmas Eve on January 6, the Ukrainian delegation gathers international friends, the representatives of the Ukrainian tech community in Silicon Valley, and visitors from Ukraine to celebrate the coming of Christmas.

“Ukrainian Tech night supported by WNISEF” became the platform of unity and support for Ukraine, joined by members of the Trade Mission, partners, and colleagues, as well as representatives of the European Pavilion, colleagues from the EIC and the European Commission, investors from Silicon Valley and Ukrainian entrepreneurs which are living and scaling tech projects in the USA.

During the event founders of Ukrainian startups participating in Trade Mission made a short round of elevator pitching for the present audience. Every pitch was finished with the round of applause.

In conclusion of the official part, Oleksandr Neskin, CTO Petcube, represented to the audience the initiative “Spend with Ukraine,” founded at the beginning of a full-scale invasion. It curates a web platform with a list of 200+ Ukrainian-rooted businesses operating in the international market and promotes them worldwide to help them find customers.

The idea of Spend With Ukraine is just one more example of Ukrainian courage, a manifesto for our freedom and integrity. The image of who we are: strong entrepreneurship and creative mindset, willing to change this world for the best, — Daria Voevoda, Project Lead at Spend With Ukraine.

After that, the guests participated in the charity auctions with featured items by “Spend with Ukraine” (Petcube bites 2, Rekava “Crimea candle”, SYNDICATE T-shirt, Etnodim: women’s embroidered linen shirt “SLOVO” and others great items from Ukrainian creative minds). All money from the auction will be transferred to the KOLO charity fund to support our Army and defenders.

By the way, the world celebrities who were visiting Ukraine — such as Bono, Ben Stiller, Sean Penn, and Jessica Chastain — have also got such gift kits from Spend With Ukraine.

“We are all Ukrainians!” – said one of our European guests at the end of the event.

Ukrainian tech delegation in Silicon Valley

After fruitful and productive four days at CES2023, the Ukrainian tech delegation went to Silicon Valley to meet with 500 Global, Network VC & One Way Ventures, Berkeley Skydeck, Plug and Play Tech Center and participated in the special event “The Ukrainian Technology start-up showcase.” 

Network VC & One Way Ventures

Despite storms in California, the Ukrainian Trade Mission was warmly welcomed in Silicon Valley during the meeting with well-known investors Eugene Malobrodsky, managing partner of One Way Ventures, and Alexander Soroka, partner of the Network VC fund, founder of Startup.Network, member of the Ukrainian Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (UVCA) supervisory board.

CES 2023 exceeded all our expectations. It was a great experience. Now we have a better understanding of how and where we should move further.  Thanks to Ukrainian Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (UVCA), Ukrainian Startup Fund together with USAID Competitive Economy Program in Ukraine (USAID CEP), Western NIS Enterprise Fund, Global Innovation through Science and Technology and Ministry of Digital Transformation of Ukraine, TechUkraine for this opportunity. Our team wishes all the best to all Ukrainian startups. Glory to Ukraine!  –  Volodymyr Chykalov, CCO at G-Mak.

500 Global and Leonard Lee, Head of Accelerator Ops

The next meeting took place in the office of one of the most famous tech accelerators – 500 Global (former 500 Startups), where the delegation met by Leonard Lee, Head of Accelerator Ops. Leonard told Ukrainian entrepreneurs about open programs and opportunities of the accelerator, terms of participation, and key selection metrics, and also shared the “secrets” of creating and developing a successful startup, which experienced investors expect to see and hear in order to invest in a startup.

In the end, Leonardo emphasized that now 500 Global’s portfolio also has Ukrainian startups, and the accelerator team supports Ukraine in difficult war times.

The Ukrainian Technology start-up showcase

On January 10, 2023, in San Francisco, a Ukrainian tech delegation with 8 Ukrainian hardware startups attended a special networking event, “Ukrainian Technology Start-up Showcase,” with the participation and pitching of 8 Ukrainian hardware startups. The event was co-organized by the USAID Competitive Economy Program in Ukraine (USAID CEP), the US Commercial Service, the Consulate General of Ukraine in San Francisco, and Nixon Peabody LLP.

The Ukrainian entrepreneurs presented for over 60 guests (managers of investment funds, investors, partners, and members of Ukrainian communities in San Francisco) a number of cutting-edge products to venture investors, ranging from environmentally friendly coffee grounds-based cups to solutions for emergency medical situations. Ukrainian startup founders told fascinating and inspiring stories of business development in challenging conditions during the full-scale invasion.

During 2-minute pitches, Ukrainian entrepreneurs presented their projects. During informal networking, they had the opportunity to discuss their products with the event’s guests, receive feedback and establish new relationships with local partners and investors.

The clients of our companies in the USA and around the world value the deep level of knowledge of Ukrainian tech professionals, creativity, and open-mindedness of Ukrainians. I am sure these meetings and mutual efforts will benefit both Ukrainian and American tech ecosystems. And will help to bring bright Ukrainian ideas to the global market, – Dmytro Kushneruk, the Consul General of Ukraine in San Francisco. 

Berkeley SkyDeck

At the end of the visit of the Ukrainian Trade Mission to the USA, our tech teams visited Berkeley SkyDeck accelerator in California, one of the well-known accelerators for science-driven startups. Formed as a partnership between University of California, Berkeley, Haas School of Business, the College of Engineering, and the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research, SkyDeck offers a powerful environment for startups to grow and launch, units all the benefits of a traditional accelerator along with the vast resources of the world’s number one ranked public university.

For our medical project, this was the first non-medical event where we presented our solution on a level with other technologies – so it was a challenge – to show that we made a sufficiently modern solution for our industry. According to the results of CES, we got direct contacts with American hospitals and networks of nursing homes, which are interested in implementing our solution in their institutions. Not the last result is the attention of the local media – the publication TFN recognized us as one of the eight best startups from Europe at CES, and thanks to the work of the UVCA and USF delegation – a small note about us appeared in The Washington Post – for further movement and marketing in the US market, these are important achievement,  –  Ivan Osadchyy, CEO at Knopka.

Plug and Play 

According to the Trade Mission participants, the last meeting exceeded all their expectations – a visit to the Plug and Play Tech Center, Venture Capital Firm, Startup Accelerator, and famous Corporate Innovation Consultant.

Plug and Play runs multiple corporate innovation and accelerator programs for startups, operating across 20+ industries worldwide. Since it was founded in 2006, the firm has established a global network for startups and corporations, raising over $9 billion in funding from companies within the community. Plug and Play is essentially an ecosystem that has brought together 35,000+ startups, 500+ world corporations, venture capital firms, universities, and government agencies in the past 16 years.

Ukrainian startups had a chance to meet with Amir Amidi, the managing partner of the firm, Johnatan Lu, investment manager, Janis Skriveris, Senior Associate on the Ventures team at Plug and Play.

At the end of the meeting, Ukrainian startups presented their projects and received first-hand professional feedback. At least three startups caught the audience’s interest and agreed to continue the dialogue after the teams returned to Ukraine.

We at TechUkraine were happy to cover the communication about this trade mission and delighted to see such big attention from the side of international media. Ukraine is now in the spotlight of international attention and Tech is one of the key areas of interest. We do our best to help spread the word and facilitate useful connections between our ecosystem and international players. – Nataly Veremeeva, Direcrot of TechUkraine.


The beginning of 2023 has been a productive start for Ukrainian tech. Thanks to the courage of our Army, which defends the free world and democratic values, all  Ukrainians keep fighting on all possible frontiers as well as Ukrainian startups strive to help the nation triumph.  The Ukrainian tech industry stands strong, providing first-class solutions, developing joint initiatives and projects with partners and investors worldwide. 

So yes, the militaries are fighting, Ukrainian business is working, start-ups are developing, so everyone is doing their job, – the participant of the delegation Nazar Trokhymchuk, founder of Rekava

Ukraine shall prevail!

Organization of the Ukrainian delegation at CES 2023 became possible due to the joint work of the Ukrainian Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (UVCA), Ukrainian Startup Fund  together with USAID Competitive Economy Program in Ukraine (USAID CEP), Western NIS Enterprise Fund, Global Innovation through Science and Technology and Ministry of Digital Transformation of Ukraine. Information partner: TechUkraine. 

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