What was the challenge?
LIFT99 Kyiv Hub is the most vibrant startup community space in the heart of Kyiv. It’s the place where Ukrainian and international startup worlds collide.
Opening the second hub in Kyiv is just the first step towards changing the Ukrainian startup ecosystem for the better: take foreign investors’ interest towards Ukraine as an example – most of the USA and European VCs don’t even look in Ukraine’s direction. LIFT99 wants to change that and working hard to put Ukraine’s startup scene solidly on the world map.
Overall Ukraine is stronger historically in mechanical products. It has been very active in the world of space and navigation areas that Estonia has never had. Also, so much interesting talent is (and has been, historically) in Ukraine. It is a place where everyone can go and learn. We have the opportunity to be much more involved and help too built companies in several countries, mostly because it is so easy to fly there. So we can learn how to build world-class companies.
- Hand-picked community – We carefully choose each member to ensure everyone brings along unique value and has the giving back mentality.
- Global network – We have a wide network of successful founders, top accelerators, VC funds, investors and international partners.
- People-first coworking – or second… after the dogs! Jokes aside, we are focused on providing every single one of our members the best support possible.
- World-class events – LIFT99 is the central hub for startup events. We make sure each event we organize brings the most value to our members.
- Investment expertise – We are advising and investing in promising founders that are part of our community
“After running hackathons with Garage48 across CEE for the last 8 years, we’ve seen the potential this region holds. There’s a highly educated and “hungry” tech talent with great ideas. But there’s still a need for a solid support network. We see the impact LIFT99 could have on this region, and that’s why CEE is our very first target market.” – Ragnar Sass, the CEO and Founder of LIFT99.
And why Kyiv? Founders believe Ukraine has excellent talent – the challenge is to bring it to the next level, boost the entrepreneurial spirit in the country. That’s where LIFT99 comes in.
LIFT99 Kyiv Hub was officially opened in April 2019.
Ukrainian Startups Wall of Fame
October 24, 2019, Lift99 Kyiv Hub was launched Ukrainian Startups Wall of Fame with 15 startups: Ajax Systems, Allset, Attendify, Competera, Depositphotos, Grammarly, Invisible.io, MacPaw, People.ai, Petcube, Preply, Readdle, Restream, YayPay, YouScan
The aim is developing a value-driven ecosystem, of and for Ukrainian startups — with an impact on the local economy, on the country’s general image, on public well-being and standard of living, and of course, on the next generation of startuppers themselves.
Ukrainian Startup Awards 2019
In January 2020 Lift99 Kyiv Hub recognized the most impactful activists and fastest-growing Ukrainian startups in 9 categories:
The Stereotype Crusher of 2019 – Sofia Shvets
The Bootstrap Badger of 2019 – Pizdata
The Wise Wallet of 2019 – Oleksandr Kosovan
The Big Bang of 2019 – nuka
The Revenue Hack of 2019 – Restream
The Impact Visionary of 2019 – Raccoon.Recovery
The Giving Back Powerhouse of 2019 – Grammarly
The Startup Sector of 2019: Hardware Comet – Ajax
The Founder of the Year 2019 – Victor Shaburov (AI Factory)
LIFT99 is in Kyiv to support the goals and initiatives of creating a wider pool of valuable global contacts by collaborating, sharing already existing know-how and expertise among the local founders for scaling up global. The annual Ukrainian Startup Awards is a great way to spark new conversations, as well as bring visibility for the mega-fast-growing rising stars, and draw the global attention to Ukraine and its potential.