9 Reasons Why Kiev Might be the Next Silicon Valley

by Elena Lysenko 693 views0

Despite historical crises and current challenges facing the country, Ukraine’s capital is positioned to become one of the world’s leading centers of tech startup innovation. Kiev is one of the 10 biggest cities in Europe and home to an ambitious community of innovators and entrepreneurs.

This is certainly evident in the city’s prolific output of tech startups, as covered in 13 Tech Startups from Kiev back in 2016. Let’s take a closer look at some of the top reasons why Kiev might become the next Silicon Valley.

9. A plethora of tech talent.

Source: moominforest / Flickr Creative Commons.
Source: moominforest / Flickr Creative Commons.

Ukraine’s capital is both a thriving outsourcing hub for both Europe and the rest of the world. According to Elance, the country is the third best place in the world to locate highly qualified freelance professionals. This abundance of talent makes it easier to build competent, local teams for bringing new products and services to market.

8. An abundance of certified IT professionals.

Source: Ryan Cousineau / Flickr Creative Commons.
Source: Ryan Cousineau / Flickr Creative Commons.

Specifically, highly-skilled IT professionals are in surplus, with an increasing number entering the workforce as thousands of students graduate from Kiev universities yearly. According to iHUB Network’s CEO Dimitri Podoliev, Ukraine is third in a list of top 50 countries with the most certified IT professionals, just behind the U.S. and India.

7. A track record of producing successful startups.

Source: Frank Gruber / Flickr Creative Commons.
Source: Frank Gruber / Flickr Creative Commons.

Several successful startups have made Kiev their homebase for marketing products with a global audience, from Viewdle’s visual analysis tool (acquired by Motorola Mobility) to Jooble’s job search engine and  Grammarly’s proofreading tool.

6. A growing number of unique opportunities for startup seed and venture funding.

Source: Konstantin Zamkov / Flickr Creative Commons.
Source: Konstantin Zamkov / Flickr Creative Commons.

Early stage funding and resources are increasingly accessible in Kiev—for example, TA Ventures focuses on consumer startup funding while Carrot specializes in accelerating hardware ventures.

5. Convenient and affordable local transportation.

Source: tgraham / Flickr Creative Commons.
Source: tgraham / Flickr Creative Commons.

Kiev’s metro connects riders to over 50 stations across the city both quickly and inexpensively; additionally, a plethora of other transportation options exist: trolley bus (electric bus), tram (streetcar), bus/microbus/minivan—even the funicular.

4. Low cost of living.

Source: Rob Schofield / Flickr Creative Commons.
Source: Rob Schofield / Flickr Creative Commons.

Kiev’s cost of living is one of the lowest out of all major European cities, making it ideal for bootstrapped startups. In fact, the city comes in at 466th place in 2015’s Cost of Living Index.

3. An ample selection of coworking spaces.

Source: atelier PRO / Flickr Creative Commons.
Source: atelier PRO / Flickr Creative Commons.

Numerous coworking spaces allow entrepreneurs to get set up easily and network with other professionals. Some prominent Kiev spaces include iHub, Chasopys, KyivWorking, Bibliotech, Freud House, and many others.

2. A multitude of supporting organizations, both grass roots and government-funded.

Source: spark.kpi.ua.
Source: spark.kpi.ua.

A myriad of organizations and government-initiatives have been created to spur tech startup activity—the most prominent being Startup Ukraine and Science Park Kyivska Polytechnika.

1. A myriad of tech events and conferences throughout the year.

Source:
Source: Ukraine Tech Gem / Facebook.

The city plays host to an increasing number of tech startup and technology-related events throughout the year. For example, Ukraine Tech Gem, iForum, Seed Forum, IDCEE, Startup AddVenture have been held in Kiev.

In short, the capital of Ukraine has emerged as a global leader in innovation, and its not hard to understand why. These 9 factors are just a handful of many reasons why Kiev may soon be giving Silicon Valley a run for its money.

 

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