$100 for an Idea: Kharkiv IT Unicorns Project Has Been Launched in Kharkiv
On October 25, 2016 IDEAGEN – the first event within the framework of Kharkiv IT Unicorns project on student startups took place in the premises of Kharkiv National University of Radioelectronics (KNURE). Over 350 participants registered to attend the first meeting, in a point of fact the event was attended by around 300 students of Kharkiv universities (National University of Radioelectronics, National Aerospace University – Kharkiv Aviation Institute, National Technical University “Kharkiv Polytechnic Institute”, National University «Yaroslav the Wise Law Academy of Ukraine», V.N. Karazin Kharkiv National University, Simon Kuznets Kharkiv National University of Economics, Ukrainian State Academy of Railway Transport, Kharkiv National Academy of Municipal Economy and others).
IDEAGEN was divided into 2 parts – official opening and training on ideas generation.
The official part was opened by Nataliia Vynohradska, Executive Director of Kharkiv IT Cluster. She briefly talked about Kharkiv IT Cluster, its activity and mission. Then project driver, Viktor Kauk, Director of the Centre for Distance Education and Learning Technologies of KNURE, had the floor and spoke about Kharkiv IT Unicorns project and the history of its development.
Eduard Rubin, acting Rector of KNURE and one of the co-founders of Kharkiv IT Cluster welcomed all the participants, explained the importance of developing student’s entrepreneurial skills to the participants and wished good luck and victories to everyone.
Viktoriia Beliavtseva, Director of the Department for improving the competitiveness of Kharkiv Region of Kharkiv Regional State Administration wished success to all the participants and noted that the project was included to “Support Programme for Small and Medium Businesses of Kharkiv Region” and was very important for Kharkiv.
In order to shake the audience up, organizers held an interactive game, which helped the participants of the meeting to get acquainted with each other. It was necessary to sit down next to any unknown person in the hall, get acquainted with him and send the meeting results to the presenter by mail. The 10 persons having made it first received bonuses.
After the shake, representatives of IT-business – Directors of participating companies of Kharkiv IT Cluster gave a speech. Oleksii Radchenko, CEO of Raccoon Gang and the Head of the Education Committee of Kharkiv IT Cluster, spoke about why Kharkiv needed startups. Pavlo Trofymov and Ivan Nazarenko, representatives of Vertikal corporation, spoke about innovative projects of the company and invited the participants to a tour of the production. Then Oleksii Haiduk, CEO of Fortifier, got online and spoke about his impressions from a recent visit and the latest trends in Silicon Valley.
The official part was over, and began IDEAGEN training – practical training aimed at ideas generation. 65 interested students took part in the training.
After the lecture of Serhii Znakhur from KNEU on existing methods of ideas generation, the participants were proposed to make a practical task. They had to find solutions to the following problems:
- Attracting girls into IT.
- Energy saving in residential buildings.
- Safety of cyclists.
It was a surprise for everyone, but some business angel in the hall, who wished to remain anonymous, offered $ 100 for the best idea.
That served an additional motivation, and as a result 27 participants came to the stage with pitches of their ideas. Most of the ideas concerned cyclists’ safety – 11, 9 participants proposed ideas for attracting girls into IT, and 7 ideas concerned energy saving in residential buildings.
Then there was another surprise from the business angel: 3 students, having offered the best idea for each issue received $ 100, and one participant received $ 20 for his idea.
Despite the fact that the event stretched on late, the participants remained satisfied and inspired.