Kharkiv IT Cluster has taken stocks of Kharkiv IT Unicorns project

IT Cluster IT Cluster

Kharkiv IT Cluster has taken stocks of its project Kharkiv IT Unicorns that had lasted half a year and targeted at the development of startup movement among regional youth community. It was more than 600 young people who took part in the project (the most of them are students of IT departments). They represented their startup ideas and attended various workshops, open lectures, and seminars for free. In general, it was ten events.

There were leading Kharkiv academicians, business coaches, qualified IT specialists, and IT company managers who joined the project as mentors. Among them are spokemen from WannaBiz, QuantuMobile, Artjoker, startup centre «First Capital», startup platform CROWD, and others.  

They covered such topics as creating of value propositions, market research, preparing of business presentations, and many other things. Young starters got not only the theory but also reached detailed assessments of their business ideas, bits of advice and practical recommendations how to implement the initiatives.

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The first meetup of the project gathered about 300 participants from Kharkiv universities. The event consisted of two parts – an official opening and a training for generating ideas. As a result, 27 participants represented their thoughts on the topics offered by the moderator. The most creative authors got a surprise. Three of them won $100 from an anonymous business-angel.

One of the initial project stages was the IDEA BATTLE. Kharkiv IT Unicorns’ coordinators selected 15 most perspective ideas from the variety of represented ones. The authors spoke with them to the experts from IT companies, who gave them some estimations, comments, and recommendations. The most successful ideas also won prises.

Throughout the project the participants worked on their startup concepts – sometimes under mentors’ guidance, sometimes independently. All the results they showed at routine crush-tests.

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Students Daniel Slupskiy and Oleg Voytenko took part in Kharkiv IT Unicorns from its outset.  They decided to create a platform for video consultations. ‘For example, you’ve got a problem, you can log in our service and enter your request. The service will give you a list of people who would be able to consult you. So you have a possibility to get a video advice immediately and pay for it online’, – explained Daniel Slupskiy.

Young starters took part in the international IT-championship ‘Golden Byte’ with the startup idea described. The tournament was held in several stages. Daniel and Oleg got to the finals, that was tailored in Kyiv at the end of April. The guys believe in their business idea, and tell that Kharkiv IT Unicorns helped them to get great improvements.

‘We used the advices we got. I liked them very much. They were effective enough. The Project helped me to systematize previous knowledges and brought some new information,’ – said Daniel Slupskiy.

It’s remarkable that Kharkiv IT Unicorns attendees had an opportunity to meet personally and share their thoughts with Charles Whitehead, venture investor and banker from the USA. He spoke about types of investments that startups may claim at. He also expressed an interest to Kharkiv IT community. In the American investor’s opinion, Kharkiv is a perspective city for rising and development of startup movement.

Kharkiv IT Unicorns started in October 2016 and passed with support from the Kharkiv Regional State Administration within the Programme of the Assistance of Small- and Middle-sized Business development for 2016 – 2020 years.

There were a few leading Kharkiv universities that joined Kharkiv IT Unicorns. Among them are Simon Kuznets Kharkiv National University of Economics, V. N. Karazin Kharkiv National University, Kharkiv National University of Radio Electronics, Yaroslav Mudryi National Law University, O.M. Beketov National University of Urban Economy in Kharkiv, National Technical University ‘Kharkiv Polytechnic Institute’, National Aerospace University – Kharkiv Aviation Institute, Ukrainian State University of Railway Transport.


Iryna Zolotaryova, Professor at Simon Kuznets Kharkiv National University of  Economics; Member of Ukraine National Team of higher education reforms experts:

‘Shaping of entrepreneurial thinking and up-to-date innovative business principles are the major subjects to learn in terms of globalisation. Students and aspiring entrepreneurs got a unique opportunity to share their ideas with experts, take recommendations, and find  like-minded fellows’.

Julia Bolkun, Coach of Andrzej Krakowski Academy names Frycha Modzhevskoho, CEO at CROWD startup platform:

‘I was glad to know that the level of Kharkiv students’ community is growing rapidly. Socially focused ideas, well networking base, and improving technical knowledges made the projects interesting and prospective. I wish all the founders to be inspired in their future work under viable business’.