Andrey Kolodyuk: ​Building a startup nation is a new Ukrainian dream

Two months ago I welcomed a delegation of European investors and tech entrepreneurs for the informal 3-day WEF/YGL/GS Ukraine Discovery Tour in Kyiv. I met them at the World Economic Forum in Davos in January and invited to Ukraine despite skeptical views on the “country in war.”

These views weren’t surprising because of the Russian propaganda that displayed the war with the purpose to scare off all business people and investors.

“So how is it in Ukraine? What’s going on with businesses? What was it like before the war?” – these were the first questions I was attacked with. So I told the story straight and fact-full. . . .

We have over 2,000 startups, about 100 global R&D centers, more than 500 outsourcing firms and 100 e-commerce companies. All of them add up to over $5 billion industry’s volume worth as of late 2014. The figure could be higher if it wasn’t for the economic downturn.

Creating an enterprise software startup with 20 people on the team working for at least 2 years would take $10 million if it was in the U.S. In Ukraine, the same team for the same time span will cost 10 times less. Just think about it. It is possible to raise $1 million in the U.S., develop the product here and then return with the developed product to sell it in the U.S. . . .

There are more than 50 Ukrainian companies with valuation of $20-100 million that operate globally.