Today, February 21, the award ceremony of the Ukrainian Startup Fund (USF) grant contest with the participation of President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Prime Minister of Ukraine Oleksiy Honcharuk took place. The USF has announced the first 8 winners of pitching sessions, which receive UAH 9 mn from the state.
"We welcome the winners of the first wave and look forward to new projects and new ideas. Ukraine ranked 47th place in the 2019 Global Innovation Rankings. The current place of Ukraine does not correspond to the potential we have. We have extremely talented people. That is why the USF was created," said Oleksiy Honcharuk.
The PM explained that the USF finances startups in the early stages of development (pre-seed and seed). Seed grant (worth UAH 1,250,000) and Pre-seed grant (worth UAH 625,000). At present, the USF receives state financial funding to the tune of almost UAH 400 mn. The USF has already received more than 1,200 pending applications.
According to the Head of Government, in order to solve the problem of innovation development, the Government is working to provide the necessary support for the development of startups in Ukraine, so they do not seek financial assistance abroad.
"We want start-up businesses to be created, developed and registered in Ukraine to enable Ukrainians to be the first ones to benefit from it, and to speak of Ukraine as a nation of innovators," the Prime Minister added.
The winners are divided into two categories. Seed grants are given to developers of already established products that need expansion and support, and amount to UAH 1,250,000 ($ 50,000). Another category is pre-seed grants which will be granted to developers who are still in the process of creating their own product. They will receive UAH 625,000 ($ 25,000).
The Ukrainian Startup Fund is a country-wide investment program that funds early-stage companies with innovative products. The Fund was registered in December 2018.