By Evelina Jakštaitė

The first EEMD mission is over! Startup Lighthouse brought 8 ecosystem builders to 1-week mission to Ukraine and Belarus with the aim to raise awareness of investors and startup ecosystem leaders of existing opportunities in Eastern Europe through participation in an action-packed program that allows to tap into these vast resources and unleash the immense potential of the region.

Here is what we did:

Day 1:

  • Received an insightful overview of driving forces behind the top ecosystem initiatives in Ukraine from Anton Verkhovodov (Civitta Ukraine)
  • Introduced to public support to Ukrainian founders by Deborah Fairlamb (Ukrainian National Startup Fund)
  • Had round table discussion about Ukrainian VCs support to local entrepreneurs who dare to build global ventures by Andrew Sorokhan (ventures)

Day 2:

  • Participated in the exclusive CEE tech event – UNIT Investment Summit‘18
  • Had a unique party networking, cocktail and ecosystem talks party with the biggest concentration of leaders from the CEE startup ecosystem at city

UNIT Investment Summit’18

UNIT Investment Summit’18 gathered 150 top-tier professionals from CEE region – 30% of them were investors, 30% were startups and 30% were key ecosystem’s players (accelerators, associations, corporates). The aim of the summit is to boost partnership between members of CEE tech and investment scene, to expand deal flow from the CEE region for VC funds and angel investors; to show best startups to local and foreign investors. During the event we have heard insights on startup ecosystem presented by keynote speakers:

  • Rick Rasmussen – Director of Startup Programs, Industry Fellow and Faculty Member at UC Berkeley – presented “Global shifts in the words entrepreneurship ecosystem”
  • Ralf Glabischnig – Founding member of Crypto Valley Association – presented “Blockchain and ICO’S – the new hype or amazing investment opportunity? Insight from Crypto Valley Venture Capital”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 3:

Day 4:

  • Visited IMAGURU Startup Hub – first accelerator in Belarus
  • Got a chance to hear wargaming (Belarusians multinational game developer) general manager speech Antonina Binetskaya about game development in Belarus
  • Participated in Business Angels Round with AngelsBand – meeting sesion
  • Participated in the Startup Battle at Imaguru Startup Hub organised by Startup Division
  • Had a networking party with Startups and Belarus startup ecosystem players at Imaguru

List of startups who participated in Startup Battle:

Startup 1-Liner
AdsVideo Fully automated service of video banners creation for e-commerce business
BookYourStudy Online platform for selecting and booking educational programs around the world
Rocket DAO Decentralised accelerator of startups based on blockchain technology
Oyper Inc. AI based personal stylist
Blinger.io Omnichannel helpdesk enabling companies to with customers in messaging apps, e-mail and live chat in a unified interface
CopPay Blockchain platform for crypto payments
Cashew Comprehensive SaaS solution for merchants to receive C2B payments directly from merchant’s client bank and to personalise each payment for its subsequent use in marketing aims
VINchain Decentralised database about the history of the car
Bountyguru Market place for micro-influencers
Multy Simple and convenient crypto currency wallet for Ethereum and Bitcoin
Trainer AI/AR platform for gyms

Day 5:

  • Had excursion in Hi-Tech Park where we have met startups operating in HTP.
  • Introduced to decree No.8 on digitalisation of the economy in Belarus by Dmitry Matveev (Alaienikov & Partners

Belarus Hi-Tech park

Belarus High Technologies park is a special economic zone with a special tax and legal regime in the Belarus, contributing to the favourable and successful development of IT business. It is a Belarusian substitute of a Silicon Valley in the US. Belarus HTP operates on the principle of exterritoriality.

During the presentation we were introduced to the current tax benefits for HTP residents:

  • 0% VAT, Profit tax, Offshore duty, Customs duties;
  • 0% Income tax on equity carve-out; Sales of share in HTP resident, Tax on revenues of foreign companies
  • 0% VAT and Profit tax on mining, buying/selling and exchanging cryptocurrencies, other transactions with tokens;
  • 9% Income tax (13% outside HTP);
  • 6% Average deduction for Social Security (35% outside HTP).

In their words…

“The EEMD week was an extraordinary experience! Having the chance to know the thrilling Ukrainian and Belarussian startup ecosystem was not only exciting but very inspiring!”

“Excellent initiative of the EEMD to introduce us to these promising emerging startup ecosystems!”

“EEMD created the environment to open my mind to a new word of opportunity – I see Ukraine and Belarus in as while new light?”

“Definitely exceeded my expectations, I was unware of the scale of development in Ukraine and Belarus and through EEMD I was able to get introduced to let stakeholders and learn invaluable insights about the ecosystems”

Hungry for more?

Second EEMD mission in Belarus, Ukraine and Baltics coming up in 2019. Pro-active investors, VCs, business angels and startup ecosystem leaders are looking for you: http://startuplighthouse.eu

Follow us on Twitter to see snaps of all the activities, talks and be the first to know about more open calls!

Get in touch with Startup Division if you want to get your startup in the Baltics!