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  • Despite the war, new innovations are still being created in Ukraine – now, the best have been awarded and were chosen to take part in a mentoring program

Despite the war, new innovations are still being created in Ukraine – now, the best have been awarded and were chosen to take part in a mentoring program

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Ukrainian Future, a business incubator based in Ukraine, organised a competition in May-June for promising start-up companies. The aim of the competition was to maintain key prerequisites for Ukrainian start-ups to continue their business and to create new international opportunities as well as give faith in the future for companies operating in Ukraine. 76 start-ups from all around Ukraine participated in the competition. The competition winner was a company that specialises in improving resourcing allocation in healthcare. Furthermore, two 16-year-old start-up entrepreneurs received an honourable mention and a grant. In addition to a monetary prize, the companies will receive coaching from Finland, the Baltic states, and experienced entrepreneurs and business experts from Ukraine.

The winner of the grand prize was the health technology company Knopka. Knopka has developed an automated system that can be connected to hospital beds which makes sure that the patients receive care at the right time. This will shorten the patient’s stay at the hospital and thus frees up places more quickly for new patients in need. This way hospitals will not waste their resources. The panel of judges believes that there is a global demand for Knopka’s services, and that the start-up can be financed very well. The company received praise also for their skilful team and the scalability of its service. First and foremost, however, Knopka provides solutions for the needs of industries that are critical for Ukraine, which was a key criterion in the program.

Despite the war, Knopka’s staff continues their product development, says the start-up CEO Ivan Osadchyy:

”Our team is working very hard and we are excited to move forward to Finland and other Nordic countries. Our goal is to enter the European market. All the advice we have received and the grant we have won will help us move in that direction.”

Elai.io, which has developed a tool that uses only text to create AI-based videos that feature a real person for purposes of education or market communication, for example, received a price consisting of consultancy services provided by program partners. Elai.io met the panel’s requirements for scalability since the technology enables the videos to be created up to 20 times faster than before. Rebuilding Ukraine and the changing working life requires continuous retraining, and cost-effective solutions in learning technology were seen to have a lot of potential.  

An honourable mention and a grant were awarded to young entrepreneurs from Quadrocpter Mines Detector and Weldless Wind Generator. Both start-ups were helmed by promising entrepreneurs aged 16 years. Igor Klymenko and Polikarpova Yaroslava received praise for their innovative attitude and practical ideas that create a better tomorrow for Ukraine and the entire world. Klymenko has developed a drone that searches for mines and Yaroslava new turbine that produces wind power. Both are just at the beginning of their start-up journeys, but the panel predicted that we are going to hear more from both of these youngsters and therefore decided to award them with grants.  

”The situation in Ukraine is terrible at the moment”, says Klymenko. “It was very difficult at first, but as time goes by, we have started to work more than before. We cannot give in! The mine-searching drone I have developed has gotten two patents, and it has proven to be very useful for our country. Despite the problems and challenges, we will keep on working and take part in this remarkable program,” says Igor Klymenko.

Empowering Future Entrepreneurial Ukraine consists of a pitching competition and a mentoring program and is organised by the Ukrainian Future business incubator. The program is supported by a large group of international advisors, corporate managers, companies and entrepreneurs from Finland, Estonia, and Ukraine.

Mikko-Pekka Hanski from the panel of judges says that they wanted to organise the competition to support Ukraine’sstart-up entrepreneurs and the rebuilding of the county.

”Entrepreneurs are working from bomb shelters and creating new innovations even though working is extremely difficult because of the war. It seems that nothing can stop entrepreneurship.”

The grand prize is worth EUR 25,000. It is donated by the consultancy company Greenstep and the Ministry of Good Spirits. In addition, several partner companies, such as Amazon Web Services, Howspace, Lexia, Liquido Ventures, Microsoft and Miltton, provide their services worth up to EUR 30,000 pro bono to help Ukrainian start-ups accelerate their growth.

Further information and interview requests:

Vitaliy Lisovyi

+380 68 894 9298


Hannele Mennala

+358 50 486 8586



Ukrainian Future in short:

Ukrainian Future is a prestigious business incubator that offers a full selection of services for business development and growth. The Ukrainian Future business incubator concept has been developed with the support of Finnish experts and is based on Finnish excellence in education and entrepreneurship. Ukrainian Future is part of the Junior Academy of Sciences, a science education program that has 150,000 young, talented participants in Ukraine every year. The established science education program was created in 1964 and is under the auspices of UNESCO. Junior Academy of Sciences has generated over 1,000 innovations and 160 IPRs.