UNIT.City launches Entrepreneur-In-Residence mentorship program

Together with EIR Europe with the support of u.ventures, Western NIS Enterprise Fund

Kyiv, March 1, 2018

  • The UNIT.City Innovation Park together with EIR Europe with the support of u.ventures, the Western NIS Enterprise Fund are launching a program for attracting international expertise to the Ukrainian startup ecosystem
  • During six months, a new entrepreneur with the experience of creating and selling multimillion startups will come and work in Ukraine every month
  • As part of EIR, there will be consultations, mentoring sessions, public master classes and workshops
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    UNIT.City is launching the Entrepreneur-In-Residence mentoring program in partnership with EIR Europe, with the support of u.ventures, the Western NIS Enterprise Fund. The goal is to create high standards of entrepreneurship culture in Ukraine. The task is to set the right direction for the development of Ukrainian startups and avoid typical mistakes, utilizing international partners’ experience. Mentors are people who are experienced in conducting and successfully selling businesses worldwide. They will be immersed in the Ukrainian startup ecosystem for a month and work closely with companies in the format of personal sessions, public consultations, training.

    Both sides will benefit from the EIR program. Startups will get the necessary expertise helping them build business processes more efficiently, understand how to get into new markets and how to create a product that people will buy. Mentors will see lots of startups on their radar screen and will be able to invest in projects in the future and join the board of these companies. The program will last for six months.

    “The Ukrainian startup ecosystem is very young. We have virtually no entrepreneurs with success stories going through a full cycle ‒ from an idea to the exit of a project ‒ who could be mentors of people without relevant experience. That’s why the market needs such a program. EIR in Ukraine will help startups gain knowledge of the development and successful management of a company, as well as the sale and launch of an IPO. Globally, we hope that our program will give impetus to a new movement in the Ukrainian innovation economy.”  Max Yakover, CEO and Managing Partner of UNIT.City

    Edmundas ‘Eddy’ Balcikonis will be the first mentor of the EIR program. He is a co-founder of the Lithuanian-Belarusian startup TrackDuck, which was sold to the U.S.-based InVision, part of the Atlassian group, in May 2017.

    Balcikonis plans to get acquainted with interesting projects and learn more about the rapidly growing startup ecosystem of Ukraine. According to Eddy, Kyiv has the potential to become one of the main European technology hubs. “Ukraine has a huge amount of talent with excellent engineering skills. Plus, Ukrainians are entrepreneurs by nature,” Balcikonis said.

    Participation in the program is free. To participate, please fill in the application form and send the presentation of a project. Projects will be selected on a competitive basis. The deadline is March 9. The program is to launch on March 12.

    About UNIT.City

    UNIT.City is Ukraine’s first innovation park. It is the location where all-inclusive ecosystem and infrastructure enable high technology and creative businesses to happen and flourish. The mission of UNIT.City is to become an innovation hub and an entry point for investors, partners and new technologies from around the world; a unique platform where advanced companies, startups, individual specialists, and research laboratories get an opportunity to cross paths and work together ramping up their growth and honing quality.

    UNIT.City offers its residents a package of services: meetings with investors, consulting, access to accelerating and mentoring programs, prototyping laboratories, well-established infrastructure for work and life.

    Media Contacts:

    Denys Smyrnov, Communications Manager, UNIT.City
    Tel.: +38093 14 25 299
    e-mail: ds@unit.city

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    About WNISEF

    Western NIS Enterprise Fund (WNISEF) is a $150 million regional fund, a pioneer in Ukraine and Moldova with more than two decades of successful experience in investing in small and medium-sized companies. WNISEF was funded by the U.S. government via the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). Since its inception, WNISEF’s cumulative investments total over $168 million to 118 companies employing around 25,000 people and made it possible to unlock $1.5 billion for companies in Ukraine and Moldova.
    In 2015 WNISEF has launched a $35 million legacy program focused on export promotion, local economic development, impact investing and economic leadership.

    WNISEF is funding innovative, high-impact, reform focused programs and change the life of ordinary people. Please visit the official website: www.wnisef.org

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