IDCEE – bridge between startups and investors in Ukraine and CEE

Article based on interview with Viktoriya Tigipko – Organizer of IDCEE and Director of TA Venture fund

Tech entrepreneurship in Central and Eastern Europe is booming, leveraging its great tech talent pool. CEE countries that are well known as major software outsourcing destinations, are transitioning to a product development model.

Some numbers to crunch…

In 2011, the incomes of outsourcing industry in Ukraine amounted to more than $ 1 billion. This business employs more than 1000 IT-companies, that employ more than 200K programmers. Ukraine is also a very dynamic online marketplace in the region. The total number of Internet users in the country reached 17.6 million people.

But lately more and more developers from outsourcing companies leave their jobs and start their own companies driven by success stories.

What support do they get?

In order to help the development of tech entrepreneurship in the region, Viktoriya started organizing IDCEE in 2010 in Kiev, Ukraine. Last week took place the third yearly edition, gathering 2100 participants from 45 countries, 76 speakers, 170 startups from 25 countries and 300 investors and business-angels.

IDCEE is helping the development of tech entrepreneurship in the region by providing a unique platform for local entrepreneurs to meet and exchange ideas, experience and knowledge, as well as to meet and pitch to VCs and angel investors who are looking for investment opportunities in CEE. […] We should not limit ourselves to outsourcing only. The main goal is to develop internet entrepreneurship, to encourage Ukrainians to develop startups that will compete on global markets.” said Viktoriya

Motivation driven by success stories

After last year’s edition, IDCEE gathered 7 local and regional success stories to inspire more tech talent to build their own startups:

1. Zingaya received $1.15M in Series A funding from investors, including Esther Dyson, Russian private investors and “Untitled Venture Capital Company” on 26.10.2011

2. yaM Labs received $500k from Foresight Ventures in Venture Round funding on 2.3.2011

3. Speaktoit received in Venture Round funding from Intel Capital on 25.5.2012

4. Piano Media received $2.62M (€2M) in Venture Round funding from 3TS

5. Mixgar Kft. incorporated with angel investment by InvestLife and Phoenix Investment on 6.11.2012

6. myThings received $15M in Venture Round funding from Iris Capital, the manager of the Orange-Publicis Venture (OPV) Fund with participation by Accel Partners, Carmel Ventures and T-Venture on 20.3.2012

7. After IDCEE 2011 Kooldiner totally raised about half a million dollars to release and build MyKoolDiner app

From one year to another

“This year we were able to increase significantly the level of the conference by bringing distinguished speakers and increasing the number of the leading global investment funds present.

The project selection criteria for the participation in the competition of startups in the conference got more rigorous  providing better quality startups.

In addition, we have included into the program some new products: workshops held by successful businessmen, representatives of leading IT companies, startup-accelerators and prominent investors.

A main attraction was also the panel on India, as one of the fastest growing IT-market in the world. We had successful venture capitalists, business angels and startups to talk about how India is developing.

In the last two years, we have been watching positive dynamics in the development of the ecosystem, internet entrepreneurship and venture businesses: Ukrainian startup-accelerators and business-incubators start to work more actively (EastLabs, Happy Farm, WannaBiz), our counterpart of Silicon Valley – Innovative technopark BIONIC Hill is born. Very recently, Fonder Institute officially launched its chapter in Ukraine.

And there are some merits of IDCEE, which is now in the top five best conferences in Internet Technologies and Business in Europe. After all, its main task is the development and strengthening of the Ukrainian IT-industry in the world.”  said Viktoriya