Seedstars in Ukraine to Shape the Future of Tech Entrepreneurship

The largest startup competition for emerging markets brings its CEE & Central Asia entrepreneurship forum to Ukraine this year, gathering the most prominent players in the fields of technology, entrepreneurship and impact investment under the same roof. Seedstars CEE Summit will have a special focus on civic tech this year. Over three days, key stakeholders from the region will work together to promote that specific vertical as a way to impact people’s lives and reach the Sustainable Development Goals proclaimed by the United Nations.

Seedstars World [SSW] is hosting the annual Seedstars CEE Summit in Kiev for the second time. This year’s edition is organized in partnership with Luminate, from December 12 - 14. Representing Georgia is STYX, a tech-enabled logistic company that instantly connects shippers with carriers via mobile app.

The Seedstars CEE Summit will kick-off with the Seedstars Growth Bootcamp, where the finalist startups from across the region will receive a mix of theoretical and practical content, with input provided by the Seedstars investment team on growth models and acquisition channels. There will also be an Investor Forum, aimed at bringing the top-tier investors from CEE & Central Asia together to discuss the investment climate in the region and at providing potential investment opportunities during one-on-one meetings with entrepreneurs.

Community builders will have a place of their own this year: at the Game Changers Forum, they will address the main development issues for startup ecosystems based on their real-life experiences. Finally, the Civic Tech Workshop is designed to address up to three burning issues in that specific field, in a think tank interactive format. The Summit’s climax will be the Conference on the 14th of December, featuring the startup pitches and keynotes with top-notch entrepreneurs. Amongst the prominent names already confirmed to participate are Runno Allikivi, Head of Scandinavia at Funderbeam, Jeffrey Donenfeld, Investment Manager at Boomtown Accelerators, Eveline Buchatskiy, Managing Partner at One Way Ventures, Till Ohrmann, Co-Founder & CEO at Pirate Summit and Christoph Sollich, aka. The Pitch Doctor.

“In 2017, we managed to bring together more than 450 attendees, between entrepreneurs, corporates, investors, mentors, government authorities and startup enthusiasts. We organized around 350 meetings between startups, investors and mentors and we felt overwhelmed by the positive feedback we had from all participants. This year we aim to grow and offer a unique disruptive hands-on experience to over 500 attendees!,” says Agahuseyn Ahmadov, Regional Manager for CEE & Central Asia at Seedstars.

For this edition, organizers are looking into going deeper on the role of civic tech role in the region’s ecosystems, the importance of investing in products and solutions that enhance citizen communication and promote public decision, and the impact it can have in terms of improving the government’s activities and efficiency.

“We are excited to support Seedstars competitions back to Central and Eastern Europe,” explains Olena Boytsun, Investment Director for CEE Region at Luminate. “As an impact investor, we recognize that the quality of local teams, product and technology are more than competitive on the global market. What could make the teams stronger is the improvements on soft skills and business presentation, and so the system of local to regional competitions encourage the entrepreneurs to advance in such skills. The regional summit in Kyiv in December 2018 that would bring together so many impactful teams across 10 countries of the region will provide them the opportunity to learn further, to network and to experience real time investor negotiations.”

The event is also supported by venue partners Unit City and Chasopys, and Seedstars local ambassador team Radar Tech.


Seedstars is a Swiss-based group with the mission to impact people’s lives in emerging markets through technology and entrepreneurship, with a particular focus on the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN. Seedstars connects stakeholders, builds companies from scratch with public and private partners and invests in high-growth startups within these ecosystems. Seedstars aims at fostering impact investing and impact entrepreneurship over the world. Through different activities, that range from startup scouting, events organization to company building and acceleration programs, Seedstars has built the world's biggest community of changemakers in emerging markets. Seedstars group includes the largest startup competition in emerging markets (Seedstars World Competition), the Entrepreneurship Forum for Emerging Markets (Seedstars Summit), physical entrepreneurs hubs (Seedspace), acceleration programs (Seedstars Growth), teaching & training programs (Seedstars Academy) and an investment entity with a startup lab and a fund (Seedstars Investments). Some of Seedstars main partners are Enel (Energy), School of Management Fribourg (HEG Fribourg) & TRECC - Transforming Education in Cocoa Communities (Education), BBVA (Finance), Tag Heuer (Fempreneurship, Time Saving and Innovation), Merck (Health) and Continental (Mobility).


Seedstars World is the world's largest startup competition in emerging markets. It has been five years now that Seedstars Team takes off every year for a 9-month world tour and scouts for the best early-stage startups in 65+ countries, organizing 100+ events. One winner is selected to represent each country visited, and is invited to attend one of the 5 Regional Summits, reuniting all local winners of each region to network with regional investors, mentors and corporates. Local winners are also awarded the chance to represent their countries at the Seedstars Summit, the competition final happening in Switzerland, where startups compete for up to $1Mn in investment. The Seedstars Summit is the flagship event of Seedstars, filled with breakout sessions, panel discussions, specialized workshops and the best minds from emerging markets.


Luminate is a global philanthropic organization focused on empowering people and institutions to work together to build just and fair societies. It was established in 2018 by Pierre Omidyar, the founder of eBay. Luminate works with its investees and partners to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to participate in, and shape, the issues affecting their societies, and to make government, corporations, media, and those in positions of power more responsive and more accountable. Luminate does this by funding and supporting innovative and courageous organizations and entrepreneurs around the world, and by advocating for the policies and actions that will drive change across four impact areas: Civic Empowerment, Data & Digital Rights, Financial Transparency, and Independent Media. Luminate was previously the Governance & Citizen Engagement initiative at Omidyar Network and is now part of The Omidyar Group. To date it has supported 236 organizations in 18 countries with $314 million in funding.

10 December 2018 16:42