Sergey Kartashov: Fresh ideas and innovative experiments can boost Ukrainian IT marketOctober 29, 2021
IT industry is reaching a new level in Ukraine taking a step back from solely outsourcing to startups and worldwide commercial projects. Sergey Kartashov, the Senior Partner at technology company Roosh, tells about the development of the investment environment.
Investors came to Ukraine when promising startups appeared. Such ambitious projects as Preply, Reface, and Grammarly indicated themselves on the market, and this attracted investors. In the previous year, Ukrainian IT raised $571 million in investments. Sergey Kartashov explains that fresh ideas obtain funding because investors are looking for new teams focused on experiments. The venture studio Pawa founded by Roosh has its platform for projects based on Machine Learning (ML) and Artificial Intelligence (AI). Sergey Kartashov explains that this platform was created to boost business collaborations between AI and ML professionals.
One more factor that affects the activity of the IT market is the number of specialists willing to develop their projects. IT companies create educational programs to teach IT professionals that are good not only in coding but also in managing projects, raising investments, and other tasks necessary to launch a business. Sergey Kartashov notes that private educational initiatives differ from academic ones and are adapted to the needs of the business. Bit by bit, they grew up a new generation of IT specialists able to develop ideas, pitch them to investors and receive a powerful start to achieve ambitious goals.
IT companies and businessmen started to initiate educational programs because of a lack of experienced staff on the job market. For example, a year ago about 30 percent of vacancies were not filled.
The expert predicts that the development of the IT community will bring more quality projects. Probably, investors and venture funds will invest in more projects to find ideas that can “make a hit”, as Reface application has already made. For reference, American investors follow the principle: “Launch fast! Fail fast!” They understand that it is challenging to find an idea that will bring them a million profit, and make use of every single chance to win.
Sergey Kartashov says: “Americans understand that it is profitable to invest in as many ideas as possible. So that from a million experiments, there will come off a new Apple, Amazon, or another giant”. Unfortunately, Ukrainian investors are not ready to adopt this strategy. Partly it is caused by some disadvantages of the Ukrainian economy. Most investors face problems with the legislation system: conditions are not friendly for foreigners, and a high risk of corruption may threaten the success of the startup. Another problem is an uncomfortable tax system and no credits for the IT industry. In many countries around the world, the tax system is developed the way to encourage IT businessmen to launch more projects.
To improve the situation, the Ukrainian authorities work on a special legal and tax regime called Diia City. It can be a good solution for Ukrainian businesses and an appealing factor for foreign venture funds and investors that would like to come to Ukraine and develop their business in this country.