The first Connect Ukraine Fest united more than 2,000 participants and 60 speakers. “Over the course of three days, we had a strong community come together who shared a really strong common experience of learning by innovation, creativity, start-ups… It’s so cool to see someone’s life change over 5 hours. One goes from having an idea to forming a team, presenting it on stage, and people who have never met before are as excited about the idea as he was. There is a lot of great things that came out of this festival, but this is just a beginning of something that will revolutionize and change the future of Ukraine,” said David Pasiak, speaker of the festival, author of books “Empower”, “Disruption Revolution” and “Red Bull to Buddha”, presenting results of Connect Ukraine Fest at a press briefing at Ukraine Crisis Media Center.
There were various lectures, talks, workshops, and hackathons. The main focus was on technological revolution and its impact on the future of the world, how it may change businesses, labor force and labor capital in the future.
This cooperation gave a start to nearly 10 projects. For instance, these are new technological solutions for the banking system, developed by 12 teams of IT-specialists, participants of the hackathon. “They developed eight prototypes of products in 48 hours. Taking into account how complex this technology is, this is incredible. […] The winner is “Smart Insurance” team. They develop blockchain protocols, a mechanism for cryptocurrency deposit insurance. Now the risk of losing deposits because of hacker attacks is a pressing problem, and this mechanism helps prevent it,” elaborated Yurii Mylyutin, Blockchain Hackathon coordinator and operational director of blockchain project agency “The 8760”. The best IT-projects already found potential investors and partners. One more project from another field is a “green lab” – and idea of urban farming.
“The main achievement of this festival is that 2000 participants arrived with an idea and then parted with a clear understanding how to make it come true. We now have 20 ambassadors of Ukraine’s brand from all over the world, and we have 2000 ambassadors of an idea that successful innovative business initiative has perspectives in Ukraine,” noted Ruslan Spivak, co-organizer, and coordinator of the digital- and business-panels of the festival, director of corporate affairs at Raiffeisen Bank Aval.
“We are very proud of what the team has achieved. We inspired hundreds of young people to think creatively and work to realize their dreams in Ukraine and learn about global trends that will affect their lives and careers. […] A future of Connect Ukraine is more than just a festival – it is a platform for promoting and facilitating business-goals in Ukraine, for helping entrepreneurs and businesses who want to come to Ukraine, and also promote Ukraine abroad”, says Jorgen Bo, co-organizer of the festival.
The organizers already start preparing for the next Connect Ukraine Fest. Dates and the site are being discussed. Probably, it will be held in Lviv. “However, we want this festival to be held in various sites throughout Ukraine, not in big cities only. We want Connect Ukraine to become an event known to everyone, for many people were interested to come there to find investors and support from other businesses,” noted Sofia Yushchenko, co-organizer of the festival.