The first Ukraine House Davos hosted more than five thousand guests of the World Economic Forum in Davos during all days of its work. Several events attracted up to 200 visitors. The topics of the vivid interest were crypto-currencies, the blockchain, and venture investments. “We succeeded in showing Ukraine as a country of creativity and innovations, a country of opportunities, and investment opportunities first of all. Our ten panel discussions were dedicated to investment and technologies in many sectors – energy, agriculture, the blockchain, crypto-currency, and others,” said Andrey Kolodyuk, Ukrainian Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (UVCA) Chairman, at a press briefing at Ukraine Crisis Media Center.
“Our aim was to show the top-managers and investors the existing investment opportunities in Ukraine, with the emphasis on technology and innovations. We tried to show the best of Ukraine,” noted Alexa Chopivsky, Executive Director of Ukraine House Organizing Committee. “Ukraine – its ‘brains, hands and grains’, but this time we wanted to show our ‘brains’, and I think we succeeded in showing Ukraine as a modern country looking into the future,” added Lenna Koszarny, Horizon Capital Founding Partner & CEO, UVCA Board Member.
In addition to panel discussions, there was a cultural program representing bright examples of Ukrainian contemporary art – an exhibition of artist Anna Zvyagintseva, B&B Project band, and DJ Ksenia Palf. “We are very glad to have succeeded in showing Ukraine’s diversity, its technological advantages as well as creative achievements. It was the atmosphere where potential investors could make themselves at home,” noted Svitlana Grytsenko, representative of Victor Pinchuk Foundation.
Ukraine House presented its first awards to the biggest investors in Ukraine – Klychko brothers, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and Bohdan Hawrylyshyn (posthumously).
According to organizers, the majority of guests were surprised to hear how many investors are already working in Ukraine, and that blockchain technologies and crypto-currency are widely used in the country. “Now our main aim is to invite other companies to invest together with us. And we already have some ten proposals,” said Andrey Kolodyuk. He added that following a vivid interest in discussions about blockchain and crypto-currency, there will be a press tour to Ukraine for specialists interested in cooperation.
“We have met representatives of a number of venture funds interested in joining UVCA. These are companies from the EU and the US, as well as Ukrainian companies which are not our members yet. And we already have a number of agreements with representatives of associations and funds in London, similar to UVCA, as well as with the University of California, Berkeley to organize a number of events and initiatives which would bring together innovators and investors,” added Olga Afanasyeva, UVCA Executive Director.
Organization and all activities in Ukraine House Davos were funded by private donors only. “We understand the importance of Ukraine House Davos because it became a platform where Ukraine could show its best, and we must stay in touch with new acquaintances and continue everything we have achieved there”, noted Jaroslawa Johnson, WNISEF President & CEO. “We wanted to show that private sector must organize events of this kind, and we hope that next year Ukraine House will have more sponsors and partners who will help us make it even better”.
“I am very happy that the majority of Ukraine House sponsors and partners are UVCA members. It is a proof that we have a strong community which understands the importance not only of investing and doing business in Ukraine together with foreign companies but also the importance of contributing their own efforts and their money in order to build a powerful Ukraine’s brand,” Ms. Afanasyeva added.