First Competition for the Best Real-Life Case in IT kicks off in Ukraine
First Competition for the Best Real-Life Case in IT kicks off in Ukraine
According to a study conducted by UNIT.City back in 2018, only 20% of Ukrainian corporations from the Top 100 have experience of cooperation with startups. At the same time, detachment from innovations reduces a company's flexibility and competitiveness both in the local and in the global market. Such companies are slower to react to changes, and they cannot keep up with the competition — especially in the time of pandemic and global digitalization.

To change these trends and popularize Ukrainian startups in Ukraine and abroad, an innovation agency, Center42, supported by the USAID Competitive Economy Program, launched the Ukraine Innovation Awards 2020. It was the first Ukrainian competition in which not only startups but also real-life cases were awarded. The primary focus was on promoting cooperation between startups and corporations.

"We believe that using the existing technological potential, innovations can be a driving force for the renewal of the Ukrainian economy. Ukrainian technology startups going into new business niches, testing new solutions, and launching competitive products applied to both Ukrainian industries and global markets play a significant role in this," says Valeriy Dobrovolsky, Manager of Initiatives for the IT Sector of the USAID Competitive Economy of Ukraine Program.

"As part of Ukraine Innovation Awards, we want to promote the innovation growth in Ukraine, attract investments in this field, and show that startups can actively perform as digital transformation tools for companies and help them become more efficient, earn more and improve the quality of their customer service," says Kirill Mazur, CEO and founder at Center42.

The nomination stage ended on May 31. Overall, there were eight categories for nomination in the competition, each of which the jury handpicked the winners. The jury consisted of 50 people, which united almost all the major organizations of Ukraine's startup ecosystem. It included representatives from USAID, Ukrainian Startup Fund, UNIT.City Innovation Park, active Ukrainian investors, heads of innovation departments of such large companies as Nova Poshta, DTEK, OTP Bank, and other market players.

In each of the nominations, the jury selected 5-10 winners and also rated the top 20 women entrepreneurs in Ukrainian tech businesses. Together with Center42 and USAID, AIN.UA talks about the winning cases, as well as plans for the development of the competition.
In this category, the best innovative solutions based on cooperation between corporations and startups were awarded. The jury considered how these solutions helped Ukrainian companies become more profitable and efficient.
The Best Corporation-Startup Collaboration 2020
Intertop was looking for a solution to optimize the 2019 Summer Sale and overcome two main challenges:
quickly clean the shelves while maintaining gross profit and margin;
revaluation of goods took a lot of time — one had manually to view the sales dynamics to determine a price.
The Competera startup already had a turnkey solution, which they decided to implement at Intertop. Firstly, the generated price recommendations based on the elasticity of demand allowed to increase the gross profit and margin, and secondly, the platform factored in all business rules to determine optimal prices. As a result, the revaluation was reduced to 15 minutes, and according to the pilot results, Intertop achieved their stated business goals — maintaining 10.3% of gross profit and 200 bp margin.
Another win of Competera. In this case, WiggleCRC Group, the leading British online store with an annual turnover of $500 million and worldwide sales, reached out to the Competera startup for help in several aspects. The company faced three main problems:
significant efforts involved in revaluation in 5 price regions with different currencies;
partially automated revaluation with incomplete consideration for competition;
non-transparent decision-making process for other teams.
The retailer, WiggleCRC Group, achieved their goals within two months:
revaluation time across dozens of company websites in 5 price regions has shrunk by 50%;
they managed to make pricing consistent and competitive for more than half a million products;
the logic of pricing decisions became accessible and transparent for 80 employees from other teams.
As a result of cooperation with the Limpid Technology startup, DTEK implemented a security monitoring system, Farseer, at Ladyzhyn TPP using digital cameras based on artificial intelligence from Limpid Technology. The 25 cameras monitor employees using personal protective equipment and control access to restricted or dangerous areas. The detection range of cameras is up to 60 meters.

As a result, Limpid Technology made it possible to increase labor safety by 80% and prevent potential risks to employees' lives. Also, the service allows collecting data for analytics and training AI in any additional security requirements specific to DTEK plants or other companies.
The winners in this category were awarded for the best cases of launching innovative solutions within the company, implemented by in-house teams. In particular, these are R&D departments of companies that launch new products and business models for the company.

The innovation process is a consequence of the natural course of events, a kind of evolution of technology. Charles Darwin said that not the strongest survive, but the one who knows how to adapt to new conditions. Internal innovation is a way for a company to survive at a time when the market constantly demands new solutions. At We_Challenge, we see a constant growth of activity and interest in the topic of corporate innovations in Ukraine every year. It inspires," explains Eugenia Bespalova, СОО of We_Challenge, co-founder of Ukrainian Bridge.
The Best In-House Innovation 2020
The company managed to combine services for B2C and B2B in its PRIDE app. The app can simultaneously work with both regular customers and corporate clients, cooperation with which involves wholesale and other levels of discounts and conditions.

The service has significantly improved the customer experience and, as a result, the number of active WOG fuel cards (those that have refueled in the last three months) today exceeds 100,000, and the number of active users among legal entities is more than 7,000.

14,000 cards out of this number are tokenized. This allows you to quickly and securely pay in stores, on websites, and in apps. The service does not reveal a buyer's bank card number to the seller. Instead, a token is assigned to the card — a unique combination of numbers that will be used to complete transactions.
During the quarantine, the chain launched its e-commerce system with customer pickup and delivery services across all regions of the chain's presence in a record-breaking time of 3 weeks. Their goal was to provide a service that would allow customers to spend as little as possible time in a store or order the delivery of favorite products from home.

The project was developed by the in-house team of Fozzy Group holding jointly with Silpo, TemaBIT (part of Fozzy Group), and the Fozzy Group logistics team.

As a result, they managed to launch their own online store, an online order system, and a pickup system from 260 supermarkets of the chain, as well as their own delivery service across all cities and towns with Silpo supermarkets. Recently, the chain has launched an express delivery service in under 40 minutes in Kyiv, and soon, the pilot project will spread to other large cities of Ukraine.
The company has set itself the following ambitious goals:
The company has developed a system that allows its customers to order delivery to the door or pick up their orders from any supermarket without queues. Today the service is available across the entire chain.

After an order is placed, the system selects a store that meets the customer's criteria (assortment, basket weight, and customer location). If the client has chosen delivery, the Last Mile service will select the best courier option. The deliveries are fulfilled by such companies as Uklon, iPost, Ukrposhta, and local partners.

Implementation of the innovative platform helped the company achieve the following results — NPS grew up to 65%, the current average delivery time is 1.5 hours, an average receipt is UAH 670, and the number of new customers has grown by 40%.
boost their net promoter score (NPS) up to 70%;
delivery time for products should not exceed 2 hours;
average receipt must be more than UAH 500;
the number of new customers in the service should increase by 30%.
Under this category, the award was given to cases in which a startup from Ukraine became a supplier of innovative solutions for companies and helped them increase profitability and efficiency in 2019-2020.
The Best Startup Innovation 2020
The company offers a finished product that helps both legal and business departments of the company to speed up the process of creating and negotiating contracts. AXDRAFT's solution helps reduce the document approval cycle from the usual several hours (and sometimes days) to 10 minutes. Artificial intelligence compares different templates and determines whether the document is drawn up correctly, as well as the built-in collaboration system allows several parties to approve any document simultaneously and without delay.

At the present moment, the startup has already secured the Ukrainian market and is working towards entering the international market. The company has signed contracts with Slack, Adama, Louis Dreyfus, Glovo, Sandoz, Flo Health, as well as DTEK, MHP, and Dragon Capital.

In the span of a year, the company tripled the number of contracts generated by the system — from 9,000 in 2018 to 27,000 in 2019, and 44,000 by mid-2020. This has already saved over 15 years of work time for the employees of companies that collaborate with AXDRAFT.
Yet another win for Competera. Competera is a SaaS product that provides retailers and vendors with pricing guidance for products sold by analyzing competition and market pricing policies. Recommendations are structured in such a way that customers would continue making purchases, while the seller maximized their earnings.

As Alexander Galkin, CEO of the company, explains, Competera helps retailers find the optimal price for their products.

As of May 2019, the company managed goods worth $60 billion — this is the sum of all Competera customers' turnovers. The startup has over 90 clients from 26 countries across 12 industries.
3DLOOK is working on a technology for scanning the human body from a photo using artificial intelligence, neural networks, and 3D technologies. The company was founded in 2016 by Vadim Rogovskiy, who previously headed Clickky

The company underwent acceleration at back in 2017, receiving $50,000 in investments in exchange for a 7% stake in the company, and in 2019 became a resident of the largest startup campus in the world, Station F. In June 2020, 3DLOOK raised $1,000,000 from a pool of investors who have already invested in the project. ICU Ventures financial group acted as the lead investor.

The company has developed a widget that helps consumers choose the right size of an item just taking two photos. One of the company's customers is an American company that sells women's jeans online. Since the start of cooperation with 3DLOOK in April 2020, 79% of users who used the widget made a purchase in the store. Also, as a result of using 3DLOOK's product, it has become known that 62% of customers were shorter than the standard size model, but were 3 to 8 inches wider at the hips.
In this category, the jury selected the most prominent Ukrainian early-stage startups with an innovative product that has shown the best revenue growth, investment attraction, or other success over the past year.

"It is nice to see that the Ukrainian ecosystem is not only growing, but also improving qualitatively. Over the past 1.5 years, every day, we see more and more startups in which we do want to invest. And we believe that initiatives like Ukraine Innovation Awards are very conducive to these changes, as they induce healthy competition among projects and create powerful role models for future entrepreneurs," notes Elena Mazhukha, investment manager at Genesis Investments.
The Best Early Stage Startups in Ukraine 2020
The team has created a platform for real estate agents, which combines all data about buyers with data about the real estate available on the market. In January 2020, the startup was selected to participate in Techstars Austin accelerator. Propertymate received three months of mentoring and $120,000 in investment under the program.

In 2019-2020, the startup helped complete over 2,200 residential real estate transactions worth more than $ 1.1 billion for more than 70 developers and 1,300 agents of the largest U.S. trading companies. Among them are Sotheby's IR, Compass, eXp Realty, and others.

In addition, since the start of the pandemic, Propertymate has attracted over 85 new clients, including the largest U.S. developers (Lennar, Taylor Morrison, and Pulte Homes).
The startup is developing a nect MODEM 4G modem that connects to a laptop with eSIM support and a Wi-Fi hotspot feature. The body of the device is made of recycled plastic. The modem can distribute the Internet to ten devices, has a built-in VPN and Firewall.

In June 2020, nect WORLD Inc. launched a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo and raised $ 262,676. That is 875% of the required amount — they originally wanted to raise $30,000.

The startup took part in Boomtown Accelerator in Colorado, the U.S. At the pitching, the startup was supported by Barbara Corcoran, a businesswoman from Shark Tank.
A team of developers from Ukraine figured out how to destroy mosquitoes naturally. In 2019, they developed a prototype of a gadget that is installed in insect habitats.

The device does not use substances harmful to human health and is safe for the environment. The device has been pre-certified in the U.S. and received a trademark there.

In January 2020, the startup took part in CES in Las Vegas, where they entered the top ten startups according to the results of the Techstars pitching. Also, in Las Vegas, the team conducted over 350 interviews with potential clients and investors.
In February-April, the startup signed partnership agreements with the following companies:
Centex Termite and Pest (Waco, Texas);
Abhishek Business Consolidations Private Limited (India);
Anbell Group (Jamaica);
ABM Group (Pakistan);
SiS International Holdings Limited (Singapore);
AccessPLUS Communications (Republic of Ghana).
Mosquito Control is one of the six best hardware startups, according to Ukrainian Venture Capital and Private Equity Association Overview 2019 (UVCA). The founder of Mosquito Control is a graduate of eō Business Incubators from the USAID Competitive Economy of Ukraine Program.
The jury also selected the winners in other categories of the competition. For example, Goldman Sachs, Iconiq Capital, Y Combinator, and Continuity Fund won in the category The most valuable investor in Ukraine's startups 2020. They conjointly invested $268 million in Gitlab, a startup with Ukrainian roots.

The winners in the category The most active VC investor in Ukraine's startups 2020 became Genesis Investments. They had tough competition with TA Ventures, Horizon Capital, SMRK, Admitad Invest, Adventures Lab, Andreessen Horowitz, Iconiq Capital. Startups Wise Guys won in the category The most active accelerator investing in Ukrainian startups 2020. It made more deals in Ukraine than other competitors like TechStars, 500 Startups, Sector X, and Y Combinator.

The category Top 20 Women Tech Entrepreneurs in Ukraine 2020 is worth a separate mention. In this category, the jury selected 20 women entrepreneurs whose companies showed the highest growth in 2019.

The top 20 women entrepreneurs included Viktoria Repa (founder of BetterMe startup), Anna Mazur (founder of Happy Monday project), Anna Polishchuk (co-founder of Allset startup), as well as Margarita Sivakova (co-founder of Legal Nodes startup) and many other pro-active women entrepreneurs. Read more about the competition here.
Other categories and winners
Center42 is not going to stop after the announcement of the competition results. The organizers plan to make an active promo of the winners among 200 partner investors in Ukraine, the U.S., Eastern Europe, as well as among large Ukrainian corporations so that they would agree to innovative experiments and cooperation with progressive startups more often.

"We plan to help the winners in the competition in the future by providing them consultations, identifying potential partners, and attracting investments. Also, our organization plans to make this competition annually and contribute to the development of innovations in Ukraine at an even higher level," says Kirill Mazur.

Center42 innovation agency was established at the end of 2018. It was founded by the former head of UNIT.City innovation park ecosystem. Center42 helps companies launch their own startup programs, advises entrepreneurs and investors on fundraising and new digital product launches.

"Our task is to act as a catalyst for innovation. If a company plans to launch its accelerator or online hackathon, start working with startups, then they can come to us, and we will help organize everything," says Kirill Mazur.

In two years, Center42 has implemented joint projects with such large international companies and funds as MetLife, Bayer, USAID, MEGOGO, Startup Lithuania, The Next Web, and many others.

USAID Competitive Economy Program in Ukraine supports startups, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) aiming to provide support for competitive industries and firms on Ukrainian and international markets, foster a better business enabling environment, and enabling Ukrainian companies to benefit from international trade.
What's next
Nataliia Minailo
The article prepared under the sponsorship of USAID and Center42
What does that mean?
При использовании материалов сайта обязательным условием является наличие гиперссылки в пределах первого абзаца на страницу расположения исходной статьи с указанием бренда издания AIN.UA. Материалы с пометками «Новости компаний» и PR публикуются на правах рекламы.
© 1999-2020 AIN.UA
This article was prepared under the sponsorship of an advertiser