Raising your first round might seem like a mission impossible. Raimonds Kulbergs has put together a list of the most active Estonian angel investors, including their investment focus and ticket size. May this be a piece of the starter-kit for all the young founders out there… so they wouldn’t “half-ass through the process”. Like Raimonds did.
Yuriy believes that if you don't have any high level professional experience, you can’t build a great company – unless you are a true prodigy. The idea for AXDRAFT is based on some real struggles he was facing as one of the top lawyers in Ukraine, the same unnecessary hassle that all lawyers experience daily. His idea took off and today he’s a YC graduate, sharing his story and practical tips with others founders, in person, via our Salto network, and in Ukraine in general.
The morning after the LIFT99 Kyiv Hub TAKEOFF – the grand opening party of our Kyiv hub – a message popped up on our team’s Slack channel: “Guys, did anyone go on the roof last night?”. After long silence another message popped up: “Well, there might have been around 20 people on the roof... including some famous journalist, some hot shot investors, and startup founders. Oopsy daisy!”
Yes, Houston, we had a party!
Oliver is one of those inspiring people who, by some magic, seems to have more hours in his week than the rest of us. He’s running a coworking centre, organizing hacker competitions, and building a scaling startup in cybersecurity. In a few years, he’s come further than many do in decades. How? “I have absolutely no fear of failing!”
Sofiia Shvets is the founder and CEO of Let’s Enhance. Coming from Google, she has seen close up how to guide complicated processes and has experienced the impartance of good culture. As a person, her passion is people. As a founder, she has taken on the challenge of applying machine learning to creating great visual content.
Kirill Bigai, the founder and CEO of Preply – one of the most outstanding startups in Ukraine - is on a mission to bring the efficiency of learning to a new level. Preply’s team has been growing fast in the last years and they just opened a new office in Barcelona, with plans to grow the team there to a 100 people over the next year and a half.
Avery Schrader is the founder and CEO of Modash. He’s also known for being the goofy host of an event series called LIFTOFF, interviewing some of the most outstanding entrepreneurs. Couple of years ago he left his hometown in Canada to travel, chop vegetables on the way and climb. That eventually led him to move to Estonia and start his own company.
One of the exciting things that new year brought is the fact that we can finally say “We’re opening the Kyiv Hub this year! ” The construction works are planned to be finished in March and the official opening date will be announced in the next few weeks. To feed your curiosity, here’s some information you’ve been asking for.
Anton Mishchenko, the founder of YouTeam, and his team bootstrapped YouTeam to over €1M in annual gross revenue without any external investment. This year they were the 4th Ukrainian startup ever to be accepted into Y Combinator. It’s a big year for the team and for Anton – he also just recently moved back to his hometown Kyiv to set up an office there after living in London for almost 15 years.
“Robin Saluoks is the next Markus Villig,” said Ragnar in summer 2018. Just 4 months later, the 23-year-old founder of eAgronom accepted the title of Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2018, following the footsteps of Kristel Kruustük and Markus Villig. eAgronom is on the way to doing great things. LIFT99 is has decided to give them a bit of a lift.
LIFTOFF is a startup podcast with a live audience of around 100 people, highlighting the stories and struggles of startup founders who have battled to realize their big ideas. Launched in 2018 by LIFT99 and Avery Schrader, the CEO of Modash.io, we’ll keep on bringing you new founder stories every month from the region’s top founders.
Good advice should not go astray. Kaidi Ruusalepp, the Founder & CEO of Funderbeam is one of those people who has lots of good advice. Last month LIFT99 hosted an event with the I Am Tomorrow initiative to highlight strong female role models and inspire more women to undertake the journey of entrepreneurship. Among the speakers was Kaidi who blew us away with her story.
For some people, “impossible” is just a word. Kaarel Kotkas, the Founder and CEO of Veriff is one of them. Today I am super happy to share with you the news Kaarel announced this morning - Veriff raised an A Round and LIFT99 is on board of this amazing ride! - By Ragnar Sass, CEO & Founder of LIFT99
Ahti Heinla is considered to be the grandfather of #EstonianMafia. In the last 15 years, he has co-founded several startups, amongst others Starship Technologies and Skype. We refer to him as a great example of a humble leader. In May 2018, he was the special guest of Startup Grind organized by LIFT99.