LIFT99 Kyiv Hub TAKEOFF
By Paula Pärnaste, Team Lead LIFT99 Kyiv Hub
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 a long silence another message popped up: “Well, there might have been around 20 people on the roof... including some famous journalist, hot shot investors, and startup founders. Oopsy daisy!”
It was a celebration of Ukraine and all its talent - of the legendary Ukrainian inventions and of the innovators of the future. For example, did you know that the modern helicopter was invented by Igor Sikorsky, an Ukrainian? The vibes of thinking bold and being fearless float throughout our floors. When you come for a visit, we’ll be glad to tell you the stories that inspired the creation of this space.
And of course, it was also a celebraton of our landing in Ukraine - as of April 2019, the LIFT99 Kyiv Hub is officially open! We’re lucky to have some extremely talented and hardworking founders and startup specialists in our community already. The past has been written, but the future of Ukrainian startups can still be bigger than anyone even dares to dream today! Our mission is to help build that Ukrainian startup ecosystem.
As LIFT99 founder Ragnar said in the opening speech: “We are here for one reason – we want to help YOU guys to change the world! And change this country!”
Opening our second hub, here in Kyiv, is just the first step towards changing the Ukrainian startup ecosystem for the better. Let's take foreign investors’ interest towards Ukraine as an example – most of US and European VCs don’t even look in Ukraine’s direction. We want to change that. We’re working hard to put Ukraine’s startup scene solidly on the world map.
To build the first bridge, we hosted a pre-launch event that put founders in the same room with investors and partners from VC funds, including Bryce Keane (Atomico) and Taizo Son (Mistletoe) to start the conversation between them and the local founders.
But this wasn't our last meetup. Keep an eye on our events calendar in Facebook, not to miss any cool tech events in Kyiv. And if you’re an active founder, dedicated to growing your startup, you can apply to join our Founders to Founders community - we organize closed meetups for founders on a regular basis, so they can get answers to their burning questions, find support from a borderless community, and increase the chances for their startup to take over the world!
The pre-launch event was followed by the BIG BANG grand opening party with our friends and partners from Ukraine, Estonia, Japan, United Kingdom, Belarus, Latvia, and beyond.
As our hub’s design is strongly influenced by the Ukrainian inventions in aviation and space industries, the theme of the party was an easy pick - cosmic, absolutely cosmic! And we’re glad to see the photos simply speak for themselves - check out the gallery!
Thank you everyone who joined in and helped to create a night to remember!
Now let’s get back to work – building up the next generation of Ukrainian startup community.