Sergey Tokarev, the founder of Roosh, a renowned technology company, appreciated the efforts of Ukraine in the field of IT in the last 20 years. According to him, Ukraine has overcome a lot of challenges in terms of IT development, however, a lot more is needed to be done. Technological development in Ukraine started in the mid-2000s. Before that, ‘startups’ was an alien word for Ukrainian investors even though the word was first used in Forbes in 1976.
The initial step taken by Ukraine in the field of IT advancement was to provide IT specialists to the world. These specialists worked on the technological programs in the US and Europe where they got huge recognition. Sergey Tokarev, the IT investor, said, “Then outsourcing companies that developed custom-made products in the United States and Europe began to grow like mushrooms. Ukrainian developers were noticed on the market. We have declared ourselves.”
The work on Grammarly, a renowned Ukrainian software company, was started in 2009 by Lytvyn and Shevchenko. It took 12 years to take this startup to a $13 billion market cap. However, it is the only startup that emerged to such a height during this tenure. Why have there been no other such projects? The Roosh founder answered this question as a lack of investors’ interest in startups and technology. Without investors, any bright idea can quickly get faded away. However, the success of Grammarly since 2009 has brought a significant change in the Ukrainian IT sector. “In fact, we have switched from industrialization to the space age and overcame two technological paradigms in a few years. We have full-fledged venture funds, and investors are in constant search of their unicorns,” said Sergey Tokarev.
The IT investor appreciated the speed and rate of development in the IT sector of Ukraine. The Ukrainian IT developers and programmers have started working on developing creative and innovative products and services based on technology. The sector has witnessed speed in development in the last 20 years. Now, there is a need for a full-fledged technological ecosystem to push the IT sector forward in the next 20 years.
Sergey Tokarev also talked about how to develop a full-fledged IT ecosystem in Ukraine. He raises two important points in this regard including the role of investors and the development of top IT products. The role of investors is to get together at a single place, exchange ideas, and look at the market with the lenses of key insights every year. He praised the Mazepa Awards initiative in this regard, “Recently, the founder of Concord Capital and my good friend Igor Mazepa has announced the creation of the Mazepa Awards prize for investors. The award is extremely valuable for shaping a full-fledged technological culture in Ukraine.”
For developing top products, there is a need for advanced-level technological education and access to the latest technology. The Roosh founder said, “We are working on one of them together with the Kyiv School of Economics. This is SET University, a full-fledged Ukrainian technological university focused on science, entrepreneurship, and technology.” It will allow the students to develop their own startups, test them, and implement them in real-life cases.