Since a full-scale invasion of Russia, the Ukrainian IT sector has confronted many issues that affected its development. However, the export of IT services in Q1 2023 shows worse achievements than in Q1 2022. Such a factor is explained by the lack of investments caused by a challenge for many companies to develop products during the war. That іs why it is essential to create specialized venture funds to help Ukrainian IT grow and prosper. Sergey Tokarev, an IT investor and co-founder of the technology company Roosh, shares insights on promoting IT services from Ukraine in the international arena.
The war has affected every area in Ukraine, including its partnerships abroad. Many foreign companies refuse to continue cooperating with Ukrainian outsourced developers and investing in new projects. The reason they break contracts with Ukrainian tech companies is high risk because of the war’s impact. On the other hand, Sergey Tokarev notes that it is also due to the massive layoffs and slowed IT development in the world’s tech giants.
“It is important to convey to the international community that the Ukrainian industry has adapted to the war conditions: specialists give 200% and generate new technological solutions, so military operations do not affect the quality and timing of work. If we can put the focus on this, we will get contracts back. This is especially important for IT companies that are currently located in Ukraine,” Tokarev believes.
At the same time, Sergey Tokarev emphasizes the positive side as a “blessing in disguise.” Because of the war, Ukrainian IT companies were forced to create foreign offices and develop networks abroad in order to maintain a competitive position in the international market. As a result, some companies work for countries worldwide while having headquarters in Ukraine. Also, there are a great deal of companies that opened offices abroad, though they have Ukrainian roots.
The entrepreneur believes that such a business run in IT allows Ukrainians to enter the international market and maximize their chances of appealing to investments from global players. This process is already happening, and the investor hopes it will become a stable trend. He adds that developing Ukrainian venture funds will enhance many tech companies and attract more investors.
Sergey Tokarev mentions MilTech startups as one of the present trends in Ukraine connected to the constant demand for defense-tech solutions. Such products are tested immediately in real conditions and show the world real results. Accordingly, it means funding will have room.
Another insight on how to support and promote Ukrainian IT is to invest in tech education. By telling this, the businessman means to strengthen its practical component. In particular, he mentions SET University as a worthy institution where people can obtain knowledge to develop the solutions that real technology companies need.
“After graduating from the university, young people should understand what to strive for, what opportunities they have, and what they can do further. To make it possible, students should be allowed to work on relevant business cases while they are studying,” the investor noted.