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Prospects for investment in the Ukrainian IT market - IDCEE 2011 - Investor Day in Ukraine

"Investor Day" IDCEE is held only the second time, but among the top five leading European conferences. This year's event  attended by some 2,000  participants from 34 countries. In the role of the conference speakers were  representatives of investment funds and IT companies, including Esther Dyson (EDventure Holdings), Alex Baker (BlackBerry Partners Fund),  Stefan Glentser (White Bear Yard), Florian Schweitzer (b-to-v Partners AG)  David Vorokvir (Mangrove Capital Partners), Renata  Akhunov (Skolkovo), Alexander Galich (Almaz Capital Partners) and many others.

Presentations and panel discussions  followed one after the  other and were very informative  not only in terms of useful information to investors and entrepreneurs - they are well reflected the mood and attitude as those, and other topical issues for business.  In general, any new truths or revelations  speakers did not say - sounded trends and prospects of investments in the IT business has been and remains quite transparent. Digest dubbed thesis might look as follows:  Eastern European market is not so developed to be of interest for large investment funds. At the present stage of the volume  of investments and profits can be very small (compared with other,  more developed regions).  However, most investors believe the market is very promising, particularly for the development of Internet projects.

Prospects for  investment in the Ukrainian  IT market - IDCEE 2011

The impression from the reports, honestly, was twofold. On the one hand:  good to see that investors see huge potential in  the domestic market and  are willing to invest, in turn, not less pleased with a lot of interesting start-ups and enthusiastic startups. On the other - the foreigners, it seems,  has already gained experience with the sad state  of our system, so noticeably cautious, outlining opportunities in the market and prospects for joint projects.  The difference in mentalities, unfortunately, very  palpable. More than once  the speakers directly  to the full text complained unpredictability  of Ukrainian business - to bring a project to  profitability, you need to spend much more effort, and the threat of unpredictable  external factors (economic or political) remains high.

During the reporting in the lobby worked so-called "Alley start-ups." Here young team presented their creations. Results were presented about 150 startups. Geography is not confined to one Ukrainian - are attended by guests from Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Slovakia, Poland and other Eastern European states, and several projects came from the UK and the USA. The vast majority of startups is a web-services or social internet projects. Hardly any of them claim to the laurels of Facebook, but interesting decisions - both for the average user, and for the business - was enough. However, the lack of useful and fun, or just off-line solutions - for example, an interactive mirror on the touch screen and webcam, allows the visitor to a clothing store not only treat but also to photograph themselves in various outfits, compare the pictures and even broadcast in the process of fitting the network. For a complete list of participants is available here. By the way, not everything submitted to the "alley" start-ups were such in fact - some of the projects were quite "mature," completed, but there is not enough popular companies. The purpose of their participation in the exhibition was, above all, the search for new partners.

On the perimeter, "the alley startups' boards have settled software companies: Luxoft, SoftServe, GlobalLogic, EPAM, Ciklum and others. Thus, characteristically, the purpose of their stay at the conference were quite different.

For example, GlobalLogic represent own development - a platform for medical equipment management for non-cardiac implant stimulators, Luxoft - a platform for on-board auto computers. EPAM has served as an investor, representing several third-party startups under his command. However, most companies were "to show themselves, but others see," or acting as sponsors willing to invest in promising projects, or, conversely, entrepreneurs / startups looking for investors.

In unofficial conversations surfaced yet another interesting, albeit obvious trend of the domestic IT business: the overwhelming majority of projects have been featured in one degree or another software - applications, services, platforms. Sad but true - despite the fact that Ukraine is not the last place in R & D-ranking countries, there are few complete cycles of the "iron", or the hardware and software development. At the same time China and India could well afford both the development and the creation of such a product from scratch. The reason? Probably just a lack of investment in the industry - after all, in fact, the financial costs of training developers are minimal. In order to deal with the creation of the equipment required is very serious material resources - stands, equipment, tools and licenses. It may be, gentlemen investors, it would have been quite promising investment - then the dream of a local Silicon Valley (repeatedly voiced from the scene) would have been far more justified ..