Ukrainian Business Bootcamp Hosted
27th November 2023
Last week, a two-day Ukrainian Business Bootcamp was held. Aimed at entrepreneurs interested in opening businesses in Ireland, the event was organised by United for Changes – an initiative that assists Ukrainians in integrating into Irish society, with support from global law firm DLA Piper Ireland.
The bootcamp was also supported by the Business Post Group, Dogpatch Labs, Enterprise Ireland, The Communications Clinic and two Irish-based Ukrainian businesses, The Happy Family Bakery and Freedom Beauty Space.
The founders of United for Changes, Anna Krys and Pavlo Bogachenko, wanted to create an event that not only helps Ukrainian people start businesses but also establishes a business community where Irish professionals can exchange their experiences with Ukrainians.
According to David Carthy, Managing Partner of DLA Piper Ireland, “Ireland is a great place to start a business, and we are happy supporting the Ukrainian community in this.”
A total of 30 displaced Ukrainians attended the event. Some of them had entrepreneurial experience in Ukraine and lost their businesses due to the war. Those without business experience are at the idea stage of their projects.
Participants took part in workshops led by top Irish and international professionals and engaging in mentorship sessions with experts. They learned about all aspects of starting a business in Ireland, including legal and tax questions, business plan development, and marketing strategies.
The sessions were delivered by more than 20 speakers and mentors, coming from DLA Piper, Enterprise Ireland, Business Post Group, Google, Deloitte, Kilcullen Kapital Partners, TechiesGoGreen, The Communications Clinic, RDI Hub, ShareClub, What The Hack, Agreeable Capital, other companies and private consultancies.
In addition to training and mentorship sessions, entrepreneurs studied how to pitch their ideas effectively. This helped them prepare for the pitch competition that concluded on the second day. It was one of the most exciting moments, where all participants could share their ideas with attendees and the jury. Participants’ business ideas were coming from a wide range of areas, including services, hospitality, retail, consulting, equipment manufacturing, digital marketing, tech, Eco-friendly products, etc.
After scoring and discussion, the jury announced the five winners of the pitch competition:
•Valentyn Martyniuk with the idea of opening a food truck with Ukrainian food. He is a chef with ten years of experience, a participant of MasterChef Professionals (Ukraine), currently working in a restaurant in Sligo.
•Olena Smirnova with a business producing electrical equipment, specifically a dust collector for nail technicians and beauty salons around the world.
•Julia Sereda is planning to open a web studio for creating websites.
•Vladyslav Pavlov – leads a family business which produces natural care cosmetics in Ukraine, and wants to relocate the business to Ireland.
•Viktoriia Horbonos and Mykola Kuleshov – want to open a café in Ukrainian style.
The winners will receive support from DLA Piper, Enterprise Ireland, Conor Daly (Co-Founder of TechiesGoGreen), and William Kelly (Business Post Group and Kilcullen Kapital Partners). Start-up incubator, Dogpatch Labs, will provide support to one participant with a tech startup idea.
All participants had the opportunity to share their ideas with experts in the field to improve them and explore business opportunities.