Are you looking for capital and/or mentorship for your startup? Beyond funding, Ukraine’s startup accelerators and incubators also offer founders incredible valuable support for product development, sales and marketing.
Whether you are looking to find a co-founder, build your MVP and/or get the seed money you need to scale up, accelerators and incubators are the way to go.
In this article we have listed our top picks for Ukraine’s best startup accelerators and incubators. So, if you haven’t yet started to apply, here is a good place to start learning about them.
This article is part of a series where we present you the top startup incubators and accelerators across Europe. For Eastern Europe, check out our rankings for Estonia, Romania, Hungary, Slovakia, Lithuania, Estonia, Czech Republic and Poland.
Here’s a summary of our top 6 picks for the best startup accelerators and incubators in Ukraine (in alphabetical order):
Using the terms “accelerator” and “incubator” interchangeably is a common mistake. Whilst they are similar and sometimes can be found under the same roof (organisation), they are very different.
As the name suggests, startup incubators are tailored more to startups still in their incubation period for their ideas. As such, incubators help startup founders turn their ideas into early working prototype versions of a product or service.
Joining an incubator comes with many perks for early stage businesses. For example, incubators will typically let you use office spaces for twelve months, and in some cases every several years.
Yet, not all incubators are equal. Some might be specialised on a specific industry, and others on a specific expertise: do you want to work on your Minimal Viable Product (MVP), or are you looking for help to kick-start your sales and marketing efforts?
Therefore, if you’re interested in joining an incubator program, you should first ask for feedback from founders who are currently in the program. You should find out how long they’ve been with the program and what growth they have achieved with its help.
Incubators are designed to turn business ideas into prototypes
In contrast, startup accelerators are ideal for startups that have already gathered some momentum. That’s why startup accelerators are best for startups with a complete cofounding team, a MVP, and that are looking to accelerate their growth (commercialise their product / service).
Accelerator programs usually take place between a few weeks to a couple of months. In that time, they’ll give you access to their network, connections, knowledge, and a relatively small amount of funding for your startup.
When looking for an accelerator program, it is crucial to do your research. Identify the program’s list of alumni. Who among their startups experienced success? How many failed? Who are in their list of mentors, and what accomplishments do these people have that you think would help you succeed in your business?
Taking the time to find the best-fit startup accelerator for your business is essential. After all, you’ll be trusting these people to help your business succeed.
1991 Open Data Incubator is an NGO that turns civic IT initiatives into successful start-ups in Ukraine. They welcome all tech innovations from ordinary citizens, corporate entities and governmental institutions.
Also, they offer pre-seed and seed investment to the start-ups with the best ideas and then, mentor them all throughout the program and even when they are fully launched.
In the first 3 years of operation alone, 1991 Open Data Incubator managed to run 10 national hackathons and various regional events, with more than 1,000 people signed up for their SocialBoost program, where over 800 ideas were generated from it and 20 projects were funded.
Blue Lake Accelerator is an initiative of the Ukrainian Startup Fund, which seeks to assist in the development of Ukrainian early-stage firms.
Their 3-month acceleration program includes seed funding, business coaching, mentorship support, coworking office space and other perks.
So if you are the founder of your start-up company and you have a minimum viable product (MVP), a complete founding team, international goals and early traction, then you should participate in this program.
EIT Digital is one of the top European incubators spearheading Europe’s digital transformation and is powered by digital innovation and entrepreneurial education.
Although clearly positioned on digital sectors, EIT Digital’s focus is varied and includes Industry, Smart Cities, Health tech, digital Infrastructure and Fintech.
Startups that participate in their 8-week incubator program get €25,000 in funding, in addition to discount perks and other benefits.
eō Business Incubator is a world-class mentor-driven incubation program created for Ukrainain start-ups.
Their intensive 4-month curriculum, customized to each participant, help Ukrainian startups with innovative products with a large potential impact on Ukraine’s economy and beyond.
Moreover, the incubation program offers $10,000 initial investment. In addition to funding, they also offer startups business coaching and mentoring sessions, coworking office space, access to millions of euros worth of facilities and equipment, and other perks are also on the table.
Finally, startups can also benefit from follow on investment rounds as they progress and become part of eō Business Incubator’s own investment portfolio.
ISE Corporate Accelerator is one of Ukraine’s top startup accelerators.
As its name suggests, ISE runs a corporate innovation accelerator, but it isn’t just for corporates. Indeed, ISE also runs a startup accelerator for early stage companies.
First, startups present their innovative idea and if good enough, then they go to the pre-seed investment stage where they receive funding for their project to come up with a prototype.
Finally, if the prototype is validated, then startups receive another seed investment plus mentoring to launch their product or service into the Ukrainian market, and beyond.
Startup Wise Guys (SWG) is a famous B2B start-up accelerator with multiple locations across Europe. Their chapter in Ukraine is specifically designed for companies in sustainability technology industries.
Established in Estonia in 2012, SWG has already helped accelerate more than 500 early-stage companies that are now all part of their alumni portfolio.
SWG is proud to have accelerated start-up founders from more than 40 countries across the globe with a survivability rate of above 77 percent.
Get more than €100,000 in funding for Ukrainian-based start-ups for your start-up project and enjoy the perks of being in their 6-month acceleration program, where you will get the best business training and mentoring.