IT in Ukraine employs 100,000 professionals where 50,000 of them are software engineers.
As we moved around the start up community in New York, software engineers from Ukraine kept popping up everywhere. We knew that the out staffing industry had grown in the past decade in Ukraine. And we knew that companies all around the world rely on the engineering smarts of people in Ukraine to design, build and run all sorts of complex software.
Since our mission at Razom is to build a prosperous Ukraine and to amplify the voices of people from there who do that, we decided to take a closer look at the industry that is already tightly integrated with the global economy. As we have done since we came together in 2013, our first step was to put out a call to the public to test our idea. Would anyone show up?
People came. In less than a week, 55 people RSVPd and 50 showed up. Connections were made. Teams were formed. We decided that there is indeed a ‘there’ there and we moved ahead.
Andrij Tsinsiaruk gave an update on the US-Ukraine Innovation Cluster, based in Washington, DC. Andrey Akselrod made his office available to us. Max Sogin of Smartling told us about their investment in Ukraine where they have over 40 developers working on their product. Orest Bauer of Bauer Dental Arts made a contribution to defray some expenses.
Other Razom volunteers got the word out, found Leaf Vodka to sponsor drinks, snacks and a bartender. Photographers stepped up to document the event.
Photo by Yuriy Lozitsky