#HackCorona. Sergey Tokarev increased the budget of the national competition of IT startups in Ukraine by a million

Industry: Software

Sergey Tokarev, the founder of GenIT, told about the winners of the national startup competition aimed at combating the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Kyiv, Ukraine (PRUnderground) April 28th, 2020

In Ukraine, there were determined the winners of the national competition #HackCorona that let IT projects to compete in fighting against the consequences of the coronavirus. The competition started in early April at the initiative of the Ministry of Digital Transformation of Ukraine with the support of EGAP. The prize fund was initially four million hryvnias (approx. 143,000 US dollars). Later, the founder of GenIT increased the prize by one million hryvnias (approx. 35,000 US dollars).

“I learned about the competition at its second stage. Then, 22 finalists were selected out of 899 applicants. Many projects impressed me with their up-to-date ideas, and I decided to support the initiative. It was important for me that more projects could receive funding and mentoring support. I offered my help by increasing the prize fund and offering consultations for the teams. The Ministry quickly responded to the proposal, and so further we have been teaming up together,” says Cyprus IT Forum partner, RefaceAI investor and GenIT founder Sergey Tokarev.

Among the contestants, there were electronic services that counteract the spread of the COVID-19 epidemic, social, educational, administrative and other public administrative services for citizens, especially relevant during quarantine; innovative ideas aimed at the development of digital social entrepreneurship during the quarantine, and also services aimed at supporting the most vulnerable groups during the quarantine.

There were five projects that shared the award-winning places:

KAZKOZVUK, a project created for children with visual impairments.

VUIKO, a marketplace for local farm manufacturers.

SkillAR, a mobile platform for interactive distance learning using augmented reality.

Digital Women 2020, a project aimed at stimulating the development of small and medium-sized businesses in Ukraine during the crisis and quarantine.

‘Sluhai’ (Ukr. Listen!), a library of audio books in Ukrainian.

“I had a detailed conversation with my personal favourites. VUIKO has impressed me with its idea. Small and medium-sized businesses are in a tough situation now and a right market place can greatly affect the development of farm products in Ukraine. At closer acquaintance, the team impressed me by their reaction. They took the initiative, they were quick on the uptake of all the recommendations and immediately changed their presentation accordingly. Behind any successful product, there is a team. In VUIKO, the team is absolutely great and strong.

Another startup that definitely deserves special attention is “Sluhai”. Firstly, this is a very beautiful social project—there is no other such a large-scale library of audio books in the Ukrainian language. Secondly, the initiative has already achieved significant results, although its participants are volunteers. The project and the team impressed me with their integrity and understanding of the matter. In addition, the initiative is similar to the Luckybooks project, which we founded several years ago. It publishes and distributes educational books in Ukrainian for free. I wish there were more such literature. Therefore, we decided to increase the prize for “Sluhai” and gave the team more than they requested in the competition.

A similar project is Kazkozvuk. This is a library for children with visual impairments. A team of students is behind this initiative, and young social entrepreneurs need special support now,” Sergey Tokarev talks about the winners.

The prize fund of the competition was shared in accordance with the amount requested by each team.

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