● Researchers from the University of Sheffield and Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute have launched a new accelerator program to provide Ukrainian startups with access to the mentorship, training and funding they need to succeed.

The program will help Ukraine rebuild its entrepreneurial ecosystem, which is a crucial element in the country's post-war recovery.

● The "Building Back Better" initiative will help Ukraine develop startups in key sectors for recovery, such as infrastructure, industrial hi-tech, energy, engineering, and medical technology.

This week (April 19, 2023), a new acceleration program was launched to support Ukrainian startups and help rebuild the country's entrepreneurial ecosystem, an important step in Ukraine's post-war recovery.

The initiative, co-developed by researchers from the University of Sheffield School of Management and Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute, provides Ukrainian startups with the mentoring, training and access to funding opportunities they need to succeed.

The program's researchers believe that rebuilding Ukraine's entrepreneurial ecosystem is essential to helping the country recover from the war.

The initiative will help Ukraine grow startup companies and foster innovation in sectors that are key to recovery, such as infrastructure, industrial high-tech, energy, and biomedical engineering.

The accelerator program will consist of three stages: selection and training of startups in English and Ukrainian, incubation and mentoring, and the final stage, during which Ukrainian startups will visit Sheffield to pitch their projects to investors.

Just as it was before the war, Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute, one of the oldest, largest, and most prestigious universities in Ukraine, is the driving force behind many successful startups and innovation programs. Today, the university continues to support the development of new technologies and solve scientific problems in various fields.

Sheffield and KPI became officially the twinning partners of the year as part of the #TwinForHope campaign, in which universities from across the UK entered into twinning partnerships with their Ukrainian counterparts in response to the Russian invasion. Since then, the two institutions have launched a wide range of teaching, research, and practical initiatives to support Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute during the war. However, discussions between the two universities have identified post-war reconstruction as a key area of cooperation.

"We in Sheffield are very pleased to be able to continue our cooperation with Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute. This project will play a vital role in supporting Ukraine at a critical time in its history and will draw on both institutions' expertise in fostering entrepreneurship and creating new ventures. We look forward to working with the Sikorsky Challenge team and supporting the Ukrainian entrepreneurial ecosystem," commented Professor Wanya Sena, Head of the Department of Entrepreneurship and Enterprise at the University of Sheffield.

Before the war, KPI already had considerable experience in developing entrepreneurship and innovation. The university is the initiator and coordinator of the Sikorsky Challenge Ukraine (SCU), an all-Ukrainian innovation ecosystem that brings together 25 universities from across the country, as well as 12 city and 5 regional innovation clusters.

The SCU platform is a virtual environment where different players in the Ukrainian entrepreneurial ecosystem can work together to support the creation of high-growth enterprises in the country. Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute intends to develop the platform further and use it to implement an acceleration program developed jointly with the University of Sheffield.
Inna Maliukova, Head of the All-Ukrainian Innovation Ecosystem "Sikorsky Challenge Ukraine", said:

"The main goal of SCU is the innovative transformation and post-war reconstruction of Ukraine. The University of Sheffield also pursues this goal and inspires fruitful cooperation. It is worth noting that during the preparation of the project, when we compared our methodologies and educational programs, it turned out that they have a lot in common. This shows that we share similar views and have a common understanding of the goals and results of this project.

We are convinced that our cooperation will not end after this project, but will give impetus to scaling and development. In the future, we will promote the implementation of joint innovative projects. In addition, we hope that the University of Sheffield and jointly prepared projects will take part in our annual Sikorsky Challenge Innovation Festival. Through effective cooperation, we will jointly prepare and lead startup project teams to success."

Like Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute, the University of Sheffield has an excellent track record of translational research aimed at translating basic research into results that directly benefit society. Sheffield has a high quality commercialization process which has been the basis for the successful capitalization of Northern Gritstone, a new venture capital company set up to accelerate the commercialization of university research and start-ups in the North of England.

The University of Sheffield has one of the highest revenues from licenses for the use of intellectual property rights among UK universities, and in the latest Knowledge Exchange Framework survey - an assessment of how UK universities work with businesses and external partners - Sheffield was ranked in the top 20 percent of universities for intellectual property and commercialization.

Sheffield is an active participant in Enactus ,, a global program that offers students the opportunity to improve their entrepreneurial skills. The university has an Entrepreneurs in Residence program, where entrepreneurs work with staff and students to commercialize their research. Finally, Sheffield has been recognized as the best city to start a business in 2022 by the (Start-up Cities Index).

For more information

Media contact: Sean Barton, Public and Media Relations Officer at the University of Sheffield, 07808 890095 or s.barton@sheffield.ac.uk

About the University of Sheffield

The University of Sheffield is a leading Russell Group university with a world-class reputation. More than 30,000 students from 150 countries study in Sheffield. In a truly global community, they study side by side with over 1500 of the world's leading academics.

The University of Sheffield's world-impacting research underpins its high quality education. Students learn at the cutting edge of discovery from researchers working on today's global challenges.

Inspired by outstanding people, staff and students are committed to making a difference in the world by harnessing the energy and implementation of ideas and knowledge.

From the first documented use of penicillin in 1930 to the creation of Europe's largest research and development manufacturing cluster, Sheffield's inventive spirit and high-quality research environment set it apart.

Current research partners include Boeing, Rolls-Royce, Unilever, AstraZeneca, GlaxoSmithKline, Siemens and Airbus, as well as many government agencies and charities.

The Sheffield Student Government has been awarded the Whatuni Student Choice Award for the best Student Association for five years in a row. Students can choose from 350 societies and clubs or join more than 2000 volunteers.

More than 300,000 Sheffield alumni from 205 different countries have gone on to make a significant impact around the world, and six Nobel Prize winners are among its former staff and students.

To learn more, visit: www.sheffield.ac.uk

Link to the registration for the joint startup school at: http://psce.pw/sheffield-kpi
Contact persons:
Liudmyla Rusina, coordinator of international projects at Sikorsky Challenge
e-mail: li_rus@ukr.net
Sergiy Sergienko, coordinator of the Sikorsky Challenge startup school
e-mail: s.serhiienko@hotmail.com
Telegram: https://t.me/Serhii_Serhiienko

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