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On June 8 in Dnipro's "Menora" center took place the most important for the Dnipropetrovsk region IT-event of this summer – IT_Dnipro Conference 2018. Four informative panels, useful content and insights from the speakers, emotional discussions - that's how the event be remembered by over 150 of guests and participants not only from the Dnipro, but also from other regions of the country. The main topics of the conference were: the state and prospects of the Dnipro IT-industry, successful cases of business and technology synergies, the problems of regional IT-education development and enter of Ukrainian companies to the world market.

This year the conference was opened by a word from an Executive Director of ІТ Dnipro Community Evhen Hostischev.

"The IT-community of Dnipro is fourth in size among other Ukrainian cities. With a remarkable technological base, we are able to become the largest IT-hub in Ukraine. First of all, we need to consolidate our strengths and share experiences of overcoming barriers and challenges. Today's conference is a great opportunity to listen to the representatives of companies which have already found ways to solve some problems. Hopefully, here and now you will find answers to your exciting questions", noted Hostischev.

After the opening ceremony, the first block of the conference began. It was devoted to the role of Dnipro and Dnipropetrovsk region in the Ukrainian economy, the level of development of Dnipro's IT-sphere and its prospects. The panel was opened by Maria Kot, Regional Director of Luxoft's Dnipro office, with a presentation of an analytical study of Dnipro's economic indicators.

According to her, the region generates 10.2% of the GDP of the country, being second only to Kiev, and the volume of foreign investment in Dnipro in 2016 amounted to 1.6 billion UAH. Also, Maria told about the growth rate of the IT-community of Dnipro and forecasts of its further development.

"Today 7 thousand of IT specialists work in Dnipro, their number grows by almost 1 thousand each year, and by 2020 the number of developers in the region will increase to 10 thousand. But the pace of development of the IT sector can be accelerated by creating the appropriate conditions and making the city more attractive to specialists from other cities and countries. For this, we need to develop an IT-industry development strategy and concentrate on three main fields of work – development of education, city infrastructure and the creation of a business incubator for IT start-ups", – said Kot.

The panel was followed by a discussion with Maria Kot; Oleksandr Kubrakov, Executive Director of the IT Ukraine Association; Dmytro Vasylinenko, Director of Sitecore Ukraine; Victor Puzanov, Advisor to the Chairman of the Dnipro's Regional State Administration investment branch; Dr. Wolfgang Mösinger, General Consul of the Federal Republic of Germany in Donetsk. Moderator of the discussion was Mykola Demchenko, a partner of the law firm "Pravoe Delo".

The participants discussed Maria's statement, agreeing with the concrete steps she proposed to develop the city's attractiveness.  Oleksandr Kubrakov noted that the growth rate of the IT-industry is 5-6 times higher than the rate of development of Ukraine's GDP, which makes it the most attractive for foreign investments. He also added that for the successful presentation of the city to foreign partners, it is important to have a developed infrastructure. Dmitry Vasilinenko told about the importance of the level of employee experience to increase company profits. According to him, in order to interest experienced specialists to stay in the Dnipro, it is necessary to create appropriate conditions for this, both within the company itself and in the region.

The second panel of the conference was opened by Evhenia Len, CEO of Dinarys, with a presentation on "Building Business Processes with SMMI Level System". She shared the experience in changing a business model, the problems that the company faced at the same time and the result achieved after the company's radical transformation.

The next was Kostyantyn Lezhnin, Deputy Chairman of the Board of UKRSIBBANK, who told about how FinTech's innovations change classic banking services.

"The rapid spread of newest IT-technologies has led to users around the world expecting new solutions from banks, which is why today the world is experiencing a revolution in FinTech. Only last year, the volume of investments in this field amounted to more than $15 billion, and almost a quarter of the total financing of the banking industry in the world ($50 billion from $200 billion) is the cost of implementing innovative technologies in the usual work of banks", noted Lezhnin.

Kostyantyn Lezhnin

After the presentation about FinTech came the turn of IT-innovations in MedTech. Andriy Yushchenko, SOLVVE's COO, on the example of his own company providing services to medical institutions in the USA, spoke about the benefits of blockchain technology for the preservation of medical data of patients.

A panel discussion was completed with the second block of the conference: Evhenia Len, Kostyantyn Lezhnin; Andriy Yushchenko; Olexiy Tulin, Founder & CEO at Archer Software and Arthur Mikhno, co-founder and head of WORK.UA. Moderator of the discussion was Mykola Demchenko. The participants discussed such topics as the impact of IT-innovations on traditional areas of the economy, the role of the creative class in shaping the portrait of a modern country, helping the state in search of access to world markets and even gender relations in the IT-industry.

The third block of the conference was devoted to the problems of IT-education in the Dnipropetrovsk region. It was opened by Tetyana Kasyan, HR-director of the company ISD, which presented a successful business cooperation case and local universities. In her report, she, in particular, talked about the company's contribution to the educational process of local high schools.

"With the positive experience of engaging our students in our courses to participate in commercial projects of the company, we have decided to invite students from local universities to this process. As a place of recruitment of students, we chose the Dnipro State University. After talking at the IT-department, we realized that for such a long period we would not be allowed to distract students from learning. Instead, we were offered to read a practical IT-course for students, and ISD has been lecturing to the DNU for 4 years already",  Kasyan said.

Oleksiy Dyshlevyi, Head of Training of Junior Specialists of EPAM Ukraine in Vinnytsia, continued the topic of training newcomers in the IT-sphere. His speech was devoted to the problem of training young professionals, graduates of higher education and IT courses.

"Unfortunately, the experience shows that many of the graduates who arrange for us to work do not have enough practical skills. And it is not surprising – the three-month profile courses are not enough to train full-fledged Junior-specialists. Therefore, we have to invest our own resources in order to support and teach at least some of the most talented ones", – said Dyshlevyi.

The discussion continued on the future of IT-education development in the region, the trends of the modern educational process, the need for real production practices for students of IT-specialties. Tetyana Kasyan participated in it, as well as Oleksandr Hyzha, president of DataArt Dnipro, associate professor of the FMP DNU and Mykola Kuzichev, head of the information technology center of the City Center for Education Management of the Department of Humanitarian Policy of the Dnipro City Council. The moderator of the discussion was Oleksiy Dyshlevyi.

After a short break, the conference participants switched to the final, fourth block of the event, devoted to the way foreign clients see Ukraine and its specialists.

Oleksandr Yaremenko, Chief Legal Officer, SP Advisors COO, was the first in this panel. In his speech, he disclosed the peculiarities of doing business with companies registered in the United States, and explained, based on Wyoming's example, why US jurisdiction is better than doing business through offshore counterparties. The second part of his speech was devoted to the Ukrainian-Canadian CUTIS Trade and Export Support Project.

The next word was taken by Emiliano Ramos, Emerging Europe Alliance for Business Services. His speech was devoted to stereotypes of foreign entrepreneurs in Ukraine and ways to overcome them.

Emiliano Ramos

"The first set of stereotypes about Ukraine is the low level of the economy, corruption and war. We know that this is not entirely true. In Ukraine, the banking system was restructured, and the IT industry is well-developed. But, unfortunately, some foreign businessmen have to be invited and personally accompanied during a trip to Ukraine to prove that this is not that bad. As for me, I believe that the level of service in Ukraine is the highest among non-EU European countries", Ramos said.

Yan Cernov, Founder&CEO of FullStackUA and Kaiiax, spoke in the panel. His speech was devoted to the need to create a brand service IT-industry.

"The brand of Ukraine in the world has no systemic nature, it consists of many separate elements. Now the most significant part of Ukraine's perception abroad is derived from customer experience - almost 90% of our brand. So the Ukrainian IT industry has no particularities in the eyes of foreigners as well", - said Chernov.

After that, Emilianos Ramos; Oleksandr Yaremenko; Yan Chernov; Dmytro Primak, Norwegian-Ukrainian Chamber of Commerce Adviser and Maxim Bakhmatov, Chairman of the Board in Radar Tech, Managing Partner of UNIT.City, discussed the most peculiar moments of speakers' speeches on the panel. Moderator of the discussion was Mykola Demchenko.

A vivid conclusion of the event was the presentation of the POPCORP project, a joint initiative of UkrSibBank and Radar Tech, aimed at supporting start-ups and companies operating in the FinTech area and offering innovative solutions for modernizing classical banking services.

We are grateful to all the guests for the warm feedbacks and active participation in the discussions with the speakers and the partners for their tangible support.

This year IT_Dnipro Conference would be impossible to happen without a support of:

Active informational support was provided by European Business Association, Export Promotion Office, Kharkiv IT Cluster, Cherkasy IT Cluster, Vinnytsia IT Cluster, Konotop IT Cluster, Ivano-Frankivsk IT Cluster, SPALAH, ІТ Study Center Level Up, RunIT, ITEM, 056.ua, gorod.dp.ua, IT Radio

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