The UCU Center for Entrepreneurship has launched a unique university startup incubator at the Ukrainian Catholic University. Here students from all over Ukraine will learn how to run their own business. And the best teams will be provided with mentorship support and initial investments up to $8,000.

IdeasLab is a unique space for experiments and the development of entrepreneurial thinking and competencies necessaries for leaders today who are re-formatting whole industries and creating new and intersecting fields.

Ukraine’s only accelerator program will operate at the UCU incubator. It will provide student teams not only with knowledge, skills, and a workspace, but also with monetary grants up to $8,000 for developing innovative ideas and transforming them into a large-scale business. 

At each stage, beginners at the incubator will be helped in the following ways:

  • They’ll receive instruction, consultation, and sometimes starting capital to launch a project.
  • Each team will have an assigned mentor with maximum competence in a given field.
  • Even if a beginner is without a team, he or she will be helped to find and gather like-minded peers.

Thus, the goal of the incubator is to encourage students in various specializations (not only from UCU) to test the viability of their ideas. 

According to Ivan Petrenko, CEO of the UCU Center for Entrepreneurship and founder of the student startup incubator IdeasLab, the role of incubators and student startup ecosystems is very important throughout the world. Here the students are helped to master the instruments for creating innovative, productive companies. Unfortunately, students in Ukraine have no other similar centers at universities which give the opportunity to create small companies, to understand the instruments for validating ideas, teambuilding, and creating prototypes. This is why the UCU Center for Entrepreneurship opened the IdeasLab incubator.

Ivan Petrenko, CEO of the UCU Center for Entrepreneurship and founder of the student startup incubator IdeasLab

“The success of the startup industry in Ukraine depends on how well-acquainted students will be with the basic instruments. For, as of right now, there are few programs for them on how to create and develop productive companies, where and how to attract investments, create innovative business models, test them, acquire first clients, and build a sales strategy. These are the main tasks of IdeasLab. We want as many students and teams as possible to understand these instruments, to know how to use them and have the possibility at whatever time to create successful products and services which they can then bring to an international arena, and in this way help Ukrainian startups conquer global markets,” explains Ivan Petrenko.

During the presentation of the incubator, Oleksandr Voloshyn, a graduate of the accelerator program of the UCU Center for Entrepreneurship, shared some advice for startups. He founded the startup Postello while studying at the Center for Entrepreneurship and has already received his first investments and gone on the market in the USA with his service.

Oleksandr Voloshyn, a graduate of the accelerator program of the UCU Center for Entrepreneurship

Here are four pieces of advice from Oleksandr Voloshyn:

– Look for opportunities everywhere. I saw the announcement about USF grants on a telegram channel.

– Learning is worthwhile! The accelerator program really helped my startup: in searching for a team, in researching clients, and, in general, in understanding how and where to go.

– There are no “failures.” It’s simply necessary to do something “differently.”

–I want to or I don’t: this is the only thing that keeps you from creating a product.

We note that the UCU IdeasLab student incubator is open not only to students of the Ukrainian Catholic University but to students of other colleges. The place where future Ukrainian unicorns will be created (a unicorn is a startup that reaches the valuation of $1 billion or more – editor) is located at the Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky Center. The educational programs will be conducted both online and in-person.

You can register your team or find out more information HERE:

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