Russian War on Ukraine: Resources for Startup Organisations

March 30, 2022
War in Ukraine

Startup associations are sharing their best practices and harnessing their potential to play their part in helping those in need of urgent support in the Ukraine War. The Russian attack on Ukraine may have been a shock to many working in the tech sector, but it was quickly followed by a “roll up your sleeves and help” approach within startup communities across the world. Good ideas should be shared and scaled, especially in times like these. 

Below is a non-exhaustive list of measures taken by AFS members and other leaders in tech ecosystems around the world in response to the invasion of Ukraine. It complements an already long list of measures any citizen can take independently, from donations to housing a refugee. We are sharing these best practices with our members and our community as a resource for those with experience lobbying their local governments or swaying those in their ecosystem to take action. Please reach out with questions or additional ideas on what can be done. 

Leveraging your role to pressure the invaders:

  • Turn the financial screw – get big Capital to divest from Russia 
    • Index Ventures announced it would “not make any investments in Russia until further notice.” This included a stop on co-investments with entities and individuals linked with the Russian regime. We can put similar pressure on other venture capital funds and our investors to take action now. 
  • Support high-tech talent leaving Russia and Belarus
    • Poland Business Harbor program offers an expedited immigration process to ICT experts and entrepreneurs with their families. Already one tenth of Belarus’ ICT workers are estimated to have moved to Poland. You can lobby your government for a business harbor program in your country or community. 

Supporting Ecosystems

  • Support relocating families 
    • Bulgaria for Ukraine is a platform to coordinate volunteering efforts and help refugees find safety and shelter. It also shares employment and education opportunities. Consider developing a similar platform for your country or government. Bulgaria has already successfully relocated 700+ Ukrainians with this program. 
  • Support for relocating startups
    • Startup Poland & Ukrainian VC association are co-designing a joint assistance plan for startups relocating out of Ukraine. You can do the same in your ecosystem. To be directly connected with Startup Poland, get in touch with Allied for Startups and we will do our best to connect you with the resources you need.
  • Collecting Materials, points of contacts & coordinating initiatives
    • EnsembleUkraine is a platform co-sponsored by Allied for Startups’ Member France Digitale that connects entrepreneurs and citizens who wish to help Ukrainians, from donating materials to an open ‘launch an initiative’ tool. 
  • Quick integration of refugees into the labor market
    • Lithuania announced a policy to enable Ukrainians to start work immediately, if they so wish. 
  • Enabling refugees to acquire skills for the labor market
    • Techfugees builds free inclusion programs for refugees to learn digital skills. 

We’re sure there’s many more initiatives and encourage you to share them with us. We will do our best to share every relevant resource and keep you informed.

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