The previous IT Arena was held in virtual format. In 2021, responding to the challenges and changes of the surrounding world, with Covid vaccination enabling us to slightly and cautiously moving towards the offline mode, IT Arena came up with a functional and serviceable hybrid format, combining the best opportunities of online and offline, bringing together 5,345 attendees from all over the world. The online access to the IT Arena platform for two devices, a desktop platform, and a mobile app retained, but compared to the virtual format of 2020, this year it was expanded and enriched by a great number of offline events and meetups, boosting the power of in-person communication and networking.
Speakers from Google, AstraZeneca, Microsoft
100 speakers talked about relevant and up-to-date issues during three days of IT Arena 2021, sharing useful and practicable information, giving immensely appreciable insights to the audience. Within two intensive online days speakers were talking about how to handle competitors and improve functionality, be obsessed with your product, deal with cybersecurity risks, strengthen mental health, use AI and machine learning in healthcare system personalization, regulate remote work mode, and more.
The discussions were held by the representatives of such global companies as Google, AstraZeneca, Microsoft, Headspace, Remote, Airbnb, RollsRoyce, Axdraft, etc. Leading Ukrainian companies that successfully scaled worldwide were also represented at the conference. Among them, Uklon, Reface, Sigma Software, DataRobot, SoftServe, N-iX, Intellias, Luxoft, and others.
Maye Musk: keeping an indomitable spirit across borders, ages, and industries
On the 2nd day of IT Arena, Maye Musk, this year’s keynote speaker joined the conference in the fireside-chat, sharing her experiences on professional and personal growth, talked about combining different roles in her life, like growing up 3 children alongside building a career, starting new projects and gaining the peak of success in her 70s. Her talk concentrated on women’s empowerment and their impact on the development of the tech industry. Maye Musk, a role model, trend maker and rule changer, shared at IT Arena: “If you are in tech industry you should be really very good, but you have to let people and your colleagues know you are good, because tech people, men and women, can be very shy. We should learn how to boast about ourselves and to promote ourselves. I try to boast with a sense of humor about myself.”
Highest quality networkingIn 2020 within IT Arena a service of B2B matchmaking was created that enabled effective communication and discovering the contacts you need at the event of several thousand attendees. In 2021, 172 companies from 20 countries were included in the B2B matchmaking catalog and used its matchmaking opportunities. The geography of B2B matchmaking channel participants covers Australia, Hong Kong, Germany, India, Norway, Slovakia, Austria, Canada, Latvia, UK, Turkey, USA, Poland, Switzerland, Estonia, Finland, Luxembourg, Denmark, Lithuania, Netherlands. B2B Matchmaking channel was created thanks to the support of the American People through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) under the Competitive Economy Program in Ukraine (CEP). The B2B Matchmaking channel is coordinated by a manager to help participants find each other faster throughout the event days, giving personalized recommendations based on business interests and prompt notifications containing useful information. The manager provides B2B matchmaking channel participants with suggestions and support for a month after the event.
MAD Bars House, located in the historic center of Lviv, hosted two big IT Arena afterparties – Networking & Beer Party and Tech Lounge, visited by a total of 1931 conference attendees. On the 1-2 floors, Networking & Beer Party took place, bringing together fellow attendees of IT Arena for tech industry discussions. The 3-6 floors and the rooftop space gathered top management, investors, and government officials.
These offline events gave an excellent opportunity for networking with partners in the format of an afterparty. The queue of attendees in the street in front of MAD waiting to enter the Networking & Beer Party and Tech Lounge showed how people missed offline events and live communication. The afterparties welcomed IT Arena attendees with the brand's own Small Talk Beer.
On the 3rd day of the conference, 51 meetups were held in the nicest venues of the city center, including MAD bars house, Art Center Dzyga, Beer Theatre Pravda, Grand Cafe Leopolis, Grand Hotel Lviv, Hotel Leopolis, Lviv City Hall, Lviv Coffee Mining Manufacture, Vernissage Lviv Mall and many others. Participants of the meetups had a chance to listen to the expert’s talks, ask questions and discuss everything about the technological world in a relaxed atmosphere. The most informative the meetups included: Selling in billions. How to build a state-owned product, by Oleksandr Akulenko, Prozorro.Sales; Employment via the Diia City, by Olga Magaletska, Vitaly Sedler, Vitalii Odzhykovskyi, Sviatoslav Kavetskyi, Alex Bornyakov; Why Startups Love AWS, by Nadiia Kolibaba, Startups, Eastern Europe & Central Asia, Amazon Web Services; Vimeo and Asana. How to build a partnership for 4 million users, by Oleg Svirskyi, Senior Product Manager at Vimeo. On top of the fifty meetups, IT Arena hosted a satellite event with one of the media partners - AIN.Live. A series of uncensored live-streamed interviews on a stylish rooftop terrace covered the most important aspects of the Ukrainian IT industry.
What’s new in the startup world
In 2021, 115 bright and innovative startups applied for participation in the Startup Competition. After fierce pitching on the 2nd day of IT Arena, 10 semi-finalists have been announced. Startup Competition Finals and Awards took place at the stage of Lviv National Opera, judged by respected jury members, who selected 3 finalists. This year's prize fund amounted to $170,000.
The third place of the Startup Competition went to Caretech Human, Daily health checks and disease detection gadget which received a $15,000 prize. The second-place winner is Zeely, a mobile app for creating corporate websites that received $18,000. Mosqitter, eco-friendly and innovative protection from mosquitoes, won the Startup Competition 2021, receiving the grand prize of $20,000. Read more about Startup Competition 2021 here.
Afterparty at Lviv Opera
One of the brightest and most anticipated parties that took place at Lviv National Opera included a number of events – IT Arena Startup Competition Finals, IT Arena Startup Competition Awards Ceremony, Lviv IT Cluster 10th-anniversary celebration, and informal networking at Closing Afterparty. Lviv National Opera hosted a unique event with a fascinating and unforgettable atmosphere, becoming the center for tech experts networking and communication.On its 10th anniversary, Lviv IT Cluster presented its new project Lviv Tech. Lviv Tech is a new initiative supported by the USAID CEP, aimed at promoting the Lviv tech industry in the global market, particularly small and medium-sized companies that are members of the Lviv IT Cluster.
“We hold a bright performance at Lviv National Opera, dedicated to the 10th anniversary of Lviv IT Cluster. Yes, we are already 10 years old, and IT Arena, by the way – 8! I am very proud to lead these two organizations for 8 years. We had cool and unusual networking. Have you ever attended a tech conference at the Opera House? And when you saw 9 bars and lounges in the theater? And the Opera House stage being your photo zone? That's all about the IT Arena 2021 closing event and it's just a quiet start before the huge event of 2022. Next year we return to offline in an even better format, but this is another story,” shares Stepan Veselovskyi, CEO, Lviv IT Cluster.
We are starting to work on IT Arena 2022. In order to get better next year, we would love to hear your feedback. Please dedicate 5 minutes of your time to fill in the feedback form.
Great thanks to all partners of IT Arena 2021:
Main Partner: Tech Uklon
Gold Partners: Conscensia, Squad, Avenga, Invest in Lviv, Vector Software, Techiia, Star, Reface, DataRobot, Exadel, LvBS, Surprise.com, Ciklum, N-iX, Insight Cat, Payoneer, Nowy Styl, Export Promotion Office of Ukraine, Innovation Feel, Parimatch Tech Academy, Wirex, Freedom Finance, Luxoft, Marchenko Partners, Devabit, British Embassy Kyiv, Capgemini Engineering
Exclusive Media Partner: Tech.euMedia Partners: Vector, AIN