IT Arena 2023: Meetup Day Highlights
The focus of the third day of IT Arena, Ukraine’s largest English-language conference, shifts to 50 meetups, more than 70 speakers, and 15 venues in the heart of Lviv. After two days of insightful talks and panel discussions from top experts representing Ukrainian and global companies, attendees and guests of the event will move from the main venues to the most famous cafes, restaurants, and pubs in Lviv to join meetups and workshops. With a diverse selection of themes spanning business, product development, technology, and startups, there’s something for everyone to choose that aligns with their specific interests.
Initially introduced during the IT Arena in 2017, the meetup format remains distinctive from other tech events. The main idea is to diversify attendees’ experience and allow them to immerse themselves in the unique ambiance of the historic city. Over the four consecutive years, the meetups held on the third day remained a favorite highlight for attendees of IT Arena. Regrettably, the format had to be discontinued last year due to the start of the full-scale war. In 2023, abiding by all safety measures, the original IT Arena meetups are coming back with new topics and engaging speakers.
Resistance to military aggression
This year’s IT Arena will take place against the backdrop of the second year of full-scale war initiated by Russia. Consequently, a series of meetups will center around efforts to counter the aggressor, both on the battlefield and in information warfare. Representatives from the Brave1 cluster for the development of defense technologies in Ukraine, Serhiy Prytula Charity Foundation, and the NGO Boriviter Military School will discuss the development of Ukrainian defense tech.
In another venue, experts from Molfar, Ukraine’s largest OSINT agency, will share their hands-on experience in cyber resistance against Russian aggression. They will delve into real-life cases, including their methods for detecting the occupiers’ bases using photos and videos and what happened afterward.
Through real research examples, the teams from LetsData and the Lviv Media Forum will illustrate how Artificial Intelligence tools can be used to detect, analyze, and debunk propaganda and disinformation.
Conversations regarding Artificial Intelligence will also be featured in various other meetups. It’s not surprising, as in 2023, after the launch of the ChatGPT intelligent assistant, discussions about AI are no longer limited to industry specialists alone. At the N-iX meetup themed Generative Artificial Intelligence: How to Make Evil Behave Responsibly, the discussion will focus on ensuring that LLM (Large Language Models) generate polite, safe, and inclusive responses.
Attending the SQUAD event is recommended for those interested in machine learning (ML). Andriy Boychuk, Research Engineer with over ten years of experience, will talk about the key stages of ML projects and why you should care about their lifecycle.
Business, sales and expansion into new markets
All Ukrainian tech companies have faced the challenges of the full-scale war. Most have optimized their processes and resumed business activities as early as May 2022. However, finding new clients has become a real challenge. At the workshop hosted by the USAID Competitive Economy Program in Ukraine and the IT Ukraine Association, different sources for attracting new clients and partners to increase the net profit of tech companies will be discussed.
Active military actions in Ukraine prompted businesses to open new offices abroad. According to IT Research Resilience, 26% of tech company CEOs reported that they planned to open offices in other countries last year. SoftServe will share the experience of entering the Latin American market.
Technologies, product development and startups
Several events are on the agenda for those who aspire, plan, or are actively involved in developing their products. LinkUp Studio will host a panel discussion on the dynamic evolution of product management. The organizers promise that following the meetup, visitors will gain insights and learn how to create products that do not encounter failure.
Take advantage of the chance to join the meetup of startup founders from the US/Polish SMOK Ventures fund and the US/Brazilian Niu Ventures fund, organized by Techosystem. Attendees can expect a panel discussion and speed networking with representatives from SMOK Ventures and Niu Ventures. This is an opportunity for startup founders to expand their connections, get to know interesting Ukrainian projects, and pitch their ideas to these funds.
Media and PR
This year at IT Arena, there will be a series of events for media representatives, marketers, and anyone involved in communications in the tech sphere. What is the brand of Ukraine and the Ukrainian tech industry worldwide? What are other countries’ employers, experts, and residents’ attitudes toward us? How has the war affected the perception of Ukraine’s tech potential globally? You can find answers to these and other questions at the meetup organized by the BRAND UKRAINE team.
Also, make sure to attend the event by the PR Army team. Its leader, Julia Petryk, will talk about tools for automating PR: how to work with email, monitor the media, and analyze narratives.
The educational team of the Lviv IT Cluster community has been working on modernizing tech education in Lviv for over seven years and has valuable insights to share. Visitors can expect two panel discussions: the first will be dedicated to mentoring, specifically student mentoring, as an underestimated key to a company’s success. The meeting will explore how to transform cities into tech hubs by creating research centers, making the path from a student project to a DeepTech startup easier and more achievable.
You will also have the opportunity to evaluate the potential of Ukrainian students at an event hosted by the YEP Startup Incubator. In this meetup, six startups founded by students will present their products in a real startup battle. They will receive feedback from the jury to boost their startups and compete for a trip to Slush, one of the largest business conferences in Europe, founded by students.
To visit any meetup, you need to be the IT Arena attendee and have a conference ticket. Additionally, you must register for each event in advance. Find the meetup schedule and the registration forms for each event here.