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28 February 2022·7 min read

Ilya Mikhalchyk-Kananenka

Community Builder, Vestbee

VC & Startup Weekly News, February 19-25, 2022

Since last Thursday, the world has been watching the worsening conflict in Ukraine. As a company and individuals alike, we are staying by the Ukrainian side during these tragic moments sharing a number of ways through which you can alleviate the continuing suffering and tragedy that we’re seeing.

Therefore, we’ve collected a list of credible organizations and tips which could help you get involved or otherwise assist Ukrainian organizations and people in those turbulent times.

If you are willing to donate

  • Polish Centre for International Aid- a Polish humanitarian organization that had been helping people caught in conflict across the globe since 2006, humanitarian relief in the form of food, hygiene products, blankets, sleeping bags, mattresses, field kitchens, and psychological aid.
  • Voices of Children is a Ukrainian fundraiser offering psychological help to Ukrainian children traumatized by the conflict through storytelling and therapy which helps them overcome the consequences of conflict.
  • Caritas Poland help for Ukraine - a Catholic charity providing humanitarian relief in the form of food, hygiene products, blankets, sleeping bags, mattresses, field kitchens, and psychological aid (the organization functioning since 1990 having a very long experience of providing humanitarian aid)

If you know of people looking for information on how to escape the warzone or relocate to Poland:

  • Grupa Granica- a comprehensive guide for those escaping Ukraine to Poland in matters of housing, border crossing, and support hotline advising on psychological and medical help as well as the affinity groups.
  • A map containing direct locations and contacts for receiving food, shelter, psychological help, and more.
  • Association of Belarusian Business Abroad - an organization that could give advice on all matters of the emergent business relocation.

If you are willing to support Ukrainian business:

  • Poland Prize Accelerator is an acceleration program powered by Space3ac dedicated to supporting the growth of international startups within the Polish market. Businesses from emerging countries like Ukraine can get a prize of 65 000 EUR equity-free in cash, access to investors and mentors, and more. Applications are open by March 15.
  • Tech for Ukraine is an initiative aiming to help Ukrainian nonprofits develop digital capabilities, making it easier to help Ukraine quicker and more efficiently. 

    And lastly - seek out local initiatives helping Ukrainians find shelter, food, or other means of help available to you. Whether you are in good physical shape to help carry the humanitarian supplies, play the guitar, or anything else that comes to your mind will more than count right now!

The list is clearly not inclusive of all initiatives there are but what we were trying to do is to select those with the longest history/experiences or ones we know of and thus - more effective in alleviating the suffering of the Ukrainian people. 

Then, those of you looking for weekly news can find them below: 

New VC Funds

  • Catalyst Romania closed an oversubscribed €50M fund to support the growth of the SEE’s startup ecosystem. Although focused on Romania, the firm is also open to opportunities across the region and would invest funding tickets between €1M - €3M across early-stage and technology sectors.
  • American Insight Partners closed its new $20B fund looking forward to investing in software startups across the globe.

CEE Startup Funding Rounds

  • ROCA X invested in Romanian Fintech targeting the film industry - FilmChain that aims to reduce the factor of human error in the entertainment industry. The startup is planning to use the undisclosed check for its expansion plans within the US.
  • Polish Amano.app developing e-commerce platform that aggregates all online orders, logistics processes and promotional offers in one place, raised €1.5M from Next Road Ventures, accompanied by Kaya VC, Kogito Ventures, and business angels. The round was closed in December, however, it was afficially announced last week.
  • A new Croatian early-stage VC DaFUND started off its work by investing in the fund’s first local startup - a CX platform to help businesses better analyze customer attitudes.
  • Romanian BwareLabs creating a decentralized API infrastructure raised its $6M Series A. With this funding, the company aims to release the full version of its client as well as expand the selection of its subscriptions plans.
  • Serbian podcast platform Sounder raised $7.7M in Series A round to fund its expansion in Europe and the US. The round was led by iHeartMedia and TechNexus Venture Collaborative.
  • Polish Medtech startup uPacjenta raised 21M PLN to fund its expansion in Europe. The company is helping people to quickly order and perform blood tests from home by connecting specialists with the end customer.
  • Romanian AI platform for energy management Ogre AI raised €2M in seed funding from Early Game Ventures and UK’s MMC Ventures.
  • Polish Biocam developing a capsule for precise and painless endoscopy raised 2M PLN for product development including FDA/CE approvals. Among lead investors are LT Captial and an undisclosed private investor as well as Dawid Urban (CHIC i LESS).

Open Calls For Startups

  • Startups have a chance to pitch their businesses to global investors, meet industry experts, establish business contacts and win 10 000 EUR by taking part in ImpactCEE 2022: Startup Competition. Best applicants will take to the stage for a 3-minute pitch followed by a 2-minute Q&A session in front of the jury board.
  • EIT Digital Venture program is looking for deep-tech founders across CEE countries until the 8th of Apirl. Applicants have a chance to get up to €25.000 in equity-free financing as well as an 8-week pre-acceleration to help you finalize an MVP.
  • Latvia's 11 LIAA Business incubators have kicked off their applications to support local innovation ecosystem. Among the benefits, accepted companies are going to receive you will find: up to €15.000 in equity-free support as well as coaching to help validate your business idea.
  • Start it @K&H Incubation is a perfect place for early-stage startups to improve their solutions and develop founders' skills by accessing a network of professionals & mentors and free office spaces. Applications are open by March 5.
  • Taiwan partners up with Lithuania and Latvia to support research projects with up to €25.000 in grants. The program plans to grant up to €25.000 for projects in ife sciences and engineering sciences while reserving amounts of up to €20.000 for humanities and social sciences.

Related Posts:

VC & Startup News February, 12-18 2022 (by Ilya Mikhalchyk-Kananenka, Community Builder, Vestbee)

TOP European Funding Rounds Closed In January 2022 (by Konrad Koncerewicz, Community Builder, Vestbee)

New VC Funds Investing In European Startups - Overview 2021 (by Olga Chechłacz, Editor,  Vestbee)


 



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