Over the last few years, AI and ML have attained a higher level of prominence than other areas in the Ukrainian IT industry. As a result, the IT market is saturated with the buyers’ need for ML and AI products, and they draw more investments as the years go by.
Sergey Kartashov (Sergejs Kartasovs), the Senior Partner of Roosh, talks about the shortcomings of the Ukrainian IT companies in ML (machine learning) and AI (artificial intelligence), how they can resolve these shortcomings, and why Ukraine can dominate the AI sector in Eastern Europe.
Supply Is Lower Than Demand
A major setback of the Ukrainian IT market is that they do not have enough highly-trained developers. Despite having over 200,000 IT staff, IT outfits had a third of their positions vacant. The market has grown beyond the capacity of the industry, engaging virtually every expert. This resulted in a higher labor cost and enhanced rivalry between organizations for high-quality staff.
Sergey also said that few experienced founders could build a team from ground zero, outline the correct KPIs and introduce the finished result to the market.
Sergey Kartashov stated that a number of causes trigger this problem. Firstly, the IT market has experienced a recent boom. Another cause is the recruiting of Ukrainian citizens by quite several foreign companies. Lastly, Ukraine’s tertiary academic system cannot offer the kind of training that will produce highly qualified IT specialists.
He said that several IT businesses are already addressing this problem by launching IT varsities. A prominent example is the brainchild of Sergey Tokarev and Tymofiy Milovanov, which follows the model of Stanford University.
A More Pragmatic Educational Approach
Sergey Kartashov stated that it is not difficult to explain why companies are creating new schools to address the deficiency of the old educational approach. Unfortunately, trends within the IT industry change quickly, and the schools in Ukraine are lagging. This is why a graduate from there has to undergo further training in a specialist course, which is frequently funded by the company/employer of that particular individual.
Furthermore, conventional academic institutions in Ukraine have courses in programming but do not extend the learning experience to creating startups, the legal and business aspects, and other applied disciplines. Hence, they end up producing startups equipped with a business idea but ignorant of the process of promoting, developing, and pitching it to secure funding from investors.
Sergey Kartashov said that in many cases, startups succeed in securing funds from investors. However, because they lack basic financial and legal knowledge, they surrender ownership of their business by selling it but remain obligated to investors. This shows the significance of teaching applied subjects during the training of these developers.
A Foreign Investment Culture
The arrival of western investment culture is expected to boost the development of startups in Ukraine. In America, a startup is allowed some failed experiments before the product is introduced to the market, drawing attention and patronage from investors.
Investors know that failed founders have their uses because they give their team the chance to create something and gain experience in the process. Developers can use this opportunity to enhance their technical aptitude and become better at pitching to investors. Lawyers get the opportunity to work with law outfits and personnel. This investment culture embraces every failure as a chance to gain experience.
An investment culture that will be beneficial to Ukraine is agreement on future shares. It is an agreement between an investor and a startup. It involves the investor funding the execution of the company’s project and earning some of the future shares of the company when it issues shares.