Top Ukrainian IT Clusters: Kyiv IT Cluster

Kyiv is one of the leading IT centers in Eastern Europe, offering the perfect balance between cost and quality. It has an excellent location, with good transportation links and a 2-3 hour time difference with most cities in Central and Western Europe and a 7 hour difference with the East Coast of the United States.


Photo by Hristo Sahatchiev on Unsplash

According to a DOU survey, 42 of the top 50 Ukrainian IT companies have large development centers in Kyiv, including GlobalLogic, Ciklum, SoftServe, Epam and many others. In addition, there are more than 50 international R&D centers in the Ukrainian capital city (out of a total of 110 international R&D centers in Ukraine), specializing in games, e-commerce, big data, artificial intelligence, and telecommunications. Examples of large R&D centers include Samsung R&D Institute Ukraine, Huawei, Ericsson, NetCracker, Amadeus, Boeing, NetEnt, OLX Group, Oracle, Playtech, Wix

Numerous IT startups are based in Kyiv, including Grammarly, Petcube, Terrasoft, Augmented Pixels, Yaypay, LaMetric, Axdraft, Cardiomo, Delfastbikes, Djinni, Promorepublic, Passivdom, Restream, and many others. In 2018 the Ministry of Economic Development of Ukraine announced a program to support startups at the state policy level.

According to a report from N-iX, there are about 76,000 software developers in Kyiv, which is almost 40% of all Ukrainian IT talent. Almost half of them are Senior Software Engineers, and the average monthly salary is $ 2,100 according to StackOverflow. Most developers are fluent in English, and many companies have free English courses and conversation clubs.

Thanks to a large number of highly qualified developers, geographical proximity to Western Europe and a dynamic business environment, the IT market in Kyiv is developing rapidly. It ranks among the most desirable outsourcing centers for European and North American companies, such as Infopulse (with a headquarters in Kyiv employing 2,000+ employees), Miratech, Innovecs, Softengi and others.

Ukraine's image as a country with developed IT outsourcing does not prevent Ukrainian startups from creating new products well-known internationally in domains including hardware and software solutions, platforms, and educational services. Important product companies include Genesis- IT-media holding, EVO, Parus Group, Admixer, Ajax Systems, Adtelligent, Allset, Attendify, Competera, Concepter, Invisible, Jooble, Kodisoft, Macpaw, Megogo, Dmarket, Depositphotos, Grammarly, Crello, Lightfield, and others. 

The Kyiv IT Cluster association was founded in 2015 and unites 19 IT companies, 9 educational and government institutions, as well as about 20 other organizations. Its members include well-known companies such as Infopulse, IDAP, MangoSoft4irelabs. The Kyiv IT Cluster promotes technology education in Kyiv by working together with five local universities and organizing IT meetups with students. The cluster association also organizes a number of events on IT business management and ed-tech, promotes the export of IT services and provides free consulting to its members. For example, it was one of the main organizers of Ukrainian Days at London Tech Week 2019, and was the founding organizer of the Startup World Cup in Ukraine.

Speaking of higher education, Kyiv universities are among the best in the country for technical education; the best ones include National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, Taras Shevchenko National University, Kyiv Polytechnic Institute, National Aviation University, and Kyiv National Economics University. There are also numerous IT academies: Computer Academy Step, SkillUP, ITEA, MainAcademy, CyberBionic Systematics, Prog.Kiev.Ua, GoIT, Projector, and others.

A number of important technology events take place in Kyiv every year. iForum (last year’s attendance was 12+ thousand IT professionals and enthusiasts) is an annual conference dedicated to web technologies in Ukraine, covering areas of Internet commerce, advertising, CRM, and digital entertainment. JEEConf is the largest Eastern European conference for Java developers (1000+ participants and 45+ IT experts). Dozens of other events such as Guruconf, Data Science UA Conference, Devoxx Ukraine, AI Conference, EasyConf, Agile Rock Conference, Net Fest, ITEM, Kyiv Outsourcing Forum, SaaS Nation, QA Fest, UNIT Investment Summit take place in Kyiv as well.

The first innovation-based industrial park in Ukraine, called UNIT.City, is located in Kyiv and provides a base for 28 companies and 90 residents. It organizes annually more than 420 technology events, offers coworking spaces, has a UNIT Factory IT school for 900 students, and provides IT development labs and acceleration programs for IT businesses. UNIT.City is also promoting the concept of a residential area for 4.5 thousand IT professionals. Named UNIT.Home, it is financed by the UNIT.City holding company UFuture and will provide 2,475 apartments, with the first tranche opening in 2022.

The Ukrainian central government - the Cabinet of Ministers - has a special executive body responsible for implementing the digital strategy of  Ukraine - the Ministry of Digital Transformation. The Digital Transformation Ministry works together with the Hi-Tech Office of Ukraine, the National Commission for State Regulation in the field of Communications and Informatization, the Official Portal of Public Information on Public Procurement of Ukraine, the State Innovative Financial and Credit Institution, and the Ukrainian Startup Fund

On the city government level, the Kyiv Smart City initiative unites Kyiv city authorities, businesses, and activists in developing smart urban infrastructure, based on the principles of open data, intelligent digital services and transparent governance. 25+ coworking spaces are open in Kyiv, the most active being the 1991 Civic Tech Center, Creative States, HUB 4.0, SAD, Creative Quarter, Anthill Space, Platforma.

As a dynamic business, administrative and scientific center of the country, with a developed infrastructure and a large IT cluster, Kyiv has great prospects to become a leading IT location in Eastern Europe.