The Kiev startup scene seems to be on fire. Several crypto-currency startups are in the process of being born, and more and more successful Ukrainian crypto-currencies are heading towards the mainstream market. Ukrainian Currencies, for example, recently joined the Value Chain of WorldMarkets, another promising startup.
Some Ukrainian startups are integrating cryptocurrencies into smart home technology, allowing people to use the virtual currency for future spending. Coindesk has just reported that a smart watch in production by Aztech, a Ukrainian brand, runs on the Litecoin, and also includes functions to share pictures and videos with friends in Facebook and Instagram.
The smart watch, created by Aztech, is proof that cryptocurrency startups aren’t just for the privileged few in the Ukraine. Every day, smaller tech teams launch new projects and introduce new services, gaining new recognition. Some of them are already selling virtual coins and are seen as disruptive possibilities for industries in which large corporations have the upper hand.
Two of them, littleMoBits and MinRiot, have been around for almost three years. LittleMoBits is a hardware startup that specializes in the creation of modular gadgets for kids (pictured here). At the beginning of this year, the company will release its Indiegogo campaign for a separate video game, called TinyCart: Pixie World, and hope to raise $2m for the project.
A business for schoolchildren
LittleMoBits was born in 2014, and is now entering an exciting phase. The company is launching a new project under the name BlockSight: a social platform for kids to use LittleMoBits hardware. If each child who comes across a gadget builds a functioning social network, then each activity, or an entire group of activities, will be shared through a secure data network with classmates and beyond.
“One of the biggest problems in education today is that instead of teaching children how to improve their working skills, schools seem more concerned with focusing on looking pretty”, explains Nikolai Podusha, founder of LittleMoBits.
“By allowing the teaching of math, science, etc., through project-based learning, we can break down many barriers and make education accessible for all young people. This can help to make their lives more fulfilling and opens more doors to them”, says Cyro Seleznev, Principal at Little MoBits.
But how will the children benefit from their own social network? According to Podusha, they won’t just be invited to meet new people; they’ll get to engage in authentic conversations in this virtual space, without the constraints of the current geocities, or #teamblanners.
LittleMoBits also has big plans for the future. By using its embedded technology, the company aims to become the “most famous hardware retailer in the world.” According to Seleznev, the consumer market in Europe is currently worth $3.7bn annually, and the global market is estimated to reach $11.5bn in just five years.
A Ukrainian venture capital
As for MinRiot, the company started out with its Ukrainian-made intelligent IoT device, the Medmeasure, in 2015. The device allows smart-home consumers to conduct in-home appliance maintenance with the aid of a small dongle, and it’s now under development. MinRiot wants to transform smart home equipment into an open platform, and transform complex hardware-based systems into low-cost and easy-to-install applications.
MinRiot’s team will soon release a new product that acts as a gateway and gatekeeper for smart home devices, consolidating the software, customer experience, communication and connectivity components and integrating them in a more flexible and efficient way.
Digital, financial and transportation technology are an important topic among Ukraine’s startup scene, and these topics will increasingly become relevant in the years to come.
This post is part of our contributor series. The views expressed are the author’s own and not necessarily shared by TNW.
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