Lviv IT Cluster, which unites more than 160 IT companies and 20 000 IT specialists, celebrated its 10th anniversary at Lviv National Opera within the IT Arena conference. The 10th-anniversary party was held in a special atmosphere, bringing together owners and top managers of IT companies, government officials, as well as conference Members and tech experts. The stage of Lviv Opera turned into a photo zone, and its halls became a space for networking. The history of Lviv IT Cluster began within the framework of the Lviv Competitiveness Strategy development. The first members of the Cluster were three IT companies – SoftServe, ELEKS, and N-iX, which joined to perform key tasks, specifically, promoting the cooperation of business, government, and education for the development of the city’s IT industry. For 10 years, Cluster has been launching projects to develop the city’s infrastructure, modernize higher and vocational education, support startups, and provide comfortable conditions for living and doing business in the city. We talk about the projects of Lviv IT Cluster, which are the most significant and important for the IT community, city and country.
One of the largest projects of Lviv IT Cluster is IT Arena – an international tech conference, which Lviv IT Cluster has been organizing for 8 years in a row. Every year the conference is attended by about 4,000 people, and in 2021, thanks to a new hybrid format that combines the best features of online and offline events, their number has grown to 5,345 Members. At IT Arena, attendees explore trends of business, technology, product creation and create valuable networks. Speakers from such global tech giants as Google, Microsoft, Tesla, Facebook, Headspace, Airbnb, and many others share their experience, give conference Members relevant content and valuable insights. In 2021, the headliner of IT Arena was Maye Musk, focusing on women’s empowerment and their impact on the development of the technology industry.
Start of the project: 2014
The largest infrastructure project of the community is IT Park – an innovation district that will become the center of Lviv IT industry development, with offices for 10,000 IT professionals, training laboratories, sports areas, and a green park for rest and better productivity. The project received an €81.5 million construction loan from Poland’s largest national development bank, BGK. In 2019, the agreements were signed with the future residents – the largest IT companies in Lviv, including SoftServe, Intellias, N-iX, Perfectial, GlobalLogic. The total investment of the IT Park project amounted to $180 million.
Start of the project: 2018
Lviv IT Cluster is launching infrastructure projects to unite IT professionals in a proactive community joined by responsibility and openness to collaboration. One of such projects is IT Village – 17 hectares of suburban space with 134 houses for IT professionals who want to live near Lviv, joined in an active community. IT Village has combined comfort, modern minimalism, and the idea of good neighborliness, aiming for much more than just building housing. Lviv IT Cluster’s infrastructure projects are the response to the IT community’s need for quality housing. That’s how in 2016, Cluster implemented IT House – an apartment building for the IT industry, with an active community of neighbors who develop and improve the common space, organize rooftop picnics or joint sports activities.
Start of the project: 2018
United for Health
United for Health is an emergency project of Lviv IT Cluster aimed at the fight against COVID-19 in Lviv and the region. The project provides urgent help to the city and the region, within which Lviv IT Cluster has provided funds in the amount of almost UAH 8 million to combat the spread of the pandemic. The project started the mass vaccination in Lviv. In particular, the first Vaccination Center in Lviv was created by Lviv IT Cluster. It was later given under the management of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine and the Lviv Regional State Administration.
Start of the project: 2020
Since 2015 Lviv IT Cluster has been conducting a large-scale study of Lviv IT market. IT Research provides comprehensive information on the economic impact of the IT industry on Lviv, market dynamics, the number and portrait of IT professionals, the number of IT companies, and their segmentation. The purpose of IT Research is to track the dynamic changes and development of the IT business in Lviv, as well as its impact on the city, related industries, and the overall economic effect. In 2021, Ivano-Frankivsk IT Cluster joined IT Research for a larger study of the IT industry. The project becomes a research network, and in the future, all the tech hubs of the country will join it. These studies provide an opportunity to focus on the industry and market trends for interested businesses, partners, potential investors, IT companies that want to grow and develop in Lviv. According to IT Research, the total economic effect of the IT sector in Lviv in 2019 exceeded $1 billion. In addition to the above economic indicators, IT Research analyzes the impact of the crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic on the IT sector in Lviv.
Start of the project: 2015
Since 2017, Lviv IT Cluster has been publishing ITID Lviv, a quarterly English-language magazine about the Lviv IT industry, which tells about the experience, expertise, and hobbies of people in the industry. ITID Lviv shares interviews with industry leaders, blogs from technical experts, and the experience of startups in Lviv as a promising city with business opportunities and comfortable living. From 2020, ITID Lviv is published in print and online. ITID Lviv shows modern Lviv, communicating with its talented residents and talking about the achievements of the industry.
Start of the project: 2017
IT Club Loyalty
IT Club Loyalty is a loyalty program for IT professionals uniting more than 25,000 users from 160 companies. The project was launched to make Lviv loyal to people working in the tech industry. Offers from 900 program partners are available for IT Club Loyalty users in 11 Ukrainian cities. The loyalty program is in great demand among IT specialists, so Lviv IT Cluster has ambitious plans to scale IT Club Loyalty to all Ukrainian cities with IT companies. The loyalty card provides IT specialists with discounts and gifts from program partners.
Start of the project: 2014
Lviv Tech is a platform for meetings of Lviv IT companies with international customers and clients, which combines the functionality of the online catalog of companies and the marketplace. The goal of Lviv Tech is to promote the local and, in the future, the Ukrainian IT industry on the global market, in particular, small and middle-size companies that do not have enough opportunities to promote themselves. On the Lviv Tech platform, potential customers can find the right company using the search system and filters and contact it directly to start cooperation. The project was developed with the support of USAID’s Competitive Economy Program in Ukraine.
Start of the project: 2021
Lviv Tech Angels
To support and develop startups, Lviv IT Cluster has created Lviv Tech Angels – a club of investors who seek to invest in startups in Lviv, the region, and Ukraine in general in the early stages of development. Lviv Tech Angels aims to create a culture of angel investment in Lviv and develop the city’s startup ecosystem, creating a strong community of investors who will regularly support the best Ukrainian startup ideas. All club members are owners of local IT companies who are ready to share their experience and knowledge for the development of successful technology businesses and products. In 2020, 7 club members invested $560,000 in the development of local startups.
Start of the project: 2019
As part of the IT Expert project, the community is reforming and modernizing higher and vocational education, creating new Bachelor’s programs and opening computer labs in the higher education institutions in the city. Lviv IT Cluster has initiated the launch of educational programs for IT specialties to bring education closer to the market needs. Today, 17 innovative Bachelor’s programs already operate in three universities of the city – Lviv Polytechnic, Ivan Franko National University of Lviv and LSULS, enrolled by more than 4,000 students. Programs at universities are taught by professors of higher education institutions, as well as mentors – employees of IT companies that are Cluster’s members. Among the completely updated programs: Data Science & Intelligent Systems, Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence, Computer Science, Cybersecurity, etc. Another educational initiative of Lviv IT Cluster is IT Expert: School Edition, a project aimed to modernize the program of the “Informatics” curriculum with the involvement of IT specialists in teaching and to update Informatics classes in secondary schools in Lviv. The project provides students with practical and up-to-date knowledge of the subject. With the help of the best IT experts and advanced programs on Informatics, IT Expert: School Edition modernizes computer science in schools, making it relevant for every student.
The Lviv IT Cluster community, educational institutions, and city officials are joining forces to develop the city’s IT industry. The Cluster’s projects are aimed at creating new positioning and brand strategy of the city, bringing Lviv closer to the leading cities in Europe.