Empowering Ukrainian Maker Community: Where Networking Meets Funding, Mentoring Sparks Ideas, and Innovation Comes to Life!

The Innovation Ecosystem of Ukraine is greatly affected by the war, which has a massive negative effect on the Ukrainian society and its social cohesion. The determined maker movement, a vital part of Ukrainian society, strives to help the nation heal and grow.

By fostering collaborations among people who team up for social impact this initiative promotes innovative solutions, emphasizing quality, impact, and coexistence over mere competition.

We invite makers: tech enthusiasts, engineers, crafters, designers, and inventors to join hands in shaping a brighter future for Ukraine. The top eight project ideas will receive a prize of €50,000 each, accompanied by a personalized mentoring program tailored to the specific needs of each project.

Up next

Pitch Event on March 1st
After the submission of the project ideas for social cohesion and reconstruction in Ukraine, the jury members with an extensive expertise will pre-select 15 candidates with the most impressive project ideas in the maker scene for the Pitch event on March 1st. Exactly then, eight winners who will get 50.000 Euro each will be announced!

Join our MIA livestream via zoom

Agenda - Makers Innovation Award (March 1st)
14:00 - 14:30 Opening Ceremony
14:30 - 15:30 Pitch Part I
15:30 - 16:00 Coffee break
16:00 - 17:00 Pitch Part II
17:00 - 18:00 Makers success stories
18:00 - 18:30 Award ceremony

Application has been closed on February 11th, 4 pm (EET).

Please find the terms and conditions here.

Please find the FAQ section here.

Please find the detailed selection criteria here as well as an overview below:

Social Impact

How big is the social impact the idea can create?


How feasible is it for the team to implement the idea?


To what extent can the idea be expanded/ scaled to many people?


What is the level of innovation? How new or different is the idea?


Does the project have a mature idea to sustain itself eventually?


Is the team for the implementation of the project well positioned in terms of motivation, cohesion and background knowledge?

Jury members

The role of a Jury Member for MIA is pivotal in the selection process and includes the thorough review and evaluation of applications submitted by participants. From all applications, the 15 most promising teams will be selected and have an opportunity to present their ideas concisely and convince the jury at the Pitch Event on March 1st. The 5-member expert jury panel will select eight teams as the winners of the award amounting to EUR 50,000 each.
Picture of Valeriya Ionan

Valeriya Ionan

Deputy Minister for Eurointegration

The head of the jury of Makers Innovation Award - Valeriya Ionan, the Deputy Minister for Eurointegration at the Ministry of Digital Transformation of Ukraine

Picture of Alina Nosenko

Alina Nosenko

Head of strategic partnerships at PHINEO

Alina Nosenko is the head of strategic partnerships at PHINEO. Alina has more than 12 years of experience in organizational development and strategic partnerships, she is a systemic business coach, dedicated to fostering holistic growth and effectiveness within NGOs.

Picture of Yevheniia Talinovska

Yevheniia Talinovska

Co-founder of NGO Zgraya

Yevheniia Talinovska is a co-founder of the NGO-volunteer headquarters (public organization) Zgraya. Since 2014, “Zgraya” has been providing the military with all necessary assistance. It has also opened a tailor shop for sewing tactical gear and conducts a physical rehabilitation program for soldiers after injuries.

Picture of Volodymyr Orlov

Volodymyr Orlov

Global Impact Ambassador and adjunct professor at KMBS

Volodymyr Orlov is a Global Impact Ambassador, regional manager for Innovation and Digital Transformation at Cisco, adjunct professor at KMBS, CCIE#11791 Certified Networking Expert, director of Cisco Azerbaijan 2013-2021

Picture of Roman Zinchenko

Roman Zinchenko

Co-founder of Greencubator

Roman Zinchenko has numerous innovation awards and is the co-founder of Greencubator that became a meeting point for Ukraine’s sustainable energy community, a launchpad for new green ventures, a social innovations accelerator, and a manager of grant programs for climate-positive SMEs 🌳

Idea Cultivation Workshop

On January 19th the idea cultivation workshop took place in Kyiv where 50+ inventors not only celebrated creativity and innovation but also nurtured the spirit of collaboration and social impact. Together, we aimed to transform visionary ideas into concrete solutions that will contribute to social cohesion and the recovery of Ukraine.

Online sessions

On January 29th and February 2nd, the MIA team and trainer Serhiy Korneliuk conducted two online sessions. The first session focused on improving participants’ skills in proposal writing and budgeting. During the Q&A session, participants had the opportunity to ask questions and receive an overview of the main concerns to address before submitting their applications.

Mentoring & Support

In the following three mentoring sessions, experienced mentors will support the selected individuals/organizations according to their specific needs. The mentors will align their areas of expertise with the knowledge gaps of the participants.

Facilitators, Moderators and Trainers

The Idea Cultivation Workshop that took place in a hybrid format on January 19th focused on idea development and refinement enhancing networking skills and led participants to analyse the current environement in which maker spaces develop as well as to find own solutions to identified challenges.
Picture of Dzvenyslava Novakivska

Dzvenyslava Novakivska


Dzvenyslava Novakivska, an expert in change marketing and transformational strategic sessions for government and public sectors. She’s a coach for change leaders and their teams. Dzvenyslava is a co-founder of the Ukrainian U hub and UA IDG Network.

Picture of Olena Kukhar

Olena Kukhar


Olena Kukhar is a business mediator (KMBS) and consultant specializing in internal team culture and conflict transformations. With over 13 years of experience in process management and human change, she brings expertise in team and project management within human capital. Olena is also a honoured member of the National Association of Mediators of Ukraine.

Picture of Ksenia Yemshyna

Ksenia Yemshyna


Ksenia Yemshyna is a facilitator, team integrator, and designer of educational experiences. She is a trainer for the All-Ukrainian program “Youth Worker” by the Ministry of Youth and Sports. She teaches the course “Digital Tools for NGOs” in the master’s program “Management of Non-profit Organizations” at the Ukrainian Catholic University. Ksenia is a practitioner of GamEduHacking, reshaping the learning process through innovative game technologies.

Picture of Anastasia Sylenok

Anastasia Sylenok


Anastasia Sylenok is a co-founder of Digitizing.Space, WTECH ambassador, ecosystem builder, community architect, change management expert, launcher of impact-oriented projects. Startup mentor and advisor. Thanks to Anastasia’s expertise in project/process management and impact oriented projects, she organized and conducted more than 500 business-oriented events!

Picture of Serhiy Kornyliuk

Serhiy Kornyliuk


Serhiy Kornyliuk is a consultant with more than 12 years of consulting and coaching experience, specializing in the development of organizational strategies, management projects, and local economic development.

Serhiy successfully helped enterprises, non-government organizations, and city councils attract grant financing for implementing dozens of socially important projects. Besides that, Serhiy participated many times as an expert on the jury in selecting winners of grant competitions.

Join us in shaping a brighter future for Ukraine through your inventive solutions!

The “Makers Innovation Award” is organized by betterplace lab gGmbH and Future Challenges e.V. in the framework of #TOLOCAR, a project funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH with support of HIWW in close collaboration with Ukrainian and international partners.

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