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.

The Makers Innovation Award (MIA) aims at fostering collaboration among makers (tech enthusiasts, engineers, designers, crafters) who join forces for social impact and innovation. Eight project ideas showcasing the greatest potential to achieve these aims secured 50,000 Euro of prize money each and will benefit from personalized mentoring sessions to enhance their capacities and refine their project concepts further.

Shape MIA 2025 by taking part in the needs assessment!

We are preparing the next round of the Makers Innovation Award for 2025 and would like to invite you to join us in shaping it. Share your valuable opinion and we will consider all your suggestions in our project! Please take 5-10 minutes to fill out the form until 15.07.2024.

Let’s innovate and rebuild Ukraine together!

What happened before

On January 19th, the Idea Cultivation Workshop gathered 50+ inventors in Kyiv to celebrate creativity, foster collaboration, and address societal challenges. Facilitators equipped participants with tools to transform visionary ideas into impactful solutions for Ukraine’s recovery and social cohesion.

On January 29th and February 2nd, two virtual training sessions were held with trainer Serhiy Korneliuk and the MIA team. The first session enhanced proposal writing and budgeting skills, while the second addressed participant queries and key pre-submission considerations.

On March 1st, the Pitch Event offered 14 pre-selected teams the opportunity to present their project ideas to the expert jury. Eight projects with the most potential for social impact, recovery and social cohesion in Ukraine won 50,000 Euro each.

Up Next: Implementation of the projects!

Experienced mentors provided the winners with the necessary support during three joint mentoring sessions on legal issues, project management, and a training game on refining and enhancing the original project ideas. Additionally, the teams had individual mentoring sessions that were aimed at tackling the most pressing and relevant questions for their project implementation processes.

The time has come for the implementation! We are excited to see their contribution to Ukraine’s recovery and social cohesion!

Meet the Winners of the 2024 Makers Innovation Award! Congratulations!


NGO Tourist Association Hutsuliya

The aim of the project “Crafts of unforgotten ancestors” is to set up an innovative and educational space for children and teenagers, to increase their interest in the preservation, modernization and popularization of local crafts, which will be combined with modern technologies.

Pure hearts Kalush

The goal of the project “Technospace: cyborg laboratory” is to create a safe, inclusive and accessible platform for the development, socialization and adaptation of children, veterans, persons with disabilities, IDPs and other persons in need of retraining or training by creating an innovative and technological space with 3D printers and radio equipment.

Charity Foundation «Soloma Cats»

The project Kickstart FabAcademy Ukraine aims to implement in four Kyiv universities a recognized course from MIT aimed at developing technical and innovative skills among students through forming a pool of qualified and certified instructors. In the long term, the full integration of Fab Academy into the educational programs of several Ukrainian universities.


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

The criteria for the winner selection were the following:

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 🌳

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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