A delegation of 12 Ukrainian start-ups is attending CES 2023 to show their technological solutions while flying the flag for their embattled country.
Among the 3,200 stalls exhibiting the latest gadgets, gizmos and game-changers from the world of technology, a proud group of 12 start-ups has been flying the flag for Ukraine.
A fund supporting entrepreneurs in their home country offered the Ukrainians a chance to travel to Las Vegas to attend CES to showcase their ideas.
The Consumer Technology Association has run the event for more than half a century and expected 100,000 visitors through the doors this year.
Two of the Ukrainian businesses attending the event have developed innovative solutions to bring new products to market through recycling and reusing existing resources. One company makes paper using leaves and the other turns coffee grinds into candle holders.
"So we use falling leaves, we get it from the city streets and parks to produce the most sustainable paper in the world without cutting the trees," said Alexander Sobolenko, ReLeaf co-founder, who says his manufacturing process produces 78 per cent fewer CO2 emissions than conventional paper manufacturing.
Nazar Trokhymchuk founded Rekava to turn discarded coffee waste into a range of products. He hopes that in addition to recognising his solutions, visitors to the exhibition will receive the message that Ukraine, and its young entrepreneurs, are adapting to adversity, but also aiming to help their country rebuild after the war.
"Ukrainians, they are very pro-Western, Europeans. So, we have innovative ideas, start-ups, a lot, both before the war and now," he said.
"So yes, the militaries are fighting, Ukrainian business is working, start-ups are developing, so everyone is doing their job".
It is a message of hope that comes as many technology companies around the world face economic headwinds, some of which may have been exacerbated by the uncertainty created by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Consumer Technology Association research director Steve Koenig reminded CES-goers that as much as major innovations like smartphones first seen at the expo soared to success after the last big economic downturn more than a decade ago, the sector could once again help fuel a global recovery.
"This time, I think the powerful new waves of technological change that will really remedy inflation and restore global GDP growth will come from the enterprise side," Koenig said during a presentation by the CTA.
Robotics to make workplaces more efficient, on-the-job virtual reality, and automated vehicles such as tractors that boost productivity will make this happen, according to Koenig.
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