Remarks by Chargé d’Affaires, a.i. W. Taylor at the Demo Day of the eō Business Incubators, supported by USAID’s Competitive Economy Program

October 1, 2019

Thank you very much.  It’s great to be here, I’m very pleased to join you here this afternoon.

Let me congratulate, first of all, those of you who will be pitching here this afternoon.  I understand there were 188 applications to pitch, and 7 were accepted. So congratulations to those seven.

Congratulations to the whole team that has been working on this, both the people in the courses and the people running the courses. I’m very pleased that we’ve had an opportunity – that the United States had an opportunity – to invest in this kind of work.

This investment in Ukraine is really important for us.  Let me just say a word about why I’m here, and why I’m pleased to be here, and it is because Ukraine is a very important country to us.  We see Ukraine as a great big country, biggest country in Europe, 44 million people, great resources, great people, highly educated population.  So for all those reasons, we’re — I’m pleased to be here, the United States is pleased to be investing here in Ukraine.

But, that’s not the only reason.  The other reason that Ukraine is important to us in the United States is because you, Ukrainians, you’re on the front line. You’re really on the front line. We were talking in the room next door that there’s a war going on here.  And a lot of people around the world have probably forgotten that there’s a war going on here, and where 13,000 Ukrainians have been killed.

And so for that to be the case, in this day, in 2019, in the middle of Europe, in the heart of Europe, for there to be a war going on, that’s something that we need to work on.  That’s something that the United States is here to work with Ukrainians on.  So this is important that that war be stopped, and it’s important that the Russians figure out that that kind of aggression and illegal annexation of Crimea and occupation and meddling in Donbas – that’s got to stop.  That can’t be the way it works.

And we were talking earlier about what’s going to bring investors here to Ukraine.  One of the things is: stop that war, get the Russians to go back home, that should be fine.  The other is corruption, and we talked a little bit about that, as well.  That’s going to be really important to get investors here.  So investing in Ukraine is important to the United States. It’s important to Ukrainians, and it’s great to be among both the investors and the investees.  I mean, you all are the organizations, are the people, that others are going to be investing in.  I’m very much looking forward to hearing the pitches for these investments, and I met some of the people that are going to do this — and so I was writing down in advance these —

iCardy, who are right around here somewhere – there we are — and they were telling me about their attempts to keep our hearts healthy. So I’m looking forward to hearing that.

Pytag, on getting farmers connected with markets.  I think that’s – Ukraine has this great potential.  I was talking about the potential of Ukraine a minute ago.  And the land, which is about to be bought and sold here, by the way, which sounds very exciting, but probably some people here are interested in that buying and selling of land — but in particular on the farmers that’s going to be a great thing, it’s going to increase growth for the good of everybody in the country, I’m absolutely convinced.

BIOsens, food safety, is – there [you] are – also a part of the whole agricultural and food production and food safety is important.

Nuwork, which I thought was New York, but it’s Nuwork on smart hiring. That’s going to be excellent, we need that exactly.

Comin Systems is online sales, thank you, looking forward to hearing about that.

[FiTech], is that it? Manufacturing materials. In the back, there we are.  Thank you, thank you.

And finally Spokk, online insurance, very good, okay.

So this is a great group. There’s an opportunity for everyone to make that pitch, make that jump. We were talking again next door about there are many billionaires in this room. Future billionaires in this room.  And we said, we want to be sure you remember Cornell.  And others

So, that’s my welcome to you, my appreciation, why Ukraine’s important, and I look forward to hearing those pitches, so thank you very much.