He is the CEO of G-Mak, a home security company based in Ukraine. His idea is similar to his Amazon Ring home security system but enhanced. His company designed something like a little black box with a camera inside. If you spot an intruder, you can fire tear gas to deter potential robbers. “Ukrainians know how to protect themselves,” is the ironic company slogan. But the war gave him big trouble. The labor he had was decimated.” We lost five of him,” he says through tears.
Trying to launch a successful startup in good times is a big challenge, but it’s very difficult to do so in wartime. Bombings, infrastructure attacks, and blackouts are just some of the challenges of working in Ukraine. Still, a delegation of Ukrainian startups made the long trip to Las Vegas for the world’s biggest tech gathering. For them, CES (Consumer Electronics Show) is a great opportunity to meet Western investors. Even going to the venue was difficult. “It took him three days to get here,” says Artem Didinskyi, co-founder of his kitchen designer and Corner online. Ukrainian men under the age of 60 cannot leave the country, so they had to obtain special permission from the Ukrainian authorities to attend. For him, Las Vegas’ myriad neon signs are a far cry from working in Kyiv, where electricity is a luxury.”Sometimes my work is limited to computer batteries.
Two weeks ago I had no power for three days,” But Artem found a kind of solution. His local gas station has a reliable generator. His office is now the front yard of a gas station. This is the only way programmers can work. He says his apartment has no heating. “I sleep with my dog in my bed to keep warm,” he says. For him, CES is an important opportunity to meet potential investors. Many of the delegations braved the war and wished them success. And after all the challenges the war has thrown at them, they have a pretty good chance of succeeding elsewhere if they can.