MITS and American University Kyiv Kick-off Ukraine’s First Defense Technology Acceleration Program

KYIV, Ukraine , May 23, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — On May 17, MITS (Military Innovation Technology Solutions) and AUK (American University Kyiv) kicked off the first acceleration program for Ukrainian defense startups.

After a rigorous three-month selection process in which the team evaluated over sixty applications, six promising startups were selected to participate in an acceleration program that will help them develop their business mindset, find partners and buyers, and scale.

Through a multi-step process, applicants were put through a series of evaluations, including a thorough review of their business plans, a demonstration of their product in a “testing ground” environment, and final approval by MITS’ Supervisory Board.  While this rigorous selection process ensured a high quality group of companies in the first cohort, MITS was impressed with many of the applicants and looks forward to initiating a second cohort later this year.

Apart from the USD 100k cash investment, during the program, selected startups will receive:

  • Expert Mentoring: Renowned industry leaders (such as NATO defense industry experts) will provide guidance on strategy development, product improvement and market entry.
  • Industry exposure: Workshops, dedicated networking events, and industry connections will arm startups with the knowledge and relationships needed to navigate relevant markets.
  • Further Investment Opportunities: Apart from being eligible for MITS Venture Fund, participating startups will have the opportunity to showcase their products to a network of venture capitalists, potentially securing critical funding for future growth.

To learn more about the program’s benefits and structure, please refer to our previous press release.

“We are excited to begin this journey with these six innovative startups. The talent and dedication we’ve seen throughout the selection process is exceptional, and we’re confident this program will give them the tools they need to make a big impact,” says Denys Gurak, Founding Partner at MITS.

“We plan not only to build a defense tech startup ecosystem in Ukraine, but also to invest in its growth and development with the MITS venture fund,” said Perry Boyle, Founding Partner at MITS.

Anton Melnyk, Founding Partner at MITS, adds: “The key idea of the MITS accelerator launched together with American University Kyiv is foremost the development of a Ukrainian defense technology manufacturing base, which will lead to new opportunities for Ukraine as it continues to integrate with NATO and the European Union. I am incredibly impressed with what American University Kyiv has brought to our accelerator partnership and am personally grateful to Lyudmyla Dolgonovska, Yuriy Bots, Oleksiy Shershnev and Dan Rice for supporting such a fundamental project for the development of the Ukrainian defense tech ecosystem.”

“American University Kyiv is honored to serve as an educational partner of MITS in establishing a thriving business acceleration program. I am confident that our partnership will grow in its scope and impact as we seek to promote entrepreneurship, drive innovation, and serve as catalysts of Ukraine’s prosperity and security for decades to come,” says Yuriy Bots, Dean of the School of Management, Visiting Professor, AUK.

MITS invites potential venture investors to participate in the program’s culminating event, Demo Day. For more information, please reach out at

Diana Ivolha