Collecting Life Stories Online

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Wednesday, January 12, 2022
Alisa Bobko and her startup Ne Zabudu is the winner of EAST COAST IT Investment Forum
Courtesy of Startup Center ‘1991’

Being on maternity leave with her daughter didn’t stop Mariupol resident Alisa Bobko from participating in the Startup Mentorship Program organized by Startup Center 1991 and run by SocialBoost, a local NGO. Overall, 24 participants took part, including 16 men and 8 women.

Bobko’s business idea was based on a personal interest - to find the burial places of her grandfather. "There are no maps of cemeteries in Ukraine. So, when I was searching for my grandfather's grave, I could not find it. The idea of creating an app that would allow me and others to find the final resting places of our relatives and friends seemed like it would be very important and useful for many people,” said Alisa.

The Startup Center 1991 team helped her build a team of four who then started working on market and audience research. Their startup project, “Ne Zabudu” (Will Remember), turned into an online memory storage service where users can write stories of their family, post bios of relatives, and upload photos.

"The topic is quite specific, but it is in demand among Ukrainians. We helped the startup team with branding and positioning, developing a marketing strategy, and attracting investors. The project will also receive additional seed funding because we believe in it," says Eva Belchenko, Project Director of Startup Center 1991.

The Ne Zabudu team won an USAID/Ukraine incubation award and received UAH 100,000 to develop an online, open access, memory storage service. The platform helps connect stories across different generations by organizing photo archives chronologically. It provides people with online access to the history of their family. Anyone who collects the life stories and photos of loved ones can use the service to generate interactive family trees. These services are free. In addition, in July 2021, the team signed a Memorandum of Cooperation with the Mariupol City Council to contribute to the digitalization of the city’s social services. 

From 2019 to 2021, Startup Center 1991 and SocialBoost have implemented nine programs with USAID support, many focused on developing an IT-ecosystem in the eastern Ukraine. These activities have benefited almost 300 people, including Alisa Bobko.


Last updated: January 14, 2022

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