As the Russian invasion of Ukraine enters its second week, the world has responded with a remarkably unified front against the war. That includes the French Tech ecosystem, which has launched a number of efforts to support Ukrainian entrepreneurs as well as to offer aid to the estimated 1 million refugees who are fleeing the war zone.
Obviously, international sanctions are likely to have a bigger impact. But for people looking for more concrete ways to support anti-war efforts, here is a list of initiatives:
Refugees: A coalition of La French Tech mission, France Digitale, and The Galion Project has launched a crowdfunding effort on Leetchi to raise money for supplies for Ukrainian refugees.
Housing: Station F is offering Ukrainian entrepreneurs who have taken refuge in France free accommodation for their families at Flatmates, the residence dedicated to Station F entrepreneurs. Any Ukrainian employee of a Station F startup is also eligible.
La French Tech Kyiv: Dominique Piotet is President of La French Tech Kyiv and CEO de UNIT.City, Ukraine's biggest startup campus. In an interview this week, he gave an overview of how the tech community is responding (in French). "The (Ukrainian Digital) Minister has also initiated the IT Army of Ukraine to hack Russian intrusions," he said. "Available on Telegram Messenger, the channel already has nearly 280,000 subscribers." The Minister also held an NFT fundraiser.
Disinformation: CREOpoint, founded by French entrepreneur Jean-Claude Goldenstein, has developed an AI-driven platform to battle disinformation, fake news, and deep fakes. The company has turned its attention to Ukraine and Russia and you can see some of that work at www.DisinfoIntelligence.com
Work Visas: Scaleway CEO Yann Lechelle is pushing for special, long-term work visas to allow Ukrainian refugees to quickly find jobs in the French Tech sector and help their families settle quickly in France.
Refugee Matching: The co-founders of Paris-based HRTech startup Jobgether launched EU4UA, a platform to match refugees with people who can offer shelter. The co-founders include Brussels-based Juan Bourgois, Arnaud Devigne, Columbia-based Alexis Rodríguez, and Madrid-based Alexandre Hernandez.
If you want to get involved, see Devigne's post here for the help they need.
Economic Aid: France's Economics Ministry has launched a website and contact system for questions regarding the potential fallout of economic sanctions on French companies. And the French State Department has created a system for companies to make direct donations to raise money for Ukrainian refugees as well as to support the government's humanitarian aid efforts.
Cybersecurity: France's Agence nationale de la sécurité des systèmes d'information is providing real-time updates on cyberattacks possibly related to the war and advice for companies on how to protect themselves.
Know of more efforts? Ping me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll add them here.