The OMR Festival is a major international event for the digital economy that once again attracted 70,000 guests to the Hamburg exhibition halls in 2023. Startup City Hamburg was prominently featured there with a booth that offered twelve startups each from Hamburg and Ukraine the opportunity to present themselves. The interest was huge, numerous media and Hamburg's First Mayor Peter Tschentscher were on site.
In cooperation with the Ukrainian Startup Fund, Startup City Hamburg had called on founders from Hamburg and Ukraine to apply for a place on the joint stand at OMR. This initiative is significantly supported by Startup-Unit Hamburg, the Ministry of Digital Transformation of Ukraine, the Consulate General of Ukraine, Hamburg's Ministry of Economy and Innovation as well as other partners. For many top decision-makers, the festival is a must-attend event, so it is also the perfect place for startups to gain more visibility and make valuable contacts.
The Ukrainian startup Melt Water Club was particularly in demand. Several TV stations conducted interviews and even Hamburg's First Mayor Peter Tschentscher had founder Andrew Osadchyi explain the technological innovation, in which five years of development work have gone into. In principle, it is quite simple: Melt Water Club filters and purifies water by freezing it and then thawing it again. This works with both fresh and salt water, removes a wide range of pollutants and produces no additional waste. The technology is already being used on a smaller scale, for example in a Ukrainian orphanage, and a larger project planned for early 2024. In the long term, Melt Water Club hopes to supply more than one billion people with clean water.
With the 5050 initiative, OMR aims to achieve a more equitable gender balance in business and give more visibility to female founders. Accordingly, at a pitch as part of the 5050 program at the festival, the stage belonged to six startups led by women. One of them was GIOS, also from Ukraine and part of the Startup City Hamburg delegation, presented by Natalia Limonova. The company name stands for Global Innovative Online School and sums up the company's concept well. GIOS offers modern tutoring for mathematics and is successful internationally, in the USA as well as in several European countries. More than 140,000 users have already registered, and the number is expected to grow to millions, who will then also receive learning opportunities for other STEM subjects.
On the second day of the conference, Alexander Sobolenko, founder of Releaf Paper, was honored to speak a few words on the main stage in front of several thousand visitors at the beginning of the program. He thanked on behalf of all startups from Ukraine for the great opportunities OMR offered them and briefly introduced his startup. Releaf Paper aims to replace the use of wood cellulose as much as possible with leaf fiber for paper mills around the world. The company offers technology to produce paper sustainably from biowaste to meet the continuing growth in demand in an environmentally friendly way.