Ukraine: An Affordable Silicon Valley
However, one country is making a huge impact on the global Ai scene and flying under the radar while doing it. Ukraine isn't on most global Ai lists, despite having over 6,000 Ai engineers in the small country according to Vitaliy Goncharuk, the Chairman of the Ai in Ukraine Committee, who goes on to say "Ukraine is one of the hottest tech areas in the world and our Ai & Machine learning scene is ahead of the curve."
Ukraine's tech scene has become an envy of much of the world in recent years. Amazon, Huawei and many of the global tech leaders have opened offices in Ukraine. And their startup scene has included a number of major buyouts in the hundreds of millions by the likes of Apple, Facebook and Snap. The Ring & Grammarly are two other very-well known tech firms founded in Ukraine.
When a multinational is considering opening a foreign development office, the cost savings found in Ukraine is considerable. According to a Newxel report, the savings of a Ukranian technology development team vs one in Tel Aviv, a very popular international development destination, can be as much as 60%, with a team lead averaging 20-25% cheaper.
But, when you consider the prospect of working in Ukraine from the employees' end, the prospect becomes extremely compelling. A family of 4 in Lviv, Ukraine's 2nd biggest tech center, will see monthly living expenses of USD $1,352 and a single engineer will see monthly expenses below $400.
This compares to $4,000 for a family of 4 and $1,121 per person of living expenses in the San Francisco area. Tel Aviv's expenses are almost the same as San Francisco for both a family of 4 or single person.
When you start looking at the real estate savings an engineer will find in Ukraine, the difference becomes gigantic. Rent for a 1 bedroom in Tel Aviv's City Center is about a 3% difference from San Francisco. But, when you start comparing life of Silicon Valley vs Lviv, the difference becomes simply eye-popping. We had to copy and past the results below for our readers:
A senior android programmer in Kyiv can make USD $4,000 per month vs $12,878 in San Francisco and $5,662 in Tel Aviv. But, you will pay 34-39% of your income to taxes in San Francisco and 43% in Tel Aviv and just 4% or less in Ukraine. Another outstanding advantage to life in Ukraine’s new Silicon Valley to life in the actual Silicon Valley.
With so many advantages its no wonder many of the Ukranian engineers I know either want to leave America or have no interest in relocating from Ukraine. With beautiful medieval architecture and cheap RyanAir flights to anywhere in Europe, the future is bright for Ukraine’s potential as the next Silicon Valley.
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