SocialBoost is a leading organization with expertise in cybersecurity, digital democracy and governance, economic development, and impact tech. We specialize in providing tech services and products for emerging and advanced markets.
Our main activities include fostering innovation through digital acceleration, building vibrant ecosystems and communities, and driving positive social change through impact investing and venture capital. With a focus on transformative breakthroughs and sustainable growth, we are dedicated to creating lasting impact in developing economies.
Embark on a journey through the remarkable history of SocialBoost, a social-technological movement that came into existence in 2012. It all began with a series of hackathons initiated by visionary minds, Denis Gursky and Viktor Gurskyi. These hackathons, focused on open data topics, laid the foundation for what SocialBoost would become.
In 2014, the founders of SocialBoost emerged as co-authors of Ukraine's open data reform, and with the support of Microsoft Ukraine and the International Renaissance Foundation, they brought to life the first version of the Unified state open data portal data.gov.ua. This innovative platform was later entrusted to the State Agency for e-Governance of Ukraine, showcasing SocialBoost's commitment to shaping the nation's digital landscape.
The journey continued in 2016 with the founding of the 1991 Open Data Incubator, made possible with the support of WNISEF, Microsoft Ukraine, and the Government of Ukraine. It marked a significant milestone as the first non-commercial incubator of IT projects based on open data in Ukraine.
Over the years, SocialBoost's impact expanded into various areas, including digital democracy and governance, economic development, and impact tech. Through collaborations with USAID, the organization promoted digitalization in united territorial communities and conducted the Open Data Challenge, a prestigious international competition nurturing projects built on open data.
In 2019, SocialBoost's reach extended to Mariupol, where it established a center for developing startups, showcasing its dedication to empowering regional innovation. The opening took place with the participation of the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyi, and the Prime Minister of Ukraine, Oleksiy Honcharuk, within the Re:think investment forum.
In the spring of 2021, the team began implementing the Cyberaccelerator within the framework of the USAID Cybersecurity Activity. The project was aimed at strengthening Ukraine's cyber readiness and cyber resilience. It included an acceleration program with international and Ukrainian experts' mentorship, methodological and technical support, specialized funds, grants, and pilot training with state institutions.
Amidst the tumultuous times of the 2022 war, SocialBoost's commitment to supporting the community shone through with the launch of the 1991 Reload program, empowering internally displaced persons-entrepreneurs with mentorship and resources. The journey didn't stop there. SocialBoost joined the organizers of the National Defense Hackathon, where the leading IT experts from the private and public sectors, cyber security and disinformation specialists, engineers, designers, and lawyers worked on innovative solutions dedicated to defense against Russian attacks during a full-scale war.
In 2023, SocialBoost organized the 1991 Hackathon: Media in Warsaw, focusing on the search for digital solutions to fight disinformation, data analysis for media, and cyber hygiene. The hackathon was preceded by a mini-conference that brought together recognized professionals from Google, Meta, NATO Strategic Communications Center, OSCE, Voice of America, Radio Liberty, and other media and digitization experts.
With every step, SocialBoost remained dedicated to driving technological solutions, fostering innovation, and transforming communities. Today, the organization continues to thrive, with its latest endeavor being the acceleration program "Hromada 4.0," aimed at creating and implementing digital transformation projects in communities.
An advocate of impact investing, public activist, co-founder, and head of the board of SocialBoost.
Denis Gursky is an impact tech advocate who believes in tech and emerging markets. Having worked in international NGOs, businesses, and government, Denis absorbed and implemented the best ideas for digital development. His specialization is vision-driven projects that involve multi-lateral partnerships, are very public, and have a high impact on society, the economy, or both.
Co-founder and head of the board of SocialBoost, which brings together startups and technical expertise with governments and civil society to solve problems in developing economies.
As one of the first Ukrainian open data experts, Denis headed the Open Data Executive Group under the Government of Ukraine and worked on developing and implementing national initiatives in this field, such as National Open Data Portal (data.gov.ua).
Denis founded the 1991 Open Data Incubator, the 1991 Civic Tech Center, the 1991 Mariupol Startup Development Center, and the Cyberaccelerator, which led to a whole new paradigm of governments setting up challenges for the tech market and getting a wave of domestic startups that form PPPs and resolve national issues having a high impact on society and economy.
Impact Entrepreneur, CEO, and Co-founder at SocialBoost
Viktor Gurskyi is an impact tech expert and co-founder of the international civic tech organization SocialBoost, which brings together startups and technical expertise with governments and civil society to solve problems in developing economies.
Viktor coordinates the development of IT services and programs for cities and communities that promote digitalization and participation. The most famous case in e-democracy is the Hromadsky Project platform, which automates participatory budgets for Ukrainian cities and communities. Viktor's team is also working on the Dosvit platform, which allows communities to create their modern websites, demonstrate investment potential and offer citizens the necessary applications in the field of participation.
Viktor takes an active part in developing and implementing programs of the flagship project of SocialBoost — 1991 Accelerator. Ukraine's first and largest pipeline accelerator focusing on impact tech helps turn ideas into real startups that provide services to citizens, businesses, and government bodies.