Andrey Klen and Alex Neskin, the co-founders of design firm O0 and internet-connected laser-toy maker Petcube, are leading the charge for small Ukrainian companies to come together to keep money flowing in their country’s economy amidst the Russian invasion. The two entrepreneurs helped over half of their 50 employees relocate to western Ukraine or Europe, and Klen eventually resettled in Lviv.
Petcube, now a fully remote company, is paying all its employees a full salary, and has donated over $50,500 to the Ukrainian defense. The company and its employees also earmark continuing monthly donations. The two co-founders launched the “Spend With Ukraine” campaign in early April, featuring over 100 Ukrainian brands, from smart gadgets to entertainment, fashion, productivity software, and more.
The companies involved were eager to participate and the campaign has been promoted through a well-produced YouTube video and on platforms like ProductHunt and Y Combinator’s message boards. The aim is to increase awareness of the impact small companies have on the economy, and how spending with Ukraine supports the economy and the army. Klen and Neskin believe that supporting the economy is crucial in winning the war and turning the country’s economy back on.