Sergey Tokarev: New technological university is to open in Ukraine

Ukraine will have dozen new startups and thousands of jobs very soon. All merits are for the unique approach in educating IT specialists at a new technological university SET. It is expected to launch the education next September. Sergey Tokarev, the Founding Partner at Roosh, speaks about the opportunities the SET University will bring to Ukrainian students and the country at large.

The background of SET University

SET University is a novelty in the education system of Ukraine. Sergey Tokarev has been developing the idea of a robust IT education in Ukraine for several years.

The businessman has been committed to investing and IT for many years. His investment portfolio counts over 100 projects, including Reface. He confronted the issue related to the lack of IT specialists while developing his business and portfolio companies. He concluded that in order to get real IT professionals, there should be appropriate quality education. Then, Ukraine will become a potent IT hub of Eastern Europe.

In 2021, the investor engaged the Kyiv School of Economics (KSE) in the establishing process. Sergey Tokarev’s choice was in KSE because it is considered the best economic university in the country to graduate the most knowledgeable specialists for decades. Foreign professors with a wealth of practical experience teaching there. Nobel Laureate Roger Myerson is a member of the International Academic Board of Kyiv School of Economics. This is how SET University has started.

The first steps to the opening

On December 7, SET University was officially presented in Congress and Exhibition Center “Parkovy.” There were many representatives of IT business and officials who welcomed the university. Also, Deputy Prime Minister – Minister of Digital Transformation Mykhailo Fedorov welcomed the new institution.

In March 2022, SET University will launch a free online course on preparing for External independent mathematics evaluation.

From July next year, applicants will have an opportunity to apply for education at the university. The application process will be available on July 14. In August, the university will sign agreements with accepted students. Then, in September, the educational process will start.

In addition, Sergey Tokarev notes that the university is in the process of creating the final list of study specialties. Among them will be Artificial Intelligence, Data Science, Cybersecurity, and others. Also, the best professors and expert practitioners from the IT business are invited to provide educational work in the university. They are IT top managers, leading engineers, and other IT specialists from the best Ukrainian and international companies.

The IT future in Ukraine

Sergey Tokarev has thoroughly studied the Ukrainian IT market and found a significant lack of high-quality IT experts and entrepreneurs. According to a survey from Gradus, about 80% of IT industry representatives notice that Ukrainians misunderstand business management and lack proper practice in developing and setting up a startup. Also, they state that young businessmen don’t know how to attract investment correctly.

SET University is focused on solving this problem. The investor believes that the establishment of the new technological university will change the core of traditional education in Ukraine and reveal great expertise to students to become quality IT specialists and successful investors and entrepreneurs. This will up the country to the next level in the IT industry.


Sergey Tokarev on Reface’s Success

Sergey Tokarev tells us about the success of Reface. The app has been downloaded by 75 million users. The app also attracted $5.5 million investment from Andreessen Horowitz. Reface also earned the Best App on Google Play. The app had so much charm and glamor that dozens of world-class celebrities collaborated with it. Reface is in its first year, but has enjoyed so much success that seldom startups do. Reface is a face swapping app on GIF images and videos. Sergey Tokarev is an investor of the company. He tells us about how the startup has achieved so much in such short time.

First Quarter- A Million Downloads

Reface is a global company headquartered in Kyiv, Ukraine. It has more than 100 employees, but things were a lot different back in the day. The story of the company goes back to 2011 when a group of Ukrainian developers wanted to change the world by modernizing machine learning methods. However, the developers’ mind changed. They worked on to developing their own artificial intelligence technology that would be able to replace faces in images in a quality manner. The developers’ hardwork bear the fruit as a unique technology developed in the form of Reface.

Sergey Tokarev says the unique thing about Reface is that it can swap faces on GIFs and videos and no competitor has developed such technology. He says the app can be downloaded from the AppStore and Google Play.

Launching Success

In January 2020, the app was released. The app reached the first-million-download mark within three months. The total downloads so far has crossed 75 million. The app dominated the AppStore in the US and other countries as well. Sergey Tokarev says Google Play listed Reface in the Best Apps 2020 list. Sergey Tokarev says the downloads are increasing day by day and more people are registering into the app for swapping their images.

Celebrities Usage

The app is user-friendly for all. It takes just seconds to swap faces using Reface. The popularity of the app reached world-class celebrities as well. Sergey Tokarev says celebrities like Snoop Dogg, Britney Spears, Joe Rogan, Chris Brown, Dua Lipa, along with others used the app and shared the results on their social media.

Reface was also used by celebrities and brands to promote their products. Justin Bieber, Amazon Prime and Red Bull used Reface for promotional purposes. The largest telecommunications companies in France SFR collaborated with Cristiano Ronaldo through the Reface app. JBL and UAnimals also used Reface.


The potential of Reface was recognized by the investors. In November, Silicon Valley-based venture capital fund Andreessen Horowitz funded $5.5 million in Reface. This was not the only major investment for the company. Justin Bieber and Britney Spears’ managers also invested in Reface, along with Uber, Microsoft, Facebook and Twitter.

The Andreessen Horowitz funds will be used to develop the technology. It will also be used to expand the company’s collaborations with music labels, film studios, and influencers.


Sergey Tokarev Tells About the Progress of STEM is FEM

Sergey Tokarev’s Goal of STEM is FEM

Sergey Tokarev’s charity initiative STEM is FEM’s goal is to break the stereotypes. The summary results of the initiative are seven educational modules and over two hundred participants from all over Ukraine. STEM abbreviates Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. Tokarev says the initiative was started to destroy the gender stereotypes in tech professions and establishing gender equality in the STEM fields.

STEM is FEM is conducting free educational events for Ukrainian schoolgirls to achieve the goals. According to Sergey Tokarev, the investor of Reface, after observing the serious gender imbalance in the Ukrainian IT sphere, the idea of the project was perceived. Tokarev says gender parity is crucial in the whole IT sphere. He pointed out that there are less than a third of female developers in the IT sector. The main reason for it is the stereotype that this field is only for men. Girls are less likely to choose these areas and that has to be addressed.

To combat the situation, STEM is FEM was created in the fall of 2019. The initiative encourages and motivates girls to select the STEM path.

What STEM is FEM Teaches the Girls?

STEM is FEM’s main activity is to provide free educational STEM-related modules for Ukrainian schoolgirls. The project held seven events in its first year. The girls had the opportunity to get familiar with fields like IT, robotics, biotechnology, mechanical engineering, and many more fields. Each module lasted two days. Female speakers from STEM fields shared their personal experiences and expertise with the girls during each module.

Creative tasks were assigned to the participants to consolidate the knowledge that they acquired. Disinfection robots, bike stations with additional functions, and benches to maintain social distance during the pandemic were some of the projects the girls designed over the past year.

In spring of 2020, some of the modules had to be shifted virtually due to the COVID-19 situation. Sergey Tokarev said in the offline modules, the participants visited the aviation museum, the genetic laboratory, the hydrometeorological institute, the dispatch service of Kyiv Electric Networks, as well as GlobalLogic, Beetroot, and a BMW car showroom. He said these practices will continue once the pandemic situation is under control.

STEM is FEM’s Success Formula

The main reason for STEM is FEM’s success is the project invites specialized industries specialists and motivational speakers as well. The girls have the opportunity to talk to successful women and be inspired by them. Sergey Tokarev said one of the most important ingredients to success is motivation and it is inspired in the schoolgirls through talks and communication with the successful women.

The project holds such events where invitations are sent to female scientists, ambassadors, ministers, etc. The project also holds workshops and webinars on various topics. With the cooperation of Goethe Institute, STEM is FEM recently opened the LitMINT youth reading club.

STEM is FEM’s Friends

In its young journey, STEM is FEM has made many friends. The US and Finnish embassies in Ukraine, the UN office in Ukraine and its divisions – UNICEF and UN Women, the Goethe Institute in Ukraine, America House Kyiv, as well as Beetroot, GlobalLogic, and BMW Ukraine are some of STEM is FEM’s partners. Sergey Tokarev said there is a global imbalance of gender parity in STEM. He said the only way to solve this problem is by joining hands. He is pleased to say that his project has received global recognition.