On April 28, the 17th Expert Council on Startups gathered at the Alexander Popov Technopark. Each month, 10 new projects present their business ideas to experts of the Innopolis special economic zone, representatives of venture capital funds and investors. The council decided to grant the startup status to all 10 teams. For emerging projects, it is an opportunity to get public recognition, support from the special economic zone, various bonuses and privileges.
The selection process was overseen by Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Tatarstan Roman Shaikhutdinov, Innopolis CEO Renat Khalimov, Innopolis Mayor Ruslan Shagaleyev, Director of Innopolis University Kirill Seminikhin, mentor from the Silicon Valley Alexei Ovsyannikov and other invited experts.
“We continue to actively strengthen cooperation with venture capitalists. Almost 50 different funds and investors participate in the expert councils. We partner with key players of the venture capital and startup industries in Russia: currently, the council has representatives from Sber Unity, the Eurasian Center for Innovative Development, SberSolutions and the Alchemist Accelerator from the Silicon Valley. It is important for us to listen to our residents and provide projects with what they need at early stages, including opportunities to attract investment, staffing support, tax advice and much more. This kind of support is important as in the very beginning, many startups simply have no funds. In April, we synchronized the ecosystems of the Skolkovo Foundation and the Innopolis special economic zone and signed a cooperation agreement. In the long term, these measures will give a new impetus to developing services, acceleration and grant-aid programs for startups,” Renat Khalimov commented.
Eco startup Neuron presented its mobile app for remote assessment of beehive health. One in every two bee farms loses up to 90% of its bees every five years to diseases and ticks. Neuron helps to respond to a health emergency within 24 hours and prevent an epidemic in a beehive. An app-connected device monitors acoustic noise in the hive and conducts cloud-based mathematical analysis. The app reports any deviation from the norm thus helping to take timely action. Annual subscription costs RUR 1K ($15). The startup is seeking RUR 12 mio ($184K) in investment.
The Speech Analysis startup presented a system for automatic customer service quality control in points of sale. The platform addresses the problem of below-the-standard customer service provided by salespersons. Speech Analytics records and transcribes dialogues between staff and customers, analyzes speech activity parameters and automatically evaluates every member of staff, producing final reports and analysis. In the Innopolis special economic zone, Speech Analysis will benefit from lower taxes and opportunity to reach major clients.
ClaPay is a prospective economic digital platform for e-commerce. The system makes it easy to exchange data between online payment services and mobile networks, with money transfer services available between different networks. The startup plans to enter the African market, which is the largest goods and services market in the world covering 1.2 billion people. The team already has several offices, including one in Africa. ClaPay can benefit from Innopolis staffing support, new technical solutions and lower tax burden. The project needs RUR 85 mio ($1.3 mio) in investment for further development.
Crystal Ball presented an ML-based forecasting platform. The team has already completed 60 projects in 35 countries and developed its own forecasting practice using Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. The startup is seeking new partners and investment. Innopolis can also be helpful with new ideas and product development technology as well as promotion.
Getscum is a user or vendor reputation check service using payment details. It can help expose untrustworthy individuals and legal entities based on reviews and other public information. The platform targets users who perform transactions online such as payments to freelancers, vendors on classified ad websites, purchasing training courses and workshops.
IT companies continue to adapt their business processes to the online format. The Delegator24 startup has developed an IT platform to search for and work with remote employees. The solution helps entrepreneurs delegate tasks without having to hire employees by working with remote teams via an IT platform. The system selects workers, launches the onboarding process, teaches and forms teams. Then the client connects with the team and launches the project. The startup plans to make over $25 mio in the next three-four years of work in Russia.
Adventure Realm is an MMORPG (massively multiplayer online role-playing game) in a classic fantasy setting on the Roblox platform (Roblox is a game creation system that allows users to program and play games, – ed.). The Adventure Realm team is the largest and most famous Roblox development studio in Russia. The startup plans to create VR games and hybrid apps where VR users can play on a desktop PC or in a mobile app.
The FoodTech startup Qummy has developed a technology that allows for preserving ready meals for 180 days without quality loss, and opening food service outlets without cooks and kitchens. Among their clients are Russian Railways, Lukoil, Gazprom, Ronseft, Yandex.Lavka, Ozon and others. The startup was picked by the Alchemist Accelerator and rated highly in the Silicon Valley. The solution employs three technologies: the “smart ice” neural network, a superintensive freezing technology while preserving the product’s quality and taste, and the smart stove Qummy that takes only six minutes to reheat a dish.
Marker is a spelling correction service. The system uses machine learning to correct spelling, punctuation and style errors and explains the corrections. The platform can be used by individual customers, as well as language schools, support services, email clients, etc. All participants in the startup are students from the Innopolis University.
The startup Mamado presents an app for a family living in the city. It is a marketplace of services, offers and city events for adults and children. Businesses can use the service to attract new and keep current customers. For city dwellers, it is an opportunity to learn about events nearby, read reviews and select entertaining and educational events for children. RUR 35 mio was invested in the development and testing of the app.