Five Russian high-tech projects, four of them Skolkovo residents, winners of the East Bound startup competition organized by the Skolkovo Foundation and VEB Innovations venture fund, will have access to an over $50 million pool of investment from leading companies in Asia and the Middle East.
After preliminary qualifications, the entrants presented their projects at three pitch sessions during the Open Innovations Forum at the Skolkovo Innovation Center. The jury of each ‘geographical’ session – Middle East, India and Japan – included several investors providing from $100 million to $1 billion to the prize pool.
Motorika, a manufacturer of active and bionic upper limb prostheses for children and adults, was recognized as the best at the Middle East session.
At the India session, the jury selected two winners – Heedbook and Termoelektrika. Heedbook has released the market’s first artificial intelligence solution to measure customer satisfaction with the quality of service. Termoelektrika is a developer of a unique technology for controlling electrical contact and equipment overheating that helps prevent accidents and fires.
The NeuroChat project and the FlowVision company were noted in the Japan session. NeuroChat is a communication system for people with speech and mobility limitations based on the brain-computer interface. FlowVision supplies a solution for dynamic computer modeling, successfully applied in aircraft and shipbuilding, nuclear energy and space exploration.
Initially, the organizers reserved a pool of $50 million for the best startups. However, due to the large number of winners, this amount may be increased. Each winner had an opportunity to personally meet with the investor and discuss the potential investment volume.
“The significance of this pitch competition for the Open Innovations agenda is very high,” Chairman of the Skolkovo Foundation Arkady Dvorkovich said. “It is important to find truly competitive projects with the best value of money. Such projects are of value for the market, for business, and for the people.”
The East Bound competition participants were Russian high-tech companies with annual revenues of at least $1 million, offering products in information and aerospace technologies, telecommunications, biomedicine and neural interfaces, robotics, smart city solutions, renewable energy and energy efficiency. More than 50 applications were submitted.