Get our rare newsletters
Contact GoalEuropeIf you have questions or need a consultation, get in touch.
Yesterday was the last day of Startup Sauna Warmup adventures in Russia. Having met with more than 119 companies over the past week, the team of organizers, judges and mentors have been selecting the final participants of the Startup Sauna at the final stop in Novosibirsk.
Here, we recap the last three events from Kazan, Yekaterinburg and Novosibirsk.
The results so far, are a mix of technologies. Not all of them are in IT space: unmanned helicopters monitoring physical assets from RosTechnoExport of Saint Petersburg; insanely useful and inexpensive DNA test kits from Maxygen of Moscow; and pain-relieving, antibacterial “wound pressing technology” from Celoform.
The latter comes from Kazan, the capital of the Russian Republic of Tatarstan. Founded in 2006 by 29-year old Anton Moroshek who has a PhD in surgery and oncology, and his professor, Said Ksembaev, Celoform offers a product which achieves all of the above, relying on biological activity of its components rather than pharmaceutical substances.The project has so far been financed by the government-owned Investment and Venture Fund of the Republic of Tatarstan. Here is a video which I must say may be too graphic to some people. Don’t say that I did not forwarn you on what you are about to see.
Ville Simola comments on the Kazan event, “There were many solid cases and choosing the winner was not easy. The projects were more IT oriented.” It is no wonder, as Kazan business incubator, IT Park is apparently the largest IT incubator in Eastern Europe. At the same time, the presenting companies were more locally focused and lacking channels to go international. Simola continues, “The local government is making massive investments to boost the startup ecosystem here.” One of those investments is the venue of Startup Sauna Warmup event itself, an impressive new building of IT Park.
Two days later, Startup Sauna Warmup took place in a smaller space in Yekaterinburg. Finally, an IT project won the contest. Meet Open Storage (Otkritiy Sklad), an ERP system, designed for small trading companies to enable them to share information about inventories. Its founder, Tim Islagilov, published an honest account of his impressions about the event on his blog (in Russian). For those who have not mastered Google translator yet, here is my short summary. Islagilov, apparently, was concerned about his competition presenting at the same event. However one did not turn up and another one delivered a lousy pitch. So Open Storage won together with another startup AppScale.
While Ville Samola, Antti Ylimutka and the judges from Startup Sauna were partying or flying over to Novosibirsk and therefore unable to comment, I had to rely on the near-forensic web search. AppScale apparently integrates the API of all major social networks so that applications published in any social network reach users in other networks worldwide without further integration efforts.
And finally, the last stop of the presumably exhausted Finns is Novosibisk, my home town. From the shared photos, I frankly do not recognize the place. The brand new building of the Academ Park is the location of the final stop of the Startup Sauna Warmup on this long journey. The judges have spoken: the KBK Group is the winner of yesterday’s event.
Ville Simola has just resurfaced via Skype in Warsaw, Poland, where the next Warmup event will take place tomorrow. He explains, ” KBK Group is developing a database-agnostic indexing robot that compresses large databases. The solution can be used for example by banks that can compress their database to one tenth of its original size. KBK the team consists of PhD researchers from Novosibirsk State Unversity”.
To sum up the overall experience of the trip Simola adds, “It was really an adventure. It was cool to meet so many Russian entrepeneurs.” Although no certain plans have yet been made, Simola believes that he will definitely be coming back to Russia next year. In the mean time I will be watching the progress of Startup Sauna participants over the next two months, to see if they will justify the return of Startup Sauna Warmups to Russia in 2012.
+44 (020) 3290 3544
vita at goaleurope dot com