Who will go to Skolkovo
Nearly 200 Belarusian bids submitted for All-Russian start-up round of Skolkovo Fund, held in Minsk
Skolkovo’s IT representative, Vasily Belov, notes that it’s wonderful to see such high levels of interest and participation, since this helps to promote awareness of Belarus’ status as an innovative nation, and to attract potential partners and investors.
Up to half of the total number of submissions relate to information technologies, showing the age in which we live. Of course, each project is judged on its individual merit, regardless of being ‘in vogue’. The start-up AntiTAXI was turned down as being unfeasible. Its software allows passengers and sole drivers to team up for joint trips but the suggestion of it being trialled in the Russian capital was met with some amusement from a Moscow investor, “How long have you been to Moscow? Haven’t you noticed the feeling which have pedestrians and drivers towards each other. I’m afraid your project won’t be popular.”
Physicist and engineer Dmitry Shiroky’s System of Automated Monitoring of Cow Fertility caused major interest among the jury and audience, as having prospects across the EEU. Mr. Shiroky explains, “Our successful farms use similar mechanisms made by foreign manufacturers, costing around 100 Euros per unit while ours is just $59. When you have up to 2,000 cows, the savings are huge. Across the Eurasian Economic Union, there are about 10 million cows!”
Denis Bochkov’s ‘home’ musical studio for computers has the potential to save large amounts of money spent on expensive instruments and licencing. He notes, “A complete cycle of recording a single piece of music costs up to $10,000 at present while our musical studio reduces this to just $10-$50. It could generate over $5 million in revenue by 2018.”
The All-Russian start-up-round aims to find tomorrow’s innovative solutions, taking its winners to Skolkovo over the summer. Every participant gains from the experience however, being able to attend master classes, training and seminars, led by experts in various fields of industry. Skolkovo Fund organisers include the State Committee for Science and Technologies and Minsk City Technology Park, who are eager to promote an innovative community. They believe that unity can only bring strength: a principle infinitely applicable to the IT sphere.
By Mikhail Osipenko