On the second day of the 5th Eastern Economic Forum (5 September), the programme of the Startup Lounge project included a pitch session and the next round of the Business Priority contest of hi-tech startups. The contest is sponsored by the Roscongress Foundation, the Far East High Technology Fund and the Russky Technology Park and is supported by the Government of the Primorye Territory.
The contest administration received applications from over 100 projects registered in the Far Eastern Federal District or offering innovative products that can be used in the Far Eastern Federal District. The expert panel composed of investment funds, representatives of federal and regional government authorities, corporations, big and medium business, and business angels have selected seven hi-tech startups that have acquired the Business Priority status and an opportunity to present their products at the EEF.
The list of Business Priority nominees includes:
SMARSY — smart mirror for beauty brands and retailers;
Enreport — business processes automation system for energy markets;
VeDroid — industrial robotic cleaner;
Medset — mobile app facilitating communication between healthcare facilities and customers;
PUFPay — online payment engine for business and individuals;
Yagoda — customer capture and retention platform;
CRYOPROTECT — skin protection from frost bites.
Based on the contest results, all projects have been included in the strategic consulting track of the Business Priority project for the 6 months to follow when the Business Priority advisers will work with the finalists to shape the scaling strategy for their businesses.
“We have seen great projects today, and this is just the beginning of a big consistent effort. The Business Priority project makes it possible for startups to integrate in the Roscongress Foundation’s ecosystem that brings together the representatives of the business community, government authorities, and development institutions at most diverse levels. Thus, today’s regional teams gain access to the competences and financial resources and an opportunity to tell about themselves in the global market,” — said Yuri Cherkes, member of the Management Board, Roscongress Foundation.
“Seven projects from the Primorye Territory, Khabarovsk and Yakutia made it to the final round, as we think that some of them have a strong potential to turn into a successful business, while others will integrate in the region’s economic and geographic landscape smoothly. The Fund will continuously support each individual project both by providing mentorship support and by assisting with investment raising,” said Ruslan Sarkisov, CEO of MC Far East High Technology Fund LLC.
“The Far East has fewer startups than Moscow, but some of them are quite interesting. We are happy to provide them with all-out support. The Business Priority pitch session is a very useful experience for young companies, as communication with the leading representatives of the investment community gives them an idea about their further development. This adjustment of the path is very important,” said Marianna Skragan, Director of the Business Priority project.
The pitch session was followed by Open Talk: “From Zero to a Billion” involving the founders and CEOs of successful hi-tech startups: Gennady Redko (Hotlead), Rustam Milanov (Visitech) and Danila Zharov (Motivity). As provided for by the discussion format, the entrepreneurs gave their frank answers to tricky questions that concern everyone contemplating the creation of their own business: they explained why they chose this challenging endeavour instead of regular employment, how they picked up their team and proved the value of their product to customers, when it makes sense to look for investments, etc.
“The discussion proved very lively, as the answers were not identical or prepared in advance. It was obvious that all entrepreneurs responded based on their own experience and said exactly what they think. Many attending startuppers found this really interesting and useful,” said Aleksei Malikov, Business Priority expert, founder of VENTO Group and partner of A&A Capital investment fund, who moderated the discussion.