Russia is ranked 12th in the world for innovation, but their startups are not hitting the headlines that often. So what’s up with the state of innovation in the country that covers more than 1/8 of the Earth?
Earlier this fall ArcticStartup team had a chance to attend Open Innovations Forum. The event hosted some 12,000 guests from 85 countries and showcased a decent amount of projects by the clusters of National Technology Initiative of Russia, including aero net, marine net, energy net, tech net, food net, neuro net and more. Not to mention the special guests like Dmitry Medvedev, Prime Minister of Russia; Ofir Akunis, Minister of Science, Technology and Space of Israel; and Anatoly Chubais, Chairman of the Executive Board, ROSNANO, whose visit was accompanied with Federal security service checkup.
When in 2009 Medvedev decided to stimulate tech innovation in the country, he dreamt big and aimed high. Skolkovo Innovation Center was established as the catalyst for Russia’s innovation-based economy, creating a global ecosystem of entrepreneurship.
Currently, the centre hosts 1,586 high-tech startups, a Technopark, the Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology (Skoltech) and Skolkovo city located on the outskirts of Moscow. The 2.4 square km area of Skolkovo Innovation Center is planned to fit over 35,000 researchers and technologists by 2020. Skolkovo startups have already made $2 billion in revenues, attracted $500 million in investment, and created 21,800 jobs, filing 1,900 patent applications along the way.
If you attended Slush before you might remember Skolkovo’s Wayray and Astro Digital becoming the runner-ups for winning the contest in 2013 and 2015 respectively. This year there are seven Russian startups in the finals of Slush100 pitching competition.
Here is the list of the most interesting Skolkovo startups at Slush 2016:
Aeroxo – long range aerial robotics and data gathering platform. Aeroxo unmanned aerial vehicles are able to combine the vertical takeoff and landing capabilities of a helicopter with the speed and range of a conventional fixed-wing aircraft.
Fibrum – VR-platform designed to carry you away to the magic of virtual reality. Fibrum comes with a smartphone headset and various VR apps available on Google Play, AppStore and Windows Phone Marketplace. By now Fibrum apps have been downloaded more than 12 million times with monthly organic installations of Fibrum mobile VR applications reaching 1 million.
Market Player – smart broadcasting platform for retail and HoReCa sector.
Cinemood – a cute cloud-connected mini-projector that allows you to watch your favourite movies, filmstrips, cartoons and TV shows anywhere you want on any surface. In June 2016 the company raised $158k on Indigogo and plans to ship the first batch in December.
WiseSoil – solution for plants that makes organic waste recycling profitable. The company will showcase two products – WiseSoil Pretreatment Module for speeding-up digestion process and WiseSoil Dewatering System for producing dry fertilizer and safe to discharge water instead of wet digestion products.
Zooprotein – protein-lipid concentrate (PLC) made of crushed fly larvae that replaces traditional protein sources such as fish meal and soya meal in animals’ diets. The product reduces feed consumption in animals and increase meat output. Plus, it makes food production process more sustainable and environmental friendly.
Marvelmind Robotics – The company develops high precision indoor GPS system to be used by autonomous robots, copters and virtual reality. Marvelmind technology allows indoor tracking and positioning of objects and humans equipped with beacons, thus enabling automatic delivery of small packages inside large buildings: airports, warehouses, hospitals, assembly plants, factories, hotels, zoo, small parks. Marvelmind Robotics won of the first prize at Slush Shanghai earlier this year.
Group-IB – cyber security company, which focuses on combatting online frauds and other cyber crimes in Russia and CIS.
Promobot – a customer support robot designed to work in areas of high concentrations of people in which the robot answers any questions, translates promotional materials, helps out with navigation and so. Plus it it can recognise people with whom it had to communicate, and tailor make conversation accordingly.
Motorica – functional bionic arms and hand prosthesis, that come in custom styles and designs. Mototrica prosthesis are created to perform specific functions at work, home or in sports.
3D Bioprinting Solutions – biotech R&D company that bioprints 3-dimensional body parts and organs. It is famous for being the first company in the world to print a living organ – a thyroid gland of a mouse, that was successfully transplanted to the animal.
Texel Ease – 3D body scanner that measures your body parameters, and then gives you personalized clothing recommendations to match your style and wallet. Texel Ease is a part of Startup Sauna accelerator programme and plans to conquer European market upon its completion.
Watts – lego brick that allows to store and control electricity on mobile so you do not need to think whether you left iron or electric range turned on while you are far from your home. It can be used for the whole house as well as portable source of power for any outdoor activity.
Voximplant – cloud platform for real-time communication app development designed for web and mobile app developers. Voximplant lets developers embed audio/video calls/conferencing (including calls to/from phone network) and messaging functionality in their apps and services.
You can meet those and 40 other Skolkovo startups at their booth located right next to the Main Stage at Slush. Besides startups there will be Igor Drozdov, Skolkovo Chairman of the Board; Vasily Belov, Skolkovo Senior VP for Innovations, and Pekka Viljakainen, Advisor to the President of the Skolkovo Foundation.