Three Skolkovo teams – WayRay, “NPO Sodis Laboratory” and 3D Bin – participated in the semi-final pitches and demo show on the Slush. Vitaly Ponomaryov, CEO of WayRay, became a real star – he has achieved the finals, and an international audience of several thousand people applauded him; his project was recognized as one of the best startups in Europe by the Slush jury.
Slush finalist Vitaly Ponomaryov, the general director of the WayRay, during his pitch presentation
After the announcement of the winner (an Estonian startup with a digital medicine project), Mr. Ponomaryov said that he considered his Slush “spotlight” being very useful. “We were among the Top-4,” he said. “We have become even more recognizable, and will have more experience of performing on such stages. Besides, we have made friends with Finns here, and perhaps we will develop our cooperation. We have seen once again how important is working under the Skolkovo sponsorship.”
Anna Uvarova, from 3D Bin, also shone on the final demo show, having conquered the audience with her energy, charisma and an excellent command of the English language. She and her team were included into the Top-20 that were selected of 400 applicants for further pitches and demo shows. Of course, the opinion of the jury does not always coincide with the opinion of the audience who, if applause can be a criterion, fell in love with the guys from Skolkovo.
It seems that Russian, and Skolkovo startups in particular, have no reason to get upset that we did not win first prize – our three teams entered the Top-21 of best pitches and WayRay entered the Top-4, just after three years of existence of the Skolkovo ecosystem, and the second year of participation in the Slush. It is great start, I guess.