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More than 50 resident startups of the Skolkovo Foundation are heading to Helsinki next week for Slush, the biggest event for tech startups in Northern Europe. Below are just a few of the companies that will be on the hunt for investors, partners and expert advice.
Slush brings together 15,000 investors, entrepreneurs, tech experts and journalists from all around the world. Photo: Jussi Ratilainen / Slush.
If the idea of a high-protein food supplement made from crushed maggots makes you queasy, don’t worry: it’s only for animals, so far. The flies are fed on organic waste from farms and big cities, so the technology includes an element of recycling, and the company says it will lead to the increased production of food for humans at a lower price and save 4 billion people from starvation. The technology can be licensed and the supplement produced anywhere in the world where organic waste can be obtained. Zooprotein is planning to open a European office in 2017. Read more about the company here.
3D Bioprinting Solutions
This company made headlines last year when they printed the world’s first functional thyroid construct for a mouse, a milestone on the way to the ultimate goal of printing functioning human organs for the millions of people on waiting lists. It also plans to print tissue and organ constructs on board the International Space Station by 2018 that can be used to monitor the negative effects of space radiation on humans to help scientists develop ways to counter that effect. Read more about 3D Bioprinting Solutions here.
This startup promises to take the stress out of shopping once and for all with its 3D body scanner that will tell you your exact measurements, and then give you personalized clothing recommendations to suit your dimensions, style and wallet. Texel Ease is taking part in the Startup Sauna accelerator programme with a view to expanding to international markets, including Europe. It has been included in various rankings of the best Russian startups on multiple occasions.
Fibrum makes mobile VR headsets and a VR platform that can be used with a smartphone, eliminating the need for pricier specialist devices. Fibrum’s products are already on sale on Germany, Chile and Peru, and its apps have been downloaded more than 12 million times. Its mobile VR game Space Stalker has also proved a hit with users. In 2017, the company plans to launch on the U.S. market via Walmart and Best Buy. Earlier this year, it won a prize at the Startup of the Year event in Moscow.
This company, the winner of Skolkovo’s Startup Village in 2016, makes a cloud-connected mini-projector for families that can display content on any surface. It comes pre-loaded with cartoons and audiobooks, and new content can be added from the cloud library. This summer, the company took part in the Bang and Olufsen accelerator in Denmark, and now has many preorders from Europe. Cinemood has already doubled its target amount on its ongoing Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign. It is now looking to expand onto new markets and find local partners among content providers and distributors.
Kleofas Engineering uses electrodeless energy-saving lamps to disinfect water by transforming microwave energy into ultraviolet germicidal radiation. It can be used for drinking water, in pools and spas, and in aquaculture and agriculture, as well as to purify air and surfaces. The company has commissions for water treatment systems from the republics of Togo and Sudan and other African countries, and is looking for capital to start production, as well as for collaboration in product development and business development.
If you’ve ever wished you could pay in shops and restaurants by simply whipping out your mobile phone, this is your dream come true. PayQR is a mobile payment platform that uses QR codes to make payments. The platform can also be used to redeem loyalty points, and create a communication and marketing platform for merchants and consumers. PayQR, which uses cloud and mobile technologies, already has more than 300,000 users, and last year attracted $3.9 million from a private Russian investor. Read more about PayQR here.
Marvelmind Robotics won the first prize at Slush Shanghai for the best seed-stage companies in October for its high-precision indoor navigation technology, which can be used to direct robots and copters, for example, as well as in virtual reality. The company has already sold its product in 30 countries and continues to expand. The company puts its success down to its precision and price: no other commercially available product offers as much precision (within 2 centimetres) for under $350, the company says. Read more about Marvelmind Robotics here.
How do you get one of the biggest and most famous museums in the world to partner with your startup? Ask Watts Battery, the maker of a modular energy storage and management system, whose promotional partner in Russia is none other than the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg. You don’t have to live in a palace to use Watts Battery’s system for controlling and storing electricity though. It can be used indoors and outdoors, and is controlled via a mobile app. This summer, the company received a seed investment of $150,000 from a European private investment company, and is now looking for an investor to help it to upscale its business and enter the EU market. In Finland, Watts Battery already has an integrating partner: Aii Energy System.
Pryaniky believes there are other ways of motivating employees than financial reward alone. Its gamified management systems allow staff to award virtual gifts to one another, and have been shown to increase KPIs and productivity in medium-sized and large companies. Having implemented its technology at companies including Microsoft, Johnson & Johnson and Philip Morris, and another 1,500 companies in Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakhstan, the company is now looking for a strategic partner and investor to help it expand beyond the former Soviet Union.
The Skolkovo Foundation will have a joint stand exhibiting a range of companies at Slush, located next to the main stage. If you’re attending Slush, don’t miss the chance to check out many more Skolkovo startups with innovative products and great potential.