Two resident startups of the Skolkovo Foundation’s IT cluster have been selected to take part in the Starta accelerator in New York, guaranteeing them $130,000 each in funding.

Alexander Berenov, general director of Inspector Cloud. Photo:

Inspector Cloud, an online auditing platform, and credit assessment service Scorista will take part in the three-and-a-half-month accelerator programme for hi-tech companies with Eastern European R&D roots starting in mid-September. They will get mentor support in adapting their products to the U.S. market and becoming part of the startup and investment ecosystem there.   

“We see participation in the Starta acceleration programme as a chance to set a benchmark for our business model and technology on a major retail market,” said Alexander Berenov, general director of Inspector Cloud.

“Right now, the most complex technological solutions are being tested and rolled out in U.S. offline retail, and demand for them will then appear in other countries. So understanding the specific requirements for a solution on the most competitive market will have a positive effect on our work in other countries too,” he said.

Inspector Cloud enables store employees to upload photos of shelves to its system, which uses neural networks to recognise and count the different goods, resulting in an automated audit.

“The technology uses neural networks to recognise images, and can be used to audit goods on the shelf in chain stores,” said Anton Pronin, head of automated business processes and cloud technologies within the Skolkovo Foundation’s IT cluster.

“This approach is significantly more effective than manually counting goods, as some companies still do,” he said.  

The Skolkovo companies were chosen from more than 600 applicants from 30 countries to take part in the Starta accelerator. Fellow Skolkovo startup Navigine, which offers indoor navigation solutions, was selected for the Starta accelerator’s first batch.