St Petersburg University has held a selection round of the annual competition “Start-Up SPbU 2018” that propels newly emerged business projects which develop a viable business model around innovative ideas. As many as 24 teams of students and aspirantura students have applied for the competition.  

start up 2Only 11 teams complied with the entry requirements of the selection round. Among them is a team that is going to study a new type of the quantum dots, a material with unique properties that covers the colours of the whole visible spectrum. Today the material is used only by three companies worldwide. SPbU students are thriving to make the technology more tolerant to the aggressive environments and less toxic. It is expected to enable us to produce colourful and bright flexible displays and luminescent inks for the ink tanks and pens.

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Another team jointed their effort to develop a plaster that would change its colour depending on the blood sugar levels. The affordable and intuitive non-invasive system is expected to test your blood sugar levels at any time and even diagnose prediabetes.

“Start-Up SPbU” aims to help you gain experience in teamwork and collaboration, achieve your goals, and teach you how to prevent your work team from totally falling apart. These skills are vital for the students to succeed in the competition and to introduce their products into the market. “The students are learning how to speak confidently in public and make their presentations clear and concise. These skills are vital both in learning and career, — said the organisers of the competition. — Moreover, those who are eager to implement their business ideas can evaluate whether they are ready to do it”.

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What happens to the projects when the competition is over? The team that won the competition last year opened a small innovation enterprise with the support of SPbU and is developing its photo-active coating for walls that purify air and prevent bacteria from spreading under the light.  Other teams are searching for their niches in the market and further develop their projects, while the most successful of them have already opened their own business.

“Start-Up SPbU” is more about how you perform rather than what you win. Not only those who win can benefit.

SPbU Endowment Fund’s Director Evgenii Pen

“Often the teams that fail to reach the final, as our experience shows, gain something more than just money prizes. These are new business contacts, expert advice, and invitations to participate in the bigger projects, — said SPbU Endowment Fund’s Director Evgenii Pen. — The competition shows how business and science can interact, provides you an opportunity to get expert advice and counselling, and if you win, you get a money prize to develop your innovation project”.

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This year has introduced some amendments to the terms and conditions of the competition: apart from the study allowances of 100, 200, and 300 thousand rubles, two winning teams will be awarded the grants for 700,000 and 1,000,000 rubles to open small innovation enterprises.

Yet there are another three months when the participants are getting a study allowance of 10,000 rubles before the final round where the students are expected to presents their results and the experts will select the winners.

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