Batteries for the Arctic, a rapid test for detecting Parkinson's disease, a drink for alcohol cravings – these and many other projects have been presented by the candidates of the “St Petersburg University Start-up – 2019” during the elimination round. This year, the finalists of the competition will receive training in the non-degree programme of St Petersburg University “Start-up School” at the expense of the University’s endowment fund. 

 

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Two teams – In Sapiens and BioTikker – demonstrated their projects for modern gadgets to monitor the state of the human body. They showed the α-tear test which is a rapid test for the early diagnosis of Parkinson's disease. The expert council also included in the finalists a project related to obtaining a line of donor pluripotent cells that can help, for example, people with diabetes mellitus type 1. Another development is a functional drink that helps people with alcohol dependence to reduce their alcohol cravings.

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The second most popular theme was about modern energy sources. The candidates from Arctic Energy presented an idea that will help make batteries work even in harsh Arctic conditions. The NanoEnergy team knows how to extend battery life by four times. The teams shortlisted to the final of the competition were: the Electrofiber team, who developed soundproofing of a new generation; the Historical Maximum team, who designed a mobile app with quests around St Petersburg; and the Make VR team, who presented a design of virtual video tutorials.

In February and March 2019, participants of all finalist teams will receive training in the fundamentals of entrepreneurship at St Petersburg University. Moreover, they will be able to receive a state diploma for completing the non-degree course. Tuition will be paid from the endowment fund of the University. In addition, two lectures on intellectual property and one on public speaking will be delivered for participants.

Chairman of the Expert Council, Executive Director of the SPbU Endowment Fund Evgenii Pen

This year, the expert council of the competition included: Igor Tikhonovich, Doctor of Biology, Academician of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Dean of the Faculty of Biology, St Petersburg University; Sergey Mikushev, Senior Deputy Vice-Rector for Research, St Petersburg University; Maksim Dyshliuk, a member of the Board of Directors, Director of Legal Affairs of AO EDRID; Fedor Krasnov, a leading expert of the scientific engineering, Gazpromneft Science and Technology Center LLC; Vladimir Lakeev, Director of Research and Development at “Innopraktika”; Elena Silinskaia, Director of Development for a start-up accelerator and venture fund at iDealMachine; Kirill Soloveichik, the CEO of “Lenpoligraphmash” holding; and other specialists.

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“If you have not been shortlisted, this is not a verdict or the end of the world,” explained Dmitry Demidenko, General Director of OOO “Skif Consulting Rus”, Vice President of the Franco-Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry. “Look at your projects from a different angle and think about what you are doing wrong. In any case do not stop. If you have been shortlisted, sharpen your presentation skills, because the further you go, the less people around you will be benevolent towards you, and you will have to learn how to enchant them.”

You can be a great engineer, but lack skills in economics or marketing. Here, you have the opportunity to master a lot, and receive your internal assessment and the assessment of the expert council. Each project is the implementation of your growth and your inner desires. The purpose of the event is to help you in the implementation of these desires.

Head of “Oceanos” Vladislav Zanin

The “St Petersburg University Start-up” competition is being held with the support of the University’s Endowment Fund for the fourth time. This year, the organising committee received 33 applications for participation, with 28 teams shortlisted for the on-site round, and 13 teams passed to the second round. During four months, the participants of the second round will receive a scholarship from the Endowment Fund of St Petersburg University (7,000 roubles each) to improve their designs.

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It should be noted that the winners of the competition will be awarded money prizes: 300,000 roubles for the first place; 200,000 roubles for the second place; and 100,000 roubles for the third place. But this is not all – two small innovative enterprises will be created together with the University on the basis of finalists’ projects. They will receive two grants from the Fund for the development of their companies: 1,000,000 roubles and 700,000 roubles depending on the number of points gained. Winners will be decided on April 25, 2019.

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