Yesterday St Petersburg University has announced the winners of the student business-project competition “Start-Up SPbU 2017”. The main prize that is 1,000,000 rubles from the University’s Endowment Fund was awarded to the team that developed a unique coating for walls which prevents bacteria from spreading and cleans the air by absorbing sunlight.

The secret lies in the photo-active particles which you can apply with a transparent base on tiles, paintings, plasterboards and other construction and building materials for walls and ceilings to mitigate the stink, prevent infections from spreading, even in the hospitals, and antibacterial efficacy is 5-7 years.

The team comprises post-graduate students in Physics Anton Maevskii and Petr Murzin, a post-graduate student in Biological Sciences Ekaterina Volkova, a graduate student in Management Iulia Bogacheva and undergraduate student in Chemistry Anastasiia Laptenkova. They handed a thoroughly prepared business plan and gave to the jury the first samples of the coating that had already been tested.

“You can use our product in kindergartens, hospitals and any crowded places which means a high risk of transmission of many infectious diseases”, — said Anton Maevskii, a leader of the team. —Our technology is interesting for agriculture: All-Russian Research Institute of Genetics and Breeding Farm Animals has already used our coating in their hen houses. Besides, we have agreed to collaborate with a big pain and coating manufacturer”.

The team “Multifunctional photo-active coatings for interior decoration” could successfully followed all the recommendations the expert committee had offered and re-formulate the concept of their project with the help of their coach Kirill Moshkov, a managing partner of Avanpost and Associate Professor at the Department of Biochemistry at SPbU, said Director of the Endowment Fund Evgenii Pen.

“This year, a good half of all the second-round contestants are potential winners, while the rest can create small businesses, quite profitable and successful, — said Evgenii Pen. — However, the business plans are, as a rule, poorly developed: few, if any, can calculate taxes and build financial models. We have many ideas on how to renovate the competition to open a new “Start-Up SPbU 2018“ in autumn”.

The second place and 500,000 rubles were awarded to “IonTrack” that has developed an express testing system as small as a visit card to determine the levels of macro-elements, such as calcium, potassium, magnum and others, in saliva within 10-15, while the third place and 200,000 rubles were awarded to “TimeMelody” that has developed an interactive museum-encyclopedia on the virtual reality platform to produce binaural sound effect.

All the scientific supervisors of the winning teams were awarded 100,000 rubles: Candidate of Chemistry, Associate Professor  Mariia Peshkova and lecturer Contreras Coob Alexandro.

For reference

The business project “Start-Up SPbU”, the second in the history of the University, comprises three rounds: firstly you had to create a team of three-five members and came up with a research and commercial project. This year, the organizational committee received 59 applications, with 31 projects approved for the selection procedure. As few as 11 teams were selected for the second round, all the members received a monthly allowances 15,000 rubles from the Endowment Fund to advance their projects.

The expert committee comprises Executive Director of the SPbU’s Endowment Fund Evgenii Pen, Commercial Director of DengiOnline Aleksandr Voskoboinikov, Executive Director of Euro Venture Roman Romaniuk, an advisor of the Chairperson of the Committee for Entrepreneurship Development and Consumer Market and head of the project “Petersburg Startup” Aleksandr Ruzhinskii, SPbU’s Vice-Rector for Research Sergei Aplonov, SPbU’s Press Secretary Aleksei Zavarzin, director of  Oceanos Vladislav Zanin, Director of the SPbU’s Main Office for Intellectual Property Vladimir Lukianov, and other entrepreneurs and experts.