St Petersburg University has announced the composition of the Expert Council that will assess projects submitted to the ‘SPbU Start-up 2022’ student contest. The council comprises nine members – representatives of the academic and business communities. Applications for participation in the contest of interdisciplinary knowledge-intensive start-up projects were accepted until 10 December 2021. The two winning teams may be offered to establish a small innovative enterprise with the participation of St Petersburg University. Grants for their projects’ development will amount to 1,000,000 and 700,000 roubles for the first and second places respectively.

Contestants will have the opportunity to develop their own business ideas from concept through to commercialisation. They will be offered a series of masterclasses from experts in business and they will learn to identify competitors and present their project to the Expert jury. To compete for the grand prize, applicants need to assemble an interdisciplinary team of three to five people with three undergraduate or postgraduate students enrolled in different academic programmes at St Petersburg University. This year, along with students of St Petersburg University, the contest will also be open to students of the Dmitry Faddeev Academic Gymnasium of St Petersburg University.

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The winning team will receive 350,000 roubles, 250,000 roubles shall be awarded for second place and 150,000 roubles for third place. Besides, the members of the finalist teams will receive three monthly scholarships of 10,000 roubles each and will also be able to present their start-up projects in lieu of a graduation project. The research supervisors of the winning teams are entitled to a prize of 100,000 roubles.

For more detailed information about the ‘SPbU Start-up 2022’ student contest, please visit the website of the Endowment Fund of St Petersburg University or the contest VKontakte group.

This year, the Expert Council of the ‘SPbU Start-up 2022’ student contest for interdisciplinary projects will be chaired by Igor Diu, a partner in the Galactika group of companies, one of the largest dairy producers in Russia.

The Expert Jury also includes: Alexander Efremov, Talent Acquisition Manager at BIOCAD; Evgeniy Kiryanov, Head of Product Development at Gazprom Neft; and Elena Silinskaya, Director of the international venture fund and start-up accelerator iDealMachine.

In 2021, the winner of the contest was the Terroir concept team, who proposed to develop a special geographic information system that would help grape growers and vintners select the best vineyard sites.

 

‘The SPbU Start-up 2022 student contest is a unique project for talented youth. It provides a chance to take the first step towards developing and promoting your ideas, innovations, or inventions in the scientific or business communities,’ said Igor Diu, Chairman of the Expert Council. ‘Not only the winning teams who receive the cash prizes, but all the participants in the contest can be regarded as winners. Each business idea will be considered in detail and assessed by professionals in the sector which the start-up belongs to.’

Participants are invited to submit innovative projects in 13 areas, including: IT technologies; artificial intelligence; high-tech healthcare and biomedical technologies; next generation propulsion and fuel systems; Internet of things; and platform and corporate software for business.

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‘Participation in competitions such as SPbU Start-up 2022 helps students develop creative thinking, research and entrepreneurial competencies. No doubt, each participant will gain invaluable experience in public speaking and project presentation. They will be able to immerse themselves in a competitive atmosphere, broaden their horizons and receive feedback and guidance from professional experts,’ stressed Elena Silinskaya, a member of the Expert Council, Director of the international venture fund and start-up accelerator iDealMachine. ‘I advise that all students participate in such contests to take the opportunity to prove themselves, turn their ideas into reality and, perhaps, even launch their life’s work.’