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For the third time, the GoTech Innovation company assessed Russian universities in terms of the number of IT entrepreneurs they trained. The data used in the study was obtained via questionnaires. For the first time, ITMO University took first place. According to the company’s estimates, ITMO students and graduates accounted for more than 5% of all the entrepreneurs who participated in the GoTech contest last year.
ITMO University’s Entrepreneurship Center has recently launched SumIT, an international summer school for startup projects. Promising young entrepreneurs from Russia and all over the world came to St. Petersburg to boost their skills and gain new experiences at the two-week acceleration program. ITMO.NEWS met the program participants to find out more about their projects.
In Russia, most startups in the field of Foodtech focus on food delivery only. Still, globally, Foodtech has a much more comprehensive meaning: it is about digital technologies making their way into all fields of food industry. For the past years, the international market of foodtech startups has been developing most rapidly. In Russia, this field looks quite promising, as well. So, what are the key trends that anyone who wants to focus on Foodtech has to keep track of?
‘New Wallet’ Founder Mikhail Leontiev: ‘My Ultimate Goal is to Make People Associate Russia with Business’
Five years ago, ITMO graduates brothers Mikhail and Alexey Leontiev launched their business in manufacturing wallets from Tyvek, an innovative material that combines the properties of paper, plastic film, and textile, thanks to which items made from Tyvek are tear-proof, don’t get wet and weigh only tens of grams. Leontiev brothers started working on this concept when they were studying at ITMO University’s Faculty of Physics and Engineering. Nowadays, their wallets are sold in 150 shops nationwide and the company’s accomplishments include successful collaborations with popular streetwear brands, trendy calligraphy artist Pokras Lampas, Louna music group, and the founders’ alma mater ITMO University. ITMO.NEWS met with Mikhail Leontiev to talk about creating a unique brand, starting your own company, and going all the way from engineer to businessman.
Road Accident Solver is a project developed as part of ITMO University’s Future Technologies acceleration program and focuses on automated road accident analysis and automated filling out of European Accident Statement forms. The project also includes a map of road accidents based on user data. Those involved in such incidents can provide information on their cars, the conditions of each accident and its location. Such a system saves time and identifies problematic areas. The system also helps fight insurance fraud. The project’s founder Evgeny Tyulkin spoke to ITMO.NEWS about his team’s work and the goals that motivated them over the past five years of development.
David Yang founded his company ABBYY when he was still a student at MIPT. Today, ABBYY is one of Russia’s largest IT companies and deals with optical character recognition, linguistic technology, and artificial intelligence. Yang spoke about his beginnings, what it takes to be an entrepreneur, the future of AI and the meaning of life at a public event in St. Petersburg.
“Special Video Analytics,” a small innovative enterprise at ITMO University, makes hardware and software that controls car access to areas around homes based on video imaging. With the help of machine learning, the system identifies a vehicle in front of the barrier. It works in various weather conditions. Project head Nikolai Kulikov shared what makes this system unique.
Jeffrey Donenfeld, Investment Manager at Boomtown Accelerator, gave an open lecture in St. Petersburg as a part of the Professional Fellows international program. He talked about why it is important to gain support of American advisers, develop your business skills and protect your IP.
We all love discounts. But we love deep discounts and useful bonuses even more. Anatoly Belichenko, a master’s student at the Department of Tech Management and Innovations, founded VelVet to allow users to invest in the places they patron daily. In return, the investors will get big discounts and way to monetize them. Now Anatoly is preparing VelVet for Initial Coin Offering (ICO) to raise $10 million and is also working on his thesis on the marketing mechanisms to achieve that goal.
Resident startups of ITMO’s Future Technologies acceleration program have presented their projects at a pitch session for investors, mentors, members of the press and special guests at the event FT Startup Drive. This is a new format of presentation in which the top priority is placed on the quality of the jury and the expert pool as opposed to the number of guests. Participants had the chance to get personal advice from members of the jury and the mentors.