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Last week, ITMO University hosted a technological entrepreneurship school for school students of grades 9-to-11. In the course of four days, its participants attended educational workshops aimed at helping them develop their own business ideas. Four projects were presented on the final day of the school. Read on to learn more about what problems the young generation of startupers are concerned with and what solutions they propose.
Surprise Me Founder Alexander Golovatiy: Developing a Company Is Constantly Proving Thousands of Hypotheses
Around three years ago an ITMO alumnus Alexander Golovatiy and his friends founded a startup that enabled users to sell quests of their own creation. Over the years, the project has grown into an online platform where travelers can purchase walking tours created by locals and experts, and do these tours at their own pace using a mobile app. At the beginning of 2019, the company went international, finding its place in the hearts of American users, and now a Spanish version of the service is getting ready for release. ITMO.NEWS got the chance to meet Alexander and ask him what is needed to go from a startup to a successful business.
Zlata and Lev Stipakovs did their studies at ITMO University’s then-Faculty of Fine Mechanics and Technologies. After graduating, they tried their hand at working at various national research centers and commercial companies, and, with Lev landing a job in Finland in 2009, the family relocated there. Unlike her spouse, Zlata decided to change her profession, learned Finnish and obtained a second higher education degree onsite in Finland. As of now, both Lev and Zlata run their own small businesses. They told ITMO.NEWS about how their careers came about after the move, how Finnish life and education differ from that in Russia, and what aspects today’s students should pay special attention to.
ITMO University scientists have developed a mobile app that monitors drivers’ condition. When the system detects the signs of sleepiness or inattentiveness, it immediately follows back with recommendations on steps to take to avoid possible collisions. ITMO.NEWS spoke to Alexey Kashevnik, head of the project and associate professor at ITMO’s Information Technologies and Programming Faculty, to find out about the challenges encountered by the scientists and their future plans to develop the Drive Safely system.
In the course of two years, the GoRobo company has worked its way from a small hobby club to a network of robotics clubs for children, which brings together some 250 kids interested in programming and engineering. A resident of ITMO University’s business accelerator, the company is currently about to open its sixth venue. ITMO.NEWS talked to GoRobo’s head Eldar Ihlasov to find out how he decided to center his business around children’s hobby clubs, what challenges he faced, and why he didn’t give up.
For the third time in a row, ITMO University’s Entrepreneurship Center organizes the SumIT international summer startup school. This year, SumIT is held as part of the StartUp Connect cross-border cooperation program. That’s why the program was, first and foremost, aimed at students from ITMO University and Häme University of Applied Sciences (HAMK University), Finland. Also participating are students from Finland, China and Bangladesh, as well as experts from the Entrepreneurship Center and businesspeople.
This July, students of ITMO’s Informational Technologies and Programming Faculty Nikita Losovetin and Nikita Savilov participated in Start-Up China, an internship program for entrepreneurs at the Neusoft University in Dalian, China. In collaboration with their international colleagues, they worked on developing products from scratch, attended workshops, and strengthened international cooperation. The students spoke to ITMO.NEWS about their experience of spending a month in China and participating in an international program for young entrepreneurs.
The St. Petersburg-based project Road Accident Solver, which specializes in the development of road accident analysis and prevention software, has signed a $10 million contract with the Kazakhstan-based company TOO IT Creation. Kazakhstan has one of the world’s highest rates of deaths in traffic incidents, which is why the parties plan to use Road Accident Solver software to reduce the number of accidents and develop smart-city systems.
Konstantin Malyshev, a Master’s student at ITMO’s Educational Center for Graphic Technologies, created a prototype of a device that provides scents in virtual reality. With the help of this invention, one can transport themselves into Vincent van Gogh’s painting The Night Café, where the air is filled with the scent of port and coffee. Read on to learn more about the device.
Programmer Kirill Yashchuk on How to Survive Seven Surgeries, Not Give Up and Launch Your Own Project
Having graduated from ITMO University in 2010, Kirill Yashchuk worked as a programmer at a number of companies, and also participated in an Amsterdam-based acceleration program as part of the TabTrader project team. But then a tragedy struck. A faulty chairlift cost him a grave arm injury. Fighting to save his arm, he had to undergo seven difficult surgeries. During his treatment, Kirill had an idea to create an open source solution aimed at facilitating the recovery of fine motor skills of people with disabilities. Unlike existing prostheses, which either don’t involve electronics or offer but a limited set of movements, the developed system will allow for intuitive control of prosthetic limbs. ITMO.NEWS met Kirill to learn how his university experience helped him in his life, and why the prostheses market still doesn’t offer good solutions.