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October 12, 2018

Experts have selected more than 20 best Russian startups to participate in the EastBound contest

The organizers of the East Bound competition - VEB Innovations and the Skolkovo Foundation - selected more than 20 Russian technology companies that will present their projects to large corporations and investment funds from India, Japan and the Middle East. Startups will apply for a pool of investments up to $50 million from Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, MitsubishiElectric Rus, GOFSCO, Srei Infrastructure Finance and other companies.

In total, more than 50 applications from Russian high-tech companies were submitted to the East Bound contest, among which experts selected 21 most promising projects. The key criteria were readiness to export and enter foreign markets, as well as potential competitiveness in the world arena.

Pittsch, organized on the geographical principle, will be held in the framework of the forum "Open Innovations" on October 15-17 in Moscow. At the end of each session, the jury will select the best project, which will receive a letter of interest from the investor. The winners will also be invited to dinner with a potential investor, where they will discuss opportunities to enter foreign markets.

The experts of the competition selected seven startups offering promising products for pitch sessions.

"Middle East": "Motorics" (functional prostheses for hands), SPARS (space rescue systems), PayOnWay (mobile payment system), Swarm (distributed data storage service), CommTrade (commodity trading web platform) and Geosplit (technologies for oil and gas industry), Altell (information security).

"India": PimPay (services for online stores, optimizing logistics and finance), Nimb (ring with security button), "Thermoelectrics" (early warning systems for fire and emergency situations), MaxBionic (technology in the field of prosthetics), HeedBook (a system for analyzing the quality of customer service with the help of neural network and machine vision), Data Matrix (solutions for automation of clinical trials) and 7seconds (system for analysis of financial solutions based on Big Data).

"Japan: Fibrum and Viarium (virtual reality), Farzoom (automation of banking business processes), EcoCat (catalytic heating systems), Neurotrend (neurotrending), HUDWAY (technologies to improve safety while driving), FlowVision (engineering programs).

Each pitch session will be attended by several investors with a capital of $100 million to $1 billion, who will act as members of the jury and will be able to choose their favorite project for further cooperation. The organizers of the competition offer $50 million to the winners of the investment pool, but the jury will be able to increase this amount if desired.

"This is the first time we are holding such a competition, and the number of applications shows that Russian startups want to enter the international market and need platforms to help them do so. Participants who have been selected represent a wide range of very popular areas, from security systems to medical technology and finance. At the same time, the quality of the majority of applications turned out to be quite high, and it was very difficult to choose the best ones. But as a result, the pitch session will feature really promising projects that can conquer foreign markets. I am sure that many of them will be of interest to investors. There is a high probability that the size of the investment pool, which we have formed for the winners, will be increased," said Oleg Teplov, General Director of VEB Innovations.

The jury will include Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC) President Ando Takaki, NTT Communication Rus CEO Akira Sei, Badr Al Olama, head of the organizing committee of Global Manufacturing and Industrialisation Summit (GMIS), and Kawasaki Heavy Industries Rus CEO Diamon Motoko. In addition, the jury will include Samir Zoni, CEO of Srei Infrastructure Finance, and Badria Abdul Rahim, a private investor and presidential advisor on oil and petroleum products at GOFSCO, who received the prestigious Woman of the Year award in 2017.

The organizers of the contest will be represented by Oleg Teplov, General Director of VEB Innovations, and Alexey Ivanchenko, Deputy Chairman of Vnesheconombank.

"We are glad to be partners of the East Bound contest, as promotion of the interests of the Skolkovo Innovation Center and high-tech companies in the Asian and Middle East are among the priorities of our work. Many members of the jury are our partners, and we are grateful to them for their sustained interest in developing systematic cooperation. We wish good luck to the companies at the upcoming pitch sessions and are ready to support their efforts to find partners in the East even after the end of the Forum," said Yuri Saprykin, Vice President for Regional and International Development of the Skolkovo Foundation.

Supporting non-resource exports, and particularly high-tech exports, is one of the key priorities in the work of the VEB Group," says Alexey Ivanchenko, Deputy Chairman of Vnesheconombank. "We see successful examples of our technological start-ups going abroad, which show that Russian developments are competitive in foreign markets. Our task is to multiply the number of such cases by creating a full-fledged system of startup exports, including financial, marketing, expert and other support from Vnesheconombank Group companies, other domestic development institutions and international partners.

An additional prize for the two winners of the competition will be a session of an individual expert interview from Cyest Corporation, which helps companies from around the world to attract mentors to refine their business models and products for the markets of Japan and Asia.

Russian high-tech companies with annual revenues of $1 million and more could participate in the East Bound competition, offering products in the field of information and aerospace technologies, telecommunications, biomedicine and neurointerfaces, robotics, smart city solutions, renewable energy and energy efficiency. Bids were accepted from September 20 to October 10, 2018.

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