Developers of the HoverSurf, a personal passenger aerial drone, and the Wikium, a web service for cognitive ability training, won the second and third episodes of the “A Million-Rouble Idea” startup show launched by the NTV channel and sponsored by Vnesheconombank. These startups will now make it to the finals, where the seven best teams will face off.
The Roscongress Foundation will provide the finalists with an opportunity to plug their startups to Russian and international investors at Russia’s key economic forums, including St. Petersburg International Economic Forum field sessions in Russia and abroad. An agreement to that effect was signed between VEB and the Roscongress Foundation during the 2017 Russian Investment Forum in Sochi.
The winners of episodes two and three were selected by a jury including Vnesheconombank Deputy Chairman–Member of the Executive Board Alexey Ivanchenko, Director of the Internet Initiatives Development Fund Kirill Varlamov, Managing Partner of the IdealMachine venture fund and startup accelerator Sergei Fradkov, Founder of the R-Pharm Group Alexey Repik, Head of the Bank of Russia Service for Consumer Protection and Financial Inclusion Mikhail Mamuta, Founder and Partner of the RBV Capital fund Alexei Konov, Chairman of the Board of Directors of IComInvest Vitaly Yusufov, TV and radio anchor Sergei Stillavin and NTV’s Business Morning host Tatyana Gevorkyan.
Viewers can send donations to show contestants whose ideas they believe are indeed “worth a million” by text message or the Boomstarter crowdfunding web platform.
“I always look at the idea itself. If I like an idea, its implementation is a matter of picking the right team, a sound strategy and drawing up a business plan, But whatever the plan, if the idea is not viable or if I don’t believe in it, it means I don't believe the project will take off”, Vnesheconombank Deputy Chairman–Member of the Executive Board Alexey Ivanchenko said about his experience on the jury.
The HoverSurf startup, the winner of the second episode of the “A Million-Rouble Idea” show, focuses on manufacturing personal transportation aerial drones for various civilian market segments. The company offers both sports models, such as a hovering motorcycle for extreme sports enthusiasts, and daily riders for soccer moms.
The Wikium team, the winners of episode three, are designing a web service to develop cognitive abilities using game simulators and specialized training courses.
Yet another project, called Nimb, a portable security system in the form of a ring with an alarm button, failed to reach the finals but received a special prize from a jury member. Chairman of the Board of Directors of IComInvest Vitaly Yusufov granted RUB 1 million to the project.
Besides the above teams, the following tech startups took part in episodes two and three of the “A Million-Rouble Idea” show: Rejoint – a machine to help restore the mobility of fingers after a stroke or trauma; Shping – a global goods identification and tracking information system; Lossew Lamp – LED low-beam modules; PandaMoney – a mobile banking platform for kids; Nimb – a ring with an alarm button; AVR Production – VR-based school textbooks; Bonaka – a biotechnology for heating system recovery; and Promobot – and autonomous service robot for working in places with an increased concentration of people.
Young entrepreneurs will defend their projects during seven episodes before investors, executives of big companies, heads of development institutions and showbiz stars. Seven startups will make it to the finals. Three finalists have been selected to date: HoverSurf, Wikium and makers of Motorika prosthetics. Four more finalists will be shortlisted in future episodes.
The tree winners will share a cash prize: RUB 25 million for first place, RUB 20 million for second place, and RUB 15 million for third place.
The “A Million-Rouble Idea” show airs on NTV from Monday to Thursday at 00:25.
The project’s information sponsors are Rambler News Service, a leading Russian tech news outlet, High-Tech, a media portal covering the latest in technology and innovations, and the Argumenty i Fakty newspaper.