On April 24, the Ukrainian Youth National Aerospace Education Center in Dnipropetrovsk hosted the final event for the engineering startup competition, the Vernadsky Challenge. This was the second time the international competition has taken place.
This year organizers received twice as many applications as 2015. Applicants hailed from a wider range of countries as well, including Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Belarus, Israel, Albania, India, and Armenia. The added interest of engineers and inventors, and increased publicity of the event, proved that we have found a meaningful and effective way to make the world a better place.
From the very beginning of the competition, finalists and guests were hit with welcome surprises. Max Polyakov, Managing Partner of Noosphere Ventures and Co-Founder the Vernadsky Challenge, announced in his welcome speech that he had decided to double the prize money for the competition.
“The era of the social Internet has come to an end. It is impossible to create another Facebook, Linkedin or Snapchat. My advice now is to develop engineering startups, as they will create the intellectual capital of the future. That is why we have refocused the Vernadsky Challenge exclusively on engineering projects. We will move forward in this direction. This year we have focused on areas such as smart homes, medicine, VR, and alternative energy. Compared to the IT-industry, resource-consuming projects demand more resources and efforts. Therefore, I think it is the right decision to increase the prize fund up to 2 million UAH.”
Vernadsky Challenge Experts decided to split the grant into the following pots: 40% of the total went to first place, 30% and 20% – to second and third places respectively, and 10% of the money went to the winner of the Audience Choice Award which was based on an online vote.
Here are the winners of the engineering competition the Vernadsky Challenge 2016:
Third place and a grant equivalent to 400 000 UAH went to a team from Khmelnytsky National University, department of radio-electronic devices and telecommunications, led by Professor Sergei Pidchenko. The bronze winners designed a Medical Bioton device that allows technicians to diagnose cardiovascular disease. The device measures the elasticity of arteries, blood pressure and pulse rate with the use of new, noninvasive methods.
The second place and grant equivalent to 600 000 UAH went to Hideez Band startup. Hideez Band is an electronic bracelet that combines the functionality of a digital passport, an electronic key, pass cards, enciphering keys, etc. The device can remember existing codes or create new passwords, and switch on and off digital devices on Android and Windows via Bluetooth connection. It can also store private keys for digital documents.
In addition to the main grant, Hideez Band also won the Audience Choice Award – equivalent to an additional 200 000 UAH.
The first place and grant equivalent to 800 000 UAH went to TechNovator XE – a wireless system that transfers electric energy up to 5 meters, charging electronic devices. It is possible to charge up to 4 gadgets at the same time and choose the priority and the speed of charging. The system is safe for people, pets, and electronics.
Congratulations to all the winners! We know that most of the work is still ahead and Noosphere is ready to share its knowledge with the best engineers to improve each project together. We believe that we will see more working prototypes and unique projects in 2017 and will are excited to help young startups realize the most innovative and ambitious engineering ideas.