On April 24, Ukrainian Youth National Aerospace Education Center (Dnipropetrovsk) hosted the final event for the engineering and IT start-ups competition the Vernadsky Challenge.
For 10 weeks the participants sent in more than 130 applications. Although this is the first round for the Vernadsky Challenge, it has already become an international competition. There were applications from Kazakhstan, Russia, Azerbaijan and the USA. The panel of experts poured through all the projects and chose the 12 best start-ups to pitch at the final ceremony.
The event became an exciting meet-up, which brought together more than 300 innovators and highly qualified specialists from all over Ukraine. The feel that something special was about to happen was in the air right from the start. The teams presented their projects to the visitors, talked with other guests and discussed their plans for the future.
During the pitching session 12 finalists presented their ideas to the experienced judges. Each project was judged based on: focus on innovation, market potential, direct competitors, the quality of the presentation.
Here are the winners of the engineering and IT start-up competition the Vernadsky Challenge 2015:
Gold went to Avision Robotics (Kiev) – a project which hopes to design an unmanned aircraft for commercial use.
Silver went to the team that will design Interactive 3D models for medical education (Kiev).
And finally bronze went to a team from Dnipropetrovsk with a project to advance a surgical dressing with improved disinfection for field use.
One more project, Braille Pad presented by Rashid Aliev from Baku, Azerbaijan, sparked a lot of interest from the experts. Braille Pad is a phablet for partially blind people based on Braille text. Rashid, the author of the idea, was not able to personally visit the competition and presented his project via Skype.
“I would like to thank Noosphere Ventures for an interesting event and permanent contribution to the development of a startup ecosystem! Every project was interesting, but the judges unanimously chose the best. I hope that all the participants continue to move forward, because they are just at the beginning of their futures. As for the winners, I wish them success as they continue to develop their projects,” – said Jaanika Merilo, Vernadsky Challenge expert, Managing Director of Ukrainian Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (UVCA).
The Vernadsky Challenge is just the first step toward a world of innovation. Noosphere Ventures believes that next year we will see even more unique projects and working prototypes that can conquer the world market!