The Startup Tour is the project to find and nurture fledgling companies with potentially game-changing innovations. The tour runs from February through April and takes in all of Russia’s major population centers, in Almaty, Kazakhstan and in Minsk, Belarus. Enterprises from surrounding provinces travel to regional hubs to take part.
Minister of Investment and Development of the Republic of Kazakhstan A.Issekeshev greeted opening ceremony of Startup Tour 2015 in Almaty. A.Issekeshev: “For our Kazakhstan startups it is a good opportunity for business development. The main task for us today – to become leading in the direction of innovation in Central Asia. Government of Kazakhstan support innovative businesses. We hope that in Almaty will be a critical mass of new startups, which will create powerful framework for business.”
President of AlmaU (formerly IAB) Assylbek Kozhakhmetov: “Some people afraid of this kind of activities. Feared that whether ideas or people “flow away”. This is the wrong approach. If someone takes the idea – actually takes the primary material, is not so bad. Exchange of thoughts, ideas, experiences –helps to create ecosystem for entrepreneurship development. After all, what is happening in Kazakhstan? Money invested, state supports development of entrepreneurship. However, growth is inadequate to the efforts and resources that are spent. Because the infrastructure is not built, the ecosystem is not done. Moreover, we do not have know-how to do it. Then we have to learn to watch what is happening in Russian Skolkovo, in Israeli Technion, Spanish Mandragon or American MIT. And borrow the best that they have to compete with them, do not afraid of rivalry, meet openly. This is the only way to succeed. For Almaty Management University “Skolkovo” – an excellent source of experience. We believe that this event will strengthen cooperation of Kazakhstan and Russian innovation community”.
The program of Startup tour splitted into two parts: the training and the pitch competition.
Day one is devoted to the training side, mentoring sessions were held on the development of technological projects with invited authoritative experts in which young entrepreneurs have received satisfactory answers to questions about how properly and efficiently develop technologically sophisticated, high-tech projects, where to look for funding, how investors offer their development.
Day two of Startup tour began with a workshop “Winners team - key to success in an international market” by Pekka Viljakainen Adviser to the President of the Fund "Skolkovo". Also, day two was dedicated to competitive part, the pitch sessions, where fledgling companies passed preliminary selection present their products and services on stage and was judged by a panel of experts, which determined the winners in every pitch session.
In addition to organizing and providing platform for Kazakhstan Startup tour 2015, Alma University has allocated 4 grants for training to participants, who showed a special entrepreneurial spirit! Grants for studying at MBA, bachelor, master’s degree programs and short-term courses received Shmurigin Micheal – project manager of «REPLICON-3D scanning printer», Usenov Rashit –Project Manager of “Genomic evaluation of dairy cattle”, Karcev Nikita-Project Manager of “System of integrated energy saving “smart light” and Sharapov Vladimir- Project Manager of “M1 Direct”.
Board of Trustees of Alma University took over the financing of 15 best Kazakhstan startup project leaders in Startup Village in Skolkovo in summer 2015. Members of Board of Trustees of AlmaU Armanzhan Baitasov and Raimbek Batalov sponsored the Start-up Tour 2015.
Also, we are proud that our AlmaU student Kiril Tsoi won in section ”Innovation for children” with startup “Animated books for children”. Congratulations to Kirill, who will present Kazakhstan and our lovely university at start-up project in Russian Skolkovo!