On December 17, the Congress Centre pf "Technopolis Moscow" hosted the awarding ceremony of "Startup of 2014" competition. From about 350 projects initially seeking the highest award, 7 teams became winners of the coveted figurines: six according to nominations number and one by the decision of the ceremony audience. VeeRoute project, the winner of GenerationS IT-track, was listed among the best startups.
"Startup of the Year" Award was established in 2008 by the business incubator of National Research University, Higher School of Economics supported by RVC and was originally awarded to the most promising student projects. This year the award has been held for the seventh time, every year attracting new partners, and has already become a sort of "quality label" for young promising projects that are not older than three years. The services that have already become very popular, such as Boomstarter, LinguaLeo, Groupon and "Life Button", are among the past years winners.
"The award is the final event of a "venture capital" year, that is why everything we see on the stage is a kind of results of a working year of industry participants, – said Gulnara Bikkulova, Director of RVC Innovation Markets Department. – This year we are happy with the award nominations. It is good that new interesting social projects emerge in Russia, the projects in the field of financial technology and "hardware" formed a separate sector. In general, it is worth mentioning that the level of finalist teams is growing every year and this gives us optimism and confidence in the future."
The best Internet project of the year became VeeRoute, a software platform to optimize services of logistics and transport companies. It is the second major award of the team this year, in October, the project became winner of the IT-track in GenerationS-2014 Competition Accelerator. VeeRoute didn't expect they would win the "Startup of the Year" prize: "We thought we didn't have much of the chance to become "the best Internet startup". This is, of course, a great achievement for us", – said one of the project's founders, Vladislav Kudinov.
"The best hardware startup" winner became "Aelita", portfolio company of RVC Seed Fund, developer of an anaesthesia and breathing assembly for TM Anekom. CloudPayments team, a designer of IT-solutions for the e-commerce market participants allowing to create a simple payment system online or on a mobile application became the best financial and technical start-up. The jury selected "Baba-Deda" project, an aggregator of social and cultural offers for the older age generation, as the best social startup. The figurine for the best global startup has gone to the project of a mini-router with a SIM-card for cheap international roaming Comfortway. The TRIK project team, a software and hardware platform for the development of educational robots, became the best team of the year. The Audience Choice Award has gone to My-Apps, an application designer for Android and iOS.
The "Startup of the Year" Award, which is today one of the main events for the start-up community, has begun as a simple student competition."It's nice to see that a small student project of HSE grew up into a country-wide significant award, which every year helps investors and startups find each other, – said Yaroslav Kuzminov, Rector of the Higher School of Economics. – The Award popularity among young companies is increasing from season to season, we can see it in the number of applications for participation. This trend gives us hope that our ideas and energy for development will last for long."