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Seven Kazakhstani start-up teams to travel to Sillicon Valley in October

Photo courtesy of the organizers. Photo courtesy of the organizers.

Seven start-up projects from Kazakhstan along with two start-up projects from Kyrgyzstan and Ukraine have become winners of Technation acceleration program for start-up teams from CIS (post-soviet space), Europe and Asia, Tengrinews reports. The winners will travel to Silicon Valley - a land of innovation and start-ups - in the United States in October 2015 for a one-month internship.

The contest was organized by the National Agency for Technological Development, a subsidiary of Kazakhstani Baiterek National Holding under the aegis of the Ministry of Investment and Development to support innovative development in Kazakhstan and neighboring countries.

Technation is an intensive training program for startups at an early stage of development. It offers 12 weeks of intensive training and mentoring from leading experts in this field. The program includes master classes, coaching sessions, individual counseling from venture capital business gurus.

The best seven teams was selected by a committee comprising of experts in various fields.

Among this year's winners is the Indybo project, which aims to teach programming to children with the help of robots. According to the project’s developers, the robots will help boys and girls develop an intuition for programming, robotics and electronics.

“The robots can work independently from each other and also recombine into more complicated mechanisms, almost like nanobots of Hero Factory,” the developers said.

Some of the projects the selected start-ups can be used in the everyday life. For example, Mangust (Mongoose) family safety system and Zhadina (Scrooge) mobile app.

Mongoose family safety system is an electronic tracker connected to a mobile app that allows parents to track the location of their children in any moment in time. The advantage of the project, according to its creators, is its accuracy – the precision of the location is 2-3 meters.

Moreover, the device is able to work 20 days from one battery charge. It is very small and durable, for instance, it can withstand a fall from a 30-storey building and it can work at the depth of 30 meters underwater.

As for Scrooge mobile app, it compares prices for the same product in various stores and can share the cheapest option on social networks.

Other start-up projects that competed in the Business category was Fastcallmanager, a mobile application that is allegedly able to increase a companies’ sales by 75 percent, bring back customers and automate work processes.

According to the developers, more than 200 people from six countries are already using their mobile application. In the meanwhile, they have very ambitious plans, for example, they want to create 500,000 websites and reach the annual turnover of $135 million dollars.

Another project is Bizmo that was designed as a B2B platform bringing buyers and suppliers together through the Web and mobile devices.

There were also mobile CRM software for small businesses and Almasales CRM - a single platform for marketing, sales and service, which provides SaaS (Software as a Service) cloud services.

CEO of Boston Consulting Groups Keyne Payne, who is one of the competition's partners, spoke about Kazakhstani inventors with admiration. “Kazakhstan has excellent chances of getting to the international market. I do not understand how it is possible to think otherwise. It is just enough to see the people and projects that have been presented to us today to stop doubting it. People here are very active and have a great passion. They want to do something, to develop and not just sit in one place and live somehow. Those teams that were presenting their projects today have really great ideas, which not only can be successfully implemented at Kazakhstan’s local market, but also have good chances of getting access to the world market. I have seen really promising projects today,” he shared his impression.

The two teams from Kyrgyzstan and Ukraine that also became winners were selected by private investors, who are going to fund these projects.

The expert committee received 345 applications in total in four priority areas: mobile technologies – 36 projects, e-commerce – 28 projects, media technologies – 9 projects and cloud computing – 7 projects. Only 80 teams made it to the second stage, among which 56 were from Kazakhstan, 11 from Ukraine, 5 from Russia and 2 from the United States, 2 from Azerbaijan,  as well as one from the United Kingdom and China each. Only 40 of them advanced into the final round.

Writing by Assel Satubaldina, editing by Tatyana Kuzmina

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