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Best Russian AI Startups to Present Projects at SPIEF-2019

St. Petersburg, April 22. Roscongress Foundation together with VEB Innovations and Skolkovo Foundation is launching the second round of the EAST BOUND contest that gives Russian startups an opportunity to tell foreign investors about their projects. This time the contest will support AI developments. The finalists will be able to speak at SPIEF 2019, a leading global business platform, and present their projects to a high-profile jury consisting of major investors from the Asia-Pacific region.

Pitch sessions for the EAST BOUND contest finalists will be held at the Startup Lounge during the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum that will take place on 6–8 June 2019. The jury of the sessions will be represented by major investors from China and Singapore. Largest companies from these countries are invited to participate, including Huawei, Tencent, AliBaba and other technology leaders. 

"For the Roscongress Foundation the Startup Lounge and holding of the EAST BOUND contest as part of SPIEF 2019 is a strategic project that is crucial for showing competitiveness of Russian technologies on the international market. Creation and development of an innovative ecosystem as part of Foundation’s projects can help demonstrate and strengthen the status of high-tech nation on the world stage and define global agenda for one of the most relevant growth areas of the global economy. The Foundation pays great attention to the issues of digital economy and activities of innovative companies. Our task is to create a real platform for an active dialogue between innovators, between young researchers and experts. The key theme of this year’s competition is artificial intelligence. Today AI is a driver of market development. Roscongress aims at supporting the new generation of technology entrepreneurs; the Foundation is also willing to help promote and upscale Russian technologies," - commented Alexander Stuglev, Chairman and CEO of the Roscongress Foundation.

Applications for participation in the contest can be submitted from 17 April to 13 May. At the qualification stage the organizers will select ten teams that will get the opportunity to take part in the final in St. Petersburg. Applications are accepted from Russian high-tech companies that work in the AI sphere and have pilot implementations of their projects with the Russian and foreign companies and a confirmed income. The most elaborated and promising projects will make it to the final. During the selection process organizers will assess if companies and products are ready for exporting and entering foreign markets, as well as the level of project’s international competitiveness.

"Today artificial intelligence is one of the most demanded and interesting fields. AI-based technologies are infiltrating into various industries and are more and more widely used. That is why we decided to use AI as the main theme of the second round of the EAST BOUND contest. Foreign companies are now very interested in Russian engineers working in this sphere. Our task is to provide the most promising and competitive startups with opportunities to find their investors and together develop and take on global markets. We wish the interest in our developers would result in creation of large-scale and successful projects rather than in brain drain. The outcomes of the previous round hold much promise for excellent results," - noted Oleg Teplov, Director General of VEB Innovations.

"A pool of unique projects has been formed in Skolkovo that are working in the areas of deep machine learning, neural network technologies and artificial intelligence. Solutions developed by Skolkovo project companies are applied in various industries – from construction and real estate to logistics; from healthcare (personalized preventive care and medicine, digital platforms for search, planning and electronic registration of medical services) to industry (solutions for real-time forecasting, support and optimization of decision making for management of production processes, preventative equipment maintenance, optimization of inventories/logistics, industrial safety, pre-sales analytics). Technologies and products by Skolkovo companies have repeatedly demonstrated their value in many pilot projects carried out together with Russian and foreign market leaders. We hope that we can attract attention of heads of leading corporations to the finalists of this competition," - emphasized Kirill Kaem, Senior Vice-President for Innovations, Skolkovo Foundation.

The first round of the EAST BOUND contest took place in the autumn of 2018. Companies working in information and aerospace technologies, telecommunications, biomedicine and neurointerfaces, robotics, ‘smart city’ solutions, renewable energy and energy efficiency could take part in the contest. Finalists got an opportunity to speak at one of three pitch sessions organized on the geographical basis: Middle East, India, Japan. Jury for each session consisted of investors with capitals from USD 100 million to 1 billion. Winning companies gained access to the investment pool with a total worth of USD 50 million.

Age group 18+

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The Roscongress Foundation is a socially oriented non-financial development institution and a major organizer of international conventions, exhibitions, and public events.

The Roscongress Foundation was founded in 2007 with the aim of facilitating the development of Russia’s economic potential, promoting its national interests, and strengthening the country’s image. One of the roles of the Foundation is to comprehensively evaluate, analyse, and cover issues on the Russian and global economic agendas. It also offers administrative services, provides promotional support for business projects and attracting investment, and helps foster social entrepreneurship and charitable initiatives.

The Foundation’s events draw more than 80,000 participants each year from 195 countries, with more than 10,000 media representatives working on-site at Roscongress’ various venues. The Foundation benefits from analytical and professional expertise provided by 2,500 people working in Russia and abroad. In addition, it works in close cooperation with economic partners from 75 countries worldwide.