On January 22 the All-Russia Startup Tour visited Saransk, the administrative center of Mordovia. This city became widely known after it was recognized as one of the best places to live in Russia and French movie star Gerard Depardie said he wanted to stay there, but the Startup Tour crew saw more than just a comfartable and nice to stay Russian city. 

The Startup Tour team met its target audience, local startup community at Saransk university (its full English language name is Ogarev Mordovia State University) not only comfortable and warm reception of the local university, but also talented bright teams of innovators. 

As Pekka Viljakainen said at his opening speech:

The superstar can be born in any city, there is nothing that is lacking in this particular city of Saransk, just like in any other city of Russia,Pekka Vijakainen at Saransk

The tour's "inspirator" reminded that three invitations for the Startup Village are waiting for the winners of the Saransk series of the Tour’s pitches. And fourteen teams participated in this race, presenting their briefs on the projects they got to show for an attentive expert panel of development institutions professionals, industrial experts and investors.

And the winners, who will go this June to the Startup Village at Skolkovo are:

  • Flexbright, a joint Russian-Finnish project to manufacture innovative light-emitting diodes;
  • L-Policor, a Saransk-based startup, which develops technology of innovative transparent ceramics;
  • DRP-Ricor, a startup, which works in the field of portable X-ray diffractometers.

These selected Saransk startup projects will also attend the Open Innovations forum. And one more winner, the Bike Travel, received an invitation to attend the forum along with three winners, mentioned above, who will participate in both events for the Russian startup community, held in Moscow this year.

A “parade of development institutions”, who addressed the local startup community, talking about those opportunities they offer to help them grow preceded the pitches. Among the speakers were: Igor Karavaev, executive director of the Nuclear technologies cluster of the Skolkovo Foundation; Alexander Sedov, deputy prime-minister of the Mordovian government in charge of industrial development, science and new technology; Mikhail Khorozin (Russian Venture Company); Elena Nikolayenko (Rosmolodezh and Zvorykin Award); Anton Sorokin (Foundation for Assistance to Small Innovative Enterprises) and some others.