Fifteen companies selected by the board of experts to participate in Build UP accelerator project will demonstrate their solutions in the field of construction and development The presentation of these projects will consummate the Build UP accelerator project, which, according to Oleg Dubnov, VP and Director of Skolkovo Energy Efficiency Technologies Cluster, has become the pioneering experience of large-scale and systematic work with innovations within the industry. Before the end of this year, following the success of this program the Cluster is planning to launch the 2nd Build UP accelerator project focusing on digital technologies.
Photo depicting Build UP participants and initiators at Skolkovo Technopark. Photo: Sk.ru.
Build UP project was launched in late 2018. According to Mikhail Tykuchinsky, Development Director of Energy Efficiency Technologies Cluster, “the unprecedented nature of this accelerator project is in the fact that large construction companies with more conservative approaches are very interested in the cooperation with startups; their request for cooperation is formulated at the C-Level of management.”
Oleg Dubnov: initially Build UP accelerator was not established as an international project, but in fact, it is. Photo: Sk.ru.
The accelerator program was initiated by the Skolkovo Foundation, and Hals-Development, Don-Stroy-Invest and FODD became partners of the project. As Yury Khakhanov, Acceleration Director of Skolkovo Urban Technologies Cluster, said to Sk.ru, 637 teams applied for the participation in the program. 448 startup companies managed to pass the expert review stage, interestingly, but over 50% of them were Skolkovo startups. “It’s been many times when our partners recognized the high quality of solutions developed by Skolkovo residents, and their potential for deployment,” Mr. Khakhanov said in his interview to Sk.ru
Alyona Deryabina, Director General, Don-Stroy-Invest JSC Photo: Sk.ru.
Interestingly enough, the same proportion (50% of the selected applicants are from Skolkovo, the remaining 50% are external participants) remained at the final stage of the program - during demonstration of solutions offered by the best startups Construction technologies cluster was represented by such companies as ‘Individual housing construction’ (prefabricated thin-walled inter-apartment partitions), Itechplast (innovative formwork beam), Genesis (G-tech modular outside-mounted ventilated facades), Olmidi Technologies (concrete maturation sensors), Prestige Service (accurate detection of damaged areas in waterproof insulation), Renobet (innovative penetrating waterproof insulation), Isotest (continuous airtightness monitoring of waterproof insulation and leak prevention) The representatives of the below companies describe their solutions in engineering systems and associated sales support: “LIIS engineering solutions” (smart home systems), Simple Charge (smart charging stations for electric vehicles), “Ecolight” (spark protection device), FOGSTREAM (fire extinguishing system with water mist), VIM (widget for visualization of apartments on the web-site of a residential complex), Profitbase (cloud-based dynamic pricing system), Smart data (autonomous dynamic pricing module), DataFuel – (Big Data-based customer personalization). “All of those teams are already working on their pilot projects with the accelerator partner companies. Some of those projects in progress required some adjustment which was described in the terms of reference. For other projects, the commercialization process was launched,” Yury Khakhanov said.
Mikhail Tykuchinsky: the unique nature of this accelerator project is in the fact that large construction companies are seeking cooperation with startups. Photo: Sk.ru.
According to Oleg Dubnov, Head of the Cluster, initially Build UP accelerator was not established as an international project, but in fact, it has become such. 10% of applications were received from overseas applicants, such as from India and Turkey, which was certainly a nice surprise for the project initiators. As Mr. Dubnov trustingly told us, the accelerator project initiators did not expect so many applications to be received and so many applicants willing to take part in the acceleration program. “This means that our market is open and we are interested in the new technologies,” the Director of Energy Efficiency Cluster said to the representatives of construction and developer companies. “It was quite difficult for us to select the applicants to participate in the semi-finals, and then those startups to be winners of the final stage.”
Talking about the thematical content of the accelerator project the project initiators outlined the following figures: the most popular area is the innovations intended for optimization of construction costs and deadlines (43% of applications filed). 19% of startups are focused on engineering systems and hi-tech solutions; 20% of the participants are ready to offer solutions for life-style improvement. The share of new business ideas in marketing and sales promotion is 18%.
Speech by Artyom Magur (Technology of Individual Housing Construction) Photo: Sk.ru.
Obviously, this distribution of project themes was a response to the needs of construction industry Alyona Deryabina, Don-Stroy-Invest, Director General, said during her speech at the Open Day Build UP Conference earlier this year, that there were two areas were her company would want to have new solutions. Challenge No. 1 is construction deadlines, any innovations to reduce those deadlines are welcome. Challenge No. 2 is the quality of construction. Clarifying this challenge Ms. Deryabina said that she meant not the quality of construction materials, which, in her opinion, does meet the world’s standards. Mitigation of human factor impact is what Don-Stroy believes the quality of the product is. Defects in workmanship are able to bring to ought any brilliant innovations. In general, as Alyona Deryabina said, “we are ready for experiments.”
Demonstration of a fire-fighting system from FOGSTREAM based on water mist fire suppression. Photo: Sk.ru.
Build UP accelerator project did contribute to the stronger position of Skolkovo Foundation in the market, Yury Khakhanov said. “Firstly, upon the results of this program we expect more external startups to join us, those which were outside the Skolkovo footprint, this can make us a kind of monopoly in the field of innovations for construction/real estate businesses. Secondly, it is quite obvious that our positioning within the industry has also changed. Many businesses used to see Skolkovo exclusively as a kind of construction site, now the industry players recognize Skolkovo as a provider of trusted innovative solutions. Thirdly, due to Build UP accelerator project we now have better understanding of the industry, its needs and challenges.”
The presentation of solutions offered by the startups on 29 October in Skolkovo Technopark was an invitation-only event. An open demo-day of Build UP acceleration program which will be held as a public event is scheduled for November 19.