ExoAtlet, a project that combines an important social function with advanced IT and robotics solutions, has been named the winner in the competition held within the Startup Village mega conference of startups.

On June 3, 2014 the results of one of the largest Russian startup competitions have been announced on the main stage of Startup Village. Out of the 750 semi-finalists 21 teams had been selected that went on to present the best that Russian startups have to offer today in the final competition. All the finalists were given Moscow Innovation Passports by Moscow Government Minister Aleksei Komissarov.

Founder of the ExoAtlet Ekaterina Bereziy next to (from left to right) Igor Agamirzyan, Alexei Komissarov, Vasily Belov, Pekka Viljakainen

These entitle them to additional benefits and open up new opportunities in the Russian capital. In addition, all the finalists were each given RUB 150 thousand and were invited by the Skolkovo Foundation to become Skolkovo residents. The jury eventually decided that ExoAtlet was the most interesting, promising, socially important and technologically advanced project presented in the finals. The project was presented by a team of robotics engineers working at Moscow State University’s Research Institute of Mechanics. The winner of Startup Village was awarded RUB 900 thousand by the Skolkovo Foundation.

The jury decided not to award the third prize this year, instead only awarding the first prize and two second prizes. The ‘second’ second prize, as the award ceremony moderator Alexander Chernov jokingly referred to it, comprising RUB 600 thousand went to Radio Gigabit, a resident of the Space Technologies and Telecommunications Cluster while the ‘first’ second prize went to Nanooptics, a resident of the Nuclear Cluster. The Jury’s Choice Award (RUB 150,000) as well as the Open Stage special audience award, which is a trip to the Soccer World Cup 2014 in Brazil, went to Ivideon.

Winners (left -to-right) ExoAtlet, Nanooptics, Radio Gigabit, Invideon

The award ceremony featured such personalities as Vasily Belov, Pekka Viljakainen, Aleksei Komissarov, Igor Agamirzyan. And as Aleksei Komissarov said in his address at the ceremony, ‘it would take too long to list all the opportunities that exist today for startups wishing to get help, but the finalists of Startup Village have proven to everyone that they deserve to be the first to get Moscow Innovation Passports giving them access to personal support and to every imaginable backing in Moscow.’ And another quote, this time from Pekka Viljakainen, ‘Thank you everyone for coming, with special thanks to those who’ve traveled long distances from remote regions. Startup Village wasn’t organized for a single company; it was organized for all of you so that when you get back home you will be encouraged to take action. Next year we are definitely going to have another Startup Village.’

Ekaterina Bereziy, the founder and CEO of ExoAtlet, said in an interview for Sk.ru given immediately after the award ceremony that she hadn’t expected such success. ‘We came at Skolkovo’s invitation to showcase our innovations, and to tell you the truth when we decided to participate in Startup Village our main agenda was to simply call attention to our project, to let people know that in Russia we already have these sorts of technologies for people with disabilities, and the thought of winning never even crossed our mind.’ The company, according to its founder Ekaterina Bereziy, has already built a prototype exoskeleton capable of lifting up to 200 kilograms.