InBioMed, a unique contest that spanned several clusters to select the best biomedical startup projects and projects finding uses for nuclear technologies in health care, finished at Startup Village, having selected the best three projects.

Over a period of six months twenty finalists were selected who presented their projects to the jury of the contest, consisting of representatives of development institutions and investment funds operating in this sector of the innovative economy.

The jury included Vladimir Turtikov from the Nuclear Technology Cluster and Kristina Khodova from the Biomedical Science Cluster, representing the Skolkovo Foundation. The "Bortnik" Foundation was represented by Pavel Gudkov, Deputy CEO of the Foundation for Assistance to Small Innovative Enterprises in Science and Technology, and Irina Boyarchenkova, head of the Analytical Department at the Foundation for Assistance to Small Innovative Enterprises in Science and Technology. Rusnano was represented by Ruslan Titov, Managing Director of the Department of Nano-Technology Centers of Rusnano’s Fund for Infrastructure and Educational Programs. Anna Novikova, Investment Director of Polar Start Ventures, a key organizer of the contest, also sat on the jury.

InBioMed, all finalists

All presentations were assessed on three key criteria. First of all the jury assessed how well the team appreciated the questions that investors put to them. The second criterion looked at how convincing the presentation was and how masterfully the pitch was presented, i.e. it looked at the team’s ability to ‘sell’ the project. And the final, perhaps most important, criterion was the opinion of each member of the jury about whether or not they would be willing to invest their own money in the project and the company backing it.

Aelita team with Kristina Khodova

The contest started in February and only the projects that successfully passed the first two selection stages, which included scientific and business assessment, made it to the final stage that took place on June 3rd. Three best projects were eventually selected and these can now get financial and mentoring support from the organizers.

The award ceremony took place on the Open Stage, the main venue of Startup Village. Prizes were given out by Pavel Gudkov and Kristina Khodova.

The first prize went to NSL, a company that is organizing mass production of professional medical laser perforators, devices that punch a hole in the skin on your finger with a laser beam so that blood can be drawn for tests. The company is also making prototype personal perforators fashioned after a ballpoint pen. This device is the best alternative to the metal lancets used by doctors today because cutting the skin with a laser beam ensures absolute sterility of the operation.

The second prize went to Leks Kvantum, developers of the Quantum Cure technology for the alternative targeted delivery of Caprelsa (Vandetanib) during personalized combined therapy of inoperable and metastasizing thyroid cancers.

The third prize went to a company called Aelita that is developing an export version of a universal anesthesia breathing apparatus

All of the winners are residents of Skolkovo’s Biomedical and Nuclear Clusters.

Comments by members of the jury:

‘First of all I would like to note the professionalism of the presentations that were pitched in the finals. We had encountered some of the companies before and we were pleasantly surprised by how much progress they had made on their projects. On the whole, it should be said that that all the participants that made it to the finals competed neck and neck with each other. A lot of the teams were very close to victory. I hope that participation in the contest in and of itself, regardless of whether they won or not, will become an important step in the development of their projects. Oftentimes it is not money but rather networking and mentoring that make or break a project,’ said Kristina Khodova, Manager of the Oncology/Immunology sector in the Biomedical Cluster at the Skolkovo Foundation.

InBioMed, the jury at work

‘When we were selecting the winners in InBioMed we were happy to note that about a third of the finalists had already received support from our Foundation, while the other two thirds did an equally good job pitching their presentations, and we very much hope to see these projects in our Start Grant Program. InBioMed has once again confirmed the fact that there is a multitude of interesting ideas and good innovations in biomedicine and that initiatives like the InBioMed contest help release them,’ said Pavel Gudkov, Deputy CEO of the Foundation for Assistance to Small Innovative Enterprises in Science and Technology.