The Skolkovo Foundation’s Startup Tour, a roving search for talented science and tech startups, has completed its visits to the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad and the Belarussian capital Minsk.

The winners of the Kaliningrad stage of the Startup Tour. Photo:

At the Startup Tour, regional entrepreneurs have the opportunity to pitch their ideas to a panel of experts. The top three projects in each of the five categories – IT, energy-efficient technologies, biological and medical technologies, industrial technologies and materials, and biotech in agriculture and industry – are invited to attend the Startup Village, a huge event for both entrepreneurs and investors held at the Skolkovo Innovation Centre outside Moscow on June 2-3.

The Startup Tour called in on Russia’s westernmost city, the exclave of Kaliningrad, from April 14-15, attracting budding entrepreneurs from Russia’s northwest, as well as from the neighbouring Baltic countries. Instead of the usual 15 winners, 16 invitations to the Startup Village were handed out, after the jury awarded two startups in the biotech in agriculture and industry category joint second place.

Earlier, from April 7-8, the Startup Tour made its second foreign stop in the Belarussian capital of Minsk, following an event in the Kazakh city of Almaty. In Minsk, the Skolkovo Foundation and Belarus’ State Committee for Science and Technology took steps to establish a cooperation scheme.

The two sides will work together to commercialise pilot projects in the spheres of health, energy and utilities by introducing their systems into enterprises and organisations in both Belarus and Russia.

“In the event of the successful commercialization of the projects, this cooperation will be implemented on a permanent basis, which will allow Belarussian developers to enter the Russian market, and the country’s enterprises to introduce innovative inventions belonging to Russian rights-holders,” Belarus’ State Committee for Science and Technology said.  

The Startup Tour is this week heading to its final two destinations: Tolyatti (April 18-19) and Saratov (April 21-22).