The Magnit corporate accelerator, MGNTech, took place on July 8 with sixteen competing solutions reaching the final selection phase. Each startup pitched for ten minutes before receiving feedback from an expert jury comprised of Magnit representatives. The eight selected solutions will do pilot projects with the retailer over the course of the next year.

MGNTech Accelerator. Photo:

Founded in 1994, Magnit is one of Russia’s largest retailers, with over 12,000 stores countrywide. Although the company is one of the dominating grocery chains, it continues to seek ways to increase its overall efficiency; the MGNTech accelerator is a tool to find companies with technologies that could help achieve such goals. The company estimates a one billion ruble (€11 million) benefit from adopting new technologies during 2021-2022.

The accelerator received 455 applications from startups in 11 countries covering three areas of focus: operations management, logistics & supply chain, and production. Out of the 455 applicants, the expert jury selected sixteen startup companies to pitch their solutions. A company does not need to be a Skolkovo resident to participate in the pitch sessions – eight participants were Skolkovo residents, while the rest were non-residents. The winning companies gain access to all the necessary resources and expertise available at Magnit and professional mentor support from Skolkovo.

Haut.AI solution for personalized cosmetic selection. Photo:

Konstantin Parshin, the vice president and deputy director of the IT cluster at the Skolkovo Foundation, stated that “the first stage of the Magnit accelerator was a proposal to us to find technology projects to solve very particular issues. Consequently, we didn’t search for startups with ready solutions but teams with experience working in all three business fields. Moreover, the fields selected by MGNTech 2021 are in line with global trends – they studied innovations that leading global retailers are testing and invited leading Magnit figures working in the said fields to consider applying these innovations to their issues. As a result, global trends and the shop chain’s challenges converged.”

MGNTech Accelerator. Photo:

Evgeny Dzhamalov, the director of Innovations at Magnit, told that “already at the selection stage of the second MGNTech accelerator we understood that selecting the finalists would be a difficult task. Therefore, we sought out technologies that could improve current processes and develop promising areas of our business. During the winner’s selection, we paid attention to the novelty and innovativeness of the ideas. The criteria also included applicability, implementation as well as the potential benefits the to Magnit.”

Following the ten-minute pitch sessions, the expert jury made the selections and announced the winners, choosing a total of eight projects:

  1. Haut.AI – an AI solution that personalizes the selection of cosmetics. The technology analyzes the skin’s health using an image sent by the user and then, based on its datasets, recommends what cosmetics to apply. Estimates say that sales could increase by up to 30% as a result.
  2. YouTool – a marketplace for renting construction tools online. The service links and facilitates communications between individuals and construction retailers. This new marketplace could increase profits by up to 80% and reduce costs.
  3. Smart Tasting (Umnaya Degustatsiya) – a service for determining emotional reactions to taste using neural networks.
  4. GTLogistics – a solution to implement and develop software products to automate warehouse and transport logistics.
  5. MUST – an automation system to gather, analyze and verify data on trucks and drivers in real-time. The system rates the safety of each vehicle and the fleet as a whole. MUST helps reduce accidents by up to 30-50%, reduces losses during downtime, repairs costs due to accidents, and increases driver quality.
  6. Ronavi – logistics robots for automizing work in the distribution centers of industrial and agricultural enterprises. The technology significantly reduces labor costs and increases the speed and efficacy of operations.
  7. CISLINK – a platform for the sale of non-marketable fruits and vegetables through auctions among potential buyers.
  8. RTL-Telezhki – a technology for smart order selection for distribution centers, optimizing the processes with the help of light prompts. RTL-Telezhki could optimize internal logistics and increase the efficiency and speed of the central warehouse.