BUSINESS AWARD FOR THE YOUNG AND AMBITIOUS
Student entrepreneurship? This is no joke! In May, the finalists for the Russian award for high school and university student entrepreneurship were announced. Famous Russian entrepreneurs and journalists selected the best projects across nine nomination categories. The award will be presented annually to talented and successful young entrepreneurs, and anybody who wants to can participate.
The Russian business community has been loudly voicing the need to support young people who want to become entrepreneurs for a long time now. But it’s not all talk, and Rusbase Young Awards is a great testament to this fact.
This is the first Russian independent business award for school and university students. The only condition is they have to be under the age of 24 to participate. Key focal points for the award are innovations and advanced technologies in various industries and markets. This year, there were a total of nine finalists. Most of the contestants demonstrated projects that already exist, many of which are already operating in Moscow and other Russian cities. The winners will have the opportunity to become part of a large business community and present their projects to venture capital investors.
Out of 370 projects from all over Russia that were selected during the first stage of the competition, 31 participants entered the finals across six nomination categories – “Smart City,” “Health,” “Food,” “Education,” “Digital,” and “Fashion and Sports.” In addition, partners of the award established special nominations – “Junior Hero” for entrepreneurs under the age of 16, a special prize for the winner of an open vote, and a special prize for girls working in the field of high-tech products.
“The award is one way to show the market that we have young and very ambitious entrepreneurs who, at their age, can compete on equal terms with adults in business,” said Maria Podlesnova, Chairman of the Rusbase Young Awards jury, “There aren’t that many of them now. But this is precisely why Rusbase began to engage in promoting youth entrepreneurship. We hope that in 2020 we will be able to attract even more participants and add more nominations.”
Of all projects that made it to the finals, the jury selected 9 winners. Jury members included well-known businessmen and top managers of large Russian and international companies such as Tinkoff, SAP, PIK-digital, Mastercard, and PepsiCo. Dmitry Kotov from Tomsk won the award in the “Smart City” nomination category – he invented a GSM intercom with exceptional features that helps people with disabilities. Rocketstore, the largest online store that sells Russian-made goods, won in the “Digital” nomination category. The project was launched by Podolsk’s Dmitry Rastopchin when he was just 14 years old. Rocketstore currently has over 10,000 customers. The special nomination “Junior Hero” was won by Stepan Stepanov from Chita and his team “Live Brighter,” which is engaged in improving the urban environment and landscaping.
Moscow’s Dmitry Karagioz won in the “Education” nomination category for his project “ProgressME” – a virtual class for online learning. The project enables tutors and students to jointly work with interactive materials. The platform currently has over 2,200 educators. Valeria Kazanskaya, also from Moscow, won in the “Health” nomination category. She founded a chain of fitness clubs called Hardy’s Body, where people pay for a trainer’s services instead of purchasing a membership. Saint Petersburg’s Alexander Lapin, who founded a company that makes low-calorie food products, won in the “Food” nomination category. His company has over 120 sales points across 10 different regions in Russia.
Anastasia Pavlova’s Skynails won in the “Fashion and Sports” nomination category. The “Girls in Tech” award was presented to Moscow’s Victoria Sbityakova for her project Suture Pad, which makes medical training equipment for medical and veterinary universities. The main “Rusbase YoungHero” award was presented to Dmitry Rastopchin, whose project won in the “Digital” nomination category.