GVA © 2017

26 May, Tue
GVAccelerator 8 graduates have found partners in the U.S. and are in discussions over investments

21 may was a Demo Day for the entrepreneurs of GVAccelerator 8 - accelerator program of GVA LaunchGurus. Traditionally 10-week course for entrepreneurs was completed by the final Demo Day – a closed presentation of startups in front of investors-partners of GVA LaunchGurus. The accelerator participants, the founders of 17 startups in various industries - from IT to industrial technologies - spoke about the progress of their projects, the trip to Silicon Valley and plans for the future.

On Demo Day 20 entrepreneurs of GVAccelerator 8, the founders of 17 companies presented the results of their collaborative 10-week work with business coaches and lecturers of GVA LaunchGurus. During this period, the teams refined their startups and improved their presentation skills under the guidance of the best Russian and international experts, including the heads of major foundations and companies, business leaders in Silicon Valley and in the accelerator Plug&Play Tech Center (USA). In short pitch presentations to investors, they talked about their startups business model, product benefits and investments required for further development.

"Before presenting to investors in Moscow the accelerator participants unveiled their startups during the three pitch-days in Silicon Valley, - said the Director of GVAccelerator Daniil Kozlov. - A two-week trip to the Valley is a part of GVAccelerator program, but out of the four groups that went there last year, startups of this enrolment have aroused unprecedented interest of American investors. Almost every one of our startups in a given day attracted the interest of investors or potential partners. The accelerator and Investment Fund Plug&Play became very interested in Mikhail Khusainov’s startup SpyLance. Private investors and business angels have shown interest in the startup IPv17 by Vasiliy Prosin and Arenza by Oleg Sinkov. Alexey Zhurik (HotelFace) found partners with whom he could develop his business in the United States. The startup Vitalize was well received by many investors, and currently there is an ongoing communication with them".

"The most surprising and impressive in the accelerator for me was a trip to Silicon Valley. Meetings that took place there were of a greatest value, free time did not exist. Networking with fellow entrepreneurs, various meetups gave useful experience of business relations," shared the participant of GVAccelerator 8 Natalia Popova, the founder of the project Natadent.

In Silicon Valley participants of GVAccelerator, in addition to meetings with stakeholders and investors, studied the ecosystem and opportunities for startups in the US. Meetings with experienced local entrepreneurs from same fields were organized for each of the participants. Students of GVAccelerator visited companies that had Russian founders, grew up in the Valley and became successful, such as Evernote and One World Online. Three startups were selected and invited to weekly Friday EIR panel to investors in the accelerator Plug&Play, where they gained expertise and feedback from experts. They are: HotelFace, IPv17 and a graduate of the 5th GVAccelerator, the company Labicom. "In the Valley the startups-graduates of previous accelerators regularly join us," says Daniil Kozlov. - At this time it was Labicom and Apps4all, these companies have partners and develop their business in the U.S. too".

Before heading to California participants of GVAccelerator spent eight weeks under the guidance of Russian and foreign mentors getting skills to evaluate promising markets, customer development, startup marketing and branding, sales, team building, negotiation, registration of intellectual property rights and resolving legal issues. Every entrepreneur had received a personal business coach who helped to develop the startup on an individual basis throughout the program. The founder of “Lunch It There” Teymur Shirin notes that the acceleration program has seriously changed his startup: "The Project has been changed quite a lot, at the initial stage we had a slightly different view on scaling the business. At the moment we have a clearer understanding of how to move forward. Initially, we set a goal to enter the international market, and we were pleased to learn about the tools that would allow us to do it."

Russian investors scoped out startups that had passed the 10-week acceleration of GVA LaunchGurus. Mentor and business angel Igor Avdonin compared the level of companies before and after the training course: "In GVAccelerator 8 very interesting projects from different sectors - small businesses, venture projects, a large industrial project in the field of LED technology – were presented. It is a very good thing to see serious progress in startups: I watched a pitch session of the project founders 6 weeks ago when they just came to the accelerator. Today, the same projects are perceived differently, and I gave them different grades."

Managing partner at an investment company Starta Capital and at the Fund Starta Capital Accessor Lyudmila Golubkova also appreciated the startups: "Demo Day was very interesting due to the very different startups by subject as well as by business model. As a venture investor, I noted the project “Payment service CODE” (the payment of any goods from your smartphone). There were several interesting projects at pre-seed stage, almost at the level of ideas, and it's great, because accelerators and investors often try to “disown” such projects. There are very mature companies in the new class of GVAccelerator also. For example, I was very impressed with the startup Harmonium Lighting, and if our Fund had a different investment focus, I would recommend it to our investment Committee".

As a result of Demo Day investors noted a number of interesting startups of the eighth enrollment of GVAccelerator. Among them, Harmonium Lighting by Irina Gudovich - a company that developed, patented and is already producing led lights in China, supplying products for Philips and planning to occupy a prominent place in a growing global market of LED lighting. Investors noticed the startups producing fashion travel accessories Just Case by Alexander Metelkin and Vladimir Pisarev, “Payment service CODE” by Alexander Kahn, that allows you to make an order and make payment for any purchase from your smartphone in 10 seconds, the startup Lifeway by Hovannes Mesropyan (mobile diary, allowing you to quickly build an interactive timeline and share it with your friends and acquaintances), startup on healthy eating Vitalize by Xenia Arshavskaya and Eugene Volikov.

Demo Day of the eighth enrollment of GVAccelerator ended with a networking with investors. The next enrollment to the accelerator is planned for this autumn. The graduates of the previous GVAccelerator enrollments have raised over $25 million investment, the estimated value of the established companies is $130 million.

About GVA LaunchGurus

GVA LaunchGurus provides a unique ecosystem to support entrepreneurs, including a business accelerator for startups GVAccelerator consisting of several modules, programs for investors, Seed Fund. During 3-year period, the acceleration program has proven its effectiveness by running 186 startups of which over 35% are developing successfully.

July 2017
17 July, Monday
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Powerful technology will threaten all human jobs, could even spark a war, Tesla CEO says

14 July, Friday
High-speed Hyperloop project ready for key test in Nevada

Engineers will soon conduct a crucial test of a futuristic technology championed by entrepreneur Elon Musk that seeks to revolutionize transportation by sending passengers and cargo packed into pods through an intercity system of vacuum tubes.

13 July, Thursday
Uber, Yandex combine ridesharing and UberEATS in Russian markets in a $3.72B JV

Uber announced that it will be combining its rides-on-demand business and UberEATS, its food ordering and delivery business, in Russia and neighboring markets, with Yandex.Taxi, the ridesharing business.

12 July, Wednesday
Microsoft's new iPhone app narrates the world for blind people

The app uses AI to recognize people, objects, and scenes

07 July, Friday
Tesla will build world’s largest battery storage facility for Australian wind farm

Tesla will up its game in the renewable energy storage market with the largest lithium-ion battery storage facility in the world, to be built for Australia’s Hornsdale Wind Farm, with a completion date of December 1, 2017. 

05 July, Wednesday
Amazon’s Alexa passes 15,000 skills, up from 10,000 in February

Amazon’s Alexa voice platform has now passed 15,000 skills — the voice-powered apps that run on devices like the Echo speaker, Echo Dot, newer Echo Show and others. The figure is up from the 10,000 skills Amazon officially announced back in February, which had then represented a 3x increase from September.

June 2017
29 June, Thursday
Instagram now uses AI to block offensive comments

Instagram is introducing an enhanced comment filter today meant to wipe out nasty remarks using AI. 

28 June, Wednesday
Russia and Brazil aim to develop high tech partnerships

During official talks with his Brazilian counterpart, Michel Temer, in Moscow on Wednesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin hailed the cooperation between the two countries in the field of technologies.

Putin noted that Russia and Brazil already cooperate closely in space exploration and that there are plans to develop cooperation in Earth monitoring from space.

27 June, Tuesday
Apple acquires SMI eye-tracking company

In a move that is sure to stoke rumors about Apple’s future work in augmented and virtual reality technologies, Apple has acquired SensoMotoric Instruments (SMI), an eye-tracking firm, MacRumors reports.

22 June, Thursday
X-Ray Eyes in the Sky

UCSB researchers have proposed a new method for 3D through-wall imaging that utilizes drones and WiFi

21 June, Wednesday
Why Atlanta is a great place for startups

Atlanta has long been a hub for big companies—think Home Depot, UPS, Cisco, and Coca-Cola—and now it’s quickly becoming the tech startup center of the South

20 June, Tuesday
Global risk analysis gets an artificial intelligence upgrade with GeoQuant

The global risk analysis used by big banks, hedge funds, and governments to inform their decision-making around everything from foreign currency investment to foreign aid is getting the machine learning treatment with the launch of the new startup GeoQuant.

May 2017
31 May, Wednesday
Elon Musk's Solar Roofs Have Some Serious (and Seriously Cheap) Competition

A team of researchers in Australia has created a solution that could make solar energy far more accessible.

25 May, Thursday
Airbnb is running its own internal university to teach data science

Tech companies, and increasingly even non-tech companies, are struggling with the fact that there are not enough trained data scientists to fill market demand. 

23 May, Tuesday
IKEA launches online sales and builds giant distribution center in Russia

Illustrating the appeal of the Russian e-commerce market, IKEA Russia has made a substantial part of its assortment available online to the inhabitants of Moscow, Saint Petersburg and their surrounding areas, as well as of several cities of Siberia, the Far East, the Central and Northwestern federal districts.

22 May, Monday
2017 VC Market: U.S. Startup Investment Picks Up In Q1

U.S. startup investment activity somewhat rebounded after a downturn late last year, with larger rounds and an improving environment for tech IPOs. However, funding totals are still below the highs set several quarters ago...

18 May, Thursday
Russian programing language - Kotlin - on Android. Now official

Today, at the Google I/O keynote, the Android team announced first-class support for Kotlin. We believe this is a great step for Kotlin, and fantastic news for Android developers as well as the rest of our community. We’re thrilled with the opportunities this opens up.

17 May, Wednesday
The thaw of the Russian venture market

From the seed stage to maturity deals, venture investment amounted to $894 million last year, up from just $383 million in 2015. “Market growth was essentially driven by a dramatic increase in expansion deals, whereas the volume of seed- and startup-stage deals fell to new lows,” notes Arseniy Dabbakh of RG Partners

16 May, Tuesday
Mid-sized Japanese firms invest in robots and automation due to labor shortage

Desperate to overcome Japan’s growing shortage of labor, mid-sized companies are planning to buy robots and other equipment to automate a wide range of tasks, including manufacturing, earthmoving and hotel room service.

According to a Bank of Japan survey, companies with share capital of 100 million yen to 1 billion yen plan to boost investment in the fiscal year that started in April by 17.5 percent, the highest level on record.

15 May, Monday
Lyft and Waymo Reach Deal to Collaborate on Self-Driving Cars

SAN FRANCISCO — As the race to bring self-driving vehicles to the public intensifies, two of Silicon Valley’s most prominent players are teaming up.