Last week Kyiv (Kiev) Polytechnic Institute (KPI) hosted the final of Sikorsky Challenge 2015, a contest that attracted innovative projects working in the startup incubator and the science park at the institute. Out of 184 applicants, 34 projects were selected as finalists.
Investors showed interest in many of the finalists, announcing their intention to invest $26 million in total in their technologies, the organizers claim.
These investors were American-Ukrainian asset management firm Noosphere Ventures, American fund USP Capital, Kalinin Invention Fund, Mikhailevich Fund, Center for Anti-Crisis Initiatives, software developer EPAM, Boeing (which recently opened an R&D center at KPI), Ukrainian orthopedic mattress manufacturer Veneto, and others.
Among the potential deals are the following:
- Luciding, a startup which has developed a device to control dreams, may receive $15,000 from Veneto and $50,000 from Information Technologies;
- The students who are developing nanosputnik PolyITAN-2 expect to receive $35,000 from Kalinin Invention Fund;
- Lanolit, a system to reinforce hygroscopic materials, may attract $50,000 from Information Technologies;
- Multivisor Wider is to receive $82,000 from USP Capital;
- Noosphere and Mikhalevich Fund intend to invest $600,000 each to support a wifi mapping technology;
- Noosphere may also put $750,000 in antifraud system LanMax;
- Center for Anti-Crisis Initiatives announced its intention to inject $2.5 million in a foresight platform dedicated to complex socioeconomic systems;
- Vlasne Teplo, an automated heating technology, may benefit from a $11.8 million capital injection from Nature Technologies.
Should the $26 million investment intentions be confirmed, it would account for a significant fraction of total venture investment in Ukraine this year. This market could reach some $70 million in total this year, according to UADN sources in the venture industry, not including the possible deals announced at Sikorsky Challenge.
Last year, the total sum of investment for concluded or intended deals at the event amounted to just $1.8 million.
A new project named in honor of the famous inventor and KPI alumnus Igor Sikorsky, the Sikorsky Challenge was launched in July last year. The project includes a startup school, business incubator, and three venture funds.