The Second Winter School for information technology SumIT projects started in St. Petersburg on Saturday, February 18. Within two days, more than 300 young innovators presented their projects to experts to be among lucky ones who will be given a place in the startup accelerator at the University of Information Technologies, Mechanics and Optics (ITMO) iDealMachine for three weeks. During this time, participants can develop their ideas with the help of experts and present them in the final SumIT arrangement. The top teams will receive sponsorship of up to $20K.
On the first day the participants had two minutes to tell the audience about their project. The presentation consisted of 4 slides with the key information – why the product is useful to the public, what generates profits and who works in a team. On Sunday the founders of startups continued communication with experts. The contestants listened not only to the criticism but also some helpful advice from more than 20 experts from different fields. Experts told them how to improve their projects and how to avoid mistakes.
Moreover, the participants had a chance to communicate with the creators of some startups, like G. Levi (“ Dnevnik. ru”) and A. Kumpel (“ITMozg.ru”), who shared the secrets of their success. By the evening only 18 teams were chosen out of 67. They demonstrated their advanced ideas to the experts and participants. The next day the jury chose 11 projects to work in startup-accelerator iDealMachine.
All the chosen projects are related to the provision of the services through the Internet. They help in renting apartments in CIS (The Union), the search of local guides for travelers (sptn!k), delivery of parcels and goods (Private Service) and online applications for work and pleasure.
There were a lot of good ideas and projects on SumIT Weekend, says Alexander Bikkulov, the head of Strategic Planning and Development of the University ITMO. “The main problem is cherishing ideas only in the head. It causes the gaps in the project. Participants should try to discuss their ideas with more experienced people and someone they trust. And you should think ahead, how your idea will make money but not only bring joy to people”- Bikkulov says.
The winners will spend the following 3 weeks working on projects under the direction of experienced mentors. On March 14 they will present the results to investors. At the same time the participants and all the interested people will attend workshops and master classes. The leading experts will tell them about project management, technology, design, legal aspects, and the interaction with the investment funds.