The Startup Competition took place on the 29th and 30th of September during IT Arena, the biggest tech event in Ukraine and Eastern Europe. More than 30 startups were selected for the competition before the event and pitched their ideas to win the attention of jury members and worthy prizes.
This year, the Startup Competition started on the first day of IT Arena, on the Startup Stage. During three hours, startups pitched their ideas to a jury that selected the 11 best startups for the next stage of the competition (1 of the startups was selected earlier by the people's vote on the website). Among them: Senstone, GameTree, Bright Advise, BotMakers, EVE.Calls, Octogin, Cards, AxDraft, CertChain, IRAengine and Docsify.
Representatives of global partners and European tech media made up the Startup Competition jury team: Sebastien Toupy, Head of the Startup Program at The Next Web; Mike Butcher, Editor-at-Large at TechCrunch; Marvin Liao, Partner and Mentor at 500 Startups; Grzegorz Pawlicki, Director Innovation and Customer Experience Office at MassChallenge Warshaw & PKO Bank Polski; Jane Klepа, Executive Director at 1991 Open Data Incubator; Dag Ainsoo, Board member at Startup Wise Guys; Alena Kalibabа, CEO at Chasopys Creative Family & Country Ambassador Seedstars; Andrew Pavliv, Supervisory Board Chairman at Lviv IT Cluster, CEO & Co-Founder of N-iX; and Alexandra Balkova, Business Development Officer of WannaBiz.
During the second day of the competition, the final 11 startups battled on the main stage of IT Arena. The jury selected three winners in different nominations. The Best Pitch went to IRAengine, a marketplace for alternative investment from individual pension accounts. IRAengine’s mission is to open new markets for retirement assets (cryptocurrencies, P2P lending, Crowd Real Estate, Crowd Equity and more) and make pension alternative investment easy. The winner was awarded an invitation to the Slush 100 Pitching Competition, the Nordic tech wonderland. Slush is the leading startup event in the world, which will take place in Helsinki from the 29th of November to the 1st of December.
“I want to thank all organizers for a great Startup Battle. Especially the jury members. Their feedback was very important for us. I do not remember an event of this level took place since IDCEE in Kyiv. The prize is a ticket to the Slush conference and a spot among top 100 startups at the pitching contest. This is a good opportunity to present your startup, but the main prize for us was the ability to talk to startup jury members and get their feedback and advice. Startups tend to fail. 99.7% fail. And winning the contest doesn’t mean a lot. We still have to to a lot of work to do and need some luck in order to be in that 0.03%.” – comments Maksym Lysak, CEO & Co-founder, IRAengine.
In The Best B2C category, the winner was Senstone, a voice tracker which transfers audio into text. The device is designed specifically for note-taking, created for using on the spot, in situations not always convenient for writing things down. It is a plainly easier and time-saving way to capture observations, thoughts, and necessary information by using the most natural solution – voice. Senstone won the invitation to the Seedstars World.
The prize for The Best B2B went to Docsify. Docsify is a G-Suite tool that helps salespeople to take only right sales actions based on recipient’s behavior. It provides email, document, and website tracking as well as flexible email automation and lead scoring. Docsify won the invitation to the Bootstrap by The Next Web to give 50 very early-stage startups the opportunity to present their work to a broad audience. Docsify will also have the opportunity to join 24 other finalists of the Bridge to MassChallenge Warsaw startup competition from PKO Bank Polski and KredoBank. MassChallenge Warsaw is the top startup acceleration program in СЕЕ region and MassChallenge is globally one of the world’s largest accelerator programs, with a rich history of helping startups achieve dynamics and growth.
These three winners of the Startup Competition were not only ones who won prizes. Below are the other startups that were awarded prizes by IT Arena Startup Competition partners and co-organizers:
- BotMakers– Invitation to accelerator program by Startup Wise Guys; Invitation to the final of Seedstars Ukraine;
- Docsify – Mentoring for building business models and business analytics from WannaBiz; Invitation to Seedstars Ukraine; Invitation to FALL PROGRAM at 1991 Open Data Incubator; Mentoring for building marketing models from 42 DM;
- CertChain – 2-day acceleration & design thinking workshop ($5000 AWS) from hub:raum;
- IRAengine – Invitation to Seedstars Ukraine national final;