6 Skoltech startups ranked among Russia’s top 100 university startups according to Ministry of Science and Higher Education
Image. Logos of Skoltech-affiliated companies ranked by the Ministry of Science and Higher Education among the top 100 Russian university startups.
The Ministry of Science and Higher Education listed six Skoltech-born startups — more than for any other Russian university — among the top 100 startups of its 2023 All-Russian Ranking of Top 1,000 University Startups. One of them, MIG, was recognized as the best in the resource-efficient power engineering category. The awards ceremony, which took place November 23 at the All-Russian Technology Entrepreneurship Forum, was attended by Skoltech students and employees.

The All-Russian Technology Entrepreneurship Forum was held November 22-23 at the Lomonosov Cluster in Moscow for the second time. A flagship event of the ministry’s University Technology Entrepreneurship Platform project, it brings together Russian businesses, authorities, startups, investors, university students and employees. The forum aims to boost the development of university startups in Russia and encourage mass involvement of students in technology entrepreneurship.

Upwards of 200 universities attended the event. Skoltech was represented by Entrepreneurship Center students, professors, and employees who made presentations and participated in the discussions. Also, the forum featured training sessions offering tips on how to prepare a persuasive presentation and forge ties with investors and businesses.

The awards ceremony honoring the winners of the annual top 1,000 university startups ranking was in the spotlight of the forum. This year, over 2,300 students applied for the competition. Their projects were evaluated according to financial performance, team structure, legal status, external expertise, social impact, relevance to national development priorities, support from their university, and visibility in the media.

“Skoltech-affiliated startups took an active part in the competition, with 22 listed in the ranking — the highest number among Moscow engineering universities. Our congratulations to startup founders, directors, and employees! Remarkably, as many as six Skoltech startups ranked among the top 100, as compared to only between two and four for other leading universities,” Entrepreneurship Center Director Dmitry Kulish commented.

The MIG startup led by Associate Professor Dmitry Titov from the Energy Center placed 18th overall and first in the resource-efficient power engineering category. In addition, it ranked among the top 25 mature startups, which squared off in the face-to-face “finals” where MIG placed second. At the “finals”, mature and early-stage startups gave four-minute pitches and answered questions from the audience.

“This two-day event proved both exciting and productive. It was not just a competition, but a short acceleration program, where the teams learned to transform a university project into a business idea and make a persuasive case, raising the odds of securing investment for further development — a skill that is hard to gain in an academic environment,” Titov concluded.

The MIG startup offers software and hardware solutions for assessing the condition of power lines. MIG’s sensors help monitor icing, vibrations, pole leaning, and other problems that need to be carefully monitored to reduce the number of line failures, especially in the icy season.

Other Skoltech startups listed among the top 100 are Game R, PICsTech, ARSY, Proxion, and K-plus.

Game R (No. 55) by Associate Professor Andrey Somov from the Engineering Center created a digital multigame ranking system for amateur and professional gamers. Its software uses machine learning to collect, analyze, and organize gaming and biometric data. The solution is intended for computer clubs and tournaments, telecom providers, gamers, e-sports federations, and educational institutions.

PICsTech (No. 70), founded by Associate Professor Arkady Shipulin from the Applied Photonics Center, designs and manufactures photonic integrated circuit-based devices for the Russian telecom market.

ARSY (No. 73) by PhD student Vitaly Kazaku is an augmented reality-based educational platform for engineering, which enables safe interaction with trainees along with simulation of various emergencies and assessment of the trainees’ actions.

Proxion (No. 85) by master’s student Almaz Ibragimov engineered bioplastic materials from flax fibers, plant-based plasticizers, and biopolymers. The resulting products, such as disposable tableware, are fully compostable.

K-plus (No. 86) led by PhD alumna Polina Morozova has set up full-cycle production of potassium-ion batteries that are comparable in performance to their lithium-ion counterparts, while being twice as cheap thanks to the wider availability of potassium. While a potassium-ion battery is some 20% heavier, this is not an issue for power grid stabilization systems, low-speed electric vehicles, and a number of other applications.