Ukrainian VCs invest in spying drones, energy analysis and “the art of dreaming”
Last week, Kyiv (Kiev) Polytechnic Institute (KPI) hosted the final of Sikorsky Challenge 2014, a contest that attracted innovative projects working in the startup incubator and the science park at the institute. Investors have developed an interest in many of the finalists, to the point that deals or intentions to invest were announced during the competition.
Besides funds created within the framework of the competition (the Mikhalevich Fund and Kalinin Invention Fund), investors monitoring startups from the KPI incubator included representatives from Noosphere Ventures, Detonate Ventures and AVentures Capital.
Kalinin Invention Fund invested around 7 million hryvnias (roughly $540,000) in several projects. One of them, NBS, an Internet service that helps SMBs manage trade and storage operations, received 1.4 million hryvnias ($108,000). Another team, which is developing an instrument for comparative analysis of energy options, got in 1.5 million hryvnias ($116,000).
On its side, Mikhalevich Fund put 13 million hryvnias (around $1 million) in Spectator, an individual compact drone created by Roman Karnaushenko. This drone may be used for spying purposes).
The fund also showed interest in Luciding, a device which ostensibly allows the user to control dreams. This project was one of the hardware participants at IDCEE 2014. Nikita Ant, the creator and main developer of the concept, came up with the idea of the device under the influence of the works of Carlos Castaneda and his book “The Art of Dreaming.”
Luciding has invented “Lucid Dreaming As A Service”
The total sum of investment for concluded and announced deals at Sikorsky Challenge 2014 amounted to about 23.4 million hryvnias ($1.8 million). A complete list of finalist projects, their founders, and the sum of the deals can be found on the KPI website.
A new project named in honor of the famous inventor and KPI alumnus Igor Sikorsky, the Sikorsky Challenge is was launched at the KPI. The project includes a startup school, business incubator, and three venture funds.