Names of the winners of the national contest to support start-ups in the field of agriculture, pharmaceuticals and biotechnology – KazINNO Astana, are finally announced.
10 best projects were presented in the final contest, organized by the Ministry of Industry and New Technologies of Kazakhstan, JSC “National Agency for Technological Development” and the Club of Young Entrepreneurs of Kazakhstan. High crop yields, pure milk, healthy cattle meat and low cost – these will be the results of the contest, if all three of the winning projects are implemented.
The winner in the field of biotechnology was the project of Serzhan Amanov to organize the production of biological products based on entomopathogen microorganisms. This project involves a new way to protect crops from pests, as well as the production of cheap and environmentally friendly substitutes for pesticides used in agriculture.
Aydar Madiyarov’s project on producing highly granular feed supplement “Өс” for feeding animals was also recognized as the best in the competition. Effectiveness of this new feed supplement is based on the use of the polysaccharide obtained from perennial plants grown in the Central and Northern regions of Kazakhstan, and also on using pelleted feed protein and bone meal – a full source of animal protein.
The third finalist was the project of Aytbek Kakimov on dairy production that features radio-protective properties. The project aims to solve the problem of contamination of raw milk by heavy metals and radiation in environmentally disadvantaged areas.
The winners are expected to earn an internship in one of the world’s leading accelerators (Israel, Silicon Valley in the U.S.), where they can work on their projects with experienced mentors; establish contacts and partnerships with foreign partners, and present their projects to potential investors.
Final performances of 10 teams presented for the jury were on June 29th, 2014. According to the results 3 winning teams have been identified. The jury’s evaluation was based on the presence of a strong management team, market size and competition, the novelty of the idea of the product, competitive advantage, financial performance, ways to monetize the project, the marketing potential, promotion and sales channels, and much more.
The jury team consisted of Kazakh and foreign experts, investors, professionals with practical experience in the creation and development of start-ups, as well as business representatives. Among them were Lawrence Wright, the founder of Launch Gurus; Firmin van Haelst, the founder of Rexprom; Ramon O’Callaghan, the Dean of the Graduate School of Business at Nazarbayev University.
A total of over 100 applications from all regions of the country were collected for the contest. The jury had been selecting the best projects for the duration of three weeks.
A great help in facilitating the contest was received from intellectual contest partners: EY, PWC, Dentons, InterPress International House, and The Graduate School of Business Nazarbayev University.