Categories: Business

Kaspesky: The winners of “Kaspersky Exploring Russia”

Startups from Russia, the United States, Israel, the Netherlands, Portugal, Estonia and South Africa competed for prizes.

The final of ‘Kaspersky Exploring Russia’ was held in a demo-day format on June 25. The top-ten presented their projects to the jury, which was headed by Eugene Kaspersky.

The finalists had two weeks to use the knowledge and advice they received during the acceleration program – online workshops and lectures that helped them prepare for project presentations. Leading experts in the industry shared their experiences and explained how to create a successful business. The mentors were Vikas Bhola (Regional director at Booking.com), Gemma Rubio (Founder of Define the Fine), Vadim Mamontov (CEO at Discovery Russia), and other experts. Participants were able to finalize solutions that will help the tourism industry. Kaspersky representatives and leading experts in the tourism industry closely examined all presentations and named three winners.

First place was taken by 360 Stories. It is a mobile AR app with a live guide. The company’s mission is to modernize the traditional touring experience by powering interactive live tours using real-time guides. With 360 Stories people can now remotely roam their favorite cities and attractions by signing up for a personalized touring experience with a real-time local guide. The app gives travelers a more immersive, trustworthy, and flexible way to research destinations, since up to now people are forced to rely on stock photography and reviews that rarely capture reality. This is also one of the options for traveling abroad under conditions of closed borders caused by the pandemic. 360 Stories will be awarded an online education grant directly relevant to their project. The silver prize winner is maps.me. It is a detailed offline map for travelers with over 140 million downloads worldwide. The service combines hundreds of travel guides and navigation routes of more than 600 cities. Also, users have the opportunity to search for places of interest by category – for example, cafes and banks – leave reviews, share tips with friends, or book hotel rooms on Booking.com directly in the application. The app can be of great help when traveling to another country (it has an offline mode as well) and an important tool for navigation in your hometown. maps.me will be awarded PR and marketing support for their project. Altourism won the bronze. It is a new concept of travel to the Russian countryside. One of the main goals of the project is to sustain villages and small towns in Russia, changing the attitude of the local population to their land. In addition, Altourism sets other ambitious goals: the development of tourism infrastructure within the country, support of the development of small businesses, as well as drawing attention to problems in the outlying regions. Altourism is an opportunity for travelers to break out of an office, familiar surroundings, do something with their own hands and see the result right away, make useful and pleasant acquaintances, feel involvement in something big and important, arrange a digital detox and get out of their comfort zones to an area where anything is possible. It will be awarded software subscriptions tailored to solve their business needs.

“We could not imagine that we would get such a response. The huge number of applications that we reviewed together with the jury makes us understand that all this was not in vain and that the project turned out to be really impactful and exciting. The accelerator allowed us to collect incredibly interesting tourism projects from around the world. Today we selected three winners, but I hope that this project has become an important experience for all participants. We are happy that to bring together so many talented and passionate about their business people. Soon, I hope, we will travel, as before, and the accelerator participants will continue to develop, finding new solutions and their audience”, – Eugene Kaspersky commented.

Also participants will receive special prizes from the program partners Amadeus, Propeller Shannon (Journey Partners) и Starta Ventures. For example, Amadeus will provide members of Accesstravels, Routitude and maps.me with the opportunity to present their projects and get advice from specialists at Amadeus for Startups or Amadeus Corporate Social Responsibility (depending on the company’s field of activity). The partner will also include startups in the Amadeus Access Catalog and will help in piloting the project on the Russian market.

Leonid Marmar, General Director at Amadeus Russia, said: “Today, after so long pause, the tourism industry really needs new ideas and solutions for a quick recovery. In addition, new motivators are needed to return people’s trust in travel and technology are needed to adapt to the new reality. Amadeus is ready to share its knowledge and experience, and we have joined the Kaspersky’s initiative with great enthusiasm. Similar programs with the participation of the Amadeus For Startups team are held all over the world, helping to transform ideas into promising business solutions. The winners of ‘Kaspersky Exploring Russia’ will also receive a special prize – a consultation from our international experts and a chance to present themselves to potential investors through Amadeus Startup Universe.”

Propeller Shannon will invite Altourism and maps.me to participate in the Boarding Pass Day program – a unique event where projects get the opportunity to be presented to leading players in the field of aviation and Travel Tech – and based on the results of their performance the companies will have a chance to get into the partner’s acceleration program.

Brian Marrinan, Managing Partner at Journey Partners and organizer of Propeller Shannon: “I have been really impressed by the companies I had been meeting for two weeks. All the finalists showed their best and demonstrated their potential. There are only three winners, but each participant will have a great future. I would like to thank organizers for the opportunity to communicate and work with these promising and smart people. Such companies develop our world and make it better.”

Also Starta Ventures experts chose maps.me as project that will get the opportunity to have an interview for Batch 10 with the Starta Ventures team, with no waiting period. In addition, members of this project will also be given the chance to participate in Starta’s Pre-accelerator program, where they will have the potential to move on to the main Global Residency program.

The accelerator had the aim of gathering interesting and promising tourism projects from different countries and then to help their creators implement their ideas further and overcome the crisis. Being tourism-related – and smart! – was basically all that a project needed to be in order to be enrolled in the Kaspersky Exploring Russia program. Participants didn’t even need to have a fully operating business, and their projects might have existed merely as ideas in their creators’ minds. There were also no geographical or national restrictions: participants could have been from any country. The accelerator managed to involve all parts of the world (except Antarctica). And the jury considered applications from the most unexpected corners of the planet: from Colombia to Australia. More than 500 applications were sent from 47 countries on five continents since the launch of ‘Kaspersky Exploring Russia’.

Kaspersky is a global cybersecurity company founded in 1997. Kaspersky’s deep threat intelligence and security expertise is constantly transforming into innovative security solutions and services to protect businesses, critical infrastructure, governments and consumers around the globe. The company’s comprehensive security portfolio includes leading endpoint protection and a number of specialized security solutions and services to fight sophisticated and evolving digital threats. Over 400 million users are protected by Kaspersky technologies and we help 250,000 corporate clients protect what matters to them most. Learn more at www.kaspersky.com.

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