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‘Female Viagra,’ endometriosis test win prizes at Startup Village final

An innovative drug described by Skolkovo’s biomed cluster as “female Viagra” and a potentially groundbreaking system of diagnosing endometriosis – a medical condition that affects millions of women around the world – were among the winning projects at this year’s Startup Village.

Dmitry Golikov, inventor of a "female Viagra," and his prize representing 5 million rubles. Photo: Sk.ru.

This year’s event had two competitions: one for projects that are still at the stage of ideas, and one for established startups that are already up and running as a business. Of the 30 finalists, six winners were announced: three in each competition.

The first place in the Contest for Companies – and 5 million rubles ($88,000) – went to entrepreneur Dmitry Golikov for an innovative medical treatment described by Skolkovo’s biomed cluster as “a female Viagra.” Second place, and 3 million rubles, went to BioMicroGels, a company that makes harmless reagents for cleaning pipes and hard surfaces. Third place and 2 million rubles went to Ksenia Zyuzina and her company OT-82, which has devised an innovative treatment for treating white cell diseases.

The winners of the Ideas Contest each won 1 million rubles to develop their projects. The winners were: Kirill Kulakov, who won the IT category with his project Hello Guide; Vyacheslav Kaimin, who won the industrial category with a project named Vibratsii.net (No Vibrations); and Yana Garazha, who won the biomed category with her Endometrics project for diagnosing endometriosis – a painful condition caused by tissue growing incorrectly outside the uterus.

Addressing the finalists and the audience before the results were announced, Pekka Viljakainen, a Finnish advisor to the Skolkovo Foundation, the driving force behind the Startup Village, and a successful entrepreneur himself, told those who did not win not to give up.

“The winners today: I’m happy for you. Those who don’t win today: you’ll do better tomorrow. Don’t give up,” he said, urging them to “improve, improve, improve.”

Also present at the competition final was Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich, fresh from playing a basketball match that pitched government representatives against Skolkovo Foundation staff.

“You’ve already won, if you’re here,” Dvorkovich told the finalists. “It means you believe you can achieve success and make money. Skolkovo will help you, as will investors, mentors and [business] angels. I hope everyone here will get a chance,” said the deputy premier, before finishing with a toast.

“To Skolkovo, to victory, and to our country, which can be successful in the world, if you are successful.”