Final competition of the BoostMeUp pre-acceleration programme: THREE MONTENEGRIN START-UPS READY TO LAUNCH ON THE GLOBAL MARKET
The final event of the first pre-acceleration programme in Montenegro – BoostMeUp, Montenegro Pitching Competition, was organised last night at The Chedi Luštica Bay Hotel.
After nine months of work and development, the seven most successful teams were provided with a unique opportunity to present their creative and innovative ideas to the public in just a few minutes, thus taking the first step towards a national, regional, European and global market.
Out of 47 applicants, 19 of them entered the Bootcamp; of them, seven teams were given the opportunity to present their ideas at the final event, where three best programme participants were selected. First place was won by Orhis, second place went to the Flourish team, while the Amaturn team was third. Awards for the best participants were provided by Crnogorski Telekom.
The national programme aimed at developing the Montenegrin innovation ecosystem and supporting young people whose ideas constitute the future of digital and business environment of Montenegro was implemented by a consortium led by the “Tehnopolis” Innovation and Entrepreneurship Centre, in cooperation with the Science and Technology Park of Montenegro and Amplitudo company.
We worked hard, completed seven modules, built knowledge and skills, made prototypes and now we finally present the results of teams that have developed their start-up ideas with experts recognised across the region and Europe in the field of innovation. In the previous period, a lot has been done to adequately encourage a high-quality and accelerated development of the innovation-business community in Montenegro, primarily through the adoption of the Smart Specialisation Strategy and two new laws. The preconditions have been created for the community to grow. These ideas and teams will be the first users of the newly created environment, Ratko Bataković, Tehnopolis CEO, said at the final event.
The entire project was implemented under the auspices of the Ministry of Science of Montenegro.
This is in fact part of the start-up support programme adopted by the Government in late 2018. Our innovation ecosystem was not functional. This is no longer the case today, thanks to the laws that encourage innovation and provide numerous incentives for start-ups. The needs for digital solutions are inexhaustible, and we are able to find and respond to those niches, as we have seen tonight. Our vision is future innovative digital Montenegro, Minister of Science Dr. Sanja Damjanović said.
Furthermore, the minister pointed out that she was satisfied with the quality of ideas and human capacities at the disposal of Montenegro: Tonight we had great teams and the competition jury had a difficult task to choose the best ideas, because all ideas were really great and we had a new Montenegro in front of us with young people as the proponents of our innovative and technological development, who will help our IT sector to become our future branch of industry.
The winning team Orhis expressed its satisfaction with the participation and the programme itself.
We are extremely pleased with the programme because before applying to it we were not even aware of what we would learn, what experiences we would gain, and what kind of people we would meet. Eventually, it turned out that the whole experience and working with mentors helped us to succeed, i.e., win the competition. I must add that we have taken part in various programmes, but none were nearly as good as this one. However, additional work and development of the product itself are ahead of us, and we will try to develop it to the final version and to enter the market with the help of Tehnopolis and all partners in Montenegro and abroad.
All seven teams offered a variety of innovative solutions – ranging from digital solutions for agriculture, through new tools for creating multimedia, to applications for improving emotional and social intelligence.
Orhis – a smart pot that grows a plant for you
The winning team Orhis presented an automated smart pot that enables improved, easier and more interesting plant cultivation. How? By creating a sensor system that collects data determining all the necessary factors for plant development, such as: automation of the irrigation process, antibacterial effect, growth stimulation, collection of energy with solar panels. Orhis smart pot reads all parameters in real time, providing the user with precise insight into the condition of the plant.
Flourish – an application with which you become the best version of yourself
The Flourish team believes that using their app can change an individual’s life. It is based on the fact that emotional and social intelligence, unlike cognitive, can develop throughout life. Their solution is a “social-emotional coach” of a kind, which enables career development and relationship improvement, contributing to the state of general happiness. One only needs to dedicate 10 minutes a day to educational games within the application, specifically tailored to the needs of the individual.
Amaturn – your personal video creation studio
The Amaturn team has found a way to make everyone a professional in creating video content in a completely new, fast and practical way. Their product is actually a small, practical box composed of even smaller elements placed in different positions from which you would like to capture a certain situation. The elements connect to a smartphone, from where it can be easily edited and used. In this way, with just one device, the project team has replaced a lot of expensive and bulky equipment that would otherwise be necessary for recording quality video and audio from multiple positions.
Solar Villager – an innovative solution that will replace you in the vineyard
The Solar Villager team created a vineyard monitoring and protection system. Their concept is focused on solving several problems: lack of automation of production processes, loss of quality, human resources, monitoring. The starting point was the fact that more than 70 percent of vineyard growers still do not use machines, which results in large losses of all resources. This self-sustainable system is in fact a device that controls the growth of vine with the use of sensors in the field, irrigation and protection from numerous adversities.
Partour – the adventure you get when you combine parkour and tourism
Among the problems you encounter if you like to travel, as the Partour team does, there are often small budgets, lack of information and sometimes the inability to experience everything that a location has to offer without paying a tour guide and bearing additional costs. This team’s solution is a digital tourist guide based on the concept of an adventure game, i.e., the experience of tourism as a video game. Thus, when you visit a cultural or historical monument, turn on their application, which will recognise the location and bring it to life before your eyes. That’s where the game begins. Furthermore, the user gets information about the most fun places in the city, the best local food and other things that may be of interest to tourists.
SunBun – cooking that does not consume electricity, but protects health and the environment
The SunBun team has demonstrated how food can be cooked without the use of electricity or gas, solely on solar energy. SunBun cooker is a product that collects sunlight and accumulates enough heat to process food, after 35-45 minutes. In addition to saving money, it has benefits for our health, while preserving the environment. The development of this idea is supported by the fact that around 2 billion people in the world have limited access to cooking appliances.
Seljak.me – a digitalised market for a digitalised farmer
Seljak.me is the solution to some of the biggest problems encountered by the Montenegrin farmers – the sale of products and the unavailability of information needed on a daily basis. That is why this team has created a unique digital market for farmers, which allows them to place a product on the market in just a few clicks, advertise it and sell it while, without wasting time, doing their job on the farm. In addition, Seljak.me provides unlimited access to information and advice that can be crucial for their production.
The winners were selected by the competition jury, chaired by Dr. Sanja Damjanović (Ministry of Science of Montenegro), and including: Vanja Zorić Šundić (Innovation and Entrepreneurship Centre Tehnopolis), Velibor Bošković (Science and Technology Park of Montenegro), Nebojša Niković (Amplitudo), Dušan Banović (Crnogorski Telekom), Tarik Zaimović (Bild studio) and Blažo Crvenica (Uhura Solutions).