The internal startup incubator Innovation Sandbox took place on December 21st and the first place was won by QA Automation Engineer Alexandar Petsoranski from the Bulgarian office of Coherent Solutions. The winner of the 6th season is an eMarketChain project, that is planned to create an e-commerce platform using blockchain technology, which will allow to eliminate commissions to intermediaries and offer the consumer goods at the best prices.
Alexandar aimed to compete with the leaders of the e-commerce market and that made it possible for his idea to succeed and win the first prize.
The competitive advantage of the solution is the integration of the EMAC token, which will help make all payments on the platform instant and more secure. In addition, the use of blockchain technology will allow the users to avoid the fees of payment systems and online stores, therefore significantly reducing the cost of products for the end consumer.
Alexandar Petsoranski, the winner of Demo Day #6:
„The book „Blue Ocean Strategy“ says that if you combine two ideas into one, it will make the solution unique, and you will have no competitors. My platform will be exactly this: today there are no such projects either in the field of e-commerce or among services that use blockchain technology. If I came up with an ordinary e-commerce application, it wouldn’t be so great: there are a lot of them nowadays, the industry is growing with a huge number of users, especially nowadays with the global pandemic.„
According to the idea creator, the participation in the incubator helped him evolve this ambitious idea into a tangible project with a high-quality research of the potential market, a clear budget, and a monetization scheme.
— This is the first company I know where such an initiative is held for employees. The head of Innovation Sandbox, Alex Drobyshevsky, helped me with many things that I didn’t know: how to make a financial plan, overcome competitors, and so on. The next big task will be fundraising: to create a domain and servers, to build an infrastructure for the development of the idea, it will take a lot of effort andfinance, so I plan to search for investors.
Along with raising funds for the development of the project, Alexandar Petsoranski plans to expand the team: as of now, he is its only participant.
— To create the infrastructure, I will need several backend and frontend developers. I know the basic technologies and what the product should look like. A good sales manager and marketer are also important. I hope that they will help to build a promotion strategy, and then it will be possible to start selling the idea.
The second place this season was taken by a project for recruitment and sourcing solution called InStaff. EasyChamp, an application for creating and processing competitions in popular sports and eSports, was on third place. Every winner received a cash prize that will possibly be invested in the further development of the project.
Within 20 weeks, the participants of the corporate startup incubator worked on presentations, MVPs, and prototypes of their solutions to present them to the jury on Demo Day. The event in the online format allowed our colleagues to join from any office of the company, both in Belarus and abroad.
The rules also remained unchanged: each participant had 3 minutes to pitch, demo and answer questions. The creators of the projects proved the real competitive advantages of their solutions to the jury, the depth of the target market understanding, and the prospects of the monetization model. A total of 7 projects took part in this Innovation Sandbox season.
Even though the general concept of the incubator has remained the same as well as the rules, the organizers still notice some differences from the previous seasons.
Alex Drobyshevsky, Chief Organizer of Innovation Sandbox:
„This time, employees from most of our offices joined the initiative – and I’m, of course, happy about it. For the first time, FinTech projects appeared in the incubator – and two at once, which is quite interesting. And if in the last season there was a participant a few steps ahead– because he had been working on the implementation of his idea for a year, then this time there was no such gap. In general, people approached the program more responsibly, with an understanding of why they participate and what they want to get in the end: none of the participants came up with a bare idea, all of them were partially worked out already“.
Together with the end of Demo Day #6, the next season of Innovation Sandbox is approaching. As Alex Drobyshevsky admits, he is looking forward to this very moment: the organizers already have plans to expand the program and expectations from the new participants, some of whom have already expressed a desire to join the new season.
— Perhaps by next season we will expand the so-called product design track, where there will be one training course on design thinking. We plan to have regular classes so that participants come up with the product itself and make the prototypes a little more professionally. In the new season, I would like to see new ambitious ideas and a desire to challenge the current major market players, or even open and form their own – I would be very proud of such projects.
We congratulate Alexandar Petsoranski on the victory and wish the implementation of all contemplated ideas and plans in the nearest future!