Youth to Innovatio...

Youth to Innovation (Y2i) Contest Winners Announced

The Eastern European and Central Asian business incubators network (ecabit) announces the winners of the 2009 Y2i contest on innovative ideas in business and business incubation management addressing young people up to the age of 30. The contest aims to support innovative thinking and action among young people in both entrepreneurship and business incubation.

The Eastern European and Central Asian business incubators network (www.ecabit.org) announced the winners of the 2009 Y2i "Youth to Innovation" contest on innovative ideas in business and incubation management among young people has announced its 2009 winners!

The contest aims to support innovative thinking and action among young people in both entrepreneurship and business incubation. 21 applications for the 2009 Y2i contest included the following countries: Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, FYRO Macedonia, Moldova, Romania, Russia. Eligible candidates were young people from Eastern European and Central Asian countries with innovative business ideas.

The evaluation jury focused on the relevance of the innovation, its feasibility and sustainability potentials, the current planning stage of the innovation, and on the skills and experiences of the applicant related to the innovation proposal. Innovation was defined as product and service or process innovation in business and in business incubation.

Three winners from each of the thre contest categories on business incubatee innovation, business innovation, and innovation in business incubation were chosen, as follows:

1st winner - "Innovation in Business Incubation" category
Alexei Leontiev (Russian Union of Innovation and Technology Centres) presented an innovative idea that aims to develop structured incubation cluster projects by systematically consolidating the required resources and entrepreneurial effort of specialized techno-hubs for a coordinated business incubation process. Alexei graduated with a degree in electronics and has experience in business incubation.

2nd winner - "Incubatee Innovation" category
Dean Krstevski (Broker Inc. DOOEL Skopje, FYRO Macedonia) presented an innovative idea aimed at developing a web-based platform that covers all sectors of the financial market and allow users to evaluate investment and loan options. Dean graduated with a degree in economics and owns the company Broker Inc. The application is based on a business idea that is already in an advanced planning and development stage. Read the Broker Inc. success story published on iDISC in January 2009!

3rd winner - "Business Innovation – non-incubatee" category
Steliana Economu (Romania) presented an innovative idea that aims to improve rural tourism combining different leasure activities with learning in a rural environment. Steliana graduated with a degree in economics and obtained a Master's degree in project management. The application is based on a fully prepared concept and business plan.

In addition, the jury acknowledges two applications with a certificate of achievement in the Y2i contest. These candidates will be reserves for infoDev-supported participation at the 3rd infoDev Global Forum on Busines Incubation, in case 1-2 of the above winners are unable to participate:

1st selection: Pepovski Darko, a student at University Cyril & Methodius in Skopje, FYRO Macedonia, presented an idea for improving the design of glass bottles. Bottles would be made of a stretchy, strong, shiny, and high-quality textile material. The aim of using stretch material is to provide a practical solution that can be molded into the shape of a bottle and be a protective packaging for facilitating transport and decreasing transportation costs.

2nd selection: Tatyana Shpuling from SODBI business incubator, Shymkent, presented an idea aimed at developing a process for integrating energy-saving solutions with the optimization of infrastructure of the SODBI Business Incubator. This process will enhance the quality of incubation services and reduce the incubator’s maintenance costs, making it a unique facility for local businesses.

Members of the Y2i contest jury included Ms. Sophia Muradyan (EIF Yerevan, Armenia), Ms. Marija Armenski (YES incubator Skopje, FYRO Macedonia), Ms. Inna Gagauz (Kharkov Technologies, Ukraine), Ms. Olga Lapteva  (Innovation Incubator Tambov, Russia), Mr. Ruslan Stefanov (ARC Fund Sofia, Bulgaria), Mr. Radu Ticiu (IT Incubator Timisoara, Romania) and Mr. Andriy Tarelin (Kharkov Technologies, Ukraine). All jury members represent members of infoDev's Global Network of Business Incubators - click on the organization link to access the incubator profile!

According to Y2i Project Manager Radu Big (CDIMM Maramures, Romania, a member of infoDev's Global Network of Business Incubators), the 2009 contest showed an important interest of young entrepreneurs and experts to join this initiative, as well as excellent cooperation among project staff and jury members to successfully implement the project. The three winners will be given the chance to present and discuss their plans with potential business partners and investors during infoDev’s 3rd Global Forum on Business Incubation in Florianopolis, Brazil in October 2009.

Y2i would like to thank all applicants for their participation and wishes success for the future of the innovations. Y2i also thanks all its contest partners including the ECAbit network (www.ecabit.org), infoDev (www.infoDev.org), Herbstwest Design (www.herbstwest.de) and the network and jury members for their support. For 2010, the Y2i team and ECAbit plan to extend the eligibility to other regions of infoDev's Global Network of Business Incubators.

For further information, please contact Project Manager Radu Big at CDIMM Maramures, Romania by email: radu@cdimm.org.


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