Kazakh start-ups win funding at SAP UP competition in Russia

NUR-SULTAN – Kazakh start-ups Kishkentai and Kid Security won funding as prizes in the SAP UP competition in Moscow, Russia, Dec. 18.

Photo credit: toppress.kz.

“We were in Moscow for three days. It was very interesting… The money will help us with our plans, because we have to pay for designers, methodologists, developers – as you know, it’s not as simple as just making a product. Children should be able to enjoy it,” said Kid Security startup founder Asat Ashamanov.

The innovation the projects demonstrated was the main criterion for selection in the competition, SAP CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States) General Director Andrei Filatov told vedomosti.ru.

“Innovation is the main criterion for the selection of projects this year,” he explained. “Any entrepreneur who uses new ideas in solving social problems could participate in the competition: using technology or innovative approaches in organising his project. For the selection and analysis of applications, the SAP [Systems, Applications and Products in Data Processing] Innovation Management platform was used. The top 10 finalists took part in an educational event with SAP top managers and leading experts in the field of social entrepreneurship.”

Kid Security, which won 150,000 roubles (US$2,401) to support further development, is a mobile parental control service to help keep children and adolescents safe by letting their parents know where they are and what they are doing. The application is gamified.

“We launched our project a year ago, and we started the monetisation process this fall. Our app helps parents to ensure their child is safe, to know their location,” said Ashamanov.

The next step for the project is a loyalty control function that allows children to earn more time online.

“Currently we are launching loyalty control by the parents, so parents can allocate time for particular apps – for example, YouTube for one hour. The advantage of it for a child is that a child can perform daily tasks – for example, doing well at school. If you get a five [the highest grade] in math, your parents give you coins. These coins can be saved and exchanged for a gift or for additional time online. So, if a child runs out of time online available to them, they can beg their parents or read a book and exchange it for more coins that will get them 30 minutes more. It’s useless to limit a child’s time online. Total control is useless, because children can circumvent it – they are smart today. We want parents to be able to negotiate with children,” said Ashmanov.

The app aims to conquer not only the Kazakh market but the foreign one as well.

“Eighty percent of our clients are from abroad, we are active in Ukraine and Russia. We just released an English translation for our app to start working on the European market.”

The Kishkentai social project also won 150,000 roubles, as well as sessions of design thinking with SAP experts and personal consultations from the IDEA-class team. Kishkentai develops simulators for the rehabilitation and development of children, to be used by both specialists and parents at home. As of today, based on the social workshop, sets for breathing exercises and sensory exploration and touch boxes for specialists and parents of children with special needs are being developed by the project team.