On November 27, 2020, within the framework of the international virtual exhibition and online conference VOGEC 2020 (vogec.online), the final of the competition for startup projects in the oil and gas industry – Atyrau Energy Challenge was held.
The Challenge was organized by the Innovation Center and the international accelerator Atyrau HUB in cooperation with Petrocouncil, as well as the Higher College APEC PetroTechnic with the support of the Akimat of Atyrau Oblast, NCE Atameken and Astana Hub.
The general sponsors of the competition were Kazakhstani IT companies: Norsec Delta Projects, Ayacom, IQ Solutions, as well as Beeline as a special partner of the event.
In total, 145 applications were collected from Nur-Sultan, Almaty, Petropavlovsk, Karaganda, Atyrau, Aktobe, Aktau, and Bishkek (Kyrgyzstan), among which 29 teams were pre-selected to participate in mentoring sessions with industry experts. After a week of intensive work with top mentors, the top 11 teams with the best solutions were selected in the semifinals, with the participation of the jury members: Mirat Akhmetsadykov – Managing Partner of Angel Investors Club, Asset Dosymkhanov – Director of Corporate Innovation Astana HUB, Anarbek Utegulov – Head of Business Incubator NURIS , Yerzhan Ryskaliev – Co-founder of Clockster, Denis Davydov – Founder of the Dimpulse expert competence platform.
The expert jury at the final included heads and representatives of large O&G companies: Fabio Martinelli (KPO Interface and Integration Manager), Yerkin Yerniyazov (Director of Norsec Delta Projects), Dmitry Salov (General Manager for IT and Information Management NCOC), Kassym Abzhanov (Founder and Shareholder of Sitek Caspian), Azamat Bisembiyev (Technical Director of Ayacom), Begars Usembayev (Director of Business Development / Director of the IQ Solutions Branch at the AIFC), Baurzhan Kassenov (Champion of TCO Digitalization), Marlen Sikhayev (Managing Director of Astana Hub) and Anuar Dairov (Head of B2B Marketing Service at Beeline).
According to the results of the competition, the first place was successfully won by the Digital Hunters team from the Nur-Sultan. The team members are students from universities such as HSE, Tyumen State University, Nazarbayev University, Astana IT University and the University of Duisburg-Essen. The second place was taken by the It’s aqyl team (a combined team from Almaty and Atyrau) from the International University of Information Technologies, and the third place was taken by the team of students from KBTU – Young Innovators (Almaty, Atyrau, Nur-Sultan). The prize fund of the competition was 2 million tenge.
The championship was attended by 150 visitors from Russia, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, representatives of companies such as Tengizchevroil, NCOC, Microsoft, EmbaMunaigas, Schlumberger, Honeywell, Weatherford Oilfield Services LLP and many others.
The moderator was Alim Khamitov, Chairman of the Board of the MOST Business Incubator, Head of the Corporate Innovation Department of the Fintech Hub of the AIFC.
The Atyrau Energy Challenge was held as part of the VOGEC 2020 exhibition, which brought together the largest representatives of O&G and oilfield service companies, suppliers, IT companies and specialized universities of Kazakhstan, Russia and abroad. In total, the event was attended by over 400 people.
“This year we held the event in the most productive format. For a week and a half, with strong expert mentoring support, startups have come a long way from generating ideas for solutions to creating real business models, and someone managed to create prototypes. Throughout the entire period, we closely followed the success of each team. Our partners and I want the prize fund to serve as the first investment in the development of our participants’ projects. Some teams will receive invitations to reside in our Hub, ”said Director of Atyrau Hub, Yulia Kim.