Atyrau Energy Challenge: How to develop your IT startup

Atyrau Energy Challenge 2019 became a launching pad for starting company Neural Shield — winner of the contest.

Such projects as Atyrau Energy Challenge help young talents to establish a contact with potential customers, advertise their products and solutions.

Neural Shield is a remarkable example of this; it started its operation in October 2019. The company consisting of three persons have been already implementing its IT solutions and developing innovation systems.

Prior to their participation in Atyrau Energy Challenge and foundation of the company the young software developers led by Sergey Kim were dealing with freelance, developing websites and applications. Currently they are aimed at the work in the field of artificial intellect, in particular, in the field of machine learning and artificial neural networks.

They deal with exclusion of human factor in production. They develop the system on the basis of neural networks, which will identify safety violations.

“In other words not a person will walk around and identify safety violations, but machines. Cameras will identify violations and send signal to operator’s panel”, – said Sergey Kim – director of Neural Shield.

Fingerprints reading and facial recognition system have been already developed and implemented in the test run mode on the basis of APEC.

The system automatically keeps record and statistics of work time of employees, increases safety and excludes entrance of unauthorized personnel to service premises, excludes human factor and possibility of deception.

“For example, there is access monitoring and control system available, which uses RFID cards, by means of which employees are admitted to office or facility. But this card, for example, can be given to security guard, who will “put it through” and the employee “will appear” at work place. Whereas face of a person cannot be given to anyone”, – detailed the head of the company.

The developers aim at implementation of their solutions in the field of safety and monitoring on medium and large size enterprises of the country as well as at creation of smart cities.

According to Sergey it is difficult to develop such IT projects in Kazakhstan. Today they need promotion.

And this is where such projects as Atyrau Energy Challenge help, which allow to build contacts with potential customers and open prospects for cooperation with large size companies.

“We decided to participate in the contest after announcement in Facebook. And we did not expect to win. In the course of Atyrau Energy Challenge we established many contacts, relations. For example, currently we are cooperating with APEC”, – shared S. Kim.

Software developer from all over Kazakhstan may participate in the contest. They have to create solutions for ensuring compliance with safety rules and environmental compatibility, facilitation of warehousing and storage of materials, reduction of paper document turnover as well as for industrial Internet of things. In order to consider and select submitted requests of participants the organizing party establishes a council of experts consisting of TCO, KMG, NCOC and KPO employees as well as of industry experts involved from other companies.

In the year 2019 more than 100 requests were submitted for participation in the contest, 42 projects from which were selected. The contest was supported by such large oil and gas operators as North Caspian Operating Company (NCOC) and Tengizchevroil LLP as well as Astana HUB – international technopark of IT startups located in the capital city of Kazakhstan – Nur-Sultan city. To the prize fund equal to 10 000 US dollars contributed Norsec Delta Projects (supplier of IT-services and equipment), SITEK Caspian (design, installation and commissioning of electric devices in oil and gas industry) and Ayacom (information technologies and automation).