01
May 2020

Self-isolation is of benefit for Smartheads

On April 27, the Innovation Support Fund outlined projects to be financed under the "UMNIK" program. Among them is GreenPL startup of students of the Faculty of Information Technologies of Moscow Poly, which received a grant worth 500 000 Russian Roubles.
We talked to students and found out how a project created in the first university year grew over 4 years, provided graduation topics and attracted financing from the nuclear industry during the period of self-isolation.

The Team

Now a GreenPL platform educational module is a subject area of ​​research activities conducted by students of Moscow Poly working out a project
Today the team consists of 5 people: three from Moscow Poly (Vladislav Ploskov, Nikita Samoylov and Sergey Vishnevsky) and two third-party specialists (a designer and a methodologist).
Nikita is responsible for the business part and all legal issues of the company. Vladislav is a developer of server code and data processing algorithms; he is also the architect of all GreenPL information systems. Sergey is developing a new landing page for GreenPL and GreenPL Console - an organization management service with a Learning Monitoring System (LMS).

The Project

Students are developing an Internet-of-Things platform designed to educate schoolchildren and students. After completing the course on this platform, the student receives the competence of the future "Internet of things". Along with this, it is a full-fledged IoT platform. Training courses are mainly written by the developers themselves, but sometimes they involve external methodologists.

The Contest

We decided to take part in the "UMNIK"-Contest (literally - "Smarthead"), because contests from the Bortnik Fund are popular in the university environment. The first time I heard about it was the saying of a student entrepreneurship teacher, Nadezhda Korosteleva.
The selection consisted of several stages. Firstly, it was necessary to correctly compose and submit an application for the correspondence stage. The fund mainly chose those contestants who have expertise in the selected topic. This was followed by a full-time stage, where softskills, confidence in one's product and idea are evaluated. It is necessary to justify the business part, the prospects for commercialization. Here we were helped by the fact that we often present our project.

The GreenPL team took part in 2017 for the first time in 2017, but we did not qualify for the final. At that moment, the idea and the product itself were not yet fully developed. In September 2019, we submitted an application for the “Start” competition of the Bortnik Fund, went on full-time defense, but could not win. After that, they decided to go from the bottom, from the contest "Clever Man", which full-time defense took place in December 2019. We prepared well and won a grant, which turned out to be very useful for us. It will help to keep the team in time to overcome the consequences of the pandemic. The grant will go to pay for the work of methodologists who develop educational materials, and developers who will complete the existing backlog. This will allow the platform to occupy its niche in the market of educational services.
At least because it gives the most important feedback from experts who are able to objectively evaluate the idea from the outside, it’s worth participating in such contests. If you go straight to the market with an unproven idea, you can lose a lot.

Development

This year we are starting to develop an industrial platform of the Internet of things for small and medium-sized businesses together with the company of the atomic industry "Moscow factory FIZPRIBOR". They plan to enter new markets, primarily the automation market for small and medium-sized businesses. For these four The project has grown significantly over the past year. In 2018, we just started financial activities, and in 2020 our turnover has already grown 3 times in comparison with 2019. And we continue to develop.

Pilot versions of the module are already being used at school No. 29 of Podolsk, a branch of the Russian State Humanitarian University in Orekhovo-Zuevo and the Oncology Center named after Dima Rogachyov.

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