2019-05-15 08:30Press release

SmiLe exports business development to Russia

SmiLe Incubator is the only international organization that has been chosen to provide expertise in business development at the “Startup Challenge 2019” accelerator arranged by Skolkovo, Russia’s largest life science incubator, in Moscow. SmiLe was selected following a procurement process in which several international organizations participated. The accelerator was initiated by AstraZeneca, which is arranging it in collaboration with Skolkovo in 2019.



SmiLe continues to expand its participation in major European startup initiatives. This time Smile Incubator was chosen in competition with other international organizations to provide coaching in business development for Russian startup companies in the “Startup Challenge 2019” accelerator. The purpose of the accelerator is to reveal the most promising innovative solutions among Russian startup companies in the fields of cancer, cardiovascular disease, disorders of the renal, metabolic and respiratory systems, as well as eHealth.


Evaluation of the applications began on April 30, and the accelerator finalists will be determined after the summer.


SmiLe Incubator will receive the six finalists in Lund to coach the participants for two days this autumn, after which SmiLe will provide continued business development support in online seminars on two occasions this autumn. SmiLe will also visit Skolkovo prior to the final.


“We are extremely pleased that our solid knowledge of business development and our effective procedures for coaching startup companies have drawn international attention once again, and it will be exciting to have this opportunity to help the best life science companies in Russia,” says Ebba Fåhraeus, CEO of SmiLe Incubator at Medicon Village in Lund.


The winners will get to attend a Boot Camp where they will receive individual development plans for their projects. They will receive mentoring from experts at AstraZeneca, individual support from project managers at the Skolkovo Foundation, and business development support from Russian and international experts, where SmiLe Incubator will provide the international expertise. The winners in each category will also be eligible to receive up to RUB 5 million in funding for their projects from the Skolkovo Foundation.


“The ‘Startup Challenge’ arranged by AstraZeneca and Skolkovo has already proven its effectiveness with respect to identifying and developing the brightest projects in the field of biomedicine. Last year’s participants have made significant progress in their developments: they have become active participants of the Skolkovo ecosystem and are continuing their scientific cooperation with AstraZeneca. We expect that this year’s participants will also suggest interesting and promising projects, and that our accelerator program will help them to advance to a new level,” says Kamila Zarubina, accelerator director within the biomedical cluster, Skolkovo.


For more information, please contact: Thomas Unt, business developer and responsible for contacts with Skolkovo, +46 (0)70-8201070, thomas@smileincubator.life,  or Ebba Fåhraeus, CEO of SmiLe Incubator, +46(0)73-400 04 33, ebba@smileincubator.life



For more information about the “Startup Challenge 2019”: https://azchallenge.sk.ru


About the Skolkovo Foundation: The Skolkovo Foundation is a non-profit organization that was founded in 2010 to promote companies in a number of fields, including energy, nuclear power, space, IT and life science. Skolkovo has had over 1900 startup companies as members of the incubator and is Europe’s largest science park. www.sk.ru

Language: English

About SmiLe Venture Hub – Pioneering Life Science Innovations

SmiLe is a life science business incubator based in Medicon Village in Lund. SmiLe Incubator helps entrepreneurs to commercialize their ideas. There are currently more than 20 companies in SmiLe, which together with alumni companies, have attracted more than EUR 225 million in venture capital to date since 2014. SmiLe offers business coaching, a large network of contacts and a dynamic community, as well as many well-equipped laboratories, which is unique of its kind in Sweden. SmiLe is a non-profit organization and receives basic funding from Region Skåne, Lund Municipality, Lund University and Medicon Village. SmiLe’s listed alumni companies have a market capitalization of almost EUR 590 million (Q4 2018). www.smileincubator.life