Enterprise startup awards company Tech Trailblazers has announced a pair of new regional partnerships aimed at encouraging entrants from Eastern European.
Established by 18-year-old entrepreneur Kirill Chekanov (pictured, top) in February 2013, new Russian partner Hippflow is a kind of Twitter for startups, allowing early-stage ventures to quickly and easily share news and data with investors, mentors, and other interested parties for free.
The network currently has a bespoke membership of 500 investors and mentors as well as 100 startups to its name - 20 per cent of which come from Russia. Despite only being formed earlier this year, it's already thought to be valued at $1 million (around £650,000).
"I am pleased to be able to work with the Tech Trailblazers Awards to introduce the Hippflow service to the Trailblazer participants. The Russian market needs initiatives like the Tech Trailblazers...a truly global, independent contest warmly welcoming entrants from Russia's vibrant tech startup scene," commented Chekanov.
Rose Ross, founder of Tech Trailblazers, was equally excited to confirm the tie-up: "It's a pleasure to be able to work with Kirill, such a young entrepreneur who has developed a uniquely straightforward tracking application for the startup market. I'm looking forward to seeing Hippflow's subscriber base skyrocket with uptake from our contests and alumni and for the Tech Trailblazers to be set alight by Russia's finest enterprise tech startups."
Tech Trailblazers also recently announced it is joining forces with iHUB of Seed Forum Ukraine, a non-profit ICT startup incubator funded by a grant from the Norwegian Government and based in Kiev.
As part of the new partnerships, all entrants from the Ukraine, Russia and Kazakhstan will now qualify for entry via the Emerging Markets category, which costs just $50 (roughly £30).
The Tech Trailblazers Awards is accepting entries until 12 September, with regional winners set to be announced mid-October and overall category winners celebrated on 3 December. The entry fee for technology-specific categories is set at $295 (£195).
Tech Trailblazers recognises enterprise information startups from around the world in eight main categories: big data, cloud, mobile, networking, security, storage, sustainable IT and virtualisation. It also doles out region-specific awards, like the Emerging Markets Trailblazers, which is designed to recognise new ventures from up-and-coming BRIC nations.
Other notable regional partners of the Tech Trailblazers Awards include London-based startup community Innovation Warehouse, African tech hub network AfriLabs, and Chinese "mentorship-driven seed-funding" scheme China-Axlr8r.