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Russia may slow down internet to punish foreign Internet giants

Many foreign Internet firms avoid decisions of Russian courts and state bodies, bringing up the fact that they work under the laws of the countries in which they are registered. Russia came up with how to terminate this problem. Internet firms found guilty of breaking Russian law could soon see the speeds at which their websites load cut by the Russian authorities.

The idea was arose during discussion of the FAS case against Google. In February 2015, the FAS started an investigation against Google for the complaint from Yandex, which accused Google of performing anti-competitive practices. Russia acknowledged Google guilty of violating the law. Google was fined $7.4 million.

The new restrictions would target corporations which are able to avoid judgments from Russian courts because they are formally registered abroad. The initiative of the new law is in the final stages of approval and is being tested in the presidential administration.

But while mobile operators already have equipment in place to slow Internet speeds, other companies do not. Technically, it is much more complicated to realize than banning, especially for fixed-line operators who have a huge decentralized network. Mobile operators are easier to do this because they already have deep-packet inspection systems: they let consumers to access a part of the site by blocking or slowing down access to others. In case of companies, who don’t have such systems, its installation will need investments worth hundreds of millions of dollars. These complex and costly efforts would go to waste because users could use tools for avoiding such limitations. Operators are not enthusiastic about the initiative. They report negative impact of introduction of such legislative restrictions: subscribers would blame the crporations for slowing down access to Youtube or Facebook.

Enterprise EMEA conference in London

Enterprise EMEA 2017 will take place on May 23 in London. It is hosted by Widebridge Group, a boutique investment bank focused on M&A and capital raising for technology companies. Among the speakers and attendees there will be representatives from companies like: Microsoft, Gemalto, and SAP as well as investors from firms such as Atomico, Lakestar, Index Ventures, Dawn Capital, KKR, and Blackstone.

Enterprise EMEA is an invite-only conference focused on enterprise software. It is meant for leaders in enterprise technology to connect, show their ideas and talk about industry trends. Attendees include the top EMEA region enterprise technology firms from growth to later stage, decision makers of top EMEA enterprises, top VC and private equity investors, and M&A managers of the world’s biggest technology firms.

According to the organizers, there is a lack of enterprise software events which enclose the whole enterprise. Therefore the event will be focused on enterprise technology – for startups, investors, and the ultimate buyers of these companies to all meet to raise more investments, more knowledge exchange and more contracts.

Many firms which participated in the conference last year have raised large rounds of funding or exited with big acquisitions over the last 12 months, such as London’s Weaveworks, which raised $15 million last May from Google Ventures and Accel, or PNMsoft, which was acquired by Genpact.

Piwik Pro from Poland raises $2M

Polish product Piwik Pro has recently raised capital from the Warsaw Equity Group to promote a new marketing technology suite which will offer data-sensitive companies with 100% control of their data and compliance with privacy regulations.

Piwik PRO offers solutions in the field of web analytics based on Piwik – leading analytics platform of open-source type that c
an be downloaded and used for free. Unlike other solutions such as Google Analytics, Piwik provides its users complete control over their data and meets requirements of the strictest regulations on privacy protection in the Internet. For this reason, the project gains popularity in Germany and other countries where such regulations are strictly enforced. Piwik is used by 1.3% of all websites in the world and has been fully translated into more than 50 languages. The list of previous clients includes among others: HP, the European Commission, government agencies in Canada and New Zealand, international financial institutions, Accenture, Government of Netherlands.

Piwik PRO is the answer to demand for services for businesses and government institutions related to Piwik platform to analyze data on open-source license. The fundamental services are Piwik Cloud and Piwik Enterprise, which provide first-class services in hosting and consulting. Piwik Cloud is cloud hosting for those customers who want to retain full control over data brought by Piwik, while utilizing the possibility of keeping these data on secure servers of Piwik PRO. Piwik Enterprise is a service for users of Piwik, providing consultancy, support and adaptation of software to the needs of users who store data on their own servers.

This is one of the largest investments in the region to date. Funding is hard in Central Europe and it points to a way forward for tech-savvy and privacy-leaning startups in Poland and all Middle Europe.

The biggest tech conference in CEE region

Already for the 11th time representatives of startups will be able to participate in the infoShare conference – the largest event for technology industry in Central and Eastern Europe. The event will take place on 17-19 of May in Gdansk, Poland. It will be accompanied by a Startup Contest, one of the biggest startup competitions in the CEE region. It is organized by the infoShare Foundation and Gdansk Business Incubator Starter. The winner will receive EUR 20 000 and will have a chance to win EUR 1 million. Startup struggles will be observed by over 5000 potential customers and business partners. More than 100 VCs and angel investors will attend along with speakers from companies like Google, Netflix, and Slack, and investment firms such as Inventure and Karma VC.

Last year there participated 200 startups from 13 countries. The international jury awarded the first place to Nexbio company, which is working on new methods for detection of crop diseases.

infoShare is an opportunity for young companies to raise funds too. Last year Saas Manager, creator of a platform for developers, won support in the amount of EUR 250 000. Many business representatives got interested in SaaS Manager before the announcement of the competition’s results. By the last day of the conference the company established contacts with companies such as Amazon, Intel, OVH or Startupbootcamp. And most importantly, the company started cooperation with FerberVC fund.

In this year’s competition there will also be provided additional prizes. Two of the best companies, in which there is at least one person from Poland, will receive so called wild cards to participate in the Pitch event in London. They enable innovators to present their offers to the investors in the UK. Microsoft will provide access to data processing in the cloud with a value of up to $ 120 000.

An electronic stethoscope for parents

StethoMe™ is the world’s first electronic, wireless stethoscope that cooperates with a smartphone and has a built-in thermometer and an intelligent analysis system of sounds. The project could arise thanks to cooperation of a group of scientists, physicians, acousticians, computer scientists, designers and business people. The project is very ambitious, because the device is not just another gadget, but a specialized medical device. Thanks to it parents can auscultate baby’s lungs by themselves and then send the recorded sounds to a trusted doctor.

In the future StethoMe™ will be integrated with artificial intelligence algorithms, so that the device itself will be able to assess whether the sounds in the lungs mean only cold sickness or a more serious disease. For now, however, the startup only has a fully functional prototype of the device and is preparing for its production. Later this year the company intends to gain CE certificate (Conformité Européenne) and, in the first quarter of 2018, to debut on the market. There are already talks with potential partners from Germany and the Netherlands. The startup hopes that the project development and market entry will accelerate thanks to participation in the accelerator program organized by HighTech XL and Philips in Eindhoven. The company is now focusing on attracting investors who will support production process, as well as cooperation with telemedical companies and acquiring a strategic partner to be able to sell the device to customers. The product will be offered in a subscription model in addition to medical care package and should get to patients’ hands directly. Eventually the device will be sold in pharmacies or electronics stores. The buyer will be able to choose one of many telemedical partners and decide whether to pay a one-time larger amount, or use the subscription option.The project has been invested by: SpeedUp Group and the company Programa.pl, through which the company has been conducting it vision since January 2016. Since January 2017 the project has been co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund. The startup has scored a number of achievements:

  • Polish Intelligent Development Award, nomination, 2017
  • Bringing tech&science closer to people, finalists, 2017
  • Philips Innovation Challenge – Champion Award, 2016
  • MIT Enterprise Forum Acceleration Program – Certificate, 2016
  • Nokia Innovation Challenge – semi-finalists, 2016