Lancaster University: LUMS student amongst European finalists to pitch business start-up to top investors

A post-graduate student from Lancaster University Management School is set to pitch his business start-up to a panel of investors at a top competition next week.

Student Lev Likhtarev, who is currently doing a research project to complete his MSc Business Analytics degree at Lancaster, has been selected as one of ten finalists across Europe to present to a panel of top judges at the ‘Elevating Founders’ competition, held at London Tech Week.

Lev will be presenting a new business he has set up, PaSTORY ( – a parenting app with AI-customised stories and resources for kids and parents, which aims to softly address behavioural issues family’s experience as children grow up. The PaSTORY app recommends appropriate content – like bedtime stories, cartoons and games – for kids experiencing different behavioural challenges, and offers guides and shared experiences for parents in order to exchange information and top tips.

Now Lev is doing further research for the project to investigate the factors that influence company valuations of kids apps within parenting markets.

On Monday 13th and Tuesday 14th June, Lev will pitchhis project on stage in front of a live audience and a panel of judges from Goldman Sachs, Silicon Valley Bank, OVHcloud, and in the hope of attracting investment from some of the world’s top tech companies. He will also have a ‘stand’ on the show floor to showcase his app to the London Tech Week audience, which attracts 20,000+ global government and corporate leaders, inspirational start-up founders, senior investors and tech rising stars.

Talking about his preparations for next week, Lev said: “It is really exciting to be part of the final. it was a nice surprise to see PaSTORY included in the TOP10 most promising early-stage start-ups from across Europe!”

Lev, who built up 15 years’ of entrepreneurial and CEO experience in digital marketing and software development fields for large corporations like Coca Cola and Best Water Technology in Austria, chose MSc Business Analytics in Lancaster University Management School specifically to help him advance his business ambitions.

He explained: “I decided to create a project based around AI, so I chose to enrol on one of the world’s TOP50 Business Analytics programmes to upgrade my knowledge in this field. Because Lancaster’s MSc in Business Analytics is an intersection between business and works with data – including big data and artificial intelligence – it is very exciting.

“I love Lancaster. As the geographical centre of the UK it gives many opportunities for travelling – which I love! I have visited more than 50 countries from the USA to Singapore and, living in Lancaster, I can travel around the UK including England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.”

Chris Saunders, LUMS’ Associate Dean for Postgraduate Education, said: “At Lancaster, we love to encourage and work with our students who want to develop entrepreneurial business ideas. It is always fantastic to see postgraduate students like Lev take their ideas and mould them into successful business plans, and in the process get into the finals of prestigious competitions like this one. We are very excited about how far Lev can go in this competition, and wish him all the luck in the world.”