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Corporate Accelerators and Hackathons in Russia: 2019 Analytics / 2020 Forecast


We are in Dsight analyzed the market for corporate accelerators and hackathons for 2019. Over the past year, corporations have conducted more than 40 acceleration programs and 10 hackathons while the total cost of these activities amounted to about 800 million.

2019 Analytics

The most generous in terms of costs for corporate acceleration programs was Sberbank. Its program involving an international accelerator of 500 start-ups took almost 50% of the total market; according to experts, the costs of this program are estimated at 300 million roubles. It should be noted that in this program on the Russian side there was a company Spinon (affiliated with Rusbase). In addition to Sberbank, the programs of VTB, RZhD (Russian Railways), Kirovsky Zavod, JSC and VISA with total financing of 100 million roubles are also noticeable.

Cost Acquisition for Corporate Acceleration Programs
Dsight — an analytical platform for making investment decisions

The organization of events was attended by 10 major Russian operators, among which key players, in addition to Spinon are RVC (Generation S), GoTech, IIDF and Skolkovo, and their main services include organizing events, promoting accelerator programs, scouting of projects, and providing trackers for projects.

The main operators of acceleration programs
Dsight — an analytical platform for making investment decisions

The most popular topics of corporate programs: IndustrialTech, EnergyTech, AgroTech, FinTech, Big Data and BioTech, occupying 55% of the total number of topics (total 17 verticals).

We conducted an analysis of search queries related to corporate programs. According to Yandex Wordstat, in the search engines such queries as: business incubator, industry 4.0, business accelerator, digital business transformation, corporate investment, start-up accelerator and others prevailed. The most frequent interest in these areas was in April and October 2019 (50% of the average), this seasonality is due to the fact that accelerator programs are launched most often in spring and autumn.

2020 Forecast

The crisis situation caused by COVID-19 will push for an increase in requests in the field of Healthcare, FoodTech, EdTech, Entertainment, and the acceleration programs themselves (for example, IIDF, UBRD and MTS Start-up Hub) have already taken the direction of virtualization and international cooperation, becoming more flexible and offering online formats for start-ups from around the world.

However, we believe that, first of all, corporate players will support those projects that are already planned and will support existing business areas by the end of 2020. The evaluation of the economic effect and good preparation of start-ups will be a key criterion for the possibility of pilot launches within corporations.

Some corporations make it clear that they will invest only in effective projects and the time for investing in “long-term” loss-making projects is over. The Chief Executive Officer of Alfa Bank Vladimir Verkhoshinsky in an interview with Vedomosti says:

“Investors are more likely to reject support if the projects have a lot of debts and they are unprofitable.”

“What happened to Rocketbank — this is the first bell. There will be more similar stories — both in Russia and in the world,” said Vladimir Verkhoshinsky, Chief Executive Officer, Member of the Board of Directors of the Bank.

The presentation of the study can be viewed at

By: Sergey Kantserov.

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