On August 25-29 the full-time session of the first stage of GenerationS organized by RVC was held in Moscow at the Boiling Point site of the Agency for Strategic Initiatives. 360 best Russian technological start-ups were evaluated by approximately 100 investors, representatives of corporations and experts. As a result, 141 projects were selected to participate in seven corporate accelerators, implemented together with 30 largest Russian and foreign companies aimed at development of open innovation tools in corporations.
The five-day intensive course of the federal accelerator GenerationS united hundreds of start-ups from all over the country working in different areas and developing technological innovations. Numerous experts, business coaches and market participants spoke to the participants for five days. "The full-time session of GenerationS this week has probably been the most positive place in Russia with maximum concentration of ambitions and intelligence," — said Gulnara Bikkulova, a member of the board of RVC, head of GenerationS.
The climax of the full-time session of GenerationS has been announcement of the strongest start-ups, participants of seven industrial corporate accelerators. 141 projects were divided into the following tracks: Aerospace (16), Power&Energy (17), BiotechMed (20), Robotics (22), Oil&Gas (23), Telecom Idea (24), SmartCity (19).
GVA Launch Gurus, an operator of the full-time session, and RVC had developed an active and varied program: the teams worked in groups, were advised by mentors, improved their business models and project presentations, established business contacts. Motivational speeches were combined with practical consulting and individual recommendations for the teams. Gulnara Bikkuolva advised the participants to communicate with each other more and remember about the alliance concept: "Each of you has a chance to understand that projects which are similar to yours exist in the neighboring region a few kilometers from you. Probably, the best solution will be to join your efforts". Gor Nakhapetyan, a serial entrepreneur and chairman of the council of the Skolkovo Moscow Management School advised not to be afraid of the crisis: "The largest and most interesting projects are created in crisis. Uber has grown out of the taxi crisis, and there are dozens of professions which will die out in the nearest ten years: a librarian, a postman. So you have to think where to start your business. Yes, it is crisis, and we live in it. In the financial, social, demographic, ecological crisis. We have lived in it. And we will". Vadim Balashov from GVA LaunchGurus told the participants that they had to determine the purpose of the start-up before going to investors: "Is this project more scientific or commercial, aimed at earning money? Previous experience shows that both at the same time are impossible. If you are for science, you have to get grants from universities, and if you need money – go to investors and business angels". Andrey Sebrant, the service marketing director of Yandex, named one of the main mistakes which is made by almost all entrepreneurs coming to corporations: "When you come not to an investor and start telling about the financial model of your project, you make a big mistake. You have come not be financed, but to be bought. Speak about what you give to people, why the company will be able to service customers better if it purchases you".
On one of the days graduates of GenerationS, Elena Levina(NanoServ), Aleksey Yuzhakov (Promobot), Lyudmila Bulavkina (Rentmania) who had managed to greatly succeed in business in a couple of months after participation in the accelerator spoke to the participants. Bulavkina said that at present her business (online clothes rent service) was in the middle of the "blue ocean" of the market which still did not exist in Russia: "In Russia ice skates, fancy-dress costumes are rented, but how can we teach people to rent a polo-shirt or a dress? I have learned it from Generation S. Each day here has been a kind of a "magical kick". While listening to lectures of mentors and experts, I tried to fit their advice into my business. It has helped us overcome the "valley of death".
One more day out of the full-time session of the first stage of GenerationS was plunge into the National Technology Initiative. Dmitriy Peskov, the director of the Young Professionals course of the ASI, told about the market to appear by 2015 and open new opportunities and attract huge investment. Evgeniy Kuztensov drew attention of the participants of GenerationS to the fact that each NTI market was not just development of the narrow technology segment. "It is an ice breaker which can be followed by a lot of ordinary ships. It is similar to the Internet: it is surely interesting as a pure data transfer technology, but the important thing is that it has resulted in development of the huge industry," explained the director of the project office of the RVC.
Within the framework of the individual sessions there were speeches of representatives of the investment society for start-ups: Rustam Tiger (Tiger Consulting Group), Vadim Balashov and Zamir Zhukhov (GVA LaunchGurus), Olga Avryasova (Skolkovo), Sergey Toporov (LETA Capital), Aleksandr Vidiborskiy (Runa Capital), Evgeniy Borisov (Kamaflow), Mikhail Kharuzin (RVC Seed Fund). Rustam Tiger has emphasized four aspects impressing investors: a two-minute pitch, presentation, profit and loss forecast and start-up "chemistry". "All other things have practically no influence on the investor. But the most important thing is what unites all these criteria and what the investor wants to hear about your project. I call it "hit" – a good investment teaser. I can assure you that Aliset Usmanov does not have a lap top with PowerPoint presentations. But he has charisma and a bright string of logic which answers the question "What it is all for," Tiger emphasized.
The round table "Why Do Companies Need Start-Ups?" was attended by a star pool of companies.Andrey Sebrant (Yandex), Denis Gusev (Innovation Center of the ROC), Kirill Kozhevnokiv(Sistema JSFC), Sergey Maksimchuk (Alfa-Bank), Kristof Janssen (Johnson&Johnson),Kirill Smirnov (MasterCard), Andrey Sharov (Sberbank) and Sergey Afanasiev (MTS) discussed prospects of cooperation between corporations and small innovation business, told about specifics of processes in their companies and invited start-ups to cooperate. Sergey Afanasiev, the Information Technology Procurement Director of MTS told that the company has been working with start-ups within the Telecom Idea project for five years, and this year the competition had become a part of GenerationS. "We are sure that such joint work will result in development of elaborate, high-quality and viable solutions which can be considered from the point of view of implementation," Sergey concluded.
Also, start-ups were given prizes from the organizers and partners of GenerationS. UBM which has become a general partner of the Pre-Accelerator, the first stage of GenerationS, gave cloud mega grants for the amount of USD 120 thousand to five best projects selected by IBM experts. The operator of the first stage of GenerationS, GVA Launch Gurus, enabled eight start-ups to participate in their acceleration programs. Mircrosoft gave cloud grants to four best projects selected by experts of the equipment. The monetary equivalent of each grant made USD 120 thousand. Nanobotmodels Medical Animation selected three winners which will get 3D medical animation. One team received two certificates for advisory services and provisions of the material and technical base of the Biryuch Innovation Center in order to develop individual stages of the project and analyze the innovation product from the EFKO Company Group. One more team was given an advisory service certificate from iPharma. RVC selected four projects to attend two key events of the innovation and venture sphere of Singapore, TechVenture and TechInnovation-2015. Start-ups will participate in the exhibition and hold pitches for investors. The list of winners in special nominations from organizers and partners of GenerationS can be viewed on the website.
This year GenerationS is aimed at developing open innovation tools in corporations. "Within the framework of GenerationS corporations have gained access to hundreds of interesting solutions in their spheres and have a chance to develop partnership on projects with the largest commercial implementation potential by the end of this year. Attitude of our industrial partners is very positive. Corporations are ready to work, they have sent their experts, and do hope for contracts with start-ups at the end», — said Gulnara Bikkulova.
The following stage of GenerationS is full-time corporate accelerators in seven industrial areas: SmartCity (smart city and life technologies), BiotechMed (medicine and biotechnologies), Oil&Gas (oil and gas industry technologies), Power&Energy (moedrn power generation technologies), Aerospace (air space industry technologies), Robotics (robotics and automation systems) and Telecom Idea (telecommunication technologies). Approximately half of the projects selected to participate in industrial accelerators will get to the finale. Some of them will get to the Super Finale of GenerationS to be held at the Corporate Venture Capital Summit on November 20 in Moscow. Following the results of the Summit, three projects will become winners of GenerationS-2015 and share the monetary prize pool from RVC and partners of GenerationS. More detailed information on the time and place of accelerators can be read on the website.
GenerationS-2015 has engaged a number of partners from among Russian and international Corporations: RusHydro Group, KES Holding, MOESK OJSC, Energy without Borders Fund, RAO ES Vostoka PJSC, Tavrida Electric, Mobile TeleSystems (MTS), Sberbank Technologies CJSC, Android Technics SPO, Saturn SPO, S. P. Korolev Rocket and Space Corporation Energia, Salyut OJSC, MORTON SC, Russian Technical Society RPO, Tatneftekhiminvest holding OJSC, Johnson&Johnson, Farmkontract SC, Sibbiofarm PO etc. To view the full list of partners of GenerationS, follow the link.
GenerationS is a federal accelerator of technological start-ups in the course of which the best projects selected on the basis of results of the multi-stage expert examination are intensively developed and provided with ample opportunities of investment attraction. GenerationS has been held by RVC since 2013 and supported by Russian corporations, development institutes, venture infrastructure representatives. Since 2015 resources of GenerationS have been used to create corporate and industrial accelerators in close cooperation with large Russian corporations. Corporations directly participate in GenerationS participants' project selection, expert examination and acceleration on the basis of their need for innovation solutions. GenerationS-2015 is held in seven acceleration areas (tracks): Power&Energy, Telecom, Robotics, Aerospace, SmartCity, Oil&Gas, BiotechMed. All participants of corporate accelerators will be given an opportunity to receive a grant in the amount of RUB 1 million from the Fund for Support of Small Enterprise Development in the Scientific and Technical Sphere. Three winners of GenerationS will share a prize pool of RVC and partners; the minimum amount of the prize pool is RUB 5 million.