The International accelerator integrates venture ecosystem of Russia, Ireland and the United States

9 February 2016, Tuesday

Investment and Venture Fund of the Republic of Tatarstan and Pulsar Venture Capital announced the launch of the Russian start-up’ selection process for the acceleration program. Participants of the accelerator will work with experts and investors in Kazan, Moscow, Dublin (Ireland) and Silicon Valley (USA). Startups will receive an investment of up to 8 000 000 rub. from the organizers and the ability to attract up to one million euros from global partners.

This program will be supported by the  innovative institutions of Russia and Ireland, which will combine their efforts and efforts to create additional opportunities for the development of technology entrepreneurship. The organizers and partners of accelerator are the Pulsar Venture Capital, NDRC, Investment and Venture Fund of the Republic of Tatarstan, RVC, the FASIE, Enterprise Ireland (Irish state agency and third largest seed investor in the world), as well as a number of leading venture capital funds in Russia, Europe, the US and Asia. The accelerator is supported by Rustam Minnikhanov, the president of the Republic of Tatarstan.

«Even the most ambitious early stage innovative companies undergo difficulties in introducing their inventions to the market having used the variety of support tools available in Russia- the following tendency has been manifested after the longstanding cooperation with start-up companies. Furthermore, the high-tech start-up companies may consider the commercialization successful only in case of the global marketing. We have initiated the Acceleration program, which will enable to improve the quality of the Russian technological start-up companies’ offers and facilitate their global commercialization. The Acceleration program is conducted on the federal basis. It means that this program is available for start-up companies in all regions of Russia», Aynur Aydeldinov, CEO of the Investment and Venture Fund of the Republic of Tatarstan, says.

Pavel Korolev, CEO of Pulsar Venture Capital: «The main objective of the Program is launching Russian start-ups on the global market. We aim to create the conditions and not only provide the first investment, but help them to make the first confident steps on the global market, finding partners, investors and relevant mentors. Many entrepreneurs in Russia, unfortunately, look at the commercialization narrowly enough, and do not consider the possibility to open the international market. Moreover, now the technology startup is almost impossible to develop the product without integration into the global innovation ecosystem. Opportunities and threats should encourage and guide, to strengthen the business. We are waiting for teams, who are not afraid of difficulties exit the global market, they already have a product or prototype, but more importantly - a strong team».

«The emergence of the program proves that the professional venture industry players appeared in Russia. They are able to be integrated into the global community and support start-up companies in versatile markets. The program has been initiated by the Pulsar Venture Capital company, our partner in Generation S. We are happy to see the progressive development of our partners, and that Russian businessmen obtain new opportunities and tools for development», Head of Innovative Markets Department, member of the Russian Venture Company Board, Gulnara Bikkulova comments.

Gerard Michael MacCarthy, Director, Enterprise Ireland (Russia/CIS): «The launch of Pulsar’s International Accelerator is a positive step forward to identifying a pipeline of companies from Tatarstan and the surrounding regions which are suitable for rapid internationalisation using the experience of Ireland’s innovation ecosystem.
In support of this initiative, Enterprise Ireland’s Overseas Competitive Start Fund (CSF), paired with our Start-Up Entrepreneur Visa Programme, offer a clear path for selected high-potential early-stage companies from all over the former Soviet Union to consider Ireland as a base for R&D, production, and international sales.
The first round of the 2015 Overseas CSF received 87 applications, of which one third came from Russian speaking countries. Of the eight winning international companies, two were Russian, receiving seed funding of 50,000 euro each.
In December 2015 newly-registered Countbox Ltd  became the first ever Russian start-up to receive significant funding from Enterprise Ireland’s High Potential Start-Up Fund, estimated at €250,000. Countbox was introduced to us at the Venture Fair in Kazan in April 2015. To move from first contact through the application process to a significant funding decision for our first Russian company in 7 months should encourage other Russian start-ups to apply for this programme in the expectation of realistic and relatively rapid results».

Participants can pass the application for theprogram’ website untill April 3, 2016. The 50 teams who have the opportunity to take part in the accelerator will be named in April. Then, participating companies will be selected and distributed to the international incubators, where start-ups will soon perform in front of venture capitalists at a major conferences in Kazan, Dublin and Silicon Valley. This December the teams will return to Russia to take part in the accelerator’s play-off.

The program is opened to companies in the following areas: IT, Industrial technologies, hardware, oil and gas innovations, biotechnology, medicine of the future and new materials. A detailed list of directions and criteria can be found on the program website.

What will receive technology startups on the accelerator?
•    Access to international markets
•    Access to the engineering centers and other support services
•    Opportunity to work with leading international experts and mentors
•    Investments of up to 8 000 000 rub from the organizers of the program and to 1 000 000 euro from international partners and co-organizers.

Several key agreements had been signed between the following organizations earlier, in the spring of 2015. In particular, the agreement between the Irish accelerator NDRC and the accelerator Pulsar Venture Capital. Additionally, Kazan Federal University and Pulsar Venture Capital have agreed on a joint acceleration program for developing of scientific start-ups. The agreement between Russian organizers was signed in Moscow on the Forum for Open Innovation at October 28, 2015. The memorandum joined Pulsar Venture Capital Investment and Venture Fund of the Republic of Tatarstan, RVC, FASIE.

About Founders

The Investment and Venture Fund of the Republic of Tatarstan is one of the key development institutes in the Republic of Tatarstan. It has been improving the innovative potential in the Republic of Tatarstan, supporting innovations, arranging conditions for increasing the number of Venture Capital Enterprises, developing the support system for science-intensive small and medium size enterprises since 2004. The Investment and Venture Fund of the Republic of Tatarstan considers more than 1,5 thousand of innovative ideas and projects every year. Some of them are funded through the program “Idea-1000”. The IVFRT deals with the investment projects, such as “Ammoniy”JSC, “TatchimPlast”LLC, “Leasing Company of small business of the Republic of Tatarstan ” LLC, “Agro-firm “Zalesny”LLC.

Pulsar Venture Capital is an active player of the global venture capital market with a strong network of experts both in Russia, USA and worldwide. Besides traditional investments, Pulsar Venture Capital's professional team specializes in accelerating the growth of new high-tech businesses and also works to grow the venture infrastructure, especially in developing economies. Pulsar Venture’s approach is based on three sectors: Smart Investment, Growth Consulting and Applied Networking. Over the past few years, Pulsar Venture Capital held acceleration programs in Russa to help start-ups in entering the markets.

Enterprise Ireland is the government organization responsible for the development of exports, entrepreneurship and innovation. We work in partnership with Irish enterprises to help them start, grow, innovate and win export sales in global markets. Enterprise Ireland is the single largest Irish investor in innovative business, and is ranked third globally in terms of seed investment. With a broad range of financial and program supports, Enterprise Ireland also provides significant support to start-ups from all over the world who are considering to start a business in Ireland.


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