Moscow Accelerator is an innovative type of startup accelerator, which helps solve the main problems that impede startup ecosystem development in cities.
Firstly, city administrations and corporations often lack flexible and effective mechanisms for working with startups, who are the main drivers of sustainable development;
Secondly, startups often lack information crucial for adaptation of their products to the urban market and successful work with the complex public procurement system.
Moscow Accelerator Program is designed to overcome these barriers, ensuring that all stakeholders of the innovation ecosystem achieve their goals. The Program is a series of industry accelerators that brings together specialized city departments, corporations with strong industry competencies and startups. Any stakeholder can suggest holding a new track dedicated to a particular sub-industry. Each track is 10 weeks of intensive practice, comprised of practical workshops and master classes, group weekly traction meetings, individual consultations with trackers, expert sessions and networking. Participants share data, get a bird’s-eye view of particular industries, and save costs.
Hence, the Program ensures a triple “win-win situation”.
Startups find investment, networking, mentoring support and new sales channels, improve their long-term development strategy and get the opportunity to conclude contracts with anchor corporations.
The city administration receives a better picture of the startup ecosystem and a means to help startups develop products tailored to citizens’ needs that improve their quality of life, and fosters growth of urban innovation ecosystem.
Corporations get access to relevant innovative companies for integration into the internal technological loop, as well as opportunities: to test new solutions and business hypotheses without significant costs, to increase the rate of expansion of the product line and to form a competitive advantage due to attracted high-tech solutions.
What makes Moscow Accelerator innovative?
- New level of public-private partnership. The city officials take active part in helping companies grow. Moscow Accelerator brings together numerous Departments of the Moscow Government and corporations with strong industry competencies, which become partners of anchor partners of the accelerator tracks. Such partners include X5 Retail Group (retail), Severstal (steel industry), Dassault Systèmes and the National Engineering Corporation (engineering), Rosatom (energy), INVITRO (healthcare) MegaFon and Rostelecom (telecommunications) and others. Experts from both public and private sector advice innovative companies on how to improve their products to be best fit for the urban market.
- Sustainability, multi-profile and strong community appeal. The Program is not a short-term, but rather a long-term tool for support of the local startup ecosystem. Hence, each couple of months a new track of the accelerator launches, which covers a new area. So far, the Program supported startups from such spheres as ICT, pharma, healthcare, telecommunications, banking, e-commerce, retail, steel industry, engineering and energy, with the list to be continued. Entrepreneurs from various areas visit the key accelerator events, which provides new networking opportunities and paves way for new innovative collaborative projects.
- Practice-based approach. After graduating from the accelerator, startup enters the post-acceleration program: the Moscow Government and corporations provide it with the unique opportunity to pilot its product on more than 150 pilot testing sites in Moscow – urban and commercial facilities with a wide range of potential users. At these sites, startups can test their products in practice and improve it based on the feedback they receive from citizens and experts. In addition, startups continue to receive support in the development of their business: experts help graduates formulate an individual development plan and monitor their success.
Hence, the Program makes the city innovation policy more transparent: it drastically simplifies communication of startups with the city administration.
It also fosters citizen engagement in innovative development by involving people of all gender, ethnicity, class and age in testing innovations and providing their opinion.
The Program is open for international participants, both startups and corporations, which makes it a powerful market entry tool for startups.
The Program supports SDGs 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 11, 12 and 17, especially 8.2, 8.3, 9.1 and 9.3, since it is aimed at helping innovative companies enter the market and implement their solutions in the city, making it more comfortable for all categories of citizens – who actively participate in testing the solution.
More than 4,000 startups participated in the Program. They launched 195 pilot projects with partner corporations and attracted $5.5 mln in investments. 14 alumni companies entered the foreign market.
The Program’s most well known alumni startups include:
Skillfolio. A platform of complex diagnostics and soft skills development – key competences in digital era. URL: https://skillfolio.ru/
Malivar. Technology for creating, producing and automatization of virtual models, artists and bloggers based on the neurolink and computer graphics. URL: https://malivar.io/
Eyeimprover. Eyetrainer for saving and improving of vision both for children and adults. It allows to prevent eye surgery just because of 2,5 minutes trainings per day. URL: http://eyeimprover.com/
Checkme. Personal checkup consulter and clinics booking service. https://checkme.ru/
VR CONCEPT. Virtual prototyping application for collaborative work with digital twins in virtual. https://vrconcept.net/