Russian Venture Company (RVC) has introduced the Digital Platform, a new interface for fast-growing technology companies.
This new resource will provide tech startups with an easier and faster access to support programs under the National Technological Initiative (NTI), including grants and investment. The maximum amount of funding that tech companies can count on under the initiative is almost RUR 500 mio ($7.7 mio). The platform was presented at the Fast Growing Companies conference in Moscow.
The solution will reduce the number of barriers and difficulties that new projects encounter when joining the NTI program. For example, they will only have to go through two or even one assessment contours instead of 5-7, RVC General Director Alexander Povalko explained.
“The working groups track will continue to operate, but will be complemented by an open selection of projects eligible for support,” he said at a meeting with journalists.
One of the key criteria for selecting eligible companies is their export potential.
“We focus on the development of exports, and will try to bring our companies’ products to foreign markets,” Povalko added.
He also added that support will not be provided to projects that are not up to global standards.
“Export is our ultimate goal,” he clarified.
It is expected that the expert review of the projects will be conducted as fast as possible. The platform itself will basically operate as a one-stop-shop. There will be four business support programs under the National Technological Initiative, each oriented at a specific type of projects depending on their current stage and type of product (the preliminary duration of each program is three years).
Thus, the NTI Technology Breakthrough program targets teams that develop breakthrough products at NTI markets. The NTI Infrastructure program will support infrastructure projects, including engineering centers, accelerators and testing facilities. The NTI Spin-Off program is for the projects that are based at large hi-tech companies and require additional funding for launching new businesses. Those companies that are ready to present their products on foreign markets are eligible for the NTI Exports program.
Each of the programs will provide up to RUR 495 mio (except NTI Technology Breakthrough with RUR 165 mio) worth of grants, investments and private subsidizing of interest rates.
Among the participants of the digital platform will be GenerationS projects and projects from the corporate part of the accelerator, as well as participants in the TechSuccess rankings of fast-growing companies. Venture funds will also share their pipeline. It is possible that financing will be also provided to projects that are currently working with the Foundation for Assistance to Small Innovative Enterprises (Bortnik Fund).
It is expected that before the end of 2019, some 1,000 companies will register at the new digital platform; by 2021, their number may reach 2,500.
By Olga Blinova