Skolkovo Foundation, IIDF launch Build Up accelerator

Skolkovo Foundation and the Internet Initiatives Development Fund (IIDF) have started the Build Up seed accelerator, which will select and implement innovative startups in construction, sale and use of real property.

The work to create the Build Up startup accelerator involved major companies operating in Russia’s real estate development market – Hals-Development, Donstroi and FODD. The accelerator will select startups that offer solutions for stepping up construction and reducing its cost. The best 15 projects will take part in a free accelerator program, with its participants learning to create business models for introducing new technologies. The selected startups will enter into a long-term commercial partnership with major real property developers, attract investments, and receive consultations by top-level managers on project modification. In addition, the startups will be able to implement a free pilot project of introducing their technologies at existing facilities. The Build Up accelerator will work in four areas: term and cost of construction, housing utility systems, living standards, and supporting the sales.

According to Hals-Development president Sergei Kalinin, the profitability of property development is falling.

“All existing construction technologies have been known since the mid-20th century, and it is difficult to invent something new. Yet, we are willing to start seeking new developers that invent innovative technologies, and we want to introduce some of these ideas in the construction work”, Kalinin says.

Oleg Dubnov, Vice President and Executive Director of Skolkovo Foundation’s Energy Efficiency Cluster, said that the foundation has about 150 startups involved in developing construction projects.

“Many of them already receive revenues and their technologies are being implemented. We expect to receive over 300 entry submissions for the accelerator program, and will pick out 10 projects to be implemented by construction companies”, Dubnov says.

He noted that the accelerator program will complete on September 13, 2019. In case it proves efficient, the program will be resumed. The projects selected by estate developers in the accelerator will be financed on a commercial basis, without public funds involved.

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