VEB Launches Start-up Screening for NTV Show with a RUB 25 Million First Prize

VEB Innovations (VEB Group) has started screening high-technology projects. The most promising companies will be able to participate in various business accelerator programmes, obtain investments and appear in a TV show with the first prize of RUB 25 million. Start-up businesses are invited to apply for the selection procedure at The main filter criteria are scientific content, MVP (minimum viable products, i.e. a prototype product), the team’s expertise and ability to commercialize inventions. For project evaluation, VEB Innovations will employ a wide external network of Russian and international experts including representatives from the academic community, corporations and venture funds.

By 15 August 2017, 25 innovative business projects are to be selected. The most impressive teams will be invited to a TV show on the NTV channel. Throughout the series of several shows, a jury composed of representatives from the business community, investment funds and development institutions will assess how the participants address the challenges. Six projects are to get into the final, with three of them to win the prizes of 25, 20 and 15 million rubles granted by VEB and its partners for business development purposes. The show is scheduled to go on air in November 2017.

“Our task is to create an ongoing funnel of high-technology projects and help young entrepreneurs at a system level to make money from their ideas and innovation in Russia, not abroad,” commented Alexey Ivanchenko, Deputy Chairman – Member of the Management Board of Vnesheconombank. “To provide startups with financing at a later stage for business scaling-up, and competencies to enter the global market, we have established a subsidiary, VEB Innovations. Along with other market participants, the subsidiary will focus on creating a robust funnel of innovative projects, with the NTV show being part of it.”

A significant number of the TV show’s participants will be Skolkovo Foundation residents who will be involved in the project. For expert review and follow-up revision, the Bank plans to engage its partners, including Russian Quantum Center with which Vnesheconombank signed an agreement during the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum.

“The Skolkovo Innovation Center brings together over 1,700 high-tech start-ups across Russia. With a total revenue of RUB 130 billion, these businesses obtained 1,100 patents and created more than 22 thousand new jobs. I am sure the new TV show will encourage people to believe in themselves and their ideas, build new businesses and achieve success. We invite start-ups to submit applications to participate in the TV show,” said Alexander Chernov, Senior Vice President for External Communications and Advertising at the Skolkovo Foundation.

About VEB Innovations:

The sectoral investment priorities for VEB Innovations are:

  • Blockchain, including in the government system;
  • B2B marketplace;
  • Private capital in space technologies;
  • Infrastructure for new technologies;
  • Nano-Bio-Info-Cogno technologies.

The VEB Group plans to inject up to RUB 10 billion into the projects within the target markets of the National Technology Initiative (NTI) until the end of 2017. Entrepreneurs will also be provided with an opportunity to gain expert support through the early start-up stages. VEB Innovations intends to cooperate with its partners to include promising start-ups in business accelerator programmes and bring them to global markets.

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