Officials from leading Russian venture companies as well as venture and investment funds held a meeting in Moscow with representatives of the Roscongress Foundation, the RС Investment Fund, the International Foundation of Technology and Investment and the Digital Economy Development Fund, during which they discussed preparations for the «Pitch Session for a Billion» at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum. The meeting participants included Business Priority Project Director Marianna Skragan, Member of the Board of the Digital Economy Development Fund Maxim Chereshnev, Member of the Roscongress Board of Directors Yury Cherches, RС Investment Director Alexander Shatirov.
The participants discussed the innovative startups that are to take part in the «Pitch Session for a Billion», criteria for evaluating and selecting competitive projects as well as the format for supporting the contest nominees.
The pitch session will take place on 7 June and will be held in accordance with Oxford Universitys international startup pitch models «Techstars Startup Weekend Oxford» and «PitchFest Oxford». The pitch session format provides startups with five minutes to present and two minutes to answer questions from the panel, which includes representatives of state corporations, major companies in top industries as well as twenty venture and investment funds.
«A wide range of technological projects is planned for the pitch session at the St. Petersburg Economic Forum. For us, this is one of the key areas of investment. I believe that such initiatives at major economic forums are very sound,» Terra VC Foundation representative Danila Shaposhnikov said.
Selected projects will receive up to RUB 50 million in financial assistance for business development, while the session will provide total investment of RUB 1 billion. Upon conclusion of the pitch session, a «startup zone» will be set up to communicate with investment funds, discuss projects in detail and conclude agreements.
Startups selected at the Business Priority national startup competition will be invited to take part in the pitch session. The main criteria for project selection are innovativeness, product availability (mature project stage), rights to the product or intellectual property protection, sales experience, potential on the Russian and world markets, major competitive advantages, projected risks, compliance of the team with the established goals and objectives, a viable commercialization concept and the availability of a project roadmap. Each qualifying application is submitted for review to at least three experts who remain anonymous to the contestant. After the review is completed, a list of experts as well as the final evaluations of each project will be published on the contest website.