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GenerationS: a corporate accelerator fueling innovation in Russia and Eastern Europe

Publish date: 19 December 2019
Author: GenerationS

GenerationS is providing startups with the necessary tools to maximize startup-corporate connections. Their CEO, Ekaterina Petrova, spoke with Efma’s Boris Plantier.

What was the inspiration for GenerationS?

The idea of GenerationS came out of the oldest business plan competition in Russia - BIT (Business for innovative technologies) - which was launched in 2003. It was operated by various innovation ecosystems players in Russia with support of Russian Venture Company - RVC, which is an institute for development and fund of funds in Russia.

Each year this competition collected thousands of applications from Russia and CIS, which then received the necessary experience and possibility to find investors to develop business projects in the field of new technologies. However, it wasn’t enough as founders with brilliant technical ideas found it too hard to build a sustainable business and fulfill the interest of investors.

So, in 2013 RVC decided to add training program for the best projects selected through BIT competition and this program received name GenerationS (Generation Startup). This startup accelerator under the GenerationS brand immediately received widespread response from entrepreneurs and it became the first Russian accelerator at the federal level.

GenerationS started to provide specialized programs for particular industries like BiotechMed, Cleantech, IT and others, which then attracted interest from corporates which were interested in working with innovations and startups. When we realized that there is an ecosystem that is systematically giving birth to new technological startups and that the market is ready for open innovation, we transferred our model into a corporate accelerator focusing on the needs of a particular corporation to maximize the effect of startup-corporate collaboration and increase the number and effectiveness of pilots.

Could you present GenerationS' offer?

GenerationS is a corporate accelerator focused on maximizing the percentage of efficient pilots launched along with further implementation, bringing both the startup and the corporation tangible financial results.

What we do is the target package of corporate innovation development tools from in-house. These tools provide for development of internal entrepreneurship, acceleration on scouting and external projects, and international training of employees in methods of building up and monitoring of innovations under the aegis of world leading corporations.

GenerationS key advantages are based on real experience:

- Mature methodology: GenerationS launched more than 45 accelerators for unique companies with various business-processes: from building the fast-track for startup piloting to complex acceleration platforms for the whole industry.

- Strong brand: GenerationS is trusted by more than 15,000 of startups and 450 partners worldwide.

- Experienced professional team: more than 10 project managers with experience in creating a minimum of one successful corporate program and more than 600 professionals in investment and technologies.

- Worldwide network: fast access to government organizations, accelerators, incubators and venture funds across the globe.

- Operations speed: efficient interaction with startups, corporations, and government organizations despite any time limitations.

- Real everyday experience of corporate-startup collaboration in piloting and further implementation: in the years 2018-2019 more than 50% of accelerated projects started pilots and more than 20% obtained commercial contracts from the exact corporate partner.

Could you present some successful fintech ventures from GenerationS?

One of the projects of GenerationS in Fintech was with VTB bank (one of the major Russian Banks). VTB Accelerator was launched in June 2018 to search for technologies for piloting within the Bank. An accelerator received a pipeline of 190 projects from startups in Russia, the CIS and Europe. The acceleration program includes both piloting and the educational part in which start-ups work with mentors and business development experts.

Several departments of the bank are actively involved in launching pilot projects, which, together with startups, work out and implement business cases. Following the results of the program, 10 pilot projects have been launched, four pilot projects have already been completed, and one more project has been put into operation. Eight divisions of the Bank served as in-house customers of the pilot projects.

The WantResult startup, which develops lead generation technology, has already started cooperation with VTB in the field of acquisition of small and medium-sized businesses. An agreement has been signed with the project team. Many other startups are at the piloting stage. The projects are tested both in VTB's in-house business processes and as products and services for the bank customers.

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