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HSE Launching Student Startup Competition


© Signature/ iStock

The HSE Business Incubator is announcing the start of a student business project competition called the HSE{Business}Cup-2018, organised with the support of the corporate accelerator MTS StartUp Hub. The students with the best ideas will receive up to 200,000 rubles to make their projects a reality. The teams can also count on additional funds from MTS – a stipend and business grant worth 150,000 rubles.

This year marks 12 rounds of grants HSE has provided for student startup ideas as part of the HSE Foundation for Support to Innovative Entrepreneurship programme. The competition’s objective is to foster the development of the innovative and entrepreneurial projects university students have created. The teams participating in the competition can spend their winnings on prototyping, testing business hypotheses and channels, developing a business plan, and selecting a business model.

When the application window closes, experts from the HSE Business Incubator will select prospective business ideas for an intensive month-long acceleration. Under the incubator’s leadership, the teams will work out their ideas, study their audience, formulate a value proposition, and prepare for a final presentation before an expert jury in November 2018.

IT projects from fields like EdTech, E-health, Fintech, AI, and HRTech might expect to be invited to participate in the MTS accelerator programme. Representatives from the corporation will select 10 teams that will continue on in the acceleration programme until February 2019 with a stipend of 10,000 rubles per team. At the end of the programme participants will present their pitches to MTS management, outside investors, and potential buyers. After the presentations, the best projects will receive a 150,000-ruble grant to develop the business and possibly become an MTS StartUp Hub resident.

Application period – from 30.07.2018 to 03.10.2018.

Qualifying pitch: preliminary screening of applications – from 04.10.2018 to 10.10.2018.

Acceleration: intensive educational and consulting programme for selected projects – from 12.10.2018 to 09.11.2018.

Semi-final selection: selection of projects for the competition finals according to the results of the acceleration programme – from 12.11.2018 to 13.11.2018.

Investment packaging for finalists selected according to the results of the educational programme – from 14.11.2018 to 21.11.2018.

Final presentation of the projects to the Competition Committee, selection and announcement of the winners - from 22.11.2018 to 29.11.2018.

‘This is the second year that the HSE Business Incubator has supported student projects, not just financially, but also by providing real expertise and practical knowledge to bolster the teams. This year the initiative’s partner is MTS StartUp Hub, and our colleagues are prepared to invest resources and time into preparing the teams and supporting early-stage projects. The company will invite the best of the participants to join its corporate accelerator or offer them a job,’ comments HSE Business Incubator Director Mikhail Erman.

‘The goal of our joint project with the HSE Business Incubator is to foster the development of the innovative and entrepreneurial projects university students have created, as well as to provide them with support and integrate the best ideas into the MTS ecosystem,’ adds Dmitry Kurin, the head of MTS StartUp Hub.

Teams of 2-5 people are invited to participate, and at least half of the founders must be bachelor’s or master’s students from any of HSE’s campuses. Staff members of the Higher School of Economics, as well as students and staff from third-party organizations, are also allowed to participate.

The HSE{Business}Cup-2018 competition is accepting applications until October 3, 2018. To learn more and submit an application, please visit the competition’s website.

About the Organisers

The HSE Business Incubator is a division of the Higher School of Economics and Russia’s first university incubator. Since 2006 it has focused on generating and developing startups and has facilitated the creation of the government’s innovation infrastructure. The incubator is ranked seventh among the world’s top university business incubators, according to UBI Global 2017-18.

The MTS StartUp Hub Accelerator was launched in March 2018 and has become a staple in MTS’ cooperation with early-stage tech companies.

The programme aims to bolster startup teams through mentorship, training, and expert support in the process of preparing a product for piloting. The annual budget for all stages of the MTS StartUp Hub programme is 50 million rubles.

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