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Leading Russian incubator FRII to open 6 new centres

0 11 March 2014

FRII (the Internet Initiative Development Fund) is to open 6 new startup-incubators. They will be located in St Petersburg, Yekaterinburg, Kazan, Krasnodar, Novosibirsk and Moscow. 

In contrast to FRII’s main startup accelerator, which recently moved to a new home in central Moscow, these new incubators will be “part-time”. In order to become residents of the full-time accelerator program startups hand over a 7% stake to FRII in return for a $25,000 investment, and the second batch of 30 projects recently started their three month stay at FRIIs’ central Moscow headquarters. Part-time participants don't receive any funding from FRII and don't hand over any of their company, but they are able to receive investment at the end of the program. 

The part-time option was introduced alongside the first full time accelerator program last October, with most of the services being offered online. However, these new centres will provide a place where part-time participants can develop their projects too. 

Kirill Varlamov, who heads FRII, explained that the new centres were needed to give projects which are tied to a particular place access to the fund’s services. He also pointed out that the costs of accelerating a project away from the capital are significantly lower, and explained that the cities that were chosen are all fertile ground for successful IT projects, with top technical universities, infrastructure and potential clients. 

Varlamov was also keen to emphasise that FRII, although it is state-backed and was created on the initiative of President Putin, does not depend on money from the state budget. He claims that it is funded by Russian companies, but has not named any of them. This contrasts the impression given by Putin when FRII representatives visited him at his Novo Ogoryevo residence in November, when he spoke of federal funds set aside for the project and promised to increase these if necessary. 

Source: Vedomosti

Top image via Shutterstock

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