PwC Russia Accelerator

A programme that supports start-ups and scale-ups with global ambitions

What is the PwC Russia Accelerator?

The PwC Russia Accelerator is an accelerator programme for tech start-ups and scale-ups. Co-sponsored by YellowRockets.vc, the programme empowers talented founders to scale up their companies and provides them with access to the global VC community, as well as to PwC clients and partners.

Programme benefits

#PwCNetwork

We help you network with more than 3,000 PwC Russia clients.

#Uplift

Zero cost: We provide grants for pilot projects and cover the cost of your travel and accommodation in Moscow so that you can focus on the intensive work you will do during the programme.

#GoGlobal

Success story for future sales: We help you expand your client base and enter new global markets.

#TopMentors

We connect you with leading experts and mentors from PwC — a global consulting and assurance business leader — as well as with access to top corporate innovation teams and our deep network of investors.

#Partnership

PwC may offer partnerships to selected start-up teams that achieve certain KPIs. These partnerships could come in various forms (e.g., revenue sharing, licensing, subcontracting, white label).

#Investment

Post-programme investing options are available, including up to RUB 20m from YellowRockets.vc, Demo Day exposure and other investor connections.

With a history going back more than 100 years, PwC is one of the largest professional services firms on the global market today. PwC will help your start-up achieve a new level of maturity, expand your customer base and prepare you to conquer global markets.

Eligibility

Successful team

You need to have a minimum of two team members who are able to participate in the programme in Moscow, including a developer/engineer and a sales specialist. Relevant experience is appreciated.

MVP stage or higher

You need to have a market-ready product that is at least at the MVP stage (Minimum Viable Product, something you could offer to the market right now). Product/market fit is strongly preferred.

Commitment

We are looking for start-ups and scale-ups that could help us to offer a new generation of services for our clients and improve core business performance. Do keep in mind, however, that our focus is on start-ups and scale-ups rather than on small businesses.

Verticals and horizontals

Cybersecurity

Next generation firewalls, malware and anti-virus protection, email and DNS protection solutions, continuous IS risk assessment, personal data IS systems, digital identity, behavioural analysis, user managed access.

Online learning

Gamification, video editing, VR/AR in education, m-learning, microlearning, personal training.

RPA (robotic process automation)

Business process diagnostics, neural network-based recognition, smart classification, heavy computing.

Data science

Data analysis, visualisation, dashboarding, process intelligence.

Internet of Things (IoT)

Telecom, smart homes, smart transport, trade and financial services, industrial IoT, IoT in agribusiness, access to devices (ATMs, payment terminals) and M2M connectivity (sensors, etc.)

Artificial intelligence (AI)

Machine learning, digital assistants, chat bots, image recognition, cloud technology, natural language processing.

AR/VR

Digital modelling, prototype development and design, augmented reality in marketing, motion tracking, 3D controllers, feedback devices, live broadcasts.

Blockchain

Security, identification, smart contracts, PoA, scaling, personal account data management, blockchain ID.

Industry-focused solutions

  • Industrial safety
  • Food trust (tracking and tracing production, transportation and distribution systems)
  • Solutions to digitise legal and finance departments
  • Cost analysis
  • Digital twins
  • Mass media start-up, etc.

Timeline

15 August 2019 – 15 March 2020*

15 August – 15 October

Application period

16 October – 15 November

Expert assessment and preliminary selection

2 December – 6 December

In-person judging, first Deep Dive (in Moscow)

7 December – 1 March 2020

Accelerator programme

2 March 2020 – 15 March 2020

Second Deep Dive

Date will be announced

Demo Day (in Moscow)

*Dates to be specified, follow our updates

First cohort accomplishments

250

Applications

14

Alumni

3

Completed pilot projects

Accelerator alumni

Warden Machinery (RPA/ML/Computer Vision)

Warden Machinery is a computer vision system with various industrial applications, including video analysis using existing CCTV infrastructure (with K2 Consult, an integrating partner), product quality control, employee compliance control and HSEA automation (with SAP CIS, an integrating partner) and comprehensive RPA projects (with AlfaInTech and TRA Robotics, robotics integrating partners).

electroNeek (Lean Robotic Process Automation)

electroNeek is an automation tool combining robotic process automation (RPA) technology and LeanRPA. The electroNeek platform creates RPA bots, which are digital work processes executed in various IT systems and solutions at the user interface level. The bot imitates human actions within a pre-set business process and saves people from performing routine tasks (it is also faster and works 24/7).

3N Intelligence (Cyber Security)

3N Intelligence is software that builds self-defence capability within operating business processes, akin to the human immune system—an add-on that would prevent deviations from normal process execution, would alert you on events that may indicate potential operating losses, cyberattacks or fraudulent activities, and, provided the corresponding settings are in place, would stop attacks before they even start.

ClimateGuard (IoT)

ClimateGuard is working on an IoT device that monitors indoor microclimates across nine metrics: temperature, humidity, dust content, volatile organic component content, CO2 content, magnetic radiation, noise level, lighting level and quality, and vibration. The device helps users to improve their health, performance and well-being by quickly responding to potential indoor health risks in the room.

Smart Secretary (AI/Voice Virtual Assistant)

Smart Secretary is a virtual business assistant built upon the Yandex Alisa voice service. The system helps users manage their working hours more productively and make decisions while on the move (e.g., driving, out of office). Instead of spending time typing a message, you can give a simple voice command to your Smart Secretary. The Smart Secretary can help you book a car or a conference room, quickly find your colleagues’ contacts, arrange a meeting and record decisions and action items during the meeting, and automatically prepare the finalised minutes and email them to the participants. These are just a few possible scenarios. The only limitations on the system’s capabilities are the user’s ideas and needs. This system needs no special applications and works with Yandex.Alisa and Yandex.Station.

LoyaltyLab (AI/Retail)

LoyaltyLab helps retailers to increase profits and reduce customer churn by providing personalised recommendations to their customers. During primary analysis, LoyaltyLab segments all identified customers into groups based on their behaviour. Personalised recommendations for each customer are generated based on their consumer habits.

AutoFAQ.ai (AI/Personal Assistant Chatbot)

AutoFAQ is a chat platform and a convenient interface that provides employees with access to knowledge via well-known communication channels. We automate request processing at the first line of support by providing direct answers to employees (generated by a chat bot) and speed up the second line of support operations with recommendations from helpline experts.

The system can be connected to any communication channels, including email and messengers. The client cab configures the knowledge base and level of automation without involving IT specialists or the vendor. To start, you will only need an Excel file with FAQs or internal regulations.

Pozus (AI/Computer Vision)

Pozus is a human motion capture system for mobile devices. The programme works with a standard smartphone camera. Pozus detects 16 key body points, working in real time on your mobile device. The prototype can create 3D coordinates of the human body.

DataFabric (Data Science/Semantic Data Governance)

DataFabric Core collects, transforms, manages, stores and analyses data using semantic technology (semantic data governance).

Based on this system, we have developed end-user tools and solutions for forensic, compliance, due diligence and KYC procedures.

Studyx (Online-learning)

Studyx is a platform for personalised micro-learning and testing that can be used on any device.

The company’s in-house methodology and adaptive testing and learning technology use genuine adaptivity, i.e., real-time adaptation of test content and questions. The methodology and technology have been developed as an SaaS service and tested in the field. In-test adaptation of content and questions is carried out in real time by analysing data on user behaviour and interaction with the study materials and analysing answers to the questions offered during the test.

Crucial data on the learning process, content interaction intensity and learning analytics are continuously collected and analysed and, if need be, are easily and conveniently visualised in understandable dashboards.

An easy and quick integration with existing corporate IT systems enables seamless implementation of this learning environment on corporate portals, corporate university websites or external educational products. It is also available separately as a public web service or mobile application, integrated via an open API. The service follows IS best practices, including those specific to Russia. It features a secure connection, additional data exchange encryption, full depersonalisation of information stored, data storage on Russia-based servers, encrypted databases and data that is physically separated by client.

The interface, content and methodology are adapted for mobile devices.

The platform is easily scalable, with a mature API for data exchange with other systems, ready templates for fast development and roll-out of mobile applications (iOS and Android), and easy tailoring to the customer’s needs.

Fire.to (Online-learning)

Fire.to supports effective learning with educational videos that allow the user to take notes during the video. The notes are finalised as a knowledge progression record and are linked to specific frames in the video. The note-taking process facilitates a more effective assimilation and adoption of knowledge from the video content.

Skill Cup (Online-learning)

Skill Cup is a platform that helps you set up mobile corporate trainings. Working on your smartphone, Skill Cup runs trainings for all sorts of areas, making them easy and fun. You can learn when and where you want to, without long and boring lectures! Using Skill Cup will save you a lot of time, as the modules are short (from three to seven minutes). You can study while commuting, sitting in traffic or waiting for your coffee.

IZZZIO (Blockchain)

IZZZIO is a versatile blockchain platform enabling customised high-speed and low-cost solutions powered by LCPoA, a self-writing algorithm that can get all of your tasks done.

AIDocs

AIDocs is an auditor digital assistant that simplifies data reconciliation between accounting systems (accounting entries) and source documents.

AlDocs can: 

  1. recognise scanned documents;
  2. match each document to a corresponding action in the system;
  3. highlight document data used to create the entry;
  4. help you adjust processing outputs at any stage;
  5. support verification and notification systems;
  6. generate Excel reports.
“The PwC programme completely expanded our minds.  We were caught up in a torrent of information, hypotheses and discussions. We couldn’t wait for the next week to start. Under normal circumstances, it could take you a whole month to do something, but when you measure time in weeks, you need to deliver every seven days. These weekly milestones stimulate you to use them as touch points to further develop your product. Thus, our project grew every week. Our experience at the accelerator—the drive, information exchange, discussions of hypotheses, sprint approach to work that encourages you to deliver promptly and accurately—was extremely positive.”

Mikhail Rozhin, ElectroNeek

“We spent our time very effectively at the PwC Accelerator. We put together two pilot projects and enjoyed the educational part as well, where we were coached by mentors and attended interesting and actionable lectures. We also had an opportunity to receive useful feedback on our product.”

Alexey Kurov, Pozus

FAQ

What is the PwC Russia Accelerator?

The PwC Russia Accelerator is an intensive accelerator programme for tech start-ups and scale-ups. The programme empowers talented founders to scale up their companies and provides access to the global VC community, as well as to PwC clients and partners.

What kind of companies do you accelerate?

We accept applications from all-stage start-ups across following technologies and industries:

  • • Cybersecurity;
  • • Online-learning;
  • • Data Science;
  • • RPA (Robotic Process Automation);
  • • IoT (Internet of Things);
  • • VR (Virtual Reality);
  • • AR (Augmented Reality);
  • • Blockchain;
  • • AI (Artificial Intelligence)
  • • Industry solutions (industrial safety; Food Trust, e.g. manufacturing, transportation and distribution traceability; solutions to digitise legal and finance departments; cost analysis; digital twins; media startups, etc.)

Is it necessary to be in Moscow during the programme?

Yes, the programme is held in Moscow. However, applicants may reside in any Russian region. The programme requires the physical presence of at least one founder during selection days and the first and second Deep Dives.

Does the PwC Russia Accelerator provide funding for start-ups?

Travel (across Russia and CIS) and accommodation (in Moscow) expenses will be reimbursed for residents of other cities during the first and second in-person stages of the programme only for those who are accepted into the programme. Start-ups do not receive any upfront funding but do have the opportunity to compete for a zero-equity cash grant of RUB 100,000 (net) to develop a pilot project together with PwC at the start of the programme (50% upon entry to the first stage of the programme and 50% upon entry to the second stage). Participants (not more than two team members) get a free coworking space during the second in-person stage of the programme in Moscow (the second Deep Dive).

What are the selection criteria for the programme?

Start-ups/scale-ups are eligible for the programme if:

  • • they are in line with the priority technologies and industries;
  • • they are at the MVP+ stage and have the potenital to solve issues for a specific target client (e.g. PwC or a corporate client of PwC);
  • • the team includes employees with key competencies (an entrepreneur and a technical expert);
  • • the participants are ready for active in-person and remote participation in all programme events.

Legal entities as well as individuals may apply. If your startup exceeds these guidelines, we still recommend that you apply for the accelerator programme.

How does the accelerator work and what is the time commitment for startups in the programme?

The PwC Russia Accelerator includes the following stages:

  • • in-person selection of companies in Moscow (two days);
  • • the first in-person stage (four days) in Moscow (the first Deep Dive);
  • • remote work with mentors for three months (we will select companies to be included in the second stage of the programme based on the results of the remote work);
  • • the second in-person stage in Moscow (the second Deep Dive), including a Demo Day.

During the programme, you will work with leading PwC experts in business modelling, sales, pitching, access to international markets, etc. We expect active and consistent engagement in the accelerator programme. This requires the physical presence of at least one founder during selection days and the first and second Deep Dives.

When will I know if my start-up has been selected?

We will notify you about selection results by 23:59 (Moscow time) on 15 November 2019. Our representative will call you if your company has been selected and invite you for the in-person selection interviews. If you fail to receive a letter, please check your spam folder or send a message to pwc@yrockets.com.

What is the logistics for the in-person selection?

The in-person selection will take place on 2-3 December at PwC's office (White Square Office Centre, 10 Butyrsky Val, Belorusskaya metro station). For the selection stage, participants will travel at their own expense. Selected teams will stay in Moscow for the in-person stage of the programme. Therefore, we suggest buying a refundable return ticket.

What documents do I need to sign?

If your company is selected at the in-person selection stage, you will be asked to sign a standard NDA. Participants selected for the programme will also sign acceleration contracts and grant contracts.

What are the benefits for programme participants?

  • During the acceleration programme, you will build relationships with PwC and our clients, including both Russian and international companies.
  • We can help you to expand your customer base and enter global markets.
  • You will receive expert advice from PwC and YellowRockets.vc. venture fund.
  • PwC may offer cooperation to selected start-up teams that achieve certain KPIs.
  • Post-programme investing option are available: up to RUB 20m from YellowRockets.vc, Demo Day exposure and other investor connections.
  • We will share information about accelerator alumni on our website.

What should I do if I encounter a technical issue when filling in the application for the accelerator?

Please send a letter about the issue to pwc@yrockets.com.

What is the participation fee for the programme?

The programme is free of charge for selected companies (equity free).

What is the working language of the programme?

Russian

I have additional questions. Who can answer them?

Please write to us at: pwc@yrockets.com.

Contact us

Alexei Okishev

Partner, Technology Leader, PwC Russia

Tel: +7 (495) 967 6000

Pavel Veselovskiy

Manager, Technology Practice, PwC Russia

Tel: +7 (963) 661 7025

Anna Smischenko-Mironova

Senior PR Manager, PwC Russia

Tel: +7 (495) 967 6172

Natalia Kartuzova

Marketing, PwC Russia

Tel: +7 (495) 967 2194

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