London calling: Skolkovo startups compete for chance to attend acceleration bootcamp

A competition to take part in a bootcamp in London is underway for Russian tech startups seeking to expand on international markets.

The U.K.-Russia Techbridge Bootcamp is a nine-day programme in London held on June 13-21 for Russian tech companies described by its founders as a “deep dive into the U.K. startup ecosystem.” The bootcamp is organised by RuTech, which aims to build bridges between the Russian and international tech communities, with the support of the U.K.’s Department for International Trade (DIT) and the Skolkovo Foundation.

RuTech, the bootcamp's organiser, aims to build bridges between the Russian and global tech communities. Photo: Pixabay.

“The special aspect of this programme is that it will take place at the same time as London Tech Week, and the companies taking part in the bootcamp will visit a range of its events in London,” said Daria Lipatova, head of international acceleration at the Skolkovo Foundation.

Participants in the bootcamp will learn how to set up a business in the U.K., raise investment, get onto an accelerator programme and attract corporate clients. The programme also includes three days of intensive training from local mentors on topics ranging from pitching to immigration support.

“One of the key success factors for companies working in London isn’t just knowing how to do business, it’s being part of that ecosystem, and our partners in the programme will help the startups to meet the local community of entrepreneurs,” said Lipatova.

Skolkovo startups who want to enter the competition can do so via the bootcamp’s website before April 24. Ten startups from the entrants will be selected by RuTech together with the DIT. Those companies will get a discount on the price of participating in the bootcamp and other benefits such as the opportunity to pitch to local investors at a Demo Day and exhibit their project, as well as take part in individually arranged meetings and a dinner with investors. 

The U.K. is the world’s leading economy in terms of attracting and developing innovations, according to its Department for International Trade.

The main criterion for selecting the competition winners will be the startups’ readiness to enter the international market, said Lipatova. The winners will be announced on April 28. Companies that were not selected but still want to take part in the bootcamp can do so upon paying the full participation fee.

The bootcamp is open to both hardware and software tech companies, and Lipatova said that of Skolkovo’s startups, primarily residents of the IT cluster are expected to enter the competition.

“About 50 companies from the cluster have confirmed their plans for global expansion, and for some of them, the U.K. is a key region,” she said.

The U.K. is home to the biggest presence of foreign businesses among European and G20 countries, according to the DIT. A leading global financial centre, London is ranked seventh in the World Bank’s ease of doing business index.

Many major international companies have their European headquarters in the U.K., and 75 percent of the Fortune-500 companies have offices in the British capital.

The U.K. is also the world’s leading economy in terms of attracting and developing innovations, according to the DIT.

London Tech Week, a festival of conferences, forums, networking and other events aimed to inspire creativity and foster collaboration, will take place on June 12-16.