IT Start Pro
IT-Start (it-start.pro) is a combination of an educational course, a contest, and a project to support young IT specialists. Participation is free of charge.
The special permanent program is a development of the ANO “Agentstvo innovatsyonnogo razvitiya” (Agency for Innovative Development), RVC (Russian Venture Company), and the Federal Agency within the framework of the “Zworykin Project”. In addition, the Ministry of Education of Russia, Rosobrnadzor, and regional education authorities assisted in the project.
Who Is Participating?
There are no age restrictions for IT-Start Pro participants. Anyone can register for the program. The project is looking for:
- Technical specialists;
- Researchers and authors of innovative projects;
- Young scientists, undergraduate and graduate students;
- Project managers.
University professors and teachers at secondary and specialized secondary educational institutions can learn from the experience of startups and apply their methods to use in their work.
The goal of the program is to create a generation of young and promising IT entrepreneurs in the Russian Federation who will be able to create in-demand products and lead in terms of quality on the world market.
To achieve these objectives, IT-Start partners and sponsors conduct training (conferences, seminars, forums), review, analyze and support projects of young specialists, and assist in the development of innovative developments.
First IT-Start Course, Features, and Results
IT-Start was launched in 2012 in St. Petersburg. The course ran for four days:
- From June 26, applications for participation in the program were accepted.
- From June 27 to June 28, a kick-off meeting was held.
- On June 29, 2012, the results of the competition were determined, and the winners were announced.
The participants improved their professional levels by attending training, master classes, lectures, and consultations:
- “What and where should you study to become successful in IT?” Maxim Belousov, President of SPb CIO Club;
- “Virtual money and its non-virtual pitfalls (RBS and bank cards)” Yulia Suslina, specialist of the consulting department at ZAO NIP “Informzaschita”;
- “How to sell your audience to advertisers” Sanzhar Kettebekov.
Individual consultations on topics of interest were held.
But most importantly, young specialists competed for grants to develop their own projects. The ten specialists who presented the best IT projects within the program received 100,000 rubles each. The jury highlighted the projects of Maria Alexandrovna Nastych and Roman Sergeevich Karpov.
New Format and Rebirth
Since 2012, more than 20,000 young, ambitious professionals have participated in the program. In 2016, a decision was made to resume the IT-Start Pro course with a significant expansion; online webinars, tournaments in computer sports, robotics, and programming were incorporated into it.
An all-Russian IT school program was organized. A three-day course was held, during which training, experience exchange, and project presentations were delivered.
Regional startup schools were opened in the following cities:
Specialists registered through a special form on the official IT-Start Pro website. Comprehensive materials were given on the following topics:
- Innovation Ecosystem of Russia;
- Technology monetization;
- Attracting investments;
- Effective product presentation;
- Team formation and management;
- Brainstorming techniques for idea generation;
- Technological Entrepreneurship.
The educational part was followed by startup competitions. The participants who won prizes in their regions had the opportunity to enter the federal accelerator GenerationS, a company that promotes technology startups. They did not have to go through the qualifying round.
Projects recognized as the best based on multi-stage expertise received intensive support in development and investment attraction.