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Russia ready to fund commercially viable Internet projects

13 Aug '13
Russia’s Internet Initiatives Development Fund (IIDF) has announced its first application session to finance commercially viable web-based projects, Russian news agency ITAR-TASS reported.

A reported 40 Internet projects will be selected for participation. The participants may expect a number of services, including training courses, expert support, and $30,000 in funding “to allow the teams to devote themselves to their projects for a few starting months.”

The projects that will have been picked and then shown good performance in the Fund’s acceleration program will be eligible for much more substantial backing (up to $440,000 per project). The Fund reportedly hopes “the money will help the young projects launch their endeavors or expand their target audiences or prepare entry into new markets.”

The program will last three months. In future, IIDF expects “several” screening sessions a year.

“Already at inception we are ready to work with a variety of projects from the very early stages to fully packaged businesses that need funding for rapid expansion,” said Kirill Varlamov, the Fund director.

IIDF was set up in March 2013 by Russia’s Agency for Strategic Initiatives to focus on financial and expert support of Internet projects at all stages. The Fund searches for and screens start-ups and then helps them develop. IIDF has more than $180m in government funds under its management.