The HSE Startup Cup Final: How It Was

The event was held on June 10. It's organized by the HSE Business Incubator (HSE Inc).

The HSE Startup Cup Final: How It Was

HSE Business Incubator (HSE Inc) is a structural division of the National Research University "Higher School of Economics". They help entrepreneurs test their ideas, quickly launch startups from the scratch, find mentors and experts, find first customers, and attract investment.

There are 4 main projects of the organization which are:

HSE Inc Modular Accelerator

waiting for the startups at the pre-seed stage: from the prototype to the first sales

HSE Startup Community

the program for the project development for HSE students and stuff at the earliest stage

HSE INC and Megafon: Piloting Projects

Open events

online and offline lectures with industry experts: everything that will be useful for a startup

HSE Inc attracted more than 1.3 billion investments in graduate startups, took the 1st place in the international ranking of university accelerators UBI and helped several thousand startups from all over Russia to test their ideas and launch their products.

Alexey Nitsa

Alexey Nitsa is the Head of Acceleration Programs and the Curator of HSE Startup Community. He develops projects of HSE students and staff. Also, he is a visiting lecturer at the HSE Media Center.

Konstantin Pinchukovsky

Another member of the team is Konstantin Pinchukovsky who is the curator of HSE Startup Alumni and who oversees the graduate community of the Business Incubator. He is engaged in the launch and administration of new products of the HSE incubator. Understands the adaptation of the product and the launch of the startup on the Japanese market.

They manage all the events of HSE Startup Community and created the special competition named HSE Startup Cup.

This year HSE Inc organized the final of the HSE Startup Cup on June 10 on the stage of the HSE Cultural Center in Moscow. It was a 5 hours’ event of exploring cool business ideas and networking, 24 pitches from HSE Startup Cup finalist projects, 2 tracks of the projects at the "Idea" and "MVP" stages. The event was attended by HSE students and staff who wanted to support their classmates and colleagues, as well as use their example to develop their own project. The projects were evaluated by representatives of the partners, who presented the HSE and the Business Incubator.

There were also representatives of corporations and investors who wanted to get acquainted with promising teams and interesting ideas. And of course, there were all those who are planning to create their own startup, want to see what projects are being created now and get useful contacts.

The competition was attended by startups at the "Idea" and "MVP" stages. Two hot months, more than 300 participating projects, dozens of hours of consultations. The winners are:

  1. WM Products - a service for adapting apps and websites for the blind and visually impaired. It will not only help blind people to fully use the sites, but also allow companies to expand their customer base and improve their reputation.
  2. RU.MEDIA - The service allows musicians to post music on the streaming platforms Apple Music, Boom and Yandex and earn income from royalties. A project with great potential is already at the MVP stage with an eye to the international level.

All the teams fought for the victory and as the jury noted the finalists were very strong and worthy to win. Managers of HSE Inc believe that the next year there will be more participants, the number of partners will increase and the event will be more popular.

If you are interested in startups and business itself then visit the website of the organization and learn more:

Since it’s in Russian only, you can contact the team by email:

Terms of the participation in HSE Startup Community

  1. One of the project team must be a student or an employee of the HSE (confirmed by a certificate from the training office or a link to the employee's page)
  2. It is mandatory to communicate within the community and help other participants to the best of their abilities and competencies
  3. It is mandatory to have a project at least at the idea stage. There are no members in our community without their own projects
  4. Participants fill out a small form about their project and team members, their competencies. This database is available to other community members who can write to you to share their experiences
  5. Keep us up to date with your progress (fill out a small project progress report once a week)
  6. Due to COVID-19, all activities until the end of the year are planned only in online format

Text by

Diana Tsarkova