From IT to cleantech to biotechnology, BIT contest elicits innovation across Russia

BIT Contest, the largest tech contest in Russia and neighboring countries, is holding this year its 10th edition with a richer and more international format. Inspired by the MIT $100K competition, BIT contests — short for Business of Innovative Technologies — were organized for the first time in 2003 within Russia’s most prestigious business and technical universities.

Up to 1,500 applications are expected this year from all Russian regions as well as from neighboring Belarus, Kazakhstan and Ukraine.

The finale will be held in Moscow on Nov. 1.

Number of applicants at BIT Contest


With its specialized sections and nominations, BIT covers a wide range of innovation fields:

  • Biotechnology and medicine

  • Consumer products

  • Energy saving technology

  • High tech industrial equipment

  • Internet

  • Publishing and entertainment technologies

  • New materials

  • Nanotechnology

  • Natural resources, ecology, clean tech

  • Software

  • Telecom and mobile

  • A special nomination, ‘Global Track,’ has been designed to identify startups with the strongest international potential.

The BIT prize fund totals 3 million rubles, or approximately $100,000, not counting prize funds of regional stages and a number of various benefits from the sponsors of the contest.

A window to the global market

A novelty of this year, the semi-flinalists will be offered a business acceleration program including 12 online seminars on technological entrepreneurship, with the participation of authoritiative Russian and foreign experts and further support from tutors and mentors.


The contest attracts growing attention from international business circles. Since 2010, BIT’s Observation Council has been headed by Richard Kivel, President and Chairman of the MIT Enterprise Forum. This year, the event will benefit from an in-depth coverage in English by East-West Digitial News, the English-langauge resource on Russian digital industries, and a special partnership with The Next Web, one of the most influential international tech publications.

Foreign investors and journalists will be offered special assistance to get introduced to the most interesting startups and teams.

The competition is supported by RVC, the state owned fund of funds dedicated to financing innovation, as well as Skolkovo, the world-class innovation hub nearing completion near Moscow. The list of BIT-2013 sponsors include Intel, IBM, Microsoft, Icominvest, OMZ, Aeroflot, Moscow Business School and other companies. 


The semi-finalists BIT of the two last years have attracted in total more than $25 million in investment. Among them are LinguaLeo, a Russian startup with a web service that teaches English using popular TV serials, books and contextual dialogues. Last year, the company secured a $3 million investment for international expansion.

For more information, please contact Natalya Tsarevskaya-Dyakina [email protected]





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