SberZ, an accelerator for students in grades 8-11, and SberStudent – an accelerator for undergraduates, postgraduates, and university researchers – are blazing a trail on games and game-related services. In addition to basic entrepreneurship courses, track participants will learn about gaming industry trends, metaverses, and work with mentors from SberGames, a video game developer.
The SberZ and SberStudent accelerators have three stages lasting eight months. The first stage concerns theory, it includes online lectures and familiarizes students with instruments that facilitate the creation of digital products. The second stage is where participants form teams and work on the MVPs (Minimum Viable Product) of their startups.
In addition to the main program, participants in the game track will have access to an additional course on game development (including mobile games) and game service trends. Those who make it to the second stage will have the opportunity to fine-tune their products with game development experts.
The top teams move on to the third stage where they pitch their project at the demo day and pitch their designs to Sber executives, investors, senior tech company executives, and deans of Russian universities. Winning teams will split Sber’s cash prize; school teams will also receive additional USE points upon entering universities, and student teams will receive seed development grants from the Moscow Seed Fund. The SberZ and SberStudent programs are free; you can apply until March 1st. To register you do not need a ready-made business project, you will create one during the program with the help of experts.
Young people seeking to be prioritized during the selection stage and moving directly to the second stage can participate in the hackathon, where they will have to develop a game in 48 hours. SberGames experts will review the presented projects and select the best ones for potential cooperation in the future.
Lev Khasis, First Deputy Chairman of the Board, Sberbank:
“According to Drake Star Partners, transactions in gaming industries topped $85.4 billion in 2021, a 2.5-fold increase year-on-year. This is a growing market with strong export potential. after the start, and we are ready to support them throughout the process.”
Organized by SberGames, it is the second track in the industry completing the accelerator programs. Young AI enthusiasts are also invited to participate in the track implemented in partnership with the AI Academy for schoolchildren created by the Sberbank Charitable Foundation Investment to the Future.
SberZ is a federal acceleration program for students in grades 8-11 designed to develop their entrepreneurial skills. Students acquire specialized knowledge and create start-up projects under the guidance of mentors. Top teams showcase their startups at a demo day, receive cash prizes, extra USE points, and enjoy preferences when entering universities and colleges. In 2021, 14,000 students from 85 Russian regions participated in the accelerator.
SberStudent is an all-Russian accelerator for undergraduates, postgraduates and researchers. Participants take online courses in tech entrepreneurship and then create their own startups. The best teams present their designs during a demo day and receive their first investments for project development. Twelve thousand students and researchers from 85 regions of Russia participated in the program in 2021.
SberGames is a new player in the video game industry and is part of the Sber entertainment industry, with the management company SberIntertainment, a subsidiary of the bank, at its heart. The company joined the Sber ecosystem in 2021 as a game publisher. It focuses on the development of mobile and PC games by in-house and third-party studios, as well as their publication in Russia and international markets. The head of SberGames is Alisa Chumachenko, the founder of Game Insight and the data platform named GOSU Data Lab.