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A total of 511 applications were received from 47 countries and 189 cities. The largest number of applications came from Russia, Great Britain, Malaysia, the USA, Poland, France, India, Israel, Spain, Italy, and Estonia. The organizers of the Kaspersky Exploring Russia tourism accelerator selected the 10 best innovative ideas and projects in the tourism area to participate in an online educational program.
During the online accelerator, which took place in an online format for 2 weeks (June 9-24),
11 workshops and 75 hours of mentor meetings were organized for the finalists. The mentors were Vikas Bhola (Regional director at Booking.com), Miguel Alves Ribeiro (Growth Director at Zomato Europe), Svetlana Volkova (Head of Marketing and Communication Russia & CIS at Amadeus Russia), Marcus Erken (Founding partner at Sunfish Partners), Brian Marinnan (Managing partner at Journey Partners) and other experts. Participants were able to finalize solutions that will help the tourism industry.
Now we want to share with you the impressions of the finalists about participating in the Kaspersky Exploring Russia tourism accelerator program.
Nick Nedelchuk, CEO of Localie
«Perfect organization. So well and structured! You’re really good at that! Also, the selection of mentors is really cool. We never had such a useful output and connections from any of the accelerator or conference we’ve been a part of. Really well done!»
Maria Averkina, Development director & Co-founder of FREEDOM NATURI
«The fact that it is the real accelerator, the accelerator for our business. The project which can be compared with 5 years of the university in 3 weeks. The project in which mentors did not try to sell us something, but gave knowledge, the directions and much more. Unique experience. It filled those spaces, answered those questions on which there was no place to take answers from.»
Damir Miller, CEO of AccessTravels
«I need to write a book and even that won’t be enough. First of all, we improved our business model, our pitch and pitch deck, validated it with us industry experts, got emails from strategic partners, learned a lot about startups.»
Katya Zatuliveter, CEO of Altourism
«It was especially important to get the view from outside, to hear comments from experts, who heard about the project for the first time. Future trends – that was also very useful information. It is a great possibility to meet other people working in the same sphere and developing great ideas. To meet and to talk to mentors who are amazing professionals in different spheres of tourist business was also a great opportunity.»
Tomás Caeiro, CTO of Citycheck
«All the mentors that I’ve spoken to gave some great insights on communication and go-to-market strategy. I like Kaspersky Exploring Russia tourism accelerator because of all the content and new things I’ve learnt. Very useful insights and tools to help us manage our companies.»
Albert Poghosyan, CEO of 360 Stories
«I like participants and the level of organization. Everything was taken care of by the team. I met other startup that for sure we will partner with in the future. Very nice people. Humble and focused on their work. Some mentors, like Povel was epic. I loved that!»
Anatoly Burdakov, CEO of hotellab.io
«Most mentors were ready to continue networking with them afterwards, and all of them gave us tips that are applicable particularly for our startup. That was most valuable thing for us.»
Eugene Lisovskiy, CEO of MAPS.ME
«It was very useful experience for us. We had many productive mentoring sessions with experienced people from travel industry and had a great chance to observe travel market trends.»
Nikolay Bilev, CEO of Routitude
«Mentors helped us to create a clearer vision for the further development of our product. We got contacts with amazing people, post coronavirus travel industry insights, tips and hints on product development. Mentoring was especially helpful!»
Thomas Mueller, CEO of VISTA
«We got good tips to impact websites, contacts, and network connections. It was great to get together with likeminded people.»
We thank the finalists for the positive feedback and valuable comments that we will definitely take into account in future work, and also for their active and confident attitude throughout the entire Kaspersky Exploring Russia tourism accelerator, and we hope to hear more about success stories of these companies!