The PERI Innovation business incubator has been operating in Dagestan since September 2013. Until March 2015 it was called Plug & Play Dagestan. It is a project of the Ziyavudin Magomedov PERI Charitable Foundation in the North Caucasus.
The North Caucasus is famous for its dances, cuisine and achievements in sports. However, engineers, scholars, IT developers, and businessmen also live there. We hope there will be more of them so that gifted and ambitious young people can realize their full potential.
The purpose of the incubator is to develop the intellectual potential of the Caucasus and become a kind of social escalator for people who are involved in innovative businesses. This is accomplished through a variety of master classes and seminars, courses in programming and robotics, hackathons (forums for programmers), and meetings with businessmen and leading experts on technological entrepreneurship from Russia and abroad. ;In the past three years the business incubator has held more than 50 major events that were attended by 9,000 persons in all.
Each year PERI Innovation receives applications from all over the country. There have been 403 applications for the resident programme, of which 113 came from outside Dagestan.
There are three main criteria that a successful application for the resident programme must meet:
The team — how professional and committed is it?
The idea — has it already been executed? Is it practical in general and can it be scaled up?
- The market — what is the monetary value of the market that the project addresses?
Projects in many different areas are welcomed: IT, health care, energy, agriculture, and transport among others. Innovative content and good prospects for expansion are the most important factors.
Financial support and mentoring have been extended to 29 teams, and 11 of them have taken advantage of internships in Silicon Valley and in China. Many of the residents’ projects are already popular and in demand not only in Russia but also abroad. A case in point is Arsen Kazibekov’s MyDiaspora mobile app (a matrimonial introduction facilitator respecting Eastern traditions), which won a special prize from Google and was nominated for Best Global Startup.