Alfa Camp 2014: 94 participants in 5 weeks realize their ideas and present to investors

    Let's not be modest: many of us just get brilliant ideas. Some - even two or three pieces a day. Only too often do they die, unrealized. Or they die after the first unsuccessful attempts to put them into practice.

    Sometimes we just do not have enough time, knowledge and connections in order to realize our brilliant plan. At the same time, large companies have these resources, but getting access to them "from the street" is almost impossible.

    Thinking about all this, we decided to organize Alfa Camp . This program for the development of fintech startups is precisely designed to give young innovative teams the resources they need to realize their ideas.

    It all started with the fact that a year ago we held our first hackathon at Alfa Bank. We liked the process and the results.

    Thanks to that hackathon, we got an extraordinary accumulative account “ Activiti ” (the more you do sports with a fitness tracker, the more money you can transfer to a deposit with a higher interest rate).

    Now we decided to go even further - to organize a larger-scale program for anyone interested in financial innovation. And we are pleased to announce that yesterday 98 startups, developers, designers from all over the country gathered at Alfa Camp to try to realize their cherished ideas with the help of Alpha Laboratory and Visa, which became our partner in this project.

    We provided participants with jobs and housing in the hostel (if they are nonresident). We provided them with the Alfa Bank API (a card-to-card transfer service, Internet acquiring, virtual card issuance, transfers from an individual's account to a legal entity's account and other things). We attached experienced mentors to each team and organized a program of lectures and seminars.

    Alfa Camp members will work on their projects for five weeks. In the end, they will have to make a presentation both to Alfa-Bank's top management, and to independent investors and business angels.

    We at Alpha Laboratory are interested not only in the search for new ideas and talented developers, but also in the development of the entire financial market. Therefore, they made this program free (moreover, we even pay our scholarship scholarships). Moreover, all rights to the created services are reserved by the developers.

    Of course, during these five weeks we will talk about the most interesting events of Alfa Camp and try to introduce the Habr readers to most of the “campers”. In the meantime, we asked some of the most daring participants what projects they are going to work on, what they expect as a result, and what they think about the development of the fintech market.


    - In 2007, I opened my web studio, then worked at an advertising agency, and then transferred to a financial startup. Colleagues refused one of the projects that we did, but I believed in him, and decided to finish everything myself. So our service appeared. We anonymously predict the solvency of the client based on his behavior in social networks. It works like this: when a person logs in using his account, the program collects all his data, sends it to us, we compare this information with the models obtained based on the analysis of our database (now there are four hundred thousand people) and instantly issue the amount which can be entrusted to a person as a deferred payment, knowing that it will not be difficult for him to return it. Plus, our system can very well calculate and cut off bots.

    It's no secret that from 30 to 50 percent of the audience that various agencies sell to you are just bots. Now the evaluation of one account with us costs seven rubles, in the future we would like to reduce the cost to the ruble.

    We started recently. So far, we have only one friendly startup from Ekaterinburg in our clients. The main thing I’m going to Alfa Camp in Moscow for is to tell the professional community about our project and to establish new customers ’outlets. It's great when there is the opportunity to communicate directly with people who make important decisions, and not knock from another city through managers. And we also hope that we can use Alfa-Bank technologies - our scoring would only benefit from this.


    - We make the service Picture Manipulation Inspector - an automated system for monitoring the reliability of photo reports. We are quite well known in innovation and investment circles - in February 2014, PMI became the first invested project of the accelerator of the IIDF Presidential Fund. Authentication of images is a very popular service, and the demand for it is growing rapidly, especially among insurance companies (it is critically important to deal with advanced scammers who use photoshop). Our team now has 15 people - mostly developers and people who are involved in the commercialization of the product.

    Now the largest insurance companies and several advertising agencies are using our program, we also supply software to the Latvian police, the Ministry of Justice of Taiwan and the Central Internal Affairs Directorate of the Kaliningrad Region.

    Our technology is also used to check photos on the portal of the government of Moscow "Our City". We have some more ideas on how to commercialize our developments. For example, in the West, to get a loan, it is enough to send scans of several documents to the bank. In Russia, this is not - a person needs to come and bring originals. As part of Alfa Camp, one of our key tasks is to identify areas and ways of applying our developments in the banking sector.


    - I graduated from the Finance Academy, was engaged in scientific work related to new insurance and investment products, then I worked as a trader on the stock exchange. My partner and I (he also graduated from Finka) decided to take out money risk insurance. Our Nodevaluation project is designed to give businesses and individuals a reliable tool to protect themselves from financial risks.

    Everyone can go and change money in the exchanger at an overvalued rate with predatory commissions, but it is much better to instantly perform the necessary operation at the best prices by call or mouse click.

    Not everybody has such an opportunity. The phrase “financial market” in the public mind causes associations only with “MMM” and Forex. Meanwhile, this is a key sector of the economy. In the West, insurance companies and hedge funds are leaders in terms of attracted investments, and we still have not plowed this meadow. It is obvious that now this sphere will rapidly develop. We started selling our service to friends and acquaintances, and we know well how to do a small business, where to get an audience. But now our task is to make a fully finished product and launch all business processes. That's why we came to Alfa Camp.


    - For a long time I worked in the field of finance - I was engaged in audit of reports in Deloitte, worked as an investment director in one of the largest Russian holdings. Over time, I began to think how, using my knowledge, to do something tremendously useful for ordinary people. I wanted to help people with correct some unresolved problem. So the idea of ​​the site Nalogia.Ru was born - now we are the most visited resource in Runet on the topic of personal taxation. Our mission is to help people correctly and on time report on income received, pay taxes without overpaying, and even return taxes (receive tax deductions).

    Now the only paid service on the site is a web service for preparing declarations. Filling is fully automated, this is the whole trick.

    We have quite a lot of competitors, but I am sure that our service is the most reliable and convenient. One of the main services for which the Tax has appeared is the submission of a declaration online. It is already being tested and will soon finally appear. Filled out the declaration, clicked on the same button on the same page - and that’s all, the document was sent to the tax office, no need to go anywhere. About 200 thousand people have already used the service for filling out declarations, and the site is gaining more than a million views per year. At the same time, in addition to me, the team has only one developer and one customer support employee. I hope that at Alfa Camp there will be many smart, ambitious and talented people, communication with whom will help to expand horizons and stimulate the birth of new ideas. I also have a vision of how to integrate our service with the services of Alfa Bank.


    After I stopped being a hired manager and started managing my own business, I was faced with the problem of financial planning. In the average Russian business, it looks like this: in the morning you come to work and wait for the accountant to send you an extract in order to understand what funds you have in your current account. Usually all this information is kept in Excel. The scheme works exactly as long as the company has one or two managers (that is, you and your partner). But as soon as the business grows, and there are more managers, everything becomes very complicated. Keeping a table in Excel becomes extremely inconvenient. We have created a very convenient tool for internal financial planning. Its working name is MoneyPlanner. This web application looks like a tablet with two columns - information on income (both received on the current account and planned) and on expenses (current and upcoming) is entered there. Service helps keep your finger on the pulse. The project is being developed by NowMedia web production. As we are quite demanded in the market, my team is overloaded with work, to put it mildly.

    If we continue to develop MoneyPlanner at the pace as it is now, that is, a month a teaspoon, it will remain the development that we sold to five clients.

    Therefore, at Alfa Camp, I am sending a development team led by my partners, Yuri Goryachenkov and Maxim Soldatov. Jura is a product manager with tremendous experience, and Max is a brilliant developer. The guys have the task in five weeks to make a finished product and put it on the market. It is quite real.

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