Start-up summer on Yandex.Islands

Ilya Segalovich Source: Kommersant

Ilya Segalovich Source: Kommersant

Yandex debuts new look for its homepage and announces its own start-up school

Last week was rich in news for Russian search engine «Yandex». On May 16 the Internet giant rolled out a new interface that displays the results of the search in a totally innovative way: the results are now consolidated in blocks according to the type (the blocs are called Islands). Some of the Islands may contain interactive elements from the site, showed as a result. In other words, the user will now be able to buy tickets, make an appointment with the doctor and other useful tasks directly from the search page.

World top search services*

1. Google
2. Yahoo!
3. Chinese service Baidu
4. Yandex

Another interesting feature is the possibility to preview the sites showed in the search results without leaving «Yandex». The number of results shown on each page will also change and will no longer be the fix amount of 10 per page - the amount will depend on the volume of the results. Special sections of the menu (such as «Pictures»  and «Music») will be located on the left side of the page.

The beta version will be available in July 2013, but if you are too curious to wait you can apply for participation in beta-testing here. This is the second time of the year for the Yandex homepage. Last time «Yandex» changed the interface in January 2013 by simplifying the main page and repositioning some of page’s elements.

Another story creating a big buzz among the Russian media and in the start-up community was the announcement concerning the Yandex Tolstoy Summer Camp - an experimental workshop for those who want to learn how to launch and run their own start-ups. The course will last two month, and the organisers promise to help the participants formulate correctly or invent from scratch an idea, build a team, write business plans and transform it all in a prototype project. The participants will also have a possibility to present it to Russian and foreign investors.


Where:  Yandex’s Moscow office

Duration:  two months

Occupation: full employment
(participants work on their project, daily, on weekdays)

Yandex experts and other significant figures in the start-up world are expected to join the workshop as mentors: from Esther Dyson ( EDventures founder) and Jennifer Hicks (Forbes magazine contributor, writing about the Internet technologies), to Sergey Belousov (senior partner and founder of the investment fund Runa Capital) and Ilya Segalovich -(Director of technology, Yandex).

All that is required from the participants is their own laptop. Yandex promise to provide a comfortable workplace and the necessary instruments to each participant. The company will also pay a monthly 20 thousand ruble scholarship. Non-Moscow residents will get free transport to Moscow and hostel accommodation. If you are interested you can apply by May 31 - the first step will require them to choose a specialisation (manager, developer and designer) and pass a related text. Successful applicants will be announced on 14 June and receive the date and time of a Skype interview. These interviews will be the final stage of the selection process, and on June 24 a list of winners will be released. “We have no restrictions on age, education, or place of residence. We are waiting for people from all regions of Russia and other countries. The only requirement is knowledge of the Russian language.” - Yandex wrote on its official page.

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