• Milner in Russia: are StartFellows grants too small to attract good projects?

    11.01.2012 News

    Russia’s most prominent venture investor Yuri Milner operates on the global scale and his success backing Facebook, Zynga and Twitter is mind-blowing. Last year, having send shock waves through the venture capital industry by offering to fund every single Y-Combinator company with $150 000 of convertible loan, Milner and Ron Convey’s Start Fund has seen Andreessen Horowitz joining their efforts.

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  • TechCrunch Moscow – All the on-stage video

    26.12.2011 News

    On December 5th, 2011 TechCrunch Europe came to Moscow again. Co-organized by TechCrunch Europe, Digital October and Kite Ventures, the second TechCrunch Moscow showcased several early stage startups and hosted panels on emerging technology trends in Russia and abroad.

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  • SVOD 2011: Big Success of AmBAR and Its Partners!

    05.12.2011 News

    The seventh annual technology investment conference SVOD 2011 (Silicon Valley Open Doors) was held on November 29-30. Over 250 representatives of Silicon Valley venture funds, legal firms, business experts, hi-tech professionals, executives and entrepreneurs from many countries came together for an intensive program of conference events and networking opportunities organized by the American Business Association of Russian-Speaking Professionals (AmBAR).

    The conference opened with the welcoming addresses by AmBAR President Andrey Kunov and Director of Global Innovation Access Renata Akhunova (Russia). Panel discussions touched upon the future of the global technology markets, venture investment trends in the US and Russia, legal aspects of international entrepreneurship, and other engaging topics. The panel on the new media paradigm emerging in Russia featured prominent media players Annelies van den Belt, CEO of SUP (owner of LiveJournal.com), Russia’s top blogger Anton Nossik, and the editor-in-chief of the Moscow News Tim Wall. The program included SVOD traditional competition for the most promising technology company, which brought together 17 pre-selected innovative companies from several continents. The Golden Lock award went to the California-based AlphaFares. The two runners-up were Russian startups Buzzoola and Kuznech. On the second day of SVOD, AmBAR partner Startup Monthly ran its own competition where 10 IT startups pitched their projects to a jury of investors. The winner was Wakie. The highlight of the second day was the keynote address delivered by the Silicon Valley luminary Bill Draper, who shared his life memories and observations about the sources of success in the investment business.

    AmBAR shares the success of SVOD 2011 with its valued sponsors I2BF, TUSUR, and Kustov & Associates; partners such as Innovation Breakthrough (Ukraine), media partners such as LiveJournal Russia, “Sarafannoye Radio”, and many others. The SVOD team extends its heartfelt gratitude to all participants of the conference and is looking forward to meeting them all again.

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  • Russia’s Skolkovo IT Start-Ups Present to Silicon Valley

    12.10.2011 News

    VCs and Potential Partners to Engage with Skolkovo on October 12Th.

    Startups from Moscow’s new Skolkovo technology city are visiting Silicon Valley this week in a follow up to the June 2010 visit by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev. That visit yielded investments and partnerships from Google, Intel, Microsoft, and Cisco.*

    The next wave of the Skolkovo initiative are in Silicon Valley this week, fact-finding, networking and presenting a range of innovations in IT categories including visual search, security, mobile, 3D animation, data analysis, simulation, games, cloud, and location services.

    The startup Demo-Day on Wednesday October 12th will be led by Russian digital expert Alexander Turkot, Executive Director of the IT Cluster at Skolkovo. Previously he had a global career with IBM, and more recently he founded MySpace Russia.

    “Our visit puts the dream into action – these are the first concerted steps to grow our own companies rather than exporting talent. We have innovative technologies with real world applications ready to develop or distribute. We’re here to show off our natural IT abilities, generate interest and of course, soak up Silicon Valley expertise. It’s a perfect opportunity for interested parties to make contact, and get on board with new ventures.”

    Russian companies are renowned for what Fast Company has called their “unconventional approach” and examples such as the Yandex search engine and the Kapersky Laboratory anti-virus software were included by the magazine in its world top 50 innovation companies of 2011 (26th and 32nd respectively).

    “We’re in evolution. Russian IT isn’t about hackers any more. It’s about these companies on display in Silicon Valley today – forward thinking world citizens with out-of-the-box solutions to complex issues,” said Turkot.

    *In June 2011 Cisco announced a $1 billion five year commitment to Skolkovo to drive entrepreneurship and innovation.

    About Skolkovo Innovation Center:

    The Skolkovo innovation center is a high technology business area being built near Moscow. It will host five scientific communities that carry top priority for Russia – energy, information technology, telecommunications, biomedicine and nuclear technologies – as the country diversifies from being largely powered by natural resources. The 600 hectare complex designed by French architects AREP will be situated next to the campus of Skolkovo Moscow School of Management, a top-level business school founded by leading Russian and international companies.

    The Skolkovo Foundation has received 1,000 applications from prospective companies. By the end of 2011 the Skolkovo IT cluster alone expects to have 100 companies registered as participants in the innovation center. Siemens, Boeing, IBM, Dell and Nokia are among other leading companies that have committed to participation at Skolkovo.

    Russian government-led initiatives such as tax incentives to stimulate development and loosening of restrictions on importing foreign workers and technologies have been enacted to facilitate the high-tech hub. Over 200 laws have been amended to facilitate the participation of international companies at Skolkovo and to encourage sustainable innovation among Russian startups.

    Quotes:

    “There is a great experiment going on here in Russia right now. Russia has a great history of mathematical education and scientific research, but not such a great history of commercialization of the research. I’m very interested in what it takes to turn Russia into an innovative country.” – Former Intel CEO Craig Barrett, co-Chairman of the Skolkovo Foundation Council.

    Demo Day October 12Th:

    The presentations by the Skolkovo startups are being hosted by Silicon Valley law firm Orrick, one of the leading technology and emerging companies law firms in the world.

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