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.

Read this article