As the political situation in Russia become more uncertain with the international community, there was a decision to be made to go to Russia and attend the Startup Village event, organized by SKOLKOVO.
After a few deliberations with people in the region, I decided to go ahead and make the trip. I am glad I did and went to the event. The venue of the event was at the SKOLKOVO Innovation Center. A major initiative of the Russian Government to establish a Silicon Valley style, innovation eco system in the outskirts of Moscow. When you talk to the local stakeholders, they have mixed feelings. Some say it is a waste of money as you cannot create an innovation eco system by having real estate oriented projects. However, I noticed that thousands of people did come to the event. Speakers came from all over the world. Any time when you create an event with smart and ambitious people at one place, the social density will generate quite a bit of buzz. I don’t know what will come out of the event in terms of successful startups but if they can channel the collective energy going, they can overcome the skepticism.
I saw enthusiasm among participants.
Seven factors in favor of Russian startups:
However, I do feel that Russian startups are at a tremendous disadvantage.
Ten factors affecting Russian startups:
In my future blog entry, I will talk about what a Russian startup should do to be successful in global markets.