The Russian Startup Tour, run by the Skolkovo Foundation and its partners, lops off the first word in its name as it matures into an international event in Almaty, Kazakhstan, on March 19-20. The goal of the tour is to foster entrepreneurship and uncover the most promising innovations in the region.
The purpose of the two-day stop in Almaty, the sixth stage of the 12-city tour and the first-ever outside Russia, was twofold: To find the most promising startups and give them the instruments they need to commercialize their innovations; and to create a new cross-border investment community between Russia and its neighbor to the south.
Access to clients such as Gazprom and Rosneft is on offer for Kazakh startups that join the Skolkovo ecosystem. In the same way, companies can use Skolkovo’s contacts abroad to access those markets. Residency at the Skolkovo Innvoation Center is available to startups the world over through the Soft Landing program, which offers access to the Russian market plus a wealth of benefits designed to speed through commercialization of innovations.
As usual, the two-day event was split into the educational section, with panel discussions and master-classes, and the pitch competition. The winners got the right to compete at Startup Village in Moscow on June 2-3 for financing and possible residency.
The end of the Almaty stage marks the half-way point of the three-month tour, which began in Rostov-on-Don in February and ends in the Moscow region in April.
The Russian Startup Tour is the country’s biggest initiative to encourage entrepreneurship and commercialize innovations. It visits 10 cities across Russia, Almaty (Kazakhstan) and Minsk (Belarus).
3-4 – Kazan
11-12 – Ekaterinburg
19-20 – Astana
25-26 – Saint Petersburg