Annual international startup conference for tech entrepreneurs ‘Startup Village’, held in Moscow on May 29-30, invited Indian startups to participate in a bigger way for the next year’s edition.
Pekka Viljakainen, Advisor to the President of Skolkovo Foundation, organizers of the conference, told journalists, “During Startup Village startups meet with investors, learn from worldwide successful entrepreneurs, present their projects at the competition and at the innovation market; and major technology corporations, government officials, development institutions officials discuss tech trends and ways to form a new generation of entrepreneurs. We are open to everyone. With Bangalore being one of the world startups centers broader Indian participation is welcomed,” he said.
Associated with providing the catalyst for the diversification of the Russian economy, the Skolkovo Foundation’s overarching goal is to create a sustainable ecosystem of entrepreneurship and innovation, engendering a startup culture and encouraging venture capitalism.
“Just a few decades ago, none of this would have been a problem, as hardly anyone other than big business had access to the resources needed to develop new technologies. But now things are different: corporations have competition in the form of startups; knowledge and technologies have become accessible to all, and people have started coming in teams to think up something new. These teams are highly motivated and work very fast. They are willing to accept risks and to work flat out. They have a different way of looking at the technology they are developing – something akin to the way a parent looks at their child. Just as a good caring parent will not hand over their child to an orphanage if, for example, it doesn’t know how to walk or jump properly, so the creators of startups are prepared for difficulties. This gives them an enormous advantage,” said Viljakainen.
Igor Bogachev, CEO of Finnish-Russian digital solutions firm ZYFRA, said: “More and more technologies on the cutting edge of science are being developed not in major corporations but in small companies. This is a recent trend, but it looks like the future of innovation. There are several reasons for this. In large companies, technology development is generally complicated by numerous factors: bureaucratic obstacles, complex decision-making procedures and a lack of employee motivation. Corporations are focused on smooth-running processes and familiar technologies – new ideas are often rejected as early as the discussion stage. In other words, at a time of explosive development in science and technology, corporations are not fast enough.”
Kirill Kaem, Senior Vice-President for Innovations at Skolkovo said: “Around 10 Indian companies are residents of SkolkovoInnovation Fund. Members of the Skolkovo Foundation may be eligible for a grant to fund their projects. The amount of financing is dependent on what stage the project has reached.Few Indian investors participate in this year edition of Startup Village. India is already a part of Skolkovo, we can say.”
Sanzhar Kettebekov, CEO of Tech Garden, Kazakhstan’s Autonomous Cluster Fund: “The problems of all national programs for the development of a startup ecosystem, including venture financing, are associated with difficulties in exporting.Today a decent flow of young innovative companies is being formed, but they often do not have the necessary expertise and product quality, and are not ready to work outside their own market.”
The two-day international conference Startup Village 2019, devoted to the startup community development, started in the Central Park of the Skolkovo Innovation Center on May 29. The has become a platform for business dialogue between the investors and the startups including Russian innovation suppliers and large customers from abroad.
The business program included panel discussions, sessions and lectures. They issues of artificial intelligence, the Internet of things, energy efficiency, digital solutions for healthcare, effective management and much more were discussed there. A two-day exhibition, Startup Bazaar, also began its work, in which about 200 companies present their developments. In addition, a special lounge area is open to the investors at Startup Village.