Marchmont network: business news | conferences | consulting
Marchmont blog Eng | Рус

Monday, April 15, 2013

Looking forward to new epoch of business dialogue between Europe and Russia

The 3rd Russian Tech Tour is coming to Russia’s Moscow and Kazan later this month to identify the upcoming and leading top 25 high-growth privately held companies in Russian regions and to introduce them to key European, US and Asian investors and professionals who can assist in their global expansion. Aynur Aydeldinov, the president of the Russian Tech Tour 2013 and the CEO of the Investment and Venture Fund of the Republic of Tatarstan (IVFRT), explained to Marchmont the reasons for picking his home region for the event, and also shared his expectations.

To me, Moscow and Kazan are leaders in Russia for the technology industry.

Well, yes, Moscow has always been on the cutting edge of innovation and business activity, but it is necessary to show that Russia is a very multicultural country with sustainable progress in the venture industry in Kazan as well as other regions. The background of scientific discovery in Moscow and Kazan serve as a basis for breakthroughs in technology and the development of the region as a hub for innovation. Investments in these regions have risen substantially in the last year in such leading sectors as IT, energy-efficient and nanotechnologies.

Kazan, located in the Republic of Tatarstan, has been investing heavily in innovation infrastructure during last decade. Russia is dedicated to switching our region’s economy towards a path of innovation and technology. This has resulted in a number of techno-parks, business incubators, accelerators, and co-financing start-ups with the help of state funds.

The regions also have industrial backgrounds in advanced areas of chemistry and petrochemistry, avionics, machine building, and construction, which provide an additional horizon for future stages of development for the technology companies we support.

As the Russian Tech Tour is returning to Russia in April, I keep thinking of the changes that I have seen in the ecosystem since this international program last visited Tatarstan in 2009. The last four years have marked a period of exponential growth for start-ups in various spheres of industry. The opening of major institutes for development, such as Skolkovo and Nanocenter, have redefined the way investors see Russia. Tatarstan has cultivated and launched new projects such as Innopolis and Smart City, raising investment interest in the region.

Still, there remain significant challenges that entrepreneurs in Russia have to face. The main issue is that entrepreneurship is a relatively new idea for Russians. “Entrepreneur” is not yet considered an occupation. To counteract this way of thinking there is an enormous amount of effort and financial support coming from the government in both Kazan and Moscow to bring entrepreneurs together in order to educate and foster them. Kazan, in partnership with the Center for Entrepreneurship, has recently developed a training program for entrepreneurs to compose their business plans.  These initiatives reflect our commitment to growing a generation of skilled entrepreneurs in the Russian Federation.

As the president of the Russian Tech Tour I would like to see the event opening a new epoch of business dialogue between Europe and Russia. The Russian Tech Tour will showcase a new wave of entrepreneurs that are following in the footsteps of a number of Russian technology companies that have already become global players in the industry.