Open Innovations + China-Russia

Chinese premier reveals secrets of innovative growth at Moscow international forum

Last week, Moscow hosted the third edition of “Open Innovations,” a huge, internationally-focused tech forum and exhibition. The event was held at Technopolis Moscow, a large area in the eastern part of the Russian capital dedicated to developing high technology industries.

At the site, representatives from more than 50 countries gathered. China was the special guest country, with Chinese premier Li Keqiang personally attending the event. Last year’s special guest countries were France and Finland.

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Cloud solution provider Jelastic wins Russian stage of IBM’s global SmartCamp contest

Yesterday Jelastic, a California-based startup with Russian origins, saw one of its innovative solutions picked from five Russian finalists in the SmartCamp contest staged by IBM, as reported by the Skolkovo Foundation. Jelastic received a three-month mentorship course from IBM and will participate in the qualifying continental final in London at the end of November.

The solution distinguished by IBM, christened “Jelastic Private Cloud” (JPC), has been designed to help organizations lower the cost of running business-level apps that are presented in Java, PHP and .NET formats.

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Yelena Kadeykina

Startup Access founder Yelena Kadeykina: “Russia needs to develop a mentor community around technology entrepreneurship”

On December 8th a two-week incubator for Russian startups begins in Cambridge, Massachusetts – part of the successful Startup Access program that has already hosted a number of these events. The program provides startups the opportunity to work with experienced mentors who assist teams in creating a professional business plan to develop a successful marketing strategy.

There are also lectures on writing a business plan, finding investors, and IP protection – all presented by serial entrepreneurs as well as MIT faculty members.  Yelena Kadeykina, co-founder of Startup Access, discuss with RVC the kinds of challenges and opportunities that face Russian startups.

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Maelle Gavet @ TC Disrupt

“It’s not fair to call Ozon an Amazon clone,” CEO Maëlle Gavet says

As the largest e-commerce store in its region, Ozon has been called the “ of Russia.” But this morning on stage at Disrupt Europe in London, Ozon CEO Maelle Gavet shot down the notion that her company should be called an Amazon clone.

For one thing, she said, Ozon was founded 16 years ago, which was around the same time as Amazon in the U.S. And it’s much bigger than just selling goods online — the company also supports travel and other verticals. “E-commerce is applicable to Russia, just as it’s applicable to any other market,” she said.

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Runa Capital

Runa Capital invests in global social learning network Brainly

Brainly, a global social learning network designed to allow students to help each other with schoolwork, has completed a $9 million Series A funding round with the participation of several major venture funds. Among them are General Catalyst Partners, who led the round, Runa Capital, a venture firm operating globally from its offices in Moscow and San Francisco, Learn Capital, and previous investors in the startup, including Point Nine Capital.

With the funding, Brainly, which is based in Krakow, Poland, is expanding its US operations and opening an office in New York City.

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IDCEE 2014: Investors and entrepreneurs gathered in Kiev ignoring “politicians’ bullshit”

Lifting any possible doubt about the resilience of Ukraine’s high-tech sector in these troubled times, the IDCEE conference was held brilliantly last week at the Olympic stadium of Kiev. Some 2,000 local and foreign startup entrepreneurs, venture investors, representative of small and large high tech and financial companies, industry experts and other IT people gathered in the gigantic venue.

In the startup area, the Ukrainian contingent was the most numerous – perhaps even more than in the event’s previous editions. As many as 19 startups – all Ukrainian – took home prizes that ranged from mentorships to up to $19,000 in cash winnings.

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Doctor At Work_doktornarabote_new

Guard Capital invests $2.8 million in doctor social network

Moscow based fund Guard Capital has bought 15% of DoktorNaRabote, a Russian social network for doctors, for $2.8 million. The project’s cofounder Stanislav Sazhin stated that the business angels from whom Guard Capital purchased its stake left the company having made tenfold profits.

DoktorNaRabote was founded by Andrey Perfilev and Stanislav Sazhin on 14th October 2009, so it will be celebrating its fifth birthday in just a few days. It boasts 302,624 Russian doctors at time of writing, and makes the majority of its profits from advertising, particularly from the pharmaceutical industry, who are banned from promoting certain medicines in the mainstream media.

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USA Russia

Report: “Technology Commercialization as the Basis of Entrepreneurial Universities: The US Experience and Possibilities for Russia”

Dr. Alina Ilinova, an assistant professor and the tech transfer manager at Mining University in St. Petersburg, spent quality time earlier this year at the Maryland International Incubator (MI2, University of Maryland, College Park), studying the best international practices in the commercialization of university-originating technologies and the innovation ecosystems developed at UMD and other American universities.

The painstaking work has culminated in a comprehensive report, in which Ms. Ilinova compares the commercialization practices in the U.S. and Russia, pinpoints the weak spots that Russia still has in this process, and joins her US-based colleagues in offering Russian universities a set of recommendations on how to fine-tune these efforts.

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Online advertising

Russia’s top 10 digital advertising categories revealed

Yandex analysts recently compiled data to assess the top digital advertising categories.  Generally speaking, the top industries include travel, fashion, financial services, medical services, and automobiles.

These major industries that have a strong online presence actually vary when it comes to specific categories within these industries.  Two of the major travel industry categories, hotels and passenger air transport, make the top five digital advertising categories.

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Life.SREDA launches new international fintech fund with $100 million target

Yesterday Life.SREDA, a Moscow-based venture fund focusing on mobile and online fintech startups, announced plans to launch a second, internationally oriented fund of $100 million.

Existing Life.SREDA backers have already provided one fifth of the target amount, or $20 million, for the new fund. Further fundraising talks are being held with several large banks and telecom operators, including Chinese, Hong Kong and Singaporean organizations.

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  • The Institute for Statistical Studies and Economics of Knowledge
  • Russian Venture Company
  • Territory of tomorrow foundation