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Sixteen years ago, Dave Vasquez first came to Russia from Columbia to study Russian language and literature. Since then, he has succeeded in launching several independent projects, participated in accelerators in Moscow and St. Petersburg, graduated from a Master's program in Barcelona and worked some time with American startups. Now, Dave is living in St. Petersburg and helps novice entrepreneurs develop their businesses. In an interview for ITMO.NEWS, he shared about what you should know before starting a business, how to build a startup ecosystem in such a big country as Russia and why it's best to teach entrepreneurship starting with children at elementary school.
The SumIT Startup School and the MIT Global Startup Labs acceleration programs have both come to a close at ITMO University. Young entrepreneurs from Russia and South Korea have received feedback from an expert board of staff from MIT and ITMO University’s business incubator. Their ideas were presented to potential investors during the DemoDay closing event on August 10.
Do you live in St. Petersburg? Then you’re likely aware of what it’s like to live in a rainy climate. You always need an umbrella, your choice of clothing is limited, driving is a hassle, you need to carry around all the extra stuff, can’t spend as much time in parks as you’d like to and, of course, the rain outside puts you in a mood. Do not fret – the age of technology has a solution to any problem. ITMO.NEWS has put together a list of inventions, both clever and odd, that help people live, laugh and love despite the rain.
On July 31, ITMO University’s business incubator launched the International SumIT Summer School. This year the acceleration program will welcome young entrepreneurs from South Korea. Three startups, each supervised by a Russian mentor, will work and study here for two weeks. ITMO.NEWS explains what sort of a program the business incubator has prepared for its Korean colleagues and what projects they have brought with them.
The eight-week MIT Global Startup Labs program, organized by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, was launched in June at ITMO University’s business incubator. 29 students and graduates from St. Petersburg, Moscow and Irkutsk, supervised by mentors from MIT and Sloan School of Management, are given two months to assemble a team, present a prototype of a new mobile application and to develop its marketing strategy. In August the participants will present final prototypes to potential investors. ITMO.NEWS describes the apps that very soon might be a part of your mobile experience.
The company AGCT, a resident of ITMO University’s Technopark, will receive funding of more than 44 million rubles from RBV Capital Fund. The contract was signed during the Startup Village conference. The company is working on development of a complete cure for HIV. Startup Village also featured the residents of the Future Technologies business accelerator and the “New Generation of Supercapacitors” project headed by advisor to ITMO’s Vice Rector for Research.
MIT Global Startup Labs program started off in the Business Incubator of ITMO University in June. The program goes on for eight weeks and is organized by Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Starting from the year 2000, a similar MIT GSL program has been carried out in 14 countries, altogether 59 times. This summer marks the first time that the program is conducted in Russia. The goal for the students from St. Petersburg, Moscow and Irkutsk is to gather their teams and to come up with a prototype for a mobile application and a marketing strategy with the help of curators from MIT and Sloan School of Management.
On June 30 the Girls4Tech project school for female programmers, engineers and entrepreneurs was launched in St. Petersburg and Moscow. The school is organized by ITMO University, Moscow Polytechnic University and the Moscow office of international accelerator NUMA. In the next three months, the school’s participants, aided by mentors, will develop their soft and hard skills as part of a tailor-made educational program that includes lectures on innovation marketing and project management, programming classes, prototyping at FabLab, case solving, business games and various other activities.
Students, postgraduates and alumni who want to improve their financial technologies-related skills, work with real-world problems, listen to expert opinions as well as find employers and future partners, are welcome to join the competition on June 24. Over the course of three stages, teams from all over Russia will compete in two categories of choice: business analytics and software development in the field of financial technologies. The competition is sponsored by the international payment service QIWI, VTB24 bank, Bank Otkritie and ITMO University’s Institute of Cyber Technologies for Financial Systems (ITMO.Fintech). Read on to find out more about the competition’s rules, participation conditions and cases.
ITMO University has launched a training program for university professors teaching the course “Innovation Economy and Technological Entrepreneurship” developed by the Russian Venture Company (RVC), ITMO University and Moscow State University. Throughout the week, representatives from 52 Russian universities will master teaching methods, specifics of education in innovation economy, basics of for-profit R&D, technology transfer and licensing, creation of technological startups, as well as develop their own strategies for commercialization of given R&D results.