By Vasili Sushko
NEW YORK (VOR) - The second annual Russian Innovation Week starts in Boston today.
The three-day event was organized to help develop investment strategies in the technology sector between Russia and the United States, and will host dozens of companies and investors alike, first for a daylong conference in Boston, and then for a two-day conference in Silicon Valley. Our Voice of Russia Correspondent Vasili Sushko had a chance to speak with some of the organizers to find out what this year’s conference will entail.
It’s an invite-only event that will house investors, tech-startups and government officials all under one roof on two separate coasts. The first day of the bi-coastal Russian Innovation Week begins today in Boston and is set to conclude in Silicon Valley later this week. According to Igor Agamirzian, the CEO of Russian Venture Capital, one of the three organizers of the conference, the purpose of the event is to spark conversation between investors and tech-startups in a way that would benefit both the US and Russia.
“The main goal is to establish the relations and to make both sides know each other better. We are about business and we are about finding the opportunities for both sides.” – Igor Agamirzian, CEO of Russian Venture Capital.
The conference will include presentations from about 40 Russian companies and will be attended by nearly 200 investors. The first Russian Innovation Week, which took place in Silicon Valley last year, was a major success, according to Agamirzian, setting the expectations even higher for this year’s conference.
“Last year, in 2012, we arranged a meeting between the Russian start-ups and investors in the Silicon Valley and it was taken very warmly. There was a great interest from both sides in that. This year we extended it to the east coast as well, and the number of participates who actually registered for these events is even much greater than it was a year ago.” – Igor Agamirzian, CEO of Russian Venture Capital.
Another organizer of the event is The Skolkovo Foundation, referred to by some as Russia’s own ‘Silicone Valley.’ Voice of Russia had a chance to speak with Oleg Syutin, the Vice President of International Cooperation at The Skolkovo Foundation, who broke down the main objectives of the conference and spoke about what he hopes to accomplish for the select Russian companies that will be presented during this week’s conference.
“Three objectives we formulated for this event are to help those companies to establish relationships and help them find new partners in three different domains. First of all, in terms of investment, in terms of technology collaboration and in terms of market access. We are quite glad to see that amongst those people that are currently registered for this conference, we have all those three groups of companies and people represented quite nicely andthat’s why we are looking forward to having quite an interesting conversation and many new contacts and relationships established between our companies and players in the Untied States.” – Oleg Syutin, VP of International Cooperation, Skolkovo Foundation.
Alsoattending the three day long conference will be Viktor Vekselberg, the president of The Skolokovo Foundation, along with Anatoly Chubais, the chief executive of RUSNANO, a nanotechnology company. The conference will take place for one day only in Boston, after which it will resume on Thursday in Silicon Valley and conclude on Friday.