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September-November 2016

Russia's tech startups aim to defy economic gloom

In spite of the Russian economy's poor state and sanctions imposed by the European Union and the US over Ukraine and Crimea in 2014, the local tech startup scene is developing rapidly, cashing in on government policy to favour local suppliers and the lower costs caused by the weak national currency. The fourth annual Startup Village event, an open-air festival for innovative entrepreneurs, was held in early June 2016 on the outskirts of Moscow, drawing in more than 20,000 people and hundreds of startups eager to present their projects and attract investors and grants, as well as competing for residency at the Skolkovo Innovation Centre that hosted the event. Among those in attendance, 7,000 delegates represented startups and innovative systems, and 1,500 signed up as investors – a noticeable increase from the previous years. Skolkovo Innovation Centre, a hub for tech startups, has been the event's venue since its inception three years ago. Focused on information technology, energy, biomedical/healthcare, nuclear and space/...

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