“There is a sense that Russia is still risky”

Members Russian innovation week in California, the outlook for innovation industry.

Velmaragan Bala, founder and executive director Airupt:

– I can not say that investors and startups actually considering to enter the Russian market. In my view, Russia has good people, but their borders country advertised. On the one hand, this is good, because anyone who comes to this market, few competitors. But on the other hand, it is bad for the Russian economy and engineers themselves. I think that in order to solve the problem, the Russian companies need to learn to sell. And perhaps, if foreign companies and investors to be heading to Russia.

Mark Shmulevich, Deputy Minister of Communications:

– Cooperation is coming, and now it is developing more serious than before. In the development of technology entrepreneurship is very important word “entrepreneurship”, and not just IT: must be able to commercialize, sell, to market, and all this to learn. So when we talk about mentoring of Russian companies in the first place, we mean foreign mentors, in particular from the United States.

But speaking more globally, IT-business is built around people. Now the problem with the money necessary for the development of the sector IT, we have practically no – the situation is much better than a few years ago.

And the people have a great difficulty – IT-industry originally global, therefore, those who create the best conditions for the people involved in IT, will benefit. Is the soil at the same time and for the co-operation and possible competition.

Alexander Galitsky, founder of Almaz Capital Partners:

– In order to attract investors to make efforts. For who made RIW, I do not understand for yourself what the target audience, it is not clear to me – for the Russian people, or anyone else. I wish that such events become more interesting for the local elite – the people who build the Silicon Valley today.

And Mark Zuckerberg is not stopped here. Sergey Brin still considers Russia Nigeria with snow.

To change this, some effort must demonstrate success more specific type. We have to find the guys who are doing something in Russia, and here (in the U.S.) punched. Then will appear the faith. I persuaded to become the general partner of Almaz Jeff Bayer. And once a person trusted by the local community of their own, became a partner of Almaz, we immediately began to offer deals from local venture capitalists, established companies. And such small
steps you can do something.

Glory and Paul, Director of R & D Bioptics:

– I understand that in Russia until all complicated: the bureaucracy, there is no production equipment that meets international standards, mainly American. Equipment necessary to get from the U.S., hence the question: “Why is it so difficult?”.

Igor Barinov, CEO Itsbeta:

– On the part of U.S. investors in the Russian projects no such interest, as we would like. When a startup comes to a Russian company, he replied: “Yeah, cool idea – we take” or “Cool idea, but it is not our specialty.” U.S., investors in most cases say that the idea is not good enough, as in the U.S. you can find dozens of such projects, and advised to apply to the players of the local market, which is primarily oriented original idea.

Michael Fonshteyn, President Cleveland Biolabs:

– The money goes to where people think they can make money. In Russia, the capital infused, as we see, but not terribly much. Joint ventures, which are discussed here, mainly made on Russian money. Projects go, if people see that there is a realization of them into products. Technical ideas in the world much more than the ability of their manifestation. But people who value their ideas, even on very favorable economic conditions, do not want to give them the wrong hands, because they are not sure that something will come of them. Once we show that the implementation of technical ideas in the west of Russia can be effective and bring economic Benefit, can occur very significant shift in the current situation.

Anna Dvorinikova, managing director of TEC:

– As far as the companies are interested to enter the Russian market, depending on what they are doing. Companies in which we invest, it is ready to enter the Russian market – a global company, the Russian market for them – one more opportunity to make money. But money in Russia virtually spill. Investors need to be around. This theory has existed for a long time. If you’re real investment somewhere else, it should be someone who is in control. You should clearly understand the market, where there is a company or where it can be displayed, you have to understand the business, communicate with business quickly. When a company is global, then investors may be everywhere, but when it is a small start-up – there should be a local investor who not only invest money but also help develop.

Barry Sherman, executive director StemPar:

– We are a small California-based company in the field of biotechnology and have just started to work with Russia to further develop their business. We’ll see what happens. In Russia there is the spirit of enterprise, all understand the risk that is associated with the launch of a new project. Bureaucracy, political instability in Russia – it exists, but to understand the work or not, you should try.

Anton Derlyatka, senior partner of Ward Howell:

– Investors and startups are starting to go to Russia, but more slowly than we would like. Two reasons: the main is a certain perception of Russia, but this is a political question, and I do not know what to do and how to change it. It’s too complex task. With the advent of “Skolkovo” RVC “Rusnano” and others is starting to change – people learn about Russia, people understand that it is not necessary to be afraid, they see that there are adequate people who speak in English, or the Americans who live in Russia. It `s starting to happen, as the saying goes, just not very fast.

Denis Zaviyanov, financial analyst Neophotonics:

– Russian structures do not like to work with public companies. This adds transparency.

And this prevents transparency. Other rules of the game, and when the rules of the game here and there do not fit together, it creates a conflict of interest, the conflict modes. in some industries closed to all personalities, many of whom do not want to be in the spotlight. Those people who work with them, feel it and do not want to substitute.

Startups do not go to Russia, on the contrary – go to the United States. Here is an ecosystem can find investors, lawyers, consultants, to help raise stratap, find a business model. In Russia there is no such ecosystems. They do not understand how to work in Russia.

Ken Lazarus, president and CEO of Lilliputian Systems:

– There is a lot of interest out in Russia because of two reasons. The first – a very attractive market dynamics to promote products – increasing penetration of mobile phones and their use. In addition, Russia has a large number of engineers. From the point of view of risks – for us this new economy. There is a concern in terms of the bureaucracy. But the state is aware of this and understand what steps are necessary in order to make Russia an attractive market.

Saeed Amidi, founder of the Plug and Play:

– Two years ago, our plans there was no way to Russia. But in the process of development, support the “Skolkovo”, “Rusnano”, the public and private sector, we have seen interest in the development of innovations. This is the main reason why we came to Russia. Gradually coming to this market, we plan to start with an investment of three to five companies. In general, U.S. and other investors and start-ups are beginning to come to Russia. The difficulty is that U.S. investors and projects do not know the local environment, but this is true for the regional market, not only in Russia.

Ronald Demuth, president of Torrey Pines Investment:

– The interest exists. We gradually over five years to invest in Russia. We have a portfolio company in Russia called Chemrar Ventures. We see significant opportunities in Russia. Any developing economy entails risks that in developed markets do not face. In the United States very seriously the protection of intellectual property is built, the existing infrastructure for faster innovation and support. In Russia, the situation with this better. But in the minds of American business there is uncertainty about the political situation in Russia.

Alistair Brett, a leading consultant to the World Bank:

– There is a sense that Russia is still risky.

Some believe that in Russia the snow all year round, and walk around the streets of the bears – but this is absolutely wrong perception. The main problem lies in the fact that Russia has much more actively promote their success stories. I think it is necessary for them to talk more.

Potential investors in the U.S. are not aware of the successful projects in Russia. When I talk to investors, they usually say, “Oh Okay, show me the successful projects.” People may know, for example, of “Yandex”, but small and medium-sized companies are not known. And the main question is: “Why is Russia, why should I invest there? ‘. I think there is now a growing interest in Russia – for 20 years, she has made tremendous progress. But still there may be too risk – investors should not have any questions about how to send money to Russia and bring them back.

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