VIENNA, October 31 (Itar-Tass) — The Skolkovo Foundation has presented at an international conference of beginning entrepreneurs – Pioneers Festival in the Austrian capital on Tuesday about 10 Russian participating companies. The guests of honour at the presentation were member of the Skolkovo Board of Trustees Alexander Galitsky and Advisor to the President of the Skolkovo Foundation Pekka Viljakainen. The Pioneers Festival was created by the STARTeurope company, which specialises in projects for start-ups, entrepreneurs and venture capitalists. The company originated in 2009.
To the Pioneers Festival of start-ups the Russians have brought very interesting and promising projects.
One of them was presented in an interview with Itar-Tass by Marketing Director of Protection Technology Research (PTR) Dmitry Gusev. “We have been developing and introducing systems of protection against copying and hacking or simply ‘piracy’ of software and content for mobile platforms,” he said. “It is used in tablets, smart phones, androids, etc. Our company has successfully developed and is already introducing on the Russian and foreign markets similar solutions for personal computers, and now we have set a more ambitious goal.”
“The prototype of our product will be ready by June next year, and it will take some two years to refine and create its full version, added Yulia Titova, PTR Business Director. “It will be difficult for us to implement our plans independently even with the grant of the Skolkovo Foundation, so we hope to find an interested investor. Basically, our innovations can not only to protect any information, any software from the threats that are unknown to the market, i.e. the ‘zero-day’ threats, but also be useful for legal services.”
Another very interesting product in the information technology sphere is offered by IT Progressive. The project it develops is called Mobly. “From the word mobility,” the project leader Denis Miganov said. “We create a service with which a mobile user can go abroad and significantly save on roaming, including not only voice communication, but also data transfer. To this end we have developed the software and a super-thin SIM card, which is glued on top of the traditional user card and recognises the needed operator. The company exists only six months, but we have managed to find a co-investor. We have produced a prototype of the chip and are in negotiations with foreign mobile operators.”
Resident status of the Skolkovo Foundation gives many benefits to the start-ups, Denis Miganov continued. “We work in a tax-free regime with reduced unified social tax,” he said. “In addition, we have direct access to foreign investors, in particular, through the participation in the conference.”
One of the main tasks of Skolkovo is to use this foothold not only for putting applied research in practice, but also for the establishment of a new philosophy, a new attitude to life, Alexander Galitsky said. “In addition to creating the eco-system for business development we need to change the mentality,” he continued. “It is necessary to teach young people how to win, to think globally and not to be afraid of mistakes. It is necessary to restore the link of the higher education system with practice, because today professors often teach students based on 10-year old experience. Only through the combination of basic knowledge with the modern production practice we will be able to begin to create new technological elite in Russia.”
Referring to the most promising spheres for Russian start-ups, the member of the Board of Trustees of Skolkovo and head of the Almaz Capital Partners venture fund named primarily the computer technology and engineering. “But first,” he added, “there should be internal market demand for innovation, which today is rather poorly developed.”
The Skolkovo Foundation for the Development of the Centre of Research and Commercialising of New Technologies was created at the initiative of Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in September 2010. Its goal is to mobilise Russia’s resources in modern applied research and create a favourable environment for academic pursuits in five key areas of technological development: energy and energy efficiency, space, biomedicine, nuclear technologies and IT. The project calls for establishing the Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology (SIST), research institutions, a business incubator, a technology transfer and commercialisation centre, offices of foreign companies and R&D centres, residential quarters and social infrastructure, as well as for eventually spreading the effective system to other innovation regions in Russia.
Alexander Galitsky said in conclusion that he also intends to find among the conference participants those who may be interesting for the Russian Internet market and try to convince them that “their start-up will be more successful not in Germany, England, France or the United States, but in Russia.” “However,” he made a reservation, “Russia will have to do something to improve the conditions - the liberalisation of business, taxes and freedom of movement. If this is done then young entrepreneurs with innovative backgrounds, seeing the size of the market, will seek to work in our country. And this will boost innovative development.”