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Moscow could make top-3 of global startup ranking by 2023 - expert

According to General Director of Moscow’s Agency of Innovations Alexey Parabuchev, Moscow’s innovation ecosystem continues to develop rapidly

MOSCOW, May 1. /TASS/. Moscow is moving up the rankings of cities favorable to startups and will soon be one of the world’s top three judging by parameters such as number and quality of startups, infrastructure, business climate and public acceptance of innovations, as Alexey Parabuchev, General Director of Moscow’s Agency of Innovations, told TASS.

This year, Moscow moved up from 14th to 10th place in the latest ranking of cities with the best ecosystems for startups, published by the international information and analytical portal StartupBlink.

“Competition among the top 50 cities in the ranking is very tough, and the top 10 places are held by the strongest traditional leaders. Moscow is the only new city in the top 10 compared to the previous ranking compiled in November 2017, having overtaken Paris. Moscow’s innovation ecosystem continues to develop rapidly, and the city is fully capable of progressing to 6th place in the ranking by 2021. To achieve this, it will have to overtake cities like Seattle, Chicago, Berlin and Tel Aviv. The next target, which can only be achieved through the concerted efforts of business, the city and innovators, is to take 3rd place behind the undisputed leaders of San Francisco and New York, but ahead of London,” said Parabuchev.

Development Potential

Parabuchev is confident that Moscow has what it takes, though its innovation environment indicators will have to increase at least 2.5-fold compared to 2019. Parabuchev pointed out that there are currently over 4,500 startups operating in the city. There are plans to increase the number of co-working spaces, which the city can turn into “breeding grounds” for fledgling enterprises. In addition, the city has 35 technoparks for hi-tech companies and plans to open a similar site for the creative industries in the near future. 

A dedicated citywide center has been set up for startups in the Digital business space. “The city will continue to work on ensuring that Moscow startups get timely information about where precisely their developments can be deployed. The city will be running hackathons [developer forums – TASS], in which teams will seek solutions for real issues faced by the city and business. We hope that many of those who take part in the hackathons will go on to create their own companies”, noted Parabuchev.

According to Parabuchev, the Russian capital will soon have new mechanisms for engaging talented young people in technological entrepreneurship: educational projects for novice businessmen are being prepared for launch, as well as a center for the development of economic initiatives.

Meanwhile, Eduard Lysenko, Head of Moscow City Hall’s IT Department, believes that the infrastructure created in the city, which has virtually eradicated digital inequality, is also a favorable factor for the development of startups. According to Lysenko, mobile internet costs 3-5 times less in Moscow than in London or New York, while 80% of Muscovites now use smartphones. “Like many other cities around the world, we are currently devoting a lot of attention to new communication technologies – 5G. New-generation commercial networks are scheduled to appear in Moscow in 2020-2021, while in 2019, we are planning a pilot launch for the four key telecoms operators,” he said.  

StartupBlink Ranking

The compilers of the ranking take into account parameters such as number and quality of startups, infrastructure, business climate and public acceptance of innovations. Moscow has overtaken recognized development leaders in this area, including Beijing, Bangalore, New Delhi, Tokyo, Paris, Austin, Toronto and Amsterdam.

The top cities in the 2019 ranking are mainly in California, including the Silicon Valley area and Los Angeles, as well as New York, Boston, Chicago, Seattle, London, Berlin and Tel Aviv.

The StartupBlink list also features other Russian cities: Saint Petersburg (79th place), Kazan (230), Novosibirsk (231), Chelyabinsk (500), Yekaterinburg (501), Ufa (999), Samara (1,002), Ulyanovsk (1,003), Barnaul (1,004), Kaliningrad (1,006), Ob (1,007), Irkutsk (1,009), Perm (1,010), Volgograd (1,011), Saratov (1,013), Taganrog (1,015), Tula (1,016) and Omsk (1,017).