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Archive for the ‘Innovation & Investments’ Category

At the beginning of the year our team has launched an online incubator for e-government startups in Russia – Gov2Project.ru. As always there were a lot of opinions that such initiatives are hopeless in Russia, etc. Everyone tells me that gov2project is too naïve to be on the market and particularly on Russian market. I would agree with their opinions and arguments only after they could suggest something that works. We need to apply a lot of effort and hard work to start things up. But that niche is quite logical for the market especially in terms of regional development.

Why do we need startups in the e-government sector?

First of all, there is no perfect eGov model anywhere in the world.

Civil projects solves 2 problems: involving people into development and qualitative evaluation of public services and reducing costs. And we should realize that citizen’s projects are something that could be in demand by society but is not their priority. That is not public service development, but might be a “crowd” monitoring of these services.

So we decided to find all projects that could become commercially successful and are socially important and place them on one platform. Russia has great possibilities – a large number of developers that could work on different gov 2.0 projects. Our IT could greatly improve situation in the eGov sector.

So is there a light in the end of the tunnel?

Of course there is a light at the end, if we will be able to build the model properly. There are great technological projects and then investor buys the technology not the content component. Russian strength is the best developers in the world. It is assumed that amount of functional projects will be much bigger than media-PR projects. continue reading

Startup Afisha project


Стартап АфишаI would like to tell you more about my project StartupAfisha and  initiative that we’ve started and it seems to be really effective – the most complete and open events calendar for entrepreneurs. From now on any entrepreneur is able to check any events in his business area he needs, he could find an event where he could present his startup, find partners or gather a team he is in need until of, or find a VC’s to get investments in startup. The geography of events is quite big starting from Russian events (not only Moscow and St. Petersburg bet also all regions of the country), Ukraine, Belorussia, USA and Europe.

The biggest problem for Russian startup-community is lack of single platform for all of the events in regions. And market had a big demand for such platform. We are using the mixed model on our Startup Afisha: there is an open calendar of events and newsletter with information on closed events, competitions, tenders and grants, trainings and workshops. Moreover our subscribers are having an opportunity to get a significant discount on events of our partners around the world.

A lot of people ask me “what event we could visit?”, “how can I find a team?”, “where I can show my project?”. And I decided to unite all of them in one calendar of events. Our mission is to unite all of the community-leaders at one place, to inform them and make their jobs a lot more effective. The project has its own narrow niche and has its own target audience at partner countries and excellent growth prospects. I consider Startup Afisha as the crowdsourcing project. Some services at Startup Afisha are being created by the representatives of startup-community. I believe that crowdsourcing model could be really effective.

In addition to calendar we have a list of important services:

  • communities and innovation leaders guide;
  • Job service which can help you find a team for your startup;
  • Startup-school section – contains practical information for entrepreneurs;
  • Recommended books and some more initiatives

The short term mission of Startup Afisha is to develop the partnership between communities and events, so the entrepreneurs would be able to take part in events with discounts, use the crowdsourcing model of project development, involve the community and opinion leaders in the regions to collaborate with Startup Afisha, create club-history and to integrate into international startup-communities.

The project has been launched in December 2010 and now  serves as a single entry-point for all entrepreneurs, investors and organizers of startup-activities in Russia.

Web page of the project — http://startupafisha.ru
Facebook  page — http://www.facebook.com/StartUpAfisha
Twitter account — @startupafisha

newsgrapeRecently I had an interview with Ilya Zheludev — the CFO at newsgrape.com

They are building a central place to share articles, providing a simple way to publish information in a group of people. This is a web-platform that revolutionize the way people share text on the web.

Enough of the common words, read the whole interview and direct introduction of the service below.

First of all, please introduce your project and tell us what it is all about?
Newsgrape is a new type of free social media website which brings readers and writers together in a not-yet seen environment. It allows writers to collaborate on online magazines of their choice, and in any language. Blogging was the first step in online self-publishing, but it is limited in that blogs are not homogeneous in style, and that unless one has a lot of followers, the published articles are not seen by anyone. In other words, unless a blog is popular, nobody is going to read it. This is where Newsgrape differs.

How it differs and excels the other article/news-aggregating projects? What are the main Newsgrape features?
Articles published in magazines on Newsgrape are distributed to our readers in two ways. Firstly, readers can ‘follow’ magazines, authors and genres in their own personalised section of the site called E-Go. Secondly, new articles gain favour throughout the site based on the opinions of readers. A complex patent-pending algorithm promotes articles throughout the site based on users’ opinions of the article. Without going into specific details, this means that a new article, by a new author, in a new magazine, can become the website’s headline in mere hours, attracting thousands of viewers to it — even if the magazine itself is brand new and has no subscribers. This in itself is revolutionary. It means that one doesn’t need millions of existing subscribers in order to make site-leading headlines. Our selection algorithm promotes articles based on users’ opinions of these new articles.

Articles can contain media and photos too — it’s not just about text!

We also have a Twitter equivalent, called Fastnews which will be released shortly. This works on the same principle, i.e., short messages posted on Fastnews can be seen by thousands of viewers, even if the original author of the message has no followers! Twitter doesn’t have this capability — with Twitter, one can only reach a huge audience if one already has a huge list of subscribers. continue reading

In addition to the recent GTS speakers list, here is some more information about William Draper — veteran venture investor and his new book «The Startup Game». He will take part in the Day 3 of the Symposium at Panel VII: The Start-Up Game

The 8th Annual Global Technology Symposium will be held March 23-25, 2011 at the exquisite Rosewood Sand Hotel.

William Draper is one of the West Coast’s first venture capitalists. His passion for helping startups get off the ground runs deep in the family. He is the second of three generations of venture capitalists — his father founded what is recognized as the first venture capital firm in the West. And Draper’s son Tim is founder of the VC firm Draper Fisher Jurvetson.

In his just-published book, «The Startup Game» Draper shares his life-stories along with other lessons from his 40-plus years in the venture capital industry. The book arrives during a challenging time for the VC industry — fundraising continued to decline in 2010, hitting its lowest level in seven years.

He founded Sutter Hill Ventures in Palo Alto, backed winners like Activision, LSI Logic, Skype and OpenTable, but missed the boat on Yahoo. Draper also draws from his experiences as president and chairman of the U.S. Export-Import Bank and as head of the United Nations Development Program.

The San Francisco Chronicles recently chatted with Draper, 83, at the Draper Richards LP offices in downtown San Francisco. continue reading

GTS: Speakers list


As the official Russia representative of GTS I keep on covering the information about the upcoming eight Global Techonlogical Symposium. Today I’m going to tell you the information about key speakers on the conference. All of them are extremely experienced executives and VC’s . They definitely have a lot of information to share with all of us. All of them are going to take part on the GTS on March, 23-25.

Saeed Amidi, Plug and Play Tech Center

Saeed Amidi is a President and CEO at Plug and Play Tech Center. Plug and Play is a large incubator in Sunnyvale, CA which offers a range of services from full service office space to strategic advice to direct investments to start-up companies. In addition, Amidi is the Founding General Partner of Amidzad which he co-founded in 2000. He is a serial entrepreneur and seasoned executive with over 23 years of experience in founding, operating and growing successful companies.


Andrey I. Denisov, First Deputy Foreign Minister of the Russian Federation

Andrey I. Denisov is the First Deputy Foreign Minister of the Russian Federation. From 2004 to 2006, he was the Permanent Representative of Russia to the United Nations. Previously, he had been the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs from December 2001 to July 2004, and Russia’s Ambassador to the Arab Republic of Egypt from May 2000 to December 2001.

continue reading

Global Technology Symposium


The Global Technology Symposium is the leading investment conference on venture capital, technology, and entrepreneurship in emerging markets.

The eighth annual Symposium will take place on March 23-25, 2011, at the Rosewood Sand Hotel, California.

Each year since 2004, the Symposium has brought more than 300 selected opinion leaders in business, finance, technology, and policymaking to Silicon Valley, where they share insights into the opportunities and challenges of globalization.

For the first time on conference the Russia Day is going to be held. The first day of the conference is going to be devoted to Russia’s Role in the Global Innovation Ecosystem; Venture Capital and Angel Investment in Russia; Innovations in Russia and Global Investors.

I am one of the official Russia’ representatives on the GTS. We are providing 10 most deserving Russian startups to take part in the GTS

Feel free to contact me at alyona@globaltechsymposium.com, http://alenapopova.ru
and Renata Akhunova — renata@globaltechsymposium.com, http://renataakhunova.ru

I will publish updated information about the speakers and content of the conference in a few days.

GTS: Lorraine Hariton


Together with Renata we are opening a new series of publications about the Global Technology Symposium. I had an interview with Lorraine Hariton — US Department Special Representative for Commercial and Business Affairs. Lorraine is a very interesting woman with great experience in fundraising, entrepreneurship. So I immediately invited her to our StartUp Women Forum.

On GTS she is going to lead a section about investments in BRIC countries. You can find more information on the forum.

Me and Renata are the GTS representatives in Russia: if you have any questions — feel free to ask.


I»m glad to announce the new initiative on our StartupAfisha page — Recreating Silicon Valley program.  We’ll also announce a number of new initiatives soon

At the Communication On Top forum, speaking of myths about Russia, startups, unification and why the Russian market has huge growth prospects.

I’m continuing my story about most outstanding participants in an international forum in Davos — Communication On Top which will take place very soon, on February 16-18.  I will represent Russia at the Political communications section on «Why in Russia and the BRIC countries the e-government could stimulate the economic development».

Philippe Borremans is the speaker of social media section of “Communication on Top” Forum. The topiс of his presentation is “ROI of Social Media for internal comms: How organizations should apply collaborative and interactive social media tools to enhance productivity and communication?

Philippe Borremans is a Chief Social Media Officer at Van Marcke Group of Companies (Belgium) and he is responsible for the company’s global internal and external SM policy, vision and mission. He maintains the group’s SM strategies & campaigns, ensuring optimal use of in-house technical and community resources and enabling networking with online influencers/bloggers, especially those in the field of the Van Marcke Group constituents on a global scale.

At the same time Philippe is a Founding Member & Board Member of the International Association of Online Communicators (IAOC), a Full Member & Leader of the workgroup «Social Media” at the European Association of Communications Directors (EACD), and a Supporting member of the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF). He is often invited to teach Social Media courses as a guest lecturer.

He maintains a professional blog — ConversationBlog

As part of a White House effort to promote job creation, entrepreneurship and private-sector investment in startups, President Obama is announcing a new initiative today, called Startup America Partnership, to foster growth in the startup world and jumpstart job creation. The Partnership will be chaired by AOL co-founderSteve Caseand will be partly funded by theKauffman Foundationand theCase Foundation. continue reading