Let us start with a brief introduction of the Global Venture Alliance and its journey since 2012.
GVA is a private ecosystem for innovation development which recently was announced as the World #1 Private Business Accelerator according to UBI Global 2019 research. Our journey was very interesting: since 2012 we’ve managed to build a sustainable acceleration programs together with venture funds, numerous other corporate innovation products and a big network of startups and experts surrounding our brand. We have representation in Russia, Silicon Valley, Kazakhstan, and now starting to scale to other emerging markets in CIS and AMEA regions.
We started off as a classical accelerator: we call it acceleration 1.0, where we were teaching entrepreneurs how to build a successful startups. We launched these programs called StartUp Academy back in 2011 and 2012, where we were bringing in the best startups from Europe, Silicon Valley and all over the US, taking methodologies of lean startup, customer development and other famous tools, customizing them for the Russian market and local economic model, teaching startups how to build a global company.
After 2014 we started moving towards investing in startups as well. We started investing in startups, now we have a significant portfolio of 220 companies. This allowed us to evolve into an acceleration 2.0, where we started teaching startups and investing in them as a private venture capital.
Since 2016 we shifted our model towards acceleration 3.0, which we call “open innovation as a service”. Now we are building acceleration programs for corporations, other institutions and governments. We are now teaching other players of the market on how to do acceleration right.
Please elaborate about the GVA‘s uniqueness and what distinguishes you from other accelerators?
We have been developing our methodology for the past 7 years. At the moment we have in-depth knowledge about not only how to create educational programs, but also how to build the relationship between early-stage companies and large corporations, how to successfully pilot new technologies and how a startup can scale inside a big company. That would be our uniqueness which allowed us to run 4-5 programs simultaneously.
Since we were able to create a proper platform for collaboration between startups, corporations and venture investors, our numbers have been growing, and performance of our startups has been really good. This is a win-win scheme which benefits everyone. Our unique approach is to create a value add for all players within the ecosystem and be the bonding element that ties them all. Currently, GVA is acting as a platform where startups, corporations, investors and governments can collaborate; and we don’t just act as a platform, we create special programs for this collaboration to be successful.
What’s next for the GVA?
During the past few years we have developed our methodology, which has now become a product that we can scale. We are happy to share our knowledge and experience with our colleagues in the market and to license our methodology. Now we are negotiating with several emerging markets, including India, Pakistan and few countries in Africa, about how our methodology can help them develop their ecosystem, bring corporations on board for real results, and where they can start playing a serious role inside the ecosystem.
Those are our plans and how we are going to advance our methodology and expertise. We plan to build more relationship with large companies. At this stage, we already have many industrial clients – big players of the market that want to digitally transform, and this is a very interesting experience. To sum up, our plans are to leverage on existing strengths and build new partnerships in order to scale our methodology to different countries.
What is the outlook for entrepreneurship in Russia?
We have been a very active player in the Russian market and helped build an ecosystem by running many events for startups, entrepreneurs, investors, corporations, and teaching them different techniques. Many activities were delivered for free, in order to enhance the growth of the ecosystem. Right now, we can see that the seeds that we have planted are bearing results, and Moscow is now ranked at #10 as the city where the ecosystem is thriving and growing really fast.
The one obstacle I can see is that Russia is a very big country and, unfortunately, we have very few cities where the ecosystem is growing – Moscow, Saint Petersburg, Yekaterinburg, Kazan. For me, there is a lot of talent out there in other regions of Russia and I believe that a lot of work needs to be done to find them and equip them with special skills. We should also consider the regional factors which can help us create the regional ecosystem with deep expertise. Doing so would allow us to create institutions, incubators and acceleration programs in those regions, similar to what is happening in the US – there is Silicon Valley, but there is also Boston, San Diego, Chicago and other hubs, which hold certain expertise that drives startups from all over the country to come to these centers, develop their technologies and get access to expertise, talent and, of course, financing.
Overall, if talking about the outlook for entrepreneurship in Russia, I should say that being an entrepreneur is still not as popular as it should be. With every success case that we can show to the world, being and entrepreneur is going to become more attractive for younger generation.
What would be your advice for entrepreneurs who seek to start or scale up their businesses?
One of the biggest challenges of starting a business is finding the right people. It is not so much about the idea or technology that you try to build, but rather about the partners you work with and who can support you. Hence, my advice to those who decide to launch a startup is to be very picky about who you partner with. You have to know your partner very well, you have to be sure that when the hard times come, which will definitely happen, your partner will stick to you and your project, and follow through all the way. Most of the failed startups fail because people did not get along when it was difficult. Therefore, my advice to all entrepreneurs is – find the right partner and a lot of things are going to be much easier in this definitely intriguing and very interesting journey.
How about your advice for those who consider expanding to international markets?
When you consider expanding to international markets, I believe that it is very important to make sure that your current business is running smoothly even without you and your partners being present. Because, if your company is still too young and the processes, technologies and team are still immature, your presence will be essential to oversee day to day activities. Therefore, I would say that it is too early to expand to international markets.
Going international is like building a whole new company, where you know nobody and have basically no idea about how the market operates. So, it is going to take a lot of energy and time, and you have got to make sure that your current business is stable, so that you can divert some of the human resources to new location.
My second piece of advice is to find a local partner – an accelerator, incubator, investor or entrepreneur, in order to be successful and not waste a lot of time. I have seen many startups who lost time and money, because they were not familiar with the currents of the new market – the things that you do not really see. Hence, find a local partner and do not spread thin your resources all over the place. Moreover, pick a single location or continent and try to win it first, rather than trying to scale to 10 different locations, which is a very expensive thing to do. Therefore, unless you have a multimillion investment that allows you to do that, I would say that entrepreneurs should approach internationalization step by step and make sure that current business can function without partners being present.
GVA is recognized as the TOP CHALLENGER according to the UBI Global World rankings of University-linked Business Incubators and Accelerators.
The article on Vedomosti on cooperation between corporations and start-ups. Among examples, there are three GVA's accelerators: Mega Accelerator, PepsiCo LAB and Faberlic FMCG Accelerator.
“Stock investors can’t invest in Uber, but they can invest in Nasdaq-listed Yandex, owner of Russia’s top ride-hailing platform,” writes WSJ reporter Stephen Wilmot, referring to the Yandex.Taxi platform.
The first face-to-face event in the framework of the StartUp Kazakhstan – program orientation took place in innovation cluster of Tech Garden in Almaty on February 1-2. On the first day General Director of the Autonomous cluster Fund "PIT" (Tech Garden) Sanzhar Kettebekov and CEO of Global Venture Alliance Zamir Shukhov addressed to the participants with the introductory speech.
How do the local startup scenes look like in Estonia, Poland, Russia, Ukraine — but also in less known countries, from Bosnia-Herzegovina, to Moldova, to Georgia? How much do VCs invest these countries? Are corporations involved in these emerging ecosystems? Which are the most well-funded startups, and which younger ones should be followed? Why do so many ICOs come from Eastern Europe?
The beginning of this year saw major moves on the Russian eSports scene, a sizable European market with established players operating globally. Thus, last week Mail.Ru Group — an LSE-listed Internet company which controls the largest Russian-language social networks and a range of online gaming companies — announced the full acquisition of ESforce.
GVA’s partner Pavel Luksha, founder Global Education Futures and professor at Moscow School of Management, has a new report out on what graduates should know and be able to do. “Skills of the Future: How to Thrive in the Complex New World” was developed with WorldSkills Russia during sessions of the Atlas of Emerging Jobs project. The report is a thoughtful review of global trends, changes in work and concludes with implications for education. Not a continuation of the present, the authors “believe that mankind should take a serious approach towards the formation of a desired image of the future.”
On January 22 during the official visit of the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbaev to the USA the autonomous cluster fund Tech Garden signed a number of important agreements with American companies on the digitization of the economy of Kazakhstan.
At the international GELP Moscow 2017 Summit, which was held in Moscow on 1st to 3rd of November, leaders of Russian and foreign education from 12 states outlined practical steps for systematical change of the global educational environment, taking into account the existing global challenges of civilization.
Global Venture Alliance took part in a closed round table session organized by Forbes Russia.
The authoritative international alliance Global Education Leaders` Partnership (GELP), which influences the development of school education abroad, for the first time, chose Russia as a meeting point for leaders and experts of the world educational community. The official operator of GELP is the Global Venture Alliance.
Global Venture Alliance is the general sponsor of the event on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the magazine Forbes.
The Global Venture Alliance team on October 17 at the international forum "Open Innovations 2017" in Skolkovo organized a closed signing between RZhD, IBM, NES and NCC in the field of transport logistics.
IKEA Centers Russia and GVA have identified 9 start-ups that will go into the MEGA Accelerator business incubator. Theese are Altair VR virtual planetarium, mobile application Save4time, virtual bot MRBot, VR-platform Hexa, interactive game Ligrook, time scheduler Verme, HR-robot Robot Vera, corporate messenger Beesender and IT-service for lawyers Bots & Partners. This was reported to Firrma in IKEA Centres Russia.
Tim Cook has not-so-subtly hinted that Apple is working on some sort of augmented reality product. And while ARKit may be the start, a patent application published today hints at what Apple could be picturing down the road.
Apple has teamed up with Australian-based Cochlear to bring iPhone users the first made for iPhone Cochlear implant.
Approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in June, Cochlear’s Nucleus 7 Sound Processor can now stream sound directly from a compatible iPhone, iPad or iPod touch to the sound processor.
Google’s London-based AI outfit DeepMind has created two different types of AI that can use their ‘imagination’ to plan ahead and perform tasks with a higher success rate than AIs without imagination. Sorry if I made you click because you wanted AIs predicted flying cars. I promise this is cool too.
Scientists at MIT are using Wi-Fi and AI to determine your emotional state. They’ve created an algorithm that can detect and measure individual heartbeats by bouncing RF signals off of people.
Yep. Glass is back.