Skolkovo Technopark launched the first acceleration program for foreign high-tech companies in 2020. About 25 startups from Uzbekistan take part in it. Their interests range from medicine and agriculture to IT, energy efficiency and industrial technology. Yuri Saprykin, Vice President of the Skolkovo Foundation for Regional and International Development, drew attention to the fact that the launch of the weekly soft landing program was undeniable evidence of the dynamically developing cooperation of the Fund and its partners from Uzbekistan.
Daria Smirnova, Program Curator, told Sk.ru that the Skolkovo Foundation’s soft landing program should familiarize foreign high-tech companies with the capabilities of the Russian innovation infrastructure, the market, the rules for doing business in Russia, the Fund’s partners, and so on. The program includes lectures, workshops, training, detailed analysis of the participants' projects, operational support and counseling, integration into the Skolkovo innovation community, acquaintance with Russian partners, and importantly, the culture of the country itself.
Participants and organizers of the soft landing program at Skolkovo. Photo courtesy: Sk.ru.
Yuri Saprykin, who spoke to start-up teams from Uzbekistan, paid particular attention to the last item. "I am pleased that we have relatively close relations with the Republic of Uzbekistan. We are in a common language space, and this is very important," said Mr. Saprykin, noting the importance of understanding the cultural features of the host country. "I am glad that our initiative to launch the soft-landing program has earned such feedback from you," added Vice President of the Skolkovo Foundation.
Skolkovo Foundation is the operator of innovative development programs in the CIS countries. "For many startups from neighboring republics, being here makes it possible to try their hand at the Russian market and test their hypotheses. And we provide this opportunity with pleasure," continued Yuri Saprykin. "We are particularly active in cooperating with Kazakhstan and Belarus. I hope that your presence here will be the first step to build successful relations with Uzbekistan."
Yuri Saprykin: I am pleased that we have relatively close relations with the Republic of Uzbekistan. Photo courtesy: Sk.ru.
Given the Fund’s close contacts with the leadership of Uzbekistan, the soft-landing program for startups from this country was organized in a short time. Representatives of the Skolkovo leadership visited Uzbekistan, and according to Yu. Saprykin, there will be another visit this spring. Representatives of the leadership of the Republic of Uzbekistan often visit the Skolkovo Technopark.
During such meetings, it was noted that Uzbekistan is interested in comprehensive cooperation with the Fund. This, in particular, concerns the commercialization of startups' products, ensuring interaction with technology parks of Uzbekistan, obtaining the status of participants in the Skolkovo project by Uzbek companies, establishing partnerships between universities of Uzbekistan (Tashkent Technological University and Tashkent Polytechnic University) and Skoltech.
Participation in the program is free for foreign companies. Startups get a workplace at the Technopark co-working for the duration of the program. Upon completion of the program, participants will be offered to apply for Skolkovo resident status.
Daria Smirnova with a participant in the soft-landing program from Uzbekistan. Photo courtesy: Sk.ru.
Last year, participants in two previous soft-landing programs took advantage of this offer. Two companies from China decided to establish legal entities in the Russian Federation and apply for Skolkovo Foundation resident status: WECO (ozone sterilizers and cold plasma) and Shinshinsa (collaborative robots). Representatives of three other companies (HDT, Miceleech, and Bonotox) found partners in the Russian Federation due to participation in the program or significantly strengthened their positions in our market, stated D. Smirnova in an interview with Sk.ru.
According to Yuri Saprykin, he will be delighted if start-ups from Uzbekistan follow the lead: "You will always find like-minded people and friends in Skolkovo. Your success is the main proof of the effectiveness of our work. I hope that your stay here will be comfortable and fruitful in terms of business development."