This year, the Skoltech Pavilion at the Startup Village 2021 will open its non-existent doors to those hungry for offline interactions after a year of lockdowns and top-tier speakers discussing all things innovation. We present some highlights of the program, carefully curated by the faculty and staff at the Skoltech Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation (CEI).
How Skoltech does innovation
Skoltech VP for International Business Affairs and Intellectual Property Lawrence Stein will open the pavilion on Monday, launching a program of panels and keynotes focused on the Skoltech approach to innovation. In a discussion panel on just that, Professors Alexey Nikolaev and Dmitry Kulish will talk about tech entrepreneurship education and the famed Skoltech Innovation Workshop, while Maxim Mironenko and Evgeniya Isaeva will present the Skoltech Translational research and Innovation program (STRIP) and the IGTech project.
The headliner panel for the first day will focus on innovations in public health and feature Skoltech President Alexander Kuleshov, Vyacheslav Shulenin, CEO of NPO Moscow Center of Innovation Technologies in Healthcare, Professor Dmitry Kulish. The panelists will discuss the rocky road of innovation from fundamental and applied research to implementation.
The intersection of deep tech and social entrepreneurship will be the focus of a keynote by Alexander Chekanov, head of startup incubation programs at CEI. He will lead his audience to discuss how deep tech can empower social entrepreneurs to contribute to UN sustainable development goals (SDGs).
Chekanov will then be joined by Elena Sokolova, head of Innovations Ecosystem Development for a presentation of the revamped Skoltech Startup Club. Led by Skoltech students, this initiative that is key to Skoltech entrepreneurial spirit will feature a joint program with MIT and a special SDG track.
A session of lively alumni networking led by CEI professors and staff will be topped off by a DJ set by Alexander Chekanov, who also happens to be an electronic dance music producer and DJ. Come enjoy the cool spring evening in the company of fellow startup enthusiasts and Skoltech folk.
Space and venture capital
On the second day, CEI Deputy Director for Business Development Roman Leonov will welcome the audience in the Pavilion with an overview of opportunities for startups and spinoff projects at Skoltech.
Victoria Imanova and Georgy Klushin of CEI will then lead a Q&A on intellectual property and the reasons everyone should care about it, and Professor Kulish will return for an encore to talk about unicorns – not the mystical creatures but rather extremely successful companies. In his words, his keynote will discuss the fact that “unicorns are not respectable animals but slippery fantastic creatures, with which it is not very clear how to work.”
In full accordance with the general Startup Village theme this year, which is space and space tech, Associate Professor Alessandro Golkar will talk about “New Space” markets and companies and the financing options available for them in Europe and the US, including Special Purpose Acquisition Companies (SPACs), the hottest topic in space innovation right now. And CEI Head of Investment Analysis, Michael Akimov, will present an Advanced Innovation Management System, which he calls an effective toolkit for innovation technologies development.
Dmitry Piradov, CEI Partnerships Director, will moderate a panel on a topic coveted by all startup founders: getting to know the Russian venture capital market and angel investors. The panel will feature a stellar lineup: Dmitry Politov of VEB Ventures, Ilya Markin of Skolkovo Ventures, Mikhail Sklyarov and Natalia Kolupaeva of the Chicago Booth Angels Network, Denis Kalyshkin of Global Ventures, Daria Vasilieva of GETVISION, Sergey Dashkov of AngelsDeck Community, and Bodgan Yarovoy of SmartHub Venture Boutique. The esteemed speakers will discuss techniques for successful pitches, how venture capitalists evaluate entrepreneurs, typical mistakes when preparing a pitch deck, and other topics very near and dear to those startup founders’ hearts.
The final panel of the day, led by Michael Akimov, will discuss the role of development institutes and industrial partners for innovation. The session will feature Dmitry Katalevsky of the Skoltech Industrial Department, Maxim Bardin of Gazprom Neft, Dmitry Lakontsev, head of the Skoltech-based NTI Center of Excellence, and CEI’s Boris Dubinin. Lakontsev, for instance, will present Skoltech’s unique experience in an industrial consortium for the development of a Russian 5G base station.
An open mic event at lunch during both days will present demos of startups developed at Skoltech, featuring, for instance, the game analytics startup HeadKraken, petroleum service provider LABADVANCE, educational company XReadyLab, and a constellation of other young companies that Skoltech is proud of. A chillout zone will be available for those informal conversations where the magic normally happens at these events.
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