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Start-up Discussion Brings U.S. and Russian Businesses Closer

WASHINGTON, Feb. 13, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A group of young Russian start-up companies gathered in Moscow yesterday at the Skolkovo Foundation — a Russian scientific and technological center for the development and commercialization of advanced technologies — to receive advice and tips from leading U.S. entrepreneurs on how to successfully launch a start-up company. The event, hosted by the U.S.-Russia Business Council (USRBC) in cooperation with the Russian Federation's Trade Representative in the United States, represented an opportunity to share best practices on a commercial level at a time when bilateral political ties are strained.

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Through Telepresence technology provided by USRBC member Cisco, the videoconference connected Washington, DC; Boulder, CO, and Moscow in real time.  Startup DC Chairman Evan Burfield and Brad Feld, the managing director of Foundry Group who has successfully launched 126 startups, provided the meeting participants guidance regarding the U.S. experience in establishing, incubating, and commercializing projects.

The event was organized under the framework of the Innovation Working Group of the U.S.-Russia Bilateral Presidential Commission, and was supported by the U.S. Department of State and the Russian Ministry of Economic Development. RIA Novosti Chief Editor Samir Shakhbaz moderated the discussion.  Oleg Fomichev, Russian Deputy Minister of Economic Development, and Lorraine Hariton, Special Representative for Commercial and Business Affairs at the U.S. Department of State, delivered welcoming remarks.  

"Entrepreneurial ecosystems are popping up all over the world, and Russia is not an exception.   While the country's legacy still presents many challenges for startup development, it is an interesting and promising time for entrepreneurship in Russia, with countless opportunities for startup communities," said Brad Feld. Evan Burfield added, "Russia has a tremendous legacy of innovation in science and technology. Today, entrepreneurs in Moscow or Novosibirsk have access to the same technologies and distribution networks as entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley, Mumbai, or Tel Aviv.  What's critical is for Russia to work to create an environment where risk-taking and challenging the status quo is rewarded."

USRBC Executive Vice President Randi Levinas noted, "Today's session, which highlighted Russia's potential and permitted savvy, skilled Russians to tap U.S. expertise, can be a driver for economic growth in both countries. The U.S.-Russia Business Council is pleased to be able to contribute to this productive discussion and to enable our businesses to continue to identify bilateral commercial opportunities."

According to Rinat Dosmukhamedov, Trade Representative to the United States, "This video conference is the first step towards exchanging experience and establishing constructive dialogue between the U.S. and Russia, all with the help of new online technologies.  Events like this one serve to promote improved cooperation and inspire innovative solutions."

The U.S.-Russia Business Council invites you to view this dynamic exchange in its entirety using the following link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kI8WWaUXyeY)

The U.S.-Russia Business Council, a member-based trade association of U.S. and Russian companies, offers a platform for the open exchange of ideas on U.S.-Russia commercial issues.  Learn more at www.usrbc.org.

SOURCE U.S.-Russia Business Council

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