Sochi to Become a New Silicon Valley

More than 60 IT experts, coders and start-up specialists from Sochi and other cities came to the meeting to discuss trends in innovative field and present their projects as well as to communicate with investors in informal atmosphere.

“Couple months ago we organized the competition for IT projects called “Storm of Ideas at the See.” It aims at attracting talented experts who would like to present their ideas in Sochi and then move here. Currently more than 200 potential participants from all over Russia have submitted their applications. Furthermore there are a lot of IT experts from Sochi who aspire to develop innovative projects. Thus we are opening doors to the new association, which in future will be like Silicon Valley. I am sure that development of the local IT community upgrades Sochi`s information technology infrastructure,” said Andrey Tambovtsev, organizer of the meeting and chairman of the contest for IT startupers.

At the “Storm of Ideas at the See” young experts will present their software and hardware solutions for import substitution purposes. The developers of the most interesting and groundbreaking projects will be awarded with profitable contracts and will be offered to move to Sochi for staying and working. The organizers plan to develop a new Russian center of innovations and entrepreneurial ideas and prevent brain drain.

The participants came to Sochi to share various IT ideas. For instance, Grigory Shuvalov developed a social network BEGETON for small and medium-size companies that can use the service for hiring, promotion and interaction with partners as well as for researching marketing processes. Using his invention Mr. Shuvalov launched a prototype of business project in short time and also found investors. Roman Fradkov invented online loyalty program “I Love Sochi,” which had been successfully tested while Olympic Games in 2014. Mikhail Lazarev invented a project of school for young programmers. Since 2012 it has been serving as a place for free studying of school students.

“I suppose that good ideas are always created by talented people. The stakeholders of “Storm of Ideas at the See” are skilled experts experienced in making their own business. Today Sochi is a large touristic center, so they want to turn it into the city of innovations and entrepreneurship. We are also ready to share ITMO University`s experience through the Interregional Network Program,” noted Mr. Malsagov.

ITMO University representatives will make a presentation about how to launch a new innovative cluster in Sochi at the closing conference of “Storm of Ideas at the See” in June 2016. It is also planned to expand Interregional Network Program by organizing new startup schools in Yaroslavl, Samara, Kemerovo and other Russian cities. The program includes the following tracks: “Startup School”, “Startup lab” and “Startup accelerator” that aim at commercializing business ideas. Apart from supporting young entrepreneurs the projects focuses on such long-term goals as contributing to economic growth of Russia`s regions.