On April, 27, Korston Hotel & Mall Kazan hosted XVI Russian and XI venture fair held in Kazan. The Fair has become the most significant event in Russian venture capital industry as it annually gathers venture capital investors, entrepreneurs, the leaders of the best technology companies of Russia, representatives of the development institutions, universities, business incubators and public authorities in Kazan.
The fair was opened by the President of Tatarstan, Rustam Minnikhanov, Counsellor to the Russian Federation President, Andrey Fursenko, Executive Director of the Russian Venture Capital Association (RVCA), Albina Nikkonen, CEO of "Russian Venture Company" (RVC) OJSC, Igor Agamirzian and Chief Executive Officer of the Investment and Venture Fund of the Republic of Tatarstan, Aynur Aydeldinov.
Immediately after the opening all the high-ranking guests made a tour by the fair exhibition which consisted of two parts. The ground floor of the business center Korston Hotel & Mall Kazan hosted the exposition -Innovations support infrastructure in the Republic of Tatarstan and the second floor was occupied by 55 innovative companies that presented their own pilot projects to the participants of the Fair. A key moment of the Fair was the fact that the most promising companies were given a chance for participation in international acceleration program launched in 2016. The Local Organizing Committee received 378 applications to participate both in the Fair and the acceleration program from startups of 37 cities of Russia and from 15 countries. Companies from Moscow, Kazan, St.-Petersburg, Samara, Kaliningrad and other cities of Russia and from Baku (Azerbaijan)were attended the Fair. Fair demonstrated the industrial, oil and gas, medical, biotech, IT-projects and startups dealing in new materials.
The main event of the Convention block of the Fair, the plenary session, was devoted to "Modern technological contours of the landscape niches for Russia in global markets". Representatives of government and business, development institutions, investment funds, scientific community and international experts discussed scenarios for the development in oncoming years. The speakers at the plenary session – Rustam Minnikhanov, Andrei Fursenko, Igor Agamirzian, Albina Nikkonen and General Director of the Fund for the Promotion of the Development of Small Businesses in the Sphere of Science and Technology, Sergey Polyakov, Managing Partner of Endeavour Vision, President of the European Association Tech Tour, Sven Lingjaerde, Extraodinary And Plenipotentiary Ambassador of Ireland in Russia, Adrian McDaid, the partner of the world-famous accelerator "500 startups”, Marvin Liao, Director of Industry Development Fund, Alexey Komissarov, Head of the Venture Fund, Almaz Capital Partners, Alexander Galitsky and President of "Global Technology Syposium" – Director of "Global Technology Capital", Alexandra Johnson. The moderators of the plenary meeting were Aynur Aydeldinov and the Dean of Moscow School of Management SKOLKOVO, Andrei Sharonov.
In the second half of the day the participants joined 8 various round tables, seminars and conferences. The program comprised such round tables as,in particular, "The New Law For Investors and Entrepreneurs, "The Bridge to the global market for Russian companies: Russia – Ireland", "Face to Face: Meeting with Investors – what prevents "marriage of convenience" and other.
It is worth to mention that the companies-exhibitors of the Fair started their work on April, 25. For two days they worked in preaccelerator, which included lectures, seminars, workshops, networking and other coaching modules aimed at preparing companies to the most successful presentation of their projects at the Fair.
Pitch sessions for innovative companies were held all through the day of April, 27 for investors and expert jury and at last, in the evening, 10 companies were selected for participation in the International Acceleration program. The finalists of the accelerator received investment and are expected to complete training program at Innopolis and Kazan in May, in Dublin – in July and in San Francisco in September. At the end of the year, the participants will return to Russia to complete the program with a final pitch session and strike a balance for further development.
A new acceleration program will turn Tatarstan into an innovative center of Russia, an international hub open for innovative companies from across the country which will help the projects to reach global markets!
In 2016 investors from Ireland, Switzerland, Austria, USA, Finland, Latvia, CIS countries, delegations from Ireland and the Netherlands attended the Fair- 1380 engaged experts and participants from around the world.
Russian Venture Capital Association and the Investment and Venture Fund of the Republic of Tatarstan acted as facilitators of XVI Russian and XI Kazan Venture Fair. Permanent partners of the Fair are the Russian Venture Company, Fund for the Promotion of the Development of Small Businesses in the Sphere of Science and Technology, the Association of Innovative Regions of Russia, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Republic of Tatarstan, Pulsar Venture Capital.