On 31 May – 1 June 2018, the Skolkovo Innovation Centre held Startup Village. That was the largest startup-related conference in both Russia and CIS hosted for tech entrepreneurs. Startup Village was organised for the sixth time and gathered over 20000 participants from more than 80 countries across the globe. 


Innovators and startup founders got a unique opportunity to meet successful entrepreneurs, investors, heads of large tech corporations, and government officials. On the conference’s platforms, they discussed trends and ideas in technology while drafting the strategy of forming the new generation of Russian entrepreneurs. The participants also exchanged their experience with one another and presented their projects. 


Startup Village was free of closed sessions and limited access zones. The participants experienced full immersion into live communication. Moreover, SUV Matchmaking service, which promoted meetings between investors and startup developers, worked there in the special zone. Over 1000 meetings were held on the first day of the Startup Village. Many of them will surely evolve into productive cooperation. 


The event’s business programme comprised over 150 interactive sessions on emerging markets, business models’ transformation, integrating disruptive technologies into entrepreneurship, etc. 


One of the platforms was called ‘Cherchez la femme. Women's creativity and entrepreneurship’. Various business representatives shared their impressive and motivating success stories. Among them were Shradha Aragwal, Vice-Chairman and a co-founder of Outcome Health Company, Linda Liukas, the author and illustrator of Hello Ruby, a children’s picture book about programming, Karoli Hindriks, CEO and Founder of Jobbatical Company. Olga Miller, Managing Director of UBS Switzerland, discussed gender equality in entrepreneurship alongside its role in developing both separate projects and world economies. Ekaterina Inozemtseva, CEO of Skolkovo Forum, spoke on modern women’s opportunities in the context of developing digital economy. She also shared stories from her life and secrets of her success. According to session moderator Igor Rybakov, who is a venture capitalist from Russia, Ekaterina Inozemtseva is now a role model for both men and women. She is a successful leader. Ms. Inozemtseva helps women entrepreneurs from different regions of Russia actualise their business potential, while making the most of opportunities the modern world gives. 


Skolkovo Forum CEO highlighted the topic of women entrepreneurship being particularly relevant. Now over a quarter of Russian entrepreneurs are women. They often take senior roles, as women run 43% of Russia’s companies. However, many beginning women entrepreneurs are commonly anxious about starting their business to the point that some of them even cannot make up their mind about it. That is why, it is now essential to highlight success stories of many women entrepreneurs while eliminating gender stereotypes in business. Ekaterina Inozemtseva is sure, that the most important thing here is overcoming global gender discrimination in people’s minds. In modern times, there are many ways of unleashing one’s business potential. It is only important to use them without limiting oneself. 

Viktoria Yezhova, news agency of the Eurasian Women’s Community

Translated by Nikolay Boykov