24th Mar. '13
Siberian Startups: or four key elements needed to create entrepreneurial ecosystem anywhereJevgeni Peltola is Head of the International Operations at Startup Sauna, which is best international early stage startup accelerator that covers area from Warsaw to Vladivostok providing region’s quality deal flow to the investors since 2010. twitter facebook linkedin
What comes your mind when you think about Siberia? For me it was snow, bears and large territories of unsettled lands. Only two seems to be correct. This week I was honored to bring new ideas to the Russian Startup Tour – the largest tour in the world made in a single country with the main purpose to motivate Russians to start new ventures and create jobs. So far tour took place in Naberezhnye Chelny, Ufa, Tyumen’ and Omsk continuing in 11 more cities.
Motivating people to start new ventures in Siberia is not easy, because region is very oil and gas rich and the most common career choice is working at the oil and gas companies. However, in the world where economy is global and dynamic it is very dangerous to be dependent on only one industry.
According to McKinsey & Company research, in order to overcome global economic slowdown and population aging Finland needs 200000 new jobs or 2000 growth companies like Rovio Angry Birds and Supercell. In Russia the number of the new growth companies needed is even higher.
In order to accelerate new companies creation and growth it is important to have working entrepreneurial ecosystems consisting of the four key elements – entrepreneurs, coaches, investors and media.
1) Entrepreneurs need to be active finding and executing opportunities, organizing networking events in order to find people with whom to execute business opportunities, and activating coaches and mentors by asking for help as many people with different skills and expertise as possible
2) Coaches or mentors need to help entrepreneurs to overcome the obstacles by actively providing pro bono advice and networks at least 5 hours per month. Coaching pro bono will give them prestige, reputation, ability to influence, increase social and human capital
3) Investors need to do their jobs investing in best businesses opportunities and in the teams, which can deliver the best. It is also important that they will help entrepreneurs by pointing at the obstacles in their business models.
4) Media has one of the most important jobs – changing the perception about entrepreneurship. Perception always eventually becomes reality – if people think that being entrepreneur is cool there will be more entrepreneurs. On the other hand readers love success stories and entrepreneurs will be more that happy providing media with quality content, which leaves nobody unmoved.
So, can Siberian Entrepreneurs create thousands of new growth companies? I do not know. Can they afford not to try? Definitely not.
And no, there are no bears on the streets of Siberia. Nevertheless – beware!
Jevgeni Peltola is Head of the International Operations at Startup Sauna, which is best international early stage startup accelerator that covers area from Warsaw to Vladivostok providing region’s quality deal flow to the investors since 2010.