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On February 22-23, Ryerson University (Toronto, Canada) hosted the World Incubation Summit, at which the world’s best university-linked business incubators and accelerators were recognized. In the 2017 ranking, compiled by the Swedish analytics company UBI Global, ITMO University entered the top-20 in 14th place. For ITMO’s Business Incubator, this was the last time it participated in the ranking: starting in 2018, the incubator has reformed into the unified University Entrepreneurship Center.
On November 30, Vladimir Vasilyev, ITMO’s Rector, announced at the "Ecosystem of Innovations" forum in Sochi that the university’s business incubator is undergoing a serious transformation. ITMO is to close down the incubator in its current form and create a new structure that will focus on the acceleration of projects.
On September 21, as part of the St. Petersburg International Innovation Forum (SPIIF), a Demo Day was held for ITMO Business Incubator’s acceleration program Future Technoogies. Ten teams presented their ideas to the expert jury, special guests and visitors. Over the course of five months, the projects have gone through many stages, from initial prototypes to final products, and acquired market introduction strategies. Visitors of the Forum could learn more about ITMO University’s technological projects at a special exhibition.
S&R Systems, a resident of ITMO University’s business incubator, is working on the optimization of chemical technology processes in manufacturing and laboratories with a strict focus on import phase-out. The company’s equipment is cheaper than its foreign-made counterparts and is made according to clients’ custom requirements. Founders Denis Sapegin and Mikhail Razin spoke with us about the tasks their company solves, lifehacks for finding angel investors at bars and indifferent engineers.
MIT Global Startup Labs program started off in the Business Incubator of ITMO University in June. The program goes on for eight weeks and is organized by Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Starting from the year 2000, a similar MIT GSL program has been carried out in 14 countries, altogether 59 times. This summer marks the first time that the program is conducted in Russia. The goal for the students from St. Petersburg, Moscow and Irkutsk is to gather their teams and to come up with a prototype for a mobile application and a marketing strategy with the help of curators from MIT and Sloan School of Management.
What are startup accelerators and business incubators about? Growing a new generation of entrepreneurs? Speeding up startup development? It hasn't been long since they've appeared in Russia, but now a Russian university can't call itself progressive if it has no entrepreneurial environment. Yet, in pursuit of modern tendencies, one must not forget the very point of creating business incubators. Tom Strodtback, Director of European and Asian Partnerships at Global Accelerator Network, and Lynn Robertson, Liverpool Incubator Manager at Santander UK Corporate & Commercial, shared about how incubators help novice entrepreneurs, who invest in startups and their impressions of the entrepreneurial environment in Russia. Tom Strodtback and Lynn Robertson came to Russia to speak at a seminar for heads of business incubators and technoparks, which was hosted by ITMO University on February 6−7.