Open Innovations Startup Tour, which is considered to be the largest event in Russia and the CIS in search of innovative start-ups, started in Baku today. The event was co-organized by the Ministry of Transport, Communications and High Technologies (MTCHT) of the Republic of Azerbaijan and Skolkovo Foundation of the Russian Federation.
At the opening ceremony, the representative of the MTCHT greeted the guests on behalf of Minister Ramin Guluzade. Department head of the ministry Tahir Mammadov expressed gratitude to the Skolkovo Foundation for organizing Open Innovations Startup Tour in Baku.
Tahir Mammadov said that the development of the non-oil sector, including high technologies and innovation infrastructure has been defined as a task by President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev.
“We are always ready for mutually beneficial cooperation in this area with other countries, in particular with our close neighbour Russia. The fact that the Baku Business Center was chosen as a venue for the event is not accidental, since the ultimate goal of our participants is also to turn their ideas into business. And we hope that with our joint support they will be able to implement their ideas, said Tahir Mammadov.
Chargé d'affaires of the Russian Federation in the Republic of Azerbaijan Oleg Murashev noted that today’s event coincided with the 25th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the Russian Federation and the Republic of Azerbaijan: “ Open Innovations Startup Tour has become another facet of the multifaceted cooperation of our states. We sincerely wish young entrepreneurs new achievements, successful projects that they could realize them both in Azerbaijan and in Russia. We believe that the mission of the Skolkovo Foundation in Azerbaijan will open up new opportunities for young entrepreneurs.”
General Director of Skolkovo Technopark Renat Batyrov, in his turn, noted that today’s event is a good start for cooperation with both the regions of Russia and the new country, because in many cases in the new region the residents of the Skolkovo Foundation gain access to local markets, attract new orders and investments. “We are interested in getting our residents to enter the Azerbaijani market. I mean not only the market of energy companies, but also biomedical technologies, agriculture, and tourism. At the same time, we will be happy if Azerbaijani companies become residents of the Skolkovo Foundation, enter the Russian market and take advantage of all the opportunities that we provide.”
Within the framework of the event, a team of experts and speakers talked with young entrepreneurs throughout the day during lectures and master classes. Besides, all interested persons took part in mentoring sessions, during which representatives of partner development institutions and large IT companies gave comments on changes and improvement of projects.
Open Innovations Startup Tour is the only first stage in the annual cycle of selection of startup teams. The next stages of project development will be Startup Village conference and Open Innovations forum.
The main objective of the tour is to form, develop technological entrepreneurship and search for promising innovative projects not only in the regions of Russia, but also in the CIS. That is why the geography of the project is constantly expanding. For the Skolkovo Foundation holding of the Open Innovations Startup Tour in Baku was the first and important contact with the innovation infrastructure of Azerbaijan.
On April 18, the contestants will present their projects to the jury of experts at the Baku Business Center.