Is Russia Silicon Valley for Real or just the New way for the Russian Mobs get Richer?
May 31, 2010 10 Comments
Here in Awesome DC, we try to keep our focus on everything related to DC. However, as a serial entrepreneur, I found the recent buzz on Russia’s Silicon Valley too good not to blog about. I think it will affect most of us here in DC in an intangible way.
Reuters reported that Siguler Guff & Company, the NY based private equity firm sitting on a $8.5 billion will be investing $250 million of their fund on Russian Silicon Valley, Skolkovo. The investment will be mostly on digital infrastructure and IT services for Skolkovo which is the first foreign investment on Skolkovo, according to Russian business newspaper Vedomosti, and more to come.
I have been monitoring Russian President Dmitry Medvedev initiatives on entrepreneurship and his Silicon Valley dream for the past couple of months. I have also been monitoring the high level corruptions in the country since 2003.
Here is one out of thousands and the most recent case supporting my argument. I urge our investors to do their homework prior any further investment in the country. The clip is from Fareed Zakaria‘s weekly GPS just last week when he dedicated his entire segment to Russia, including interviews with William Browder, the American investor who invested millions of $$$ in mother Russia in the late 90’s and ended up pulling out of the country 5 years later with financial loss and death of his Russian lawyer, Sergei Magnitsky who simply tried to fight the corruption in his country. You will also hear the feedback from Bret Stephens, foreign affair columnist with Wall Street Journal and Stephen Cohen, Russian scholar at the NY State University.
Coming from that part of the world myself, and worked with Russians, I have a lot more to say, but I think this segment sums it all up pretty good:
Although, the President Medvedev’s initiatives sound inspiring and promising, given half year gone by since the death of the Russian Lawyer, Sergei Magnitsky and Medvedev has done jack about the tragedy, Russia is not nearly close to be considered as a legitimate country to be invested on. Not to mention their politics.