- Currently international conditions are tenuous, but that can make it the best time to strike deals. Economic sanctions can cut off traditional suppliers and create opportunities for other partnerships to be forged
- Many US companies have manufacturing facilities in Russia. So those products are not affected by trade sanctions. Many common us products are on the shelves, just produced locally. This could be a large competitive differentiator if a US based company only relied on shipping goods that are now blocked by sancations.
- Currently ( 2015 ) public opinion is in Russia is about 70% negative against the US, amplified by their media.
- Copy cat producers from China can reproduce US products in 3 weeks and then you’ll be undersold. Going to have to find other differentiators.
- Determine if your better off with a service or a product.
- Some emerging markets will be lost before the US gets there. China is investing heavily in places like Africa.
- It is not a culture of fair practice or contracts, but one of trust. You have to know and trust who you are dealing with. You have to understand their actual level of influence in the system.
- Corruption is a part of the process. Learn the process.
- Some competitors will bride more and have cheaper costs in shipping.
- There are nine timezones in Russia, plan accordingly.
- Flexibility and sense of humor is key. Explore what is possible. Mostly likely it is not what you are first looking for.
- Never give credit in Russia, never be paid back.
- International currency is unstable. The ruble has dropped 50% in value (2015).
- Understand the risk, time to ROI ratio upfront.
- Russia and China relationship is unclear. Partnership, fear, and dislike all present. Given the tension with the US, Russia is exploring relationships elsewhere.
- Business and Entrepreneurship: 16 credits of business administration and 12 credits of Entrepreneurship. The goal is that the graduate has the skills to be both a corporate intrepreneur or private entrepreneur.
- Foreign Languages: Two foreign languages are required as a basic to expand the understanding of different cultures and communication. It expands creativity and understanding of how cultures conduct business differently both in methods and styles.
- Cultural Literacy and Conceptual Competencies: A minimum of six competencies areas including:
- Creativity & Design
- Empathy & Meaning
- Ethics & Respect
- Picture & Story
- Play & Discipline
- Symphony & Synthesis
- Heritage: Religion, and Culture
- Arts: Visual & Performance
- Media: Print & Digital
- Functional Services: Example – Design: Fashion, Architecture, etc.
To lean more visit visit the program site.
See images in the gallery
I was a speaker and panelist at the ARCCoM Fall 2015 International Innovation event. This event hosted representatives from Russia, Europe, and North America to participate in a dialogue about B2B collaboration and building Innovation Corridors for start-ups to collaborate with markets internationally. The event began on Oct 8th, hosted at the Carlson School of Management and included daytime sessions and evening social/culture events over several days. Speakers at the event included Corporate, Academic, State Government, Federal Government, Innovation Practitioners, Innovation Center Executives, and Start-up speakers. Below is the event agenda, content and speakers. I will expand on the learnings in a second blog post.
October 8, Thursday, CSOM, room 2-206 8:30 am – 9:00 am – Registration and light breakfast
9:00 am -10:20 am – Greetings and introductory remarks
- Anatoli Korkin, Chairman of ARCCoM, St Paul, MN, Welcome and introduction
- Mark Ritchie, Minnesota Secretary of State (2007-2015) and President/CEO, Minnesota World’s Fair Bid Committee, St Paul, MN, Introductory remarks
- Alexander Stadnik, Russian Trade Mission, Washington D.C., introductory remarks
- Thomas Bruns, United States Commercial Service, Washington D.C., Introductory remarks
- Steve Riedel, Minnesota Trade Office, St Paul, MN, Minnesota trade with Russia: Current status and opportunities
- Jamshed Merchant, Consul General of Canada, Minneapolis, MN, Introductory remarks Vladimir von Tsurikov, Museum of Russian Art, Minneapolis, MN, Museum of Russian Art mission in international cultural exchange
10:20 am -10:40 am – Coffee break
10:40 am -12:00 pm – Business opportunities and technology innovations
- John Pournoor, 3M Corporation, St Paul, MN, Solving National Needs and Creating Public Value
- Robert Gaiiuliin, Tatarstan Trade Mission, Washington D.C., Business opportunities in Tatarstan
- Vasily Kutsakov, Skolkovo Foundation, Moscow, Russia, Skolkovo Foundation: How experts and enterprises abroad can get involved
- Todd Lefko, International Business Development Company, Minneapolis, MN, Possibilities in the Russian water sector
2:00 pm – 3:20 pm – Technology innovations and academic partnerships
- David Williams, Cheval Partners, Minneapolis, MU,Building innovation ecosystems- durable business services to support and grow innovation
- Kendrick White, Marchmont Capital, Nizniy Novgorod, Russia, Connecting Russian universities to global business – the new International Proof of Concept Association (IPOCA) as a mechanism to develop cross country collaboration
- William Petuskey , Arizona State University, AZ, Opportunities for internationaleducation, research and technology innovations at Arizona State University
- Liliya Kiryanova and Sergey Zamyatin, Tomsk Polytechnic University, Tomsk, Russia, Partnership opportunities with Tomsk Polytechnic University
- Yuri Kistenev and Aleksandr Zamyatin, Tomsk State University, Tomsk, Russia, Partnership opportunities with Tomsk State University
3:20 pm – 3:40 pm – Coffee break
3:40 pm – 5:00 pm – US – Russia partnership proposals and opportunities
- Leonid Grichiner, Russian Publishing House “Zerkalo”, Minneapolis, MN, Introduction to Russian-speaking business community in Minnesota
- Alexandra Johnston, DFJ Aurora, San Francisco, CA, Russia-USA business
- Partnership: A view from Silicon Valley
Vlad Pavlov, RollApps, Palo Alto, CA, rollApp’s experience of offering application virtualization platform in the USA and Russia: similarities and differences between the two markets
- Alexander Shalumov, Presidential Academy of national Economy and Public
- Administration, Automated system ASONIKA for electronic device design and reliability:Expending international research and business opportunities
- Tatiana Tatarchevskly, University without Borders, New York, On-line education and social entrepreneurship: Internet platforms for international collaboration
October 9, Friday 10:30 am – noon; CSOM, room 1-127
- Thomas Bruns, United States Commercial Service, Washington D.C., Overview on Russia market and economy
- David Edmiston, United State Commercial Service, Minneapolis MN, Overview on Commercial Services Organization and examples of facilitating international business
- Round table discussions on Russia’s water and wastewater treatment Sector.
- Moderators: Steve Riedel, Minnesota Trade Office, and Todd Lefko, International Business Development Council.
1 pm – 2:30 pm; CSOM, room 1-135
- Panel on E-Learning as a Vehicle for U.S.- Russian Collaborative Projects in Social Entrepreneurship, Education, and Science
- Moderators: UMN, UMD, University without Boarders
2:30pm – 4:30 pm; CSOM, room 1-135
- Panel on International Corridors and Innovation Centers
- Moderators: David Williams, Cheval Partners; Kendrick White, Marchmont Capital
See images from the event at:
- Learning & practices my research was finding in the development of innovation economies around the world.
- How a variety of funding models needed to be integrated at different stages of the innovation lifecycle of centers to create a sustainable and more scaleable model
- Work I was exploring with economists around new areas of global exchange. This is a large topic that is looking at new forms of international exchange beyond basic trade and transactions that is built to create sustainable innovation collaboration and all the talent, investment, and resources required. It also embodies a new language around exchange to describe new business and revenue models around an innovation economy.
- Designing global platforms to facilitate collaboration and integration of innovation centers. This was another broad topic spanning a range of platforms ( like digital ) to a host of others required to support the broad spectrum of exchange resources.
- A brief overview of international funding activities to support the build out of these shared services.
I hosted Alexander Stadnik, Trade Representative of the Russian Federation in the United States of America, during his visit to Minnesota at the UMN on 2/25/15. The visit included meetings with several of the science, agriculture, and engineering faculty to discuss areas of collaboration with Russian academic institutions. My conversations with Mr. Stadnik spanned some of my experiences in innovation working at Microsoft, innovation trends in the USA & globally, and my current work at the UMN studying innovation centers around the globe in efforts to build those innovation assets in Minnesota. Minnesota also has a fair sized Russian demographic and entrepreneurial community. There is interest in creating opportunities for Russian companies, researchers and students to work collaboratively with institutions and corporations in the United States and Minnesota directly. Since this meeting I have had the chance to meet directly with Russian representatives from their university and industry innovation centers.
Mr. Stadnik is currently based out of Washington D.C. representing trade relationships between Russian and the United States of America. You can learn more about the USA/RU trade relationship and events at the Russian Trade Representation site.
Alexander Bedny & Kendrick White, two Vice Rectors from The University of Nizhny Novgorod on the Russia tour to Minnesota. Our conversation explored potential partnership opportunities to bring cohorts of top Russia researchers to the UMN to help commercialize their technology to benefit all countries. NNU has taken the lead in Russia to create its first Proof of Concept center within a university that can help mature business models and valuation around advanced research technology. These best practices where built upon partnerships with MIT and other POCs in the USA and are now being replicated in over ten Universities in Russia. Building “international corridors to the other countries is a key component of the strategy to move Russia to a leadership position in global innovation.