вторник, 29 мая 2012 г.

Report on SKOLKOVO Women Association and EWMD meeting

Recently a meeting of the SKOLKOVO Women Association and the European Women’s Management Development International Network has taken place at the SKOLKOVO business-school. It was dedicated to new opportunities for women in the modern world.

The event comprised three parts. In the beginning participants got acquainted with the activity of both organizations, and then Maria Mordvinova, leader of the SKOLKOVO Women Association, SKOLKOVO EMBA-3 graduate, told about how studying at the school had influenced her life and why the Women Association had been created.

It is easier for women to make a successful career and create a family in Russia than in other countries”, said Maria Mordvinova.

After that PhD Maria-Therese Claes, leader of EWMD, held a great workshop on detection of opportunities for women in the modern world. First of all the workshop participants researched modern trends in the society that affect women and compared them with the actual Russian and European trends. Then PhD Claes suggested identifying new opportunities women may enjoy in the light of the described trends.

среда, 23 мая 2012 г.

Bob Dorf: "Entrepreneurship is a life, it’s total dedication!"

On june 1st we start SKOLKOVO Startup Academy classes and the first kickoff module will be hold by Bob Dorf, Startup Academy mentor, serial entrepreneur and co-author of The Startup Owner’s Manual. He allocated 5 min in his schedule and answered our questions about Startup Academy and entrepreneurship.
-What people would you like to see among your students?

-I’m hoping to see passionate young entrepreneurs who understand that startups don’t go in a straight line and who are ready to work harder than they have ever worked before in their lives, to make mistakes that they have never made before, to learn from those mistakes, to get punched on the nose, to be knocked down, to stand up, to wipe their nose and get back to work with energy and excitement of their business idea. That is what really characterizes a great entrepreneur.

- Projects in what sphere are most interesting for you?

- To be honest, I enjoy a wide range of projects: from physical goods and manufactory to retail and Internet. But I guess the most exciting and interesting projects are web and mobile startups, where you can get so much feedback from your customers so quickly, and change things in a day or evening, to react to the feedback and keep involving your product over and over again. So, the speed of change, speed of learning of web and mobile startups, generally, make them the most interesting.

- What is more interesting for you: to find a new business idea or a new business model?

- I think finding a new business model. You see, many new business ideas come from a dramatic change in a business model. Taking a piece of software that isn’t being sold so well and deciding, “well, we’ll give away the basic software and get people excited about the basic software and then we’ll sell them add-on features or long time subscription and things like that” and so, it’s a business model change, not a product change. So, sometimes the greatest leverage comes from changing a business model, and the opportunity to do that is very exciting. It is not really up to us to decide whether a new business idea is a great idea or not, it’s up to the customers. And whereas the business model change you can sometimes take further risk or be more creative.

четверг, 17 мая 2012 г.

Dave Rich, Head of Advanced Energy development, about SKOLKOVO Startup Academy

Recently we've talked to Dave Rich, SKOLKOVO Startup Academy mentor, Head of Advanced Energy development. He told us a lot about entrepreneurship generally and a bit about his expectations concerning Startup Academy.

- What contribution do you think SKOLKOVO Start-up Academy could make? I mean the Russian entrepreneurial ecosystem that we try to build.

- I think, probably the greatest contribution is how to do business internationally. Many times I have met Russians with business degrees that don’t understand really how to do business internationally. They diversify words and concepts and they try to apply Russian business models to western countries and it is really scary.

So, it was #1. #2 would be to prepare students to come up with innovative ideas that are going to add more return value. So many of the ideas are “I can make something that already exists for two rubles cheaper than the other guy” and that’s not a long-term business.

- Why did you decide to become a mentor at SKOLKOVO Start-up Academy?

- I really miss working in Russia and I miss the Russian people, I like doing stuff in Russia. And I have a very good friend and colleague who works in the Moscow School of Management SKOLKOVO, Lawrence Wright. And he knows what I love doing, I mean I’m a technology start-up machine. That’s what I do!

- Can you describe your experience in Russia?

- I’ve lived in Russia for almost 4 years. I was the head the commercialization department and the ISTC. I started businesses with Lawrence - every technology, and we looked for Russian technologies, we helped them to find investment money and to start-up companies that deliver products and services to Russia and to countries using Russian technologies. I have a Russian family, my son was born there. You see, I have large experience doing business both in Russia and in western nations and I have experience doing business with Russian companies bringing them over to the West. I have found financing for 3 Russian companies already, it was private commercial money and I helped as the leader for 11 commercialization deals at ISTC and starting up the program.

суббота, 12 мая 2012 г.

New opportunities for women in challenging world

Our dear female readers!
We are happy to invite you to a very special meeting with European Women’s Management Development International Network (EWMD). It is an international network built by women for women and men in business and has almost 900 individual and corporate members in 14 countries in Europe and all around the world.

The meeting will take place on Friday, May 18, starting at 10.30 am at SKOLKOVO Campus.

The essence of the event is a profound discussion of New Opportunities for Women in a Changing World. It will consist of several activities you are welcome to join:

10.30 Work-life balance: Women in business - career achievements and challenges. Presented by Ms. Maria Mordvinova, SKOLKOVO Women Association Leader, EMBA-3 Alumni

11:15 Workshop: New Opportunities for Women in a Changing World. Presented by Dr. Marie Therese Claes, EWMD Leader, Professor of Business Communication and Cross Cultural Management (Belgium)

12:00 Q&A and open discussions.   

At the event you will get immersive networking with European and Russian women business leaders and also will have an opportunity to discuss actual and progressive issues of women professional development.

Don't forget to register here!

By the way, if you consider about getting an MBA at SKOLKOVO b-school, don't forget the oppotunity provided by SKOLKOVO Women Association - a female fellowship!

четверг, 10 мая 2012 г.

SIEMS has analysed risks of BRIC banks

The SKOLKOVO Institute for Emerging Market Studies (SIEMS) presents its new monthly research – “Riskiness of BRIC Banks in a Risky World”, focused on assessing the risks of individual banks in BRICs.

The study covers both the systematically important banks and a broad sample of 142 commercial banks in four countries at the period from 2003 to 2010.

The ongoing global financial crisis has caused great turmoil in the banking sector worldwide and risk in this sector has increased significantly. It has become a critical issue to thoroughly assess the riskiness of the world’s major banks. Given that the importance of the emerging market (EM) banks in the global banking system has been increasing rapidly, further understanding of the riskiness of the EM banks is greatly needed.

Some of the key findings of the research are:

• A close examination of the risk profiles of 12 systemically important BRIC banks shows that the immediate risk of a major bank failure is low. Among the group, Banco do Brasil, Sberbank of Russia, the State Bank of India, and the Bank of China have the lowest levels of insolvency risk in each country respectively.

• The top lenders in China and Brazil have become more stable (lower insolvency risk) over time, while the stability of the top Russian banks has declined. The riskiness of the top Indian lenders does not have a monotonic trend during the same period.

• A significant portion (75%) of the systemically important banks in BRICs is state-owned. While the state ownership helped to stabilize the banking sector during the global financial crisis, it is important for policymakers to realize that the non-state-owned banks should play a bigger role under regular conditions.

пятница, 4 мая 2012 г.

SKOLKOVO graduates: Christian Graggaber, MBA-2 alumni

An interesting success story has told us Christian Graggaber, SKOLKOVO MBA graduate, about his beautiful project JUVALIA & YOU .
-What is your project about?

JUVALIA & YOU is a social selling company with a simple goal: to give women all around Russia the unique opportunity to fulfill their dream of being an entrepreneur, no matter what their situation and training is. We call them stylists. But in fact they sell our special and beautiful JUVALIA & YOU jewelry.

JUVALIA & YOU has style scouts on 3 continents who are exclusively working for us in order to identify the latest fashion trends. JUVALIA & YOU is the first company in Russia that combines fashion jewelry with social selling and e-commerce.


Everybody is welcome to visit our showroom which is situated just two minutes away from the Tretyakovskaya metro station in the centre of Moscow and participate in one of our style shows which we hold every evening. There you can also see with your own eyes, touch and feel our summer collection. If you like it you can buy it and take it immediately with you or ask for shipment. Soon, our stylists will host style shows not only in our showroom but all over Moscow.

- How did you come up with this idea?

I did my full time MBA at the SKOLKOVO business-school with the clear goal to start up a company afterwards. During my studies I used the SKOLKOVO network to get introduced to successful start-uppers and investors and with those people we are now starting JUVALIA & YOU. Similar companies in the US have shown the potential of the business model.

SKOLKOVO graduates: Alexey Voronin, Executive MBA, about building relations

We continue to acquaint you with our graduates. And here's a story from our EMBA-3 alumni Alexey Voronin about his project "SKOLKOVO Link".

Everyone who enters the SKOLKOVO business-school has his or her own motivation – knowledge, projects, search for new guidelines, desire to change his or her personality, own business or even the whole country. But I would assign primary importance to people! We enter the school in order to find like-minded people, gain contacts, hit the mark of businessmen and entrepreneurs. And after a year and a half we ask ourselves how, having graduated, it is possible to maintain those relations staying a part of the SKOLKOVO community.

So we have come up with the idea of SKOLKOVO Link! In order not to lose relations between students, graduates and the school itself my partner Dmitry Kazachkov, Executive MBA student, and I have elaborated the idea of a SKOLKOVO social network creation. We have conducted surveys among the programme’s listeners and employees, have analyzed their wishes and taken the project on the final stage of its implementation.

SKOLKOVO link: what is it? What opportunities does that application offer?
This is a closed social network implemented in the form of an iPhone and Android application.
A user downloads the application, signs up, creates his profile where he places basic, but still essential for us, information and gets access to profiles of the SKOLKOVO community participants, contacts, news, invitation to events and other opportunities!

We are all busy people and, obviously, do not manage to tack everything that happens in lives of our mates, not to mention the whole group. However what we tell about ourselves on the first programme module may significantly change in a month. It concerns work, projects, interests and even the family status. SKOLKOVO Link will help to find out everything mentioned above and lots more as there a user can change his personal information online.

четверг, 3 мая 2012 г.

Advice on business literature from Helen Edwards

Here's recent business literature review from SKOLKOVO Library Project Manager Helen Edwards. All spring trends and best marketing pieces of advice are in five great books below!
Leornard A. Schlesinger, Charles F. Kiefer with Paul B. Brown
Harvard Business Review Press, 2012.
xxiv, 196 pages
ISBN: 9781422143612

For many people the uncertainty of life today is deeply disconcerting. The authors of this book, professors from the famous entrepreneurship programme at Babson College, describe how entrepreneurs think differently than most people. Instead of trying to predict the future, then assemble the necessary resources and carry out a plan, successful serial entrepreneurs focus on first steps and then learning from what happens. This approach also minimizes costs and attracts like minded people. The book is illustrated with examples showing in detail how the "creaction" - creation and action - method works.

Good products, bad products: essential elements for achieving superior quality
James L.Adams
McGraw Hill, 2012
xiv, 255 pages
ISBN: 9780071782401

This book uses a wide definition of product quality, taking in emotions, aesthetics, cultural symbolism and globalization in addition to the standard issues of performance, cost and price. The author identifies the importance of design thinking comprising creativity, comfort with several intellectual disciplines, cost consciousness, knowledge of the customer, ability to coordinate the work of different functions. The book also includes case studies of famous companies which got their products right or wrong.

Karen Post
McGraw Hill, 2012
xxiv, 262 pages
ISBN: 9780071775281

All brands strive to be the brand of choice. This book describes how 75 brands, some well known and some niche, ran into problems, what they did about it and how they re-established themselves. Part one describes how a brand can go bad - either from a specific event such as a product recall or more gradually as customer interests change. Seven chapters then illustrate the game changers, the persistence and steady work needed - to regain distinction, characterized by their innovation, promotion, persona and packaging.

среда, 2 мая 2012 г.

SKOLKOVO graduates: Stanislav Bessmertny, SKOLKOVO MBA

Our piggy bank of success stories has enlarged! Meet Stanislav Bessmertny, SKOLKOVO MBA-2 graduate, and his project!

Where does the project idea come from?

Our team has two visions of our project. The first, or the long-term one, is transformation of the real estate market in a user-friendly and fair one. And the second which is more applied is the creation of such a product that would suit any real estate owner who views it as a benefit source.
I, personally, have lots of times dealt with the real estate market issues. The last time it was when I had an idea to rent out my own flat. I had to apply great efforts in order to fulfill it. Back then I would be really glad, if someone offered me to use such a service as we provide.
Perhaps that negative personal experience has become the driver for our project idea.

Was it a childhood dream, or has the idea come at SKOLKOVO?

I had a childhood dream, but it was not connected with work. And already at the conscious age I gave had huge desire to work with IT-projects. However the desire itself is often not enough. And at the SKOLKOVO business-school I have acquired the knowledge and experience that have enabled to implement my wish. 
What makes it differ from the analogues existing on the market?

Several aspects are worth mentioning:

1. Our company is not connected with any real estate agencies or other kinds of organizations on that market. Our key goal is to create a service that would bring practical benefit and solve existing problems.

2. “Showmanship”
Comprehensive and attractive description of your flat or other real estate property will enhance the offer popularity and eliminate clients that do not suit you.

3. Maximum public coverage via 1 click
  •  Placement of your offer at advertising platforms that control 95% of the real estate advertising market via 1 click.
  •  4 advertising “packages” will help you easily and quickly choose what suits you most
4. Security
  •  Innovative scoring (banking) instruments of your potential clients’ and agents’ reliability
  •  The opportunity to form opinion on your potential clients or agents on the base of social network profiles and to find common acquaintances
5. Freedom of choice
  • On any stage of purchasing or renting out you can use services of a real estate agent having chosen a consultant from the provided agent exchange. It is essential that the service cost will be determined by the market and you personally, not a real estate agency secretary
  • Control and work efficiency assessment system
6. Control till the end
Close your offer at all advertising platforms via 1 click as soon as a deal was successfully signed.

7. “Private” service
A new kind of interaction with clients

And there are lots of other interesting and at the same time understandable and simple functions.