By Andrei Skvarsky.
RVC, a Russian state-owned high-tech investment company, has helped organise an international forum last week that looked at ways of giving an impetus to Russia’s technology industries.
The role of corporate venture funds, high-tech investment vehicles set up by large corporations, was among issues raised at Moscow’s First Corporate Venture Summit, which brought together top managers from major international and Russian companies such as PricewaterhouseCoopers, Ernst Young, Cisco, QIWI, Rostelecom and RusHydro.
The forum addressed the advantages and disadvantages of corporate venture funds.
“We expect that the participation of Russian corporations in venture investment, including the creation of corporate venture funds, will become a kind of catalyst for demand for innovation on the part of big business, the main consumer of new technologies and innovation products and services,” a statement from RVC, which is a fund of funds, quoted its chief executive, Igor Agamirzian, as saying.
“Our priority today are funds in industries that are underfinanced for various reasons. We also note that private businesses have started setting up microfunds, a process that we are also willing to support,” Agamirzian said.
Amir Zaidman, vice-president of Israel’s Rafael Development Corporation, argued at the forum that corporate venture investment is the best way for larger corporations to get involved in innovation efforts.