‘Softlanding in Skolkovo’, the first program for the attraction of foreign startups, concluded with the presentation of certificates of appreciation to pilot study participants. Taking part in the ceremony were representatives of five high-tech companies from South Korea. They all said that the program was interesting and very effective. With some of the participants saying they were going to continue, with an increase in cooperation with Skolkovo, including applications to obtain resident status and open subdivisions of their companies in the Techno-park.

The ‘Softlanding in Skolkovo’ program lasted for three weeks, and not only introduced the participants to Russia’s new and innovative ecosystem and the services provided by the Skolkovo Foundation and other development institutions, but also to help them get deeply immersed (even in such a short period) into Russian realities, culture and traditions. “It is very important for us to attract new people to Skolkovo, offer more services for startups, developers and scholars from different countries”. Further voicing his opinion, he said “I am sure that you will tell your colleagues, partners and clients about the opportunities that Skolkovo has to offer” Kirill Kaem, Senior Vice President of the Skolkovo Foundation for Innovations, said at the award ceremony. “People are after all, the most important element in our work, and developing our business would be impossible without networking. We are always open to all of you.”

Kirill Kaem and Darya Smirnova, curator of the softlanding program present the certificate to the executive director of Weco Yo Chen Jen. Photo: Sk.ru.


This thought was developed further by Benjamin Wilkening, head of the Go-To-Market Department of the Skolkovo Foundation. In his opinion, Skolkovo was the optimal starting point to gain access to the Russian market, especially in the area of B2B solutions. “You can find very highly qualified and knowledgeable employees here, which is especially important for a startup. Skolkovo allows you to meet Russian partners and gain access to research infrastructure,” Mr. Wilkening said. “Russia is not the easiest country in which to start a business but the future looks quite promising.”

The first participants of the ‘Softlanding in Skolkovo’ program were representatives of,

  • Shinshinsa, a company developing household appliances and industrial equipment, in particular, robots for automating assembly processes. 
  • Weco, makers of semiconductor manufacturing equipment and microelectronic assembly. 
  • HDT, manufacturers of mobile X-ray equipment for both medical and industrial applications. 
  • Bonotox, a leading cosmetics company. 
  • Miceleech, a mobile platform for business matching.

Participants and organizers of Softlanding in Skolkovo program. Photo: Sk.ru.


“Participating in the program will help them get immersed quickly into Russian realities”, says Maksim Romanov, Director of the Department for International Cooperation of the Skolkovo Foundation. Foreign participants of the program looked at the advantages Russian residents of Skolkovo usually receive. These include the services of the Intellectual Property Center, legal support, accounting services, customs benefits and collective use centers. “I am hopeful that in these three weeks you will gain an understanding of just how the Russian innovative ecosystem functions, what the Skolkovo Center is, what services it can offer and what prospects it opens for the development of your business in the of Russian and the CIS market,” Mr. Romanov said. “It is very important for Skolkovo”, he continued, “to have the participants of the Soft ‘landing in Skolkovo’ program talk about it and explain its potential to people who might be interested in gaining access to the Russian market.

Maksim Romanov: taking part in the program will help foreign companies better understand the realities of the Russian market. Photo: Sk.ru.

The program consisted of several modules that presupposed maximum assistance to participants, from the provision of a free workstation in the co-working zone of the Skolkovo Techno-park to visa support and organizing tours within Russia. As a result, representatives of two South Korean companies participating in the program, Shinshinsa and Weco, announced their intention to create a subsidiary in Russia in order to apply for residential status of the Skolkovo Foundation.

Summarizing the results of his participation in ‘Softlanding in Skolkovo’ program, Weco’s Executive Director Yo Chen Jen emphasized the importance of the recommendations voiced by Vladimir Turtikov, Operations Director of the Cluster of Advanced Manufacturing, Nuclear and Space Technologies, and the potential for exploring the Russian technological landscape.   Andrey Melnik, representative of Miceleech, said that the program allowed him and his colleagues to gain a good holistic understanding of what the Russian innovative ecosystem was like. “I will recommend that Miceleech management to set up the company’s Russian division in Skolkovo”, Mr. Melnik said. 

The plan is for dozens of foreign companies to participate annually in the ‘Skolkovo Softlanding’ Program. Three annual program cycles have been planned, commencing in April, June, and October.