The Magnit Tech Accelerator (MGNTech) final kicked off today, coinciding with the opening of Magnit’s digital office at Skolkovo, which will be home to one hundred of the retailer’s IT specialists. The focus of the accelerator is to challenge Skolkovo IT startups to offer solutions to Magnit’s digital transformation strategy, and it was on this basis that the company’s deputy CEO, Florian Jansen, compared Skolkovo to an “ignition point.”

Deputy CEO of Magnit Florian Jansen, vice-president and deputy CEO of the Skolkovo Foundation IT cluster Konstantin Parshin, and senior vice-president of Innovations Kirill Kaem at the opening of the Magnit digital office. Photo:

The fact that both events are taking place on the same day is no coincidence. Like MGNTech, Magnit’s IT specialists will be focusing on the fields of ERP (enterprise resource planning), big data, as well as seeking out innovations and new technologies.

Both MGNTech and the new Magnit digital office represent an opportunity for Skolkovo IT startups to find a pilot project partner in one of Russia’s largest retail chains, which over the last 26 years has developed into one of the largest players in the retail sector. Likewise, joining the ecosystem will give Magnit access to Skolkovo’s IT expertise as well as the technopark infrastructure and services that it needs to fulfil its digital transformation strategy, which includes the scalability of digitalization, predicting the future of the market, developing IT infrastructure, advanced analytics, and process optimization.

Speaking to, Kirill Kaem, the senior vice-president of Innovation at the Skolkovo Foundation, stated that, “We started developing the center of retail technologies at the IT cluster four years ago, because the sector’s interest in innovations was obvious. At the time there were about a hundred projects that were relevant to retail. Magnit was the first to show interest in our initiative and conducted pilots with a number of startups. A significant event took place today – the opening of the Magnit digital office. We hope that the company will become a fully-fledged participant in the Skolkovo ecosystem. From our side, we are ready to focus on supporting projects that our partner is interested in. Right now, we already have nearly 450 companies working in the field of retail.” 


Florian Jansen, the deputy CEO of Magnit also told that, “The opening of this office is an opportunity to attract top-tier specialists to transform and adapt the company’s digital environment to real challenges and use the technopark infrastructure and services. This will support our chain’s development in different directions and help it react more flexibly to business and consumer demands. We are working in one of the fastest growing sectors and we want to be the best for all our clients, and without the creation of a strong digital foundation, it’s not possible to offer them new services.”