There has been a history of mistrust between Russia and the West for many years, and 2017 has been no exception. While I continue to be dumbfounded by some of the things each side believes about each other, one should not be surprised when so much of what is perceived comes from social media and hearsay. But entrepreneurship is a level playing field and so as someone who has been visiting Russia regularly since 1990, I wanted to report on our current work and partners and my recent visit to speak at the Open Innovations Forum at Skolkovo, writes Jonathan Ortmans for the Global Entrepreneurship Network.

Speakers at the Open Innovations forum at Skolkovo included Alibaba's Jack Ma. Photo:

Despite rumors to the contrary, entrepreneurship and innovation are alive in Russia in 2017. I took the time recently to look closely at what is happening at the Skolkovo research park and just spoke at the Open Innovations Forum there.  Skolkovo offers an impressive start to scale infrastructure for entrepreneurs and innovators – from a Startup Village with other actors from the ecosystem to various research centers for developing and scaling innovation within difference industry verticals.

At the Open Innovations Forum there were deep discussions around new business models in almost every industry. I joined experts and entrepreneurs from law to space, and witnessed various models for applying artificial intelligence to the energy, health care, education and transportation industries. There were participants from all over the world – from Russians to Americans and Israelis to Europeans – all sharing solutions.

The event attracted entrepreneurs such as Jack Ma from Alibaba, my friend Mark Weinberger from EY, Charles Adler, the Kickstarter co-founder, Ziv Ariram of Mobileye fame (which just sold for $15 billion USD) and is now launching OrCam, as well as Marvin Liao from 500 Startups.

And the work at Open Innovations had the attention of many of Russia’s leadership, and some of whom I met while there, including Dimitri Medvedev, and of course, the leadership team from Skolkovo that included Victor Vekselberg. Also present were entrepreneurship evangelists from other countries, the Prime Minister of Luxenbourg and Jacqueline Poh from GovTech Singapore.

To read the full article, visit the Global Entrepreneurship Network.