FOUNDING A RUSSIAN SILICON VALLEY – AN INSIDE LOOK

FOUNDING A RUSSIAN SILICON VALLEY – AN INSIDE LOOK

5 MIN READ, JULY 5, 2021
5 MIN READ, JULY 5, 2021
Interview with

Mark Kreimer
Steford.co
Co-founder
How did you start a community in Krasnaya Polyana?
As news spread of the first-ever covid 19 restrictions, a few people across Russian cities moved to self isolate in a small town located in the Western Caucasus. This created an interesting atmosphere of different people with different views and skill sets in IT. As a result, a community of remote workers in Krasnaya Polyana was created and grew to become steford.co. Its basic principles emerged in cophilosophy (cophilosophy.org), so to speak; it all started with a communal philosophical idea.
How many Startups have you worked with so far?
Startups in the community were brought up by the cooperation of both highly experienced and inexperienced individuals since cophilosophy initially meant unification and exchanges in experience. Steford Accelerator is currently working on four early-stage startups.
Did you observe considerable growth in the number of IT specialists in Krasnaya Polyana?
In the summer of 2020, the first meet-ups consisted of only five people. By the end of 2020, Steford had already accommodated up to 70 people, and we believe this trend will remain in the near future. There are currently 1000+ people in our community.
What do you think is the most crucial factor for this place to become a new Silicon Valley?
This is a complex yet simple question.
The most important factors are:
• Ideologically – startup culture and cophilosophy;
• Infrastructure – housing for 10,000+ new community members;
• Institutionally – the right climate for thriving ventures.
What are you currently doing to develop your community? And what helps you?
The community develops itself because Krasnaya Polyana provides the right climate and energy to help create an environment for developing a startup ecosystem.

It's just a place of power, and you need to come here to understand this.
But sometimes, it seems to me that it was Polyana that came to us.
What are you missing?
We have a lot of talented creative people in Krasnaya Polyana - this is the main thing. But in general, I think that our country lacks an entrepreneurial culture and trust in the economy.
How do you think the community will develop after the pandemic? What are your plans?
We have planned to launch several startups, and we will further develop our own IT / startup community, cophilosophy, we will help startups, hold events, develop acceleration programs, coworking coliving infrastructure, hold IT camps Krasnaya Polyana to popularize this place among colleagues. So, in general, we have a lot of plans, despite the pandemic.
ANASTASIA ZYRIANOVA
Program Director & PR, EMERGE
Passionate for deep tech, VC and smart events. Aspiring filmmaker, harpist and yogi.
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