Russia has gone from a poor country to an increasingly wealthy one. Why? Oil prices. Now that oil is sitting around $100 a barrel Russia is sitting on a gold mine. Er, oil wells. And the cash is pouring in. One problem? They need to diversify and increase the number of companies that don’t have anything to do with energy. So, they are starting up a bunch of Venture Capital efforts.
I get the skinny on all this with Yuri Ammosov, a senior policy officer of the Russian Government in charge of venture capital and high tech development programs, talks with me about how Russia is flush with cash thanks to the rising energy prices (they are one of the world’s leading oil producers) and are working with Silicon Valley venture capital firms to diversify its economy. We talk about some of the smart people and smart companies that are popping up in Russia and tons of other stuff too.
I like his honesty. He told me that being an entrepreneur in Russia today is like being an entrepreneur in Silicon Valley in the 1960s (when Silicon Valley was still largely a farm town).