Marchmont’s Advisory Board meeting held in Moscow
Marchmont’s Advisory Board held its second biannual meeting on December 9 at the MICEX, Moscow. Denis Pryanichnikov, one of the Board members and a manager at Russia’s major stock exchange, not only hosted the meeting but also assisted in organizing the event.
In addition to Board members who attended the meeting there were numerous representatives of companies and organizations already partnering, or willing to partner, with Marchmont in our regional conference series and web-based media relationships, including Alexei Zhurov and Ekaterina Petrova from the RF National Union of Business Angels; SteepRock Capital’s Dmitry Krasotkin; Denis Krivenko from Russia Partners Management; the RF Chamber of Commerce’s Alexander Shitov; Irina Telitsyna from Forbes Magazine; and others.
UNOVA CEO Evgeny Savin, IPMCE Deputy CEO Kirill Bulatov and Science Connections’ Patrick Fullick were introduced as three new Advisory Board members.
Marchmont Managing Principal Kendrick White, Events & Marketing Manager Svetlana Golubeva, Marchmont Consulting’s Konstantin Pigalov and Managing Editor Oleg Kouzbit took the floor to tell the audience of what had been done in the outgoing year, and what plans were for 2010. Both the guests and the Board members found the information interesting as they needed to see Marchmont’s current status and what strategy was envisioned for the near future.
In his in-depth presentation Kendrick White specifically pinpointed the reasons and purposes for Marchmont’s focusing on regional conferences that target innovators and business angels. Russia’s cyclical economy has systemic weaknesses, he said. He highlighted the consequences of ‘addiction to commodities.’ First and foremost they include the systemic monopolization of the economy triggering high inflation. The latter forces investors to make ‘quick bucks’ on short-term investment. The ensuing deficiency is therefore little or no investment in production and infrastructure. Under the circumstances business angels and venture investors are poorly motivated to put their money into long-term innovation hi-tech projects. All this put together brings about ‘investment famine’ in innovation. The alarming situation needs to be brought to the attention of business and government leaders, and investors need help in steering their capital to where it’s most looked-for.
As constructive critique the participants suggested that Marchmont diversify target audiences and think of redistribution of the timing and venues to be covered over the next year, to make sure the conference series and website activity get more effective.
The Board’s Eduard Fyaxel, pronounced 2009’s Best Business Angel Group Leader by the European Business Angel Network, emphasized that it’s of paramount importance for the state to support and augment the efforts Marchmont and its partners are making to promote venture investing in Russia. He said the promotion of innovative thinking was one thing; raising an entire new generation of young people who like entrepreneurship and speak ‘the language’ of international business is a much more challenging task.
Marchmont will continue sharing views and welcoming feedback from its Advisory Board members and partners through further meetings.