In Russia, an attempt to build its own Silicon Valley on the Moskva River


On the eve of Russia’s Open Innovations Forum and Exhibition, in a beautifully refurbished event space overlooking the Moskva River in what used to be the Red October candy factory, Dmitry Repin answers my question with another question: “If not here, then where?” he inquires. “There’s foreign media, there’s industry, there’s government—it’s all here.”

Repin is the CEO of Digital October, a kind of hybrid tech-sector networking community and media company that facilitates technology entrepreneurship and dialogue within Moscow’s nascent technology scene. I’ve come to Moscow to attend the third annual Open Innovations Forum, an extravagant two-day event that is designed to bring startups, traditional industry, government, and the public together to cultivate growth in Russia’s tech community and stanch the brain drain that sends a large part of Russia’s ample engineering and programming talent in search of work elsewhere. Now a major event on Moscow’s business calendar, the forum…

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