On 12th of March, 2019, a panel discussion “StartUp Boom: from pitching to global markets” took place in the framework of the St. Petersburg SME Partneriat. The St. Petersburg SME Partneriat is the biggest business event, aimed at development of international cooperation.

During the panel discussion representatives of local business development infrastructure and representatives of the international projects discussed the initiatives for the startups’ support, participation in different acceleration programs, international events, where startups can present their idea and find potential partners and investors.

The project team, including Cursor Oy, South-Eastern Finland University of Applied Sciences, ITMO University and St. Petersburg Foundation for SME Development took part in the panel discussion.

Sergey Troshkov, the leader of Startup Connect project, presented the key activities, which will take place in St. Petersburg and Finland in 2019. The project is oriented at several aimed groups: students, startups, SMEs.

The Startup Connect acceleration program with the cross-border competition is available for startups. Moreover, there will be a number of international events and workshops, where companies can present their own initiatives and find investors.

Already operating small and medium-sized enterprises are invited to participate in the modular training program “Academy of Internationalization”, where the issues of export regulation as well as the development of export potential will be discussed. Also, project partners are ready to provide export support for the Russian and Finnish companies.

Along with other initiatives, the competency development program, created for owners of coworking spaces, will take place. The first event of the acceleration program will be held in St. Petersburg on April 10, 2019.

Elena Gavrilova, the head of Center of Entrepreneurship at the ITMO University, presented the opportunities available for students. During April-May 2019 ITMO University and South-Eastern Finland University of Applied Sciences organize Innocamp, where future professionals will have the opportunity to solve real business problems and strengthen their competencies, as well as practice in the largest companies of both countries.

The presentation of the Startup Connect project key activities was well received and had a good feedback from the audience.

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