API Moscow just opened its doors with plans to spark entrepreneurial activity and prevent innovative companies from taking talents abroad. The API in the name refers to application programming interface that PW, and many others, find the future of the connected world will be built upon. Although APIs will most likely play an essential role among the many startups that will occupy the incubation space, in the case of API Moscow, the name represents the connection where innovators, investors, mentors, and markets can meet and launch new businesses and products.
API Moscow was born out of Moscow’s Technology Incubation Program that Mayor, Krasny Oktyabr, introduced earlier in 2013.Oktyabr’s thought behind the program rested on the belief that plenty of innovative talent and plenty of venture capital exists in Moscow; however, money and talent have been traveling west in both instances because of the gap that existed between the two inside Russian borders. API Moscow CEO, Konstantin Fokin, explained:
"Every year, about 400 Russian companies move to the U.S. For American towns this is a positive thing, but for Russia, it is not. Some entrepreneurs leave because they don't have favorable conditions to develop their companies here in Russia. Overseas, they find themselves closer to the market and able to raise funds they would be unable to get here. If the business conditions in both countries were equal, many of these companies would stay in Russia. Our goal is to create a business environment similar to what business migrants find overseas."
API Moscow constitutes the first program born out of the Technology Incubation Program. With laser focus on ideas that have potential and rapid development, the incubator has adopted as its guiding principle: “Kill fast or fast Grow.” With a world-class infrastructure not yet enjoyed within Russia, expect exciting startups to arise out of Russia soon. Don’t be surprised when a number of those startups turn into API stories on this site, and around the world.