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Session Summary. Entrepreneurship: Russia Reality and Foreign Flavor

February 4, 2010

Marcel Malczewski: After finishing school, Marcel Malczewski and some friends built mini-printers and point-of-sales machines. They kept their focus on innovation, and grew from there. Financing came from early investors, then venture funds, and now the company is public.

Gustavo Fabian Grobocopatel: As he put it: “I started as a farmer”. From farming on the pampas plains of Argentina, Mr Grobocopatel moved to agribusiness. The company’s goal is to increase grain output by 50%. A direct seeding technology aims to control erosion. Mr Grobocopatel’s ancestors moved to Argentina from Russia about 100 years ago.

Karim Rashid: A desire not to have a boss was behind the founding of the design firm bearing his name. Prior to that, he was an industrial designer for eight years. After a slow start, his firm now does business with 100 multinationals in 35 countries.

Michael Milken: The key elements to entrepreneurs are passion, vision, leadership, ability to execute and scalability. The trap lies when companies get too big and lack the agility to change.

Natalya Kaspersky: Freedom is the best attribute that entrepreneurs enjoy. Getting away from a bigger organization gave her organization’s founders that very freedom. The big threat is overseas competitors with deep pockets. On an intellectual basis, the playing field is level, but financially it is a very different story.


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