Startup Village 2021: the First Space Station

Startup Village, the largest start-up conference in Russia and post-Soviet states, will be hosted by the Skolkovo Innovation Centre on 24-25 May. This year it will be supported by VEB.RF and Roscosmos State Corporation under the motto ‘Packing for Mars. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Innovation’. The event coincides with the anniversary of the first space flight, which opened a new page in the technological history of the mankind. For the first time, the International Space Station (ISS) crew will have a conference call with Skolkovo. 

Russian cosmonauts Pyotr Dubrov, Andrey Fedyaev and Anatoly Ivanishin will discuss ‘Innovative Projects and Startups on the International Space Station’ with the session’s speakers. In 2021, the decision was taken to combine online and offline formats. Discussions, interviews, film presentations and masterclasses will be held concurrently on the site and live on the event’s website.

The conference will be attended by Igor Shuvalov, the Chairman of VEB.RF, Dmitry Rogozin, the General Director of Roscosmos State Corporation, Arkady Dvorkovich, the Chairman of the Skolkovo Foundation, Elvi Ray Smith, the Co-founder of Pixar studioSarah al-Amiri, the State Minister for Advanced Technologies of the UAE Government, the Chairman of the UAE Space Agency, Shannon Poulin, the Corporate Vice President, the General Sales and Marketing Director of Intel Corporation, Adam Kostial, the Senior Vice President, the Head of Securities Listing of the Nasdaq Exchange in the EMEA region, and Viktor Vekselberg, the Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Skoltech.

The event’s guests and speakers will also include representatives of major global companies such as Microsoft, Plug and Play, BlaBlaCar, SAP, 3M, AstraZeneca, Visa, EBay, McKinsey & Company, Accenture, Sabre Corporation, NVIDIA, Qualcomm, the European Space Agency, China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation, MTC, X5 Retail Group, VTB Bank, Tinkoff, Gazprombank and many others.

During the event’s business programme, the participants will discuss what the space industry of the future will look like, conduct a post-crisis business check-up, evaluate the possibilities of introducing young innovative projects to large corporations through accelerators, and much more.

A special guest will be Ray Kurzweil, the Google’s Director of Engineering, a futurist, one of the brightest and most controversial thinkers of our time, ‘the man who predicted everything’, in particular, the invention of exoskeletons and voice-activate computer control. Another world star is the first cyborg, British contemporary artist Neil Harbisson. Born with achromat vision (colour-blind), Neil upgraded himself by implanting an antenna-like device in his brain that converts light waves into sound. He believes that the development of the implants will help bring about a medical breakthrough.

Qatar’s extended participation is planned too. Representatives of the Qatar Development Bank, Qatar Financial Centre, the business community, entrepreneurs and investors are expected to attend the event.

In addition, the Startup Bazaar exhibition of technological projects will be held offline and online. Start-ups will present developments to investors as part of the Pitch&Go and Adventureland Challenge programmes and receive expert feedback at Mentor Hours (one-to-one sessions).

Last year, the organisers held the Startup Village online for the first time in the context of a new reality.  It proved to be one of the world’s first experiences of a virtual event of this scale. The conference stood out as a vivid example of the opportunities that ‘remote work’ offers. The number of views exceeded 185,000 on the website and more than 1,500,000 on external resources.

The detailed programme is available on the conference website:

Registration is required.

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