MGIMO Launches RE:START — International Educational Program to Support Youth Entrepreneurship

3 November 2021

On November 3d, MGIMO University held an online opening ceremony of RE:START, an innovative educational program to support student startup projects. The program is carried out by the MGIMO Business Incubator Research Center in cooperation with the Northeast Indiana Innovation Center (NIIC, USA). Within the framework of the program, which will last from November 2021 to January 2022, the best American entrepreneurs and business experts will share their experience and vision with Russian startup projects.

At the opening, the Vice-rector for Science and Research Andrey Baykov and the Vice-Rector for Financial and Economic Affairs Natalia Kuzmina made a welcoming speech. The Vice-rector for Science and Research noted that the implementation of joint international programs for the exchange of experience between entrepreneurs from different countries has become a good tradition for MGIMO — a similar project has been implemented for four years through the cooperation of MGIMO with Henley Business School (Reading, UK).

According to Nataliya Kuzmina, who has been supervising the activities of the Business Incubator since its foundation, the new program is a follow-up of another large-scale project previously held at MGIMO – the US-Russian Forum on Business Incubation, which helped accumulate extensive experience in conducting such events and acquire valuable business connections and partners.

During the first session welcoming speeches were also made by Olga Khotyasheva, Director of the Business Incubator Research Center; Sergey Teplov, Director General of the Strogino Technopark; Mike Fritsch, Acting Head of the NIIC; and Tom Strodback, moderator of the section, consultant on startups and enterprises at Liverpool John Moore University. Olga Khotyasheva emphasized the importance of the new project as a product of close integration and synergy of all the activities of the Business Incubator and the applied Master's program "Industry Marketing of Goods and Services".

The opening of RE:START and the first training gathered more than 150 participants, among them Business Incubator residents of different years, Industrial Marketing of Goods and Services master's students, Strogino Technopark residents, as well as Russian business incubators representatives and aspiring entrepreneurs. Shortly before the RE:START, the MGIMO Business Incubator launched a special centralized Telegram chat for all entrepreneurs among students and graduates – MGIMO Business Network University, based on the best practices of foreign universities, which is to become an effective tool for sharing experience and networking. It is no coincidence that this has been done right now as interest in entrepreneurship is growing at MGIMO, and more than 60 students pass through the training and mentoring program of the MGIMO Business Incubator every year.

The special guest of RE:START’s first day was Dr. Donald F. Kuratko, director of the Johnson Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation (Indiana University), an outstanding American scholar, author of more than 30 books and more than 200 articles on entrepreneurship and corporate innovation, winner of a number of international and national awards, one of the top 20 entrepreneurship researchers in the world. Dr. Kuratko delivered a lecture on the current state and relevant trends in the development of American small business, ending with inspiring advice and parting words for Russian entrepreneurs. The main presentation was followed by meetings with several representatives of successful startups in the USA, who told about their businesses, shared their experience, and answered questions from the participants of the session.

Further sessions of RE:START will focus on no less topical issues of entrepreneurship and will be held according to the following schedule:

  • November 17 - Entrepreneurial Mindset
  • December 1 - Value Creation from Freelancer to Unicorn
  • December 15 — Venture Storytelling and Pitching.

In January 2022, Industrial Marketing of Goods and Services master’s students are to develop and present their business ideas to the international jury.

For more than five years, students majoring in Entrepreneurship of the Industrial Marketing master's program have had the opportunity to develop and defend real business ideas in teams as their final project. Over the years of the program's implementation, many novice, but already successful businesses have emerged at MGIMO University, including Organic Works (organic cosmetics), Soblazn Cakes (cakes and homemade baking) and many others.

MGIMO Launches RE:START — International Educational Program to Support Youth Entrepreneurship