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Andre Tikhomirov, Managing Partner of Kolos Ventures, acted as a speaker at the annual StrategEast State and IT Eurasian Forum

On 9-10 November, 2021, the third StrategEast State and IT Eurasian Forum was held in Bishkek, Kyrgyz Republic, with the Lead topic: Development Through Collaboration. More than 150 participants from different countries took an active participation in the forum. 11 thematic sessions were held successfully, as well as world best practices were analyzed.

As part of the thematic session "Startup Acceleration: Route to Silicon Valley", Andre noted that one of the most important entrepreneurial impulses of the region is the great majority of the young population that needs innovation:

“The young population wants to have all these modern things that everybody has in the world, and that drives their preferences, it drives their demands, and it will be just silly not to answer those demands.”

However, there are still a number of blocking factors that slow down and hinder the growth of the number of "unicorns", including the lack of start-up capital:

“A lot very few people understand, first of all, what technology means, what this particular product or service means. They don't see anybody, they see only risks rather than opportunities or upside, as we call it, and that's why it's very difficult to convince them to invest. There is no venture capital per se, capitalists per se.”

Questions were also raised about the global connectiveness and the importance of the presence of role models:

“I think it's extremely important…the success of such ventures actually can bring more capital if venture capitalists see such examples: local unicorns or gazelles, as we saw them. And all sort of younger generation of unicorns can become unicorns that definitely can bring more capital to this country to this region as a whole.”

Among the priority issues for consideration by the policy makers were taxation, flexibility of the legal regime and education.

Full report: