Strogino: a business staircase
Today, there are 33 technoparks in Moscow. The residents can rent premises at attractive prices, and receive various benefits from the Moscow Government. General Director Sergei Teplov told the Moscow Investment Portal about the Strogino infrastructure and business preferences.
- Sergei Vladimirovich, when and on which base was the Strogino technopark created?
- This technopark stands out, because it was not based anything, but originally created as a technopark. It used to be an abandoned building under construction, which was dangerous for people around it. The city decided to repair the facility and build an industrial park.
Strogino was created in 2007 as a technopark to support innovative small and medium-sized businesses. This is a joint project of the Moscow Government and the Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation. The most important thing is that the project was conceived and implemented exactly as an integral infrastructure object to provide support and business opportunities at any stage, from an idea to production. 11 years ago, there were no such facilities in Moscow.
The first question that anyone who decided to create their own production, research or development business has to answer is where they should go. Our technopark is designed for innovative, production and research companies. We do not host any kind of trade or service companies.
Another challenge for any young business is created by extremely limited resources at the initial stage. The Strogino business incubator provides support to small business entities providing them with benefits, various types of consultations, and various forms of support, the most important of which is probably property support. After all, a startup company may still not have a ready product yet, still not be selling anything, but it has to invested funds, and the amounts are quite considerable. The business incubator solves this problem reducing costs at the initial stage. We provide premises for rent on preferential terms, with furniture and office equipment. As an entrepreneur, you do not need to think what you should rent, what you should buy, what you have to sacrifice in order to save money. You will spend your money more wisely, if you, for example, invite a new developer, engineer or assembler to your team, that is someone who will help improve your business. The business incubator allows you to avoid additional costs. It also provides consulting, legal supportand promotion opportunities, which is also very important for a start-up company.
For 11 years, the Strogino business incubator has helped about 300 start-ups. Companies that were founded not more than 3 years ago, can get various kinds of the city support. I believe that our business incubator has fully proven its value, because the companies that have developed there currently make 40 percent of the technopark residents. This is a kind of a business staircase: the first step is a concept, the next step is the incubator, when there are production and laboratories, it is the technopark step.
The survival rate of projects in the business incubator exceeds 70 percent. These are the companies that have started business and launched production. As for the market, this rate is about 50/50. Thus, we are using our expertise and various forms of support to help businesses to enter the stage of growth and start selling their products.
A company can stay in a business incubator for 3 years, during which the start-up is expanding and developing, and after that we release it into the world. The company either moves to the technopark, if possible, or continues its operation outside.
- Please tell us about the Strogino infrastructure.
- Initially, the Strogino had 2 structures, the technopark itself and the business incubator. Those are still there today, however we do not stop and constantly develop our services. Today, the technopark also has a coworking, as well as a 3D prototyping center. There is also the Mosmedpark technopark, which is run by Strogino. Here, we plan to develop health care technologies. I think it will become a small medical cluster. The Strogino area is 17 thousand square meters, and the Mosmedpark area is 21 thousand square meters.
The 3d-prototyping center was created at the request of our residents. Together, we have selected a line of equipment. The companies use the center a lot to create prototypes of cases and microcircuits, to test their ideas. Our colleagues were grateful to us when we created this structure, because before they had to go somewhere spending time on logistics, and now they can just go down to another floor.
We also provide congress opportunities, namely meeting rooms, a conference room, a classroom. The companies that are in the business incubator can use meeting rooms free of charge. The coworking also has a room for conducting master classes or seminars. Thus, we support and provide small and fairly efficient infrastructure not only to our residents, but to external companies as well.
- What preferences for the technopark residents are available?
- If the technopark is set up properly and works correctly, this can already be considered a business preference. In addition to benefits, the companies that move to the technopark get into a special environment, where they are among those of their kind; this is an ecosystem offering opportunities for communication and new projects development. This often results in synergetic effects. At the very beginning, we hosted companies in about 10 different industries. Now there are only industries coexisting in harmony. These are information technologies, instrumentation and everything related to health care.
We offer many opportunities for the residents’ cooperation. For example, medical companies very often share laboratories, exchange testing ideas, information about registration, certification, etc.
As for the benefits, firstly, for the technopark residents are provided with subsidies and support measures that the city can offer. This, for example, includes a priority access to the "Made in Moscow" project, which allows to present products at the leading foreign and Russian industry exhibitions. There also is an opportunity to receive loans from the Moscow Fund for Industry and Entrepreneurship Support at 5 percent per annum. To use this opportunity, the company should be a technopark resident. When receiving a leasing interest compensation for equipment purchased, the priority is also given to the technopark residents.
Moreover, we promote our leaseholders. The technopark is a kind of the aggregator of information from all the organizations that have some opportunity to provide business with some kind of bonus. In general, companies very often do not know about the support measures they can receive. In this regard, information is very important. We find the right information for our residents, help them to make contacts and provide consulting services.
The technopark makes it possible for start-ups to communicate with various funds and investors. It also has the necessary expertise, organizes various business meetings and road shows, provides the opportunities for interacting with universities and institutions. We, for example, work with healthcare facilities in Moscow as part of the Mosmedpark project. So, our residents have been actively interacting with City Clinical Hospital 67. It is not always easy for our engineer to understand what the doctor standing beside a patient needs. The hospital gives us feedback, and, as a result, the producer’s chances to create a more competitive and more useful product with, importantly, a lower cost are increased several times. Recently, as part of the Mosmedpark development, we took part in an exhibition at the Vishnevsky Military Clinical Hospital of the Ministry of Defense.
- Does the Moscow Government provide any support directly to the technopark?
- The Moscow Government initially provided the Strogino technopark with good informational support. We cooperated with the city to work out and implement an advertising campaign, we were promoted quite actively. This PR support simply had a deferred effect: people had to believe, check, see with their own eyes, and get used to the technopark and to the opportunities it offers to business. Also, the Moscow Government has been actively developing the technopark infrastructure. Even though Strogino is a state technopark, it has quite loyal demands for the residents: the company should be registered in Moscow, its main activities should be information technologies, science, engineering, development, or production.
Today, the Moscow Government has already involved in its information field almost all producers from Moscow and the Moscow Region. Businesses know about the technoparks capabilities, so we have not had any vacant space for the last 6 years, we have to say no to companies that are coming to us. At the same time, we are actively redirecting companies to our colleagues.
- Do you have any unique and interesting residents, which the technopark can really be proud of?
- Of course, we do. All of them! I can say a lot about and am proud of each of them. I can see where they begin, how they pass all the stages, what difficulties they have to overcome, in order to continue working and developing. I care for all of them, because the success of the technopark is equal to the success of each resident.
Now there are 44 companies in Strogino. I will name a few ones from each industry represented in the technopark. I will start with information technologies. The 101 XP Labs company has grown in the business incubator. It develops and releases computer games. Initially, the team included 3 or 4 employees, and now the company employs over 200 people.
Another IT company is KroSystem, which also started operation in the business incubator, then moved to the technopark, where it is successfully working today. They have created a product that collects information from all open sources and allows to assess contractors. Today, their product is used by many major state and private banks.
In the field of electronics, we have the Signur company. It produces flowmeter sensors, which are used in industrial water supply and drainage networks. This company also produced sensors for railway crossings that are installed at all rail crossings in Russia that are equipped with stop lifting gears, without exception.
I can not cease to admire the OKB Vektor company that started with a little development, which they created themselves almost in their own garage. It is a sensor for controlling various parameters of liquid in large petroleum tanks. By now, OOO OKB Vektor has been certified in all Russian oil and gas companies and is competing on an equal footing with American and European companies that produce similar products. These guys have created a really unique product. I have to give them credit for producing Russian devices that have passed all the tests and work great wherever they are applied. By the way, the city also helped with promotion examining products, assessing quality and reliability. For a small start-up company, such help means a lot.
I can talk a lot about medicine, since this area is very interesting. We have a company called Peptogen, which produces unique anti-apoplectic drugs. They allow to reduce the disability risk for people who have suffered a stroke, by 80 percent. This is an original, not generic, drug that has passed all the tests. Another unique medicine is intended for the people working under stressful conditions. Strictly speaking, it is for all of us.
The AZT Farma company produces medicines to prevent HIV infection. Their original drug allows people with HIV to live a quite long and quality life. The drug is also patented, has passed all the necessary procedures and is already available on the market. The most important thing is that these medicines are produced in Russia solely from domestic components. These are excellent import substitution examples.
Biotekfarm produces dressings under the brand name "Vse Zazhivyot” (“Everything heals”). These guys make bandages containing medicines, which accelerate wound healing and contribute to therapy. They offer a huge variety of bandages for wounds of various origin.
R-Optics that is currently quite a large company produces unique surgical instruments to be used in ophthalmology and cardiology. The company has entered the international market and is selling its products in a number of countries. The markets of Japan, the United States, and South-East Asia are already open to them.
- What are the development plans of the Strogino technopark?
- One can say that Mosmedpark is our start-up, which was created in the fall of 2017 and is developing actively. It is located in the Moscow South-Eastern Administrative District. To date, Mosmodpark accommodates 15 companies.
We are also actively working on our expansion: we want to expand our areas in Strogino through construction and reconstruction. I think that we might have received additional opportunities for our residents by the end of 2019. The fact is that many of the companies that are located here are asking for additional areas. Residents are feeling the lack of space, as they grow and acquire some new equipment.