CoolTech Club VC panel : Russian-American High-Tech : A Fresh Viewpoint


June 9,2010


In May 2010, CoolTech Club executive team brought 20 managing partners from some of the leading Venture Capital firms in Silicon Valley to Moscow, Russia, where they had an opportunity to learn more about Russian businesses and Russian technology companies and where they had been introduced to the Russian market as a destination for potential investment.

Our delegation had meetings with D. Medvedev ( President of Russian Federation) , A. Chubais ( CEO of RUSNANO), V.Vekselberg (Head of "Skolkovo" project), U. Milner ( Digital Sky Technology) and many more leaders of Russian investment and entrepreneurship communities.

This panel offers you an opportunity to meet group of leading VC who participate in this trip and learn their first impression about possibility to make business in/with Russia. In addition, we'll discuss what special role can be play by local Russian-speaking community.


Jim Smith, Partner , Mohr Davidow Ventures

Jim Smith leads investments in software and systems companies, and is active in extending MDV's relationships with leading universities and research centers.

Prior to MDV, Jim spent six years developing computing architectures and integrated circuits for high performance multimedia systems at Silicon Graphics, Inc., including the multi-billion dollar revenue O2 and Octane workstation lines. He has authored and refereed numerous papers on computing systems and circuit design. He also spent three years as a researcher in the Computer Systems Laboratory at Stanford University.
Jim serves as a member of the advisory boards for TiE, the MIT Club of Northern California (MITCNC) and UC-Berkeley's VERTEX Program.

Jim received a doctorate in electrical engineering and a master's degree in industrial management from Stanford University. He also earned a bachelor's degree in computer systems engineering and a master's degree in electrical engineering from Stanford.

Mark Iwanowski , Partner,Trident Capital

Mark Iwanowski joined Trident Capital in 2005 as a Venture Partner and will be a Managing Director in Fund VII focusing primarily on CleanTech and Business Process Outsourcing. Mark has twenty-five years of experience successfully leading multiple global businesses in the high tech industry for both commercial and government customers. Mark was most recently Senior Vice President Global IT for Oracle Corporation. Prior to Oracle, Mark managed a Systems Integration, ASP and Outsourcing business for SAIC.

Mark was previously President of the R&D Division of Quantum Magnetics, an industry leader in explosive and illegal drug detection technology. Mark has also held executive positions with Raytheon and Honeywell.

Peter Loukianoff, Partner, Almaz Capital Partners

Prior to co-founding Almaz Capital Partners, Mr. Loukianoff was a partner at Alloy Ventures from 2001-2008, one of the more successful and longest-established venture capital firms in Silicon Valley. Before joining Alloy, he was on the founding teams of Autonomy, Inc. (US), a pioneer in Internet search and categorization, and Ubiquinet, Inc., a location-based services and software company.

Mr. Loukianoff is a co-inventor of five patent-pending mobile messaging technologies that are enabling a new and exciting market in voice and visual mobile advertising. He is on the board of directors of Apptera and chairman of the advisory council at Ravenflow Corp. His past investments include Audiobasket, Versata (Nasdaq: VATA), Xactly and ZipRealty (Nasdaq: ZIPR).

Mr. Loukianoff earned an MBA and BS Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley

What They Say About Us

"The wonderful thing about entrepreneurs is that their passion for starting new companies transcends languages and geographic boundaries."

Ron Conway, Founder and Managing Partner of the Angel Investors LP funds, early stage investor in Google and PayPal

"Networking is very important for start-ups. The challenge for them is often not money: it is mentoring and finding people who can give good advice from experience."

Esther Dyson, Founder, EDventure Holdings

"This conference is clearly a labor of love for a group of dedicated professionals who care deeply about the Eastern European entrepreneurs. From the value-packed educational panels, to the star-studded key note speakers' line up, to an amazing quantity of venture capitalists – this is a not to be missed event for any high tech entrepreneur,"

Richard Guha, President of the Marketing Executives Network and Managing Partner at MaxBrandEquity

"As Stanford MBA students, we were exposed to a lot of VC firms both from the Valley and abroad. It is at Stanford that we met Anna Dvornikova, an absolutely amazing business leader and (by our big luck) our friend, who was the center of the Russian Silicon Valley professional community, and was doing a huge work to connect Russia and the Valley. Anna helped us a lot with kick-starting Wikimart, put us to our first-ever conference, introduced us to most of Russian VCs. And all that happened in a very short time span! It was the beginning of a six-month journey that despite the particularly tough times resulted in an extraordinarily group of investors backing our start-up."

Maxim Faldin and Kamil Kurmakayev,
co-CEOs, Wikimart