The Plug and Play Tech Center, a Silicon Valley startup accelerator, said Monday it will open a Moscow accelerator as the next step in a strategy of global expansion.
The facility, planned in collaboration with Global Venture Alliance, is the firm’s second overseas endeavor and it’s largest. When it begins operating in a few months, it is expected to take in five startups this year and 10 to 20 annually in the years to follow.
The move into Russia came in part because the firm found a local partner in Global Venture Alliance, said Jupe Tan, vice president of international operations. More, the Russian entrepreneurial ecosystem that a few years ago was just starting to generate companies is gathering steam, he said.
“We see that it is very fast growing,” says Tan. “A few years ago would probably have been too early.”
Plug and Play’s Moscow program will provide startups one to three months of incubation in Russia, with the possibility of another three months in Silicon Valley. The firm has so far invested in two Russian companies: Russian-based TravelTipz and Virool, stationed the United States. A press release announcing the accelerator says the Moscow facility can serve as a launch pad for companies interested in expanding into Russian markets.
Tan says the firm has interest in looking beyond Russia. Its first accelerator outside the United States opened in Singapore and can support two to three companies at a time. Plug and Play had plans to expand into Egypt, but put them on hold because of the region’s political instability. Other places of interest include Korea, Spain, Canada, Latin America, China and India, says Tan.
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