The first Mentor-Protégé pairing has been formed by the Skolkovo Mentors Program – an effort to steer start-ups in the right direction by appointing an expert to consult in key areas of development, the Skolkovo Foundation website announced.
The program is a “pillar of the Skolkovo Foundation’s drive to create a culture of entrepreneurship in Russia by borrowing expertise from captains of industry.”
“This is a good start for the Mentors Program,” said Alexey Ermolin, the head of Skolkovo’s Acceleration and Development Group. “We are hoping for many more matches.”
The first mentor is Alex Kosik, a Russian-born tech investor based in Fairfax, Virginia.
He is to advise RealSpeaker, a company that produces voice-to-text audiovisual speech recognition software for computers and is striving for a slice of an estimated $12bn global market in voice recognition.
RealSpeaker combines the information received through a computer’s microphone and webcam – by analyzing lip movements - to produce accurate text without the speaker having to slow down.
“Alex has great professional experience, as well as a global view on the development of technology and a knack for entrepreneurship. I believe that our collaboration has great potential,” said Viktor Osetrov, the CEO of RealSpeaker.
Mr. Kosik is the CEO of Quantum-Cure and visits Moscow five or six times a year, making him the ideal mentoring candidate. He already helps several other Skolkovo resident companies.
Skolkovo has other experts acting as de facto mentors for many of its resident companies, but this is the first match as part of the dedicated Mentors Program.