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July 9, 2013

20 Russian students heading to Purdue for entrepreneurship learning

Russian students

Students from the Yegor Gaidar Summer Leadership Program  (Purdue University file photo)
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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - A group of Russian undergraduate students are spending much of their summer at Purdue University and the Purdue Research Park to expand their understanding of how to take a creative idea and turn it into a viable commercial business venture.

Twenty students from the Yegor Gaidar Summer Leadership Program will tour Purdue's research facilities, technology transfer offices and business incubators. Meetings are planned to discuss potential collaborations with researchers in Discovery Park and elsewhere on campus, as well as graduate students, faculty members and entrepreneurs at Purdue Research Park.

The Russian students also will work in teams on a business case to commercialize a new or enhanced product. Teams will determine the best way to establish a startup by developing a business plan, building a management team, identifying capital needs, creating a marketing strategy and formally presenting it to experts on the Purdue campus.

"Purdue's vibrant entrepreneurship program and its focus on commercialization is a great opportunity for the Russian undergraduate students," said Dan Hasler, president of the Purdue Research Foundation and chief entrepreneurial officer for Purdue University. "The program also represents an important cultural collaboration for Purdue and these bright Russian students and leaders to learn and share best business practices."

The program, which is funded by the U.S. Russia Foundation and Purdue, kicks off Monday (July 15) with a welcome from Alan Rebar, executive director of Discovery Park and senior associate vice president for research at Purdue.

Joining him as hosts for the program are Candiss Vibbert, associate director for Discovery Park Engagement; Timothy Peoples, director of the Purdue Technology Centers at the Purdue Research Park; Juliana Casavan, Entrepreneurship Academy coordinator for the Purdue Research Park; Anna Danilina, director of the U.S. Russia Foundation; Alfiya Mosalova, program officer for the U.S. Russia Foundation; and Elena Epifantseva, project director for the Yegor Gaidar Foundation.

A formal reception to recognize the Russian students also is set for 6:30 p.m. Aug. 1 at the Purdue Research Park. Event keynote speaker is Chris Earley, dean and James Brooke Henderson Professor of Management at Krannert School of Management. Their visit culminates on Aug. 2 when the Russian students will present their business ideas in Discovery Park's Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship, Room 129.

"We are especially excited that we will have 20 students from Russia coming this summer, which is twice as many as last year – a testament to the benefits of the program led by the Yegor Gaidar Foundation, funded by the U.S. Russia Foundation and implemented by Purdue," Rebar said.

The students' business plan project is modeled after the Purdue Research Park Entrepreneurship Academy, a program established in 2007 that introduces young people to the world of entrepreneurship. Peoples and Casavan lead the program, which is offered through the Purdue Research Foundation.

The Yegor Gaidar Summer Leadership Program is a joint project between the Yegor Gaidar Foundation and U.S. Russian Foundation, designed to assist Russian undergraduate students with the knowledge, skills and practical experience in the area of economic and business development, with a focus on economics and entrepreneurship.

The U.S. Russia Foundation is working to support the long-term economic development of Russia's economy, working closely with the Russian government and leading Russian institutions. In this way, the foundation seeks to build strong ties between the United States and Russia.

The foundation also funds the Enhancing University Research and Entrepreneurial Capacity, or EURECA, program. In addition to Purdue, this collaboration includes the universities of California-Los Angeles, Maryland and Washington, and a consortium of program operators.

Purdue projects through EURECA, which was launched in 2009, focus on ways to determine the value of university-led intellectual property, faculty and student exchanges, joint incubators and technology centers, venture capital participation in student startups, technology transfer certification programs, and incubation of professional tech-transfer associations. 

Writers: Phillip Fiorini, 765-496-3133, pfiorini@purdue.edu

Cynthia Sequin, 765-588-3340, casequin@prf.org 

Sources: Alan Rebar, 765-496-6625, rebar@purdue.edu 

Candiss Vibbert, 765-494-9404, vibbert@purdue.edu

Tim Peoples, 765-494-8645, tpeoples@purdue.edu 

Related website: 
American Councils for International Education

Note to Journalists: Reporters interested in arranging interviews with the Russian students or would like more specific details about their itinerary while visiting Purdue can contact Phillip Fiorini at 765-496-3133, pfiorini@purdue.edu, or Cynthia Sequin of the Purdue Research Park at 765-588-3340, casequin@prf.org.