Leadership program for Russian students comes to Purdue this summer

July 11, 2014  

yegor slenenko

Russian student Sergey Slenenko listens to suggestions on how to improve his business plan project from Tim Peoples, director of the Purdue Technology Centers at the Purdue Research Park, during the 2013 Yegor Gaidar Summer Leadership Program. The program, which focuses on entrepreneurship, is a partnership between the U.S. Russia Foundation, Yegor Gaidar Summer Leadership Program and Purdue. (Purdue University photo/Phillip Fiorini)
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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - A group of Russian undergraduate students will spend a month of their summer at Purdue University to expand their knowledge of entrepreneurship and startup company development.

Ten students were selected by a committee of American and Russian specialists in economic policy and entrepreneurship to participate in the Yegor Gaidar Summer Leadership Program, which will run from Monday (July 14) through Aug. 2.

In order to aid the students in developing a final business model, participants will arrive with their business ideas already prepared. By the end of their three-week stay at Purdue, each student will have developed an individual business project related to high tech and innovation.

"Purdue's vibrant entrepreneurship program and its focus on discovery with delivery and commercialization is a great opportunity for the Russian undergraduate students," said Alan Rebar, senior associate vice president for research and executive director of Discovery Park. "This international program also represents an important cultural collaboration for Purdue and these bright Russian students and leaders to learn and share best business practices."

yegor students

Russian students (from left) Stanislav Sementsov, Kirill Shumskii  and Olga Sivushkina gain tips on improving their business plan project and other entrepreneurship skills during the 2013 Yegor Gaidar Summer Leadership Program in the Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship at Purdue University's Discovery Park. (Purdue University photo/Phillip Fiorini) 
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The Gaidar Summer Leadership Program, funded by the U.S. Russia Foundation and Purdue, kicks off with a welcome by Rebar at 9:30 a.m. Monday (July 14). The students will be welcomed to the city by West Lafayette Mayor John Dennis and Lafayette Mayor Tony Roswarski during a reception at MatchBOX Coworking Studio in downtown Lafayette from 4:30-5:45 p.m. Tuesday (July 15).

Gerhard Klimeck, a professor of electrical and computer engineering and director of the Purdue Center for Predictive Materials and Devices (c-PRIMED), will give a presentation to the group, and history professor Michael A. Morrison will teach an introduction to modern American culture and history and will show the students several classic U.S. films.

Management professor Greg Hundley, associate dean for global programs and initiatives and director of the Purdue Center for International Business Education and Research (CIBER), also will hold sessions on international business throughout the three-week period.

Along with a tour of Discovery Park and a trip to Subaru of Indiana Automotive Inc., this year's program includes classes focused on teaching how to define business problems, assess risk and return, package a pitch, and find a competitive edge.

During their Purdue stay, the students 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 model, identifying capital needs, creating a marketing strategy and formally presenting it to experts on the Purdue campus.

The program is modeled after the Purdue Research Park Entrepreneurship Academy, a program established in 2007 that introduces young people to the world of entrepreneurship. Timothy Peoples, Entrepreneur-in-Residence at the Purdue Foundry, and Juliana Casavan, training manager at the Foundry, lead the program.

A formal reception to recognize the Russian students is at 6 p.m. July 31 at Dauch Alumni Center. Event keynote speaker is Chris Earley, dean and James Brooke Henderson Professor of Management at Purdue's Krannert School of Management.

The visit culminates on Aug. 1 when the Russian students present their business models in Discovery Park's Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship, Room 129.

Joining Rebar as hosts are Candiss Vibbert, associate director for Discovery Park engagement; Alfiya Mosalova, program officer for the U.S. Russia Foundation; and representatives of the Purdue Foundry.

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. 

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

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

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

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

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

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