Looking East

Talking about startups, Western markets dominate the discussions. But Eastern Europe offers entrepreneurs some advantages the satisfied markets in the US, UK or Germany don’t: a rapidly growing market and customers with steadily increasing purchasing power. Therefore Eastern European countries should definitely be taken into consideration by startups and venture capitalists.

Maelle Gavet, CEO of OZON, Matthäus Krzykowski, co-founder and Managing Partner at Xyologic, Stefan Erschwendner, Managing Partner and Strategist at LHBS and Filip Visnjic, Editor-in-chief of Creative Applications Network, are running their businesses in Eastern Europe and discussed the issue together with Hermione Way, journalist & entrepreneur, at NEXT Berlin 2012.

“The good news is: VCs finally started to put Russia on the map”, Maelle Gavet stated. Still, the rather unreliable and insecure economic and political system, especially in Russia, increases the risk for entrepreneurs. On the other hand, the capital situation is getting better and there are also political changes towards more stability taking place. Another reason to enter the Russian market is: “No matter what, the Russians are going to copy it anyway”, Stefan Erschwendner remarked. So entrepreneurs probably shouldn’t miss their chance to be part of the evolving markets in Eastern Europe.