Why a group of Russian health IT startups is spending the week in Philly - Technical.ly Philly


Nov. 5, 2015 8:51 am

Why a group of Russian health IT startups is spending the week in Philly

The city's burgeoning health IT scene is getting attention overseas.

Temir Alov (far left) and some of the Russian medtech delegation, outside of the IMPACT Conference on Broad Street. Konstantin Skobeltsyn is at far right.

(Photo by Juliana Reyes)

Konstantin Skobeltsyn has worked in Munich, Germany and Kazan, a Russian city southeast of Moscow, but neither have had a health IT scene like Philadelphia’s.

“The health ecosystem is just outstanding,” Skobeltsyn said of Philadelphia.

He runs a company called Advanced Dental Cloud, which provides an alternative to costly 3D software that dentists use to design crowns and implants.

Skobeltsyn is one of five health IT founders from Russia who are spending the week touring Philly’s tech scene. On the docket: the IMPACT venture capital conference, a tour of DreamIt Health and a meeting with Patrick FitzGerald (who’s the VP of entrepreneurship and innovation at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia) and professors from Temple and Drexel. We caught up with Skobeltsyn and some of his traveling companions outside the IMPACT conference on Broad Street Tuesday evening, slipping outside to escape the din of the IMPACT cocktail hour.

The tour is a health IT delegation organized by the Washington, D.C.-based American Councils for International Education. The group’s U.S. Russia Innovation Corridor program is backed by the U.S. Russia Foundation and aims to make connections between Russian startups and the U.S. market — specifically Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. (they’re heading to D.C. on Friday).

It’s a way to get Russian entrepreneurs thinking globally, said Adrian Erlinger, program manager for the American Councils for International Education. It’s also an effort to find traction in the U.S., a huge market where everyone speaks the same language, Skobeltsyn said.

Why Philly, though?

The U.S. Russia Innovation Corridor caught wind of the city’s growing health IT scene, said Temir Alimov, a business consultant with the Corridor who spent a month as a professional fellow at the University City Science Center last fall. (They’re not the first to pay attention to Philly’s health IT scene: the Canadian Consulate General helped run a health IT accelerator at the Science Center in 2013.)


Alimov, who has a funny sense of humor (“Do you want us to put on our bear costumes?” he asked when we asked to take a photo of the group), also has a soft spot for Philadelphia. He spent a year at Radnor High School when he was 15 as part of an American Councils exchange program. He sent us a nice email this summer saying that he read Technical.ly Philly to keep up with Philly’s tech scene.

The next step, Alimov said, is to invite some key players from Philadelphia to Russia.

As for Skobeltsyn, here’s what he noticed about Philly: “People are not smiling a lot but very friendly.”

We’ll take it.

Below, find the agenda for the group’s Philly visit.

Monday, Nov. 2

Tour at DreamIt Ventures with Steve Barsh, Chief Innovation Officer, Managing Director DreamIt Health (3401 Market St, Suite 201, Philadelphia, PA 19104)

Roundtable discussion with Temple University Jody Hey and Suhir Kumar, Center for Computational Genetics and Genomics (Science Education and Research Center, N 12th St, Philadelphia, PA 19122)

Richard Lauer, Department of Physical Therapy and Electrical Engineering, Temple University (Pearson Hall, 1800 N Broad St, Room 2 (basement), Philadelphia, PA 19121)

Tuesday, Nov. 3

Digital Health Investors Meeting at University City Science Center (Fuller A+B in 3711 Market St, 8th Floor, Philadelphia, PA 19104)

Meeting with Patrick FitzGerald, Vice President of Entrepreneurship & Innovation, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
(Abramson Research Center, 3501 Osler Circle (glass building behind CHOP’s Main Hospital at 3401 Civic Center Blvd), 14th Floor, Room 1422, Philadelphia, PA)

Rochelle Mendonca, Assistant Professor of Instruction in Rehabilitation Sciences, Temple University (Jones Hall, Room 425, 1316 W Ontario St, Philadelphia, PA 19140)

IMPACT Conference (Lobby Lounge, Ritz Carlton, 10 Ave of the Arts, Philadelphia, PA 19102)

TBD Meeting with Oleg Pavlov, Associate Professor of Economics, Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Wednesday, Nov. 4

IMPACT Conference all day

Thursday, Nov. 5

Meeting with Elena Beier, Beier&Partners (TBD)

Meeting with Dr. Garth Ehrlich, Drexel University College of Medicine; Clinical & Translational Research Institute (Center for Genomics Sciences, 245 N 15th St, Philadelphia, PA 19102)

Roundtable with the Mid-Atlantic Eurasia Business Council’s Days of Eurasian American Innovation Entrepreneurship Cooperation (Wistar Institute, 3601 Spruce St, Philadelphia, PA 19104)

International Guests of Philadelphia Reception (Courtyard Marriott, 21 N Juniper St, Philadelphia, PA 19107)

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