Max Karpov, EMBA 1

I have known Maxim for a long time, as he was my classmate from EMBA1. Max cannot be described as a closed or reserved personality.   Everyone who studied with us knows that Max knows how to talk about any topic under the sun.

«I remember in 2001 when I was at University (Max studied law at the University of Leiden in the Netherlands), my friend and I could talk for hours over a beer on topics, whether gift deed is material or consensual.  We had allot of fun with our discussions.»

As you may have guessed — Max is a lawyer.   He graduated from the Moscow State University, Faculty of Law in 1999, after which he went to the Russian School of Private Law.  The Institute of Legislation and Comparative Law under the Government of the Russian Federation followed this, and finally he polished his skills at the Leiden University in the Netherlands.

If Max is interested in something, he pursues it thoroughly.  Max’s books are like a punk’s hairstyle – with colorful ‘Post-it’s’ stuck throughout them.  I remember one time he told me: «Do not put down a book after having read it once, you have to read it three times before you put it down.» Max has read books that many of us have not even seen. I can tell you that from personal experience.

However pseudoscientific appearances can be deceptive.

After a thorough and hard study of law, Max felt that he had accumulated an excessive amount of unproductive legal knowledge that he would like to apply.

He wanted to live the law  (his words) — and he had a longing for adventure.

While at university and he and his partners created a legal service company which dealt with the legal registration of firms. Then there got work from Novorosles Export, and Lesosibirsk LDK.  Thereafter the company also engaged in corporate takeovers.   Afterwards Max and his partners established an organization protecting shareholder rights.  Initially, the firm provided free legal advice, which eventually turned out to be great marketing and allowed them to not only become the first non-governmental organization to be accredited as an official consultant to the economic security of the Government of Moscow, but also to attract a lot of new and interesting customers.

The consulting business quickly grew into an investment business, and the transactions enabled the company to become an equity owner in a number of major industrial facilities and real estate developments.  Currently, the company focuses on managing its assets.

Now that the business is stable, Maxim is again drawn to adventure which is why he chose SKOLKOVO, and which is why Max is now actively involved in developing SKOLKOVO.

Max is now in charge of developing SKOLKOVO’s Entrepreneurial Community, which he is doing on a voluntary basis.  Many people confuse his Entrepreneurial community with Lawrence’s E-Club.

Max and his team are working to create a platform to facilitate the communication of potential projects, and which will also provide specific tools businesses can use to implement their ideas.

Two clubs exist within the Entrepreneurial Community: an Investors Club and a Club of Independent Directors.  These have around 80 active members made up of students and graduates, a business incubator, a joint project with RVC aimed at being a regional business catalyst, as well as a large number of external partners such as foundations and investment companies like the Skolkovo Fund, Almaz Capital, and Bright Capital.

Recently, together with his partners from the Moscow City Government, he established the National Association of Mentors, in which those interested in students and graduates of the SKOLKOVO will be able to participate as mentors for new entrepreneurs.  There have already been several entrepreneurial events (investor road shows of new projects, mentoring sessions, etc.) together with Russian and foreign partners.

Maxim has ambitious plans; he wants SKOLKOVO to become a center of gravity at least in Russia. He is going to be working on that with his colleagues next year.

«Most of the business activities events I have seen, have been, in my opinion, terribly boring and did little to help participants in establishing business contacts. We want to make it so that participants of our events will not only be able to help create new business opportunities, but also leave our events feeling that they had an a good time and met interesting people, or, worst case scenario that it was not a waste of time.  Therefore, we will work to create ambitious events such as large-scale contest and conferences, and as well as chamber events such as roundtables, workshops, etc. By the way, our “Mafia’ game and “Solving Business Case Competition” have not been canceled. »

Max was originally going to spend only about 30% of his time on building the Entrepreneurial Community, as it is on a volunteer basis after all.   However you can catch Max at work every day, and each day he spends more and more time at this job.

— Why do you do what you do, Max? Do you also plan to use these tools you are creating?  Or can this be a potential political platform for you?

— “I am excited by things (actually he said, “I get high”) that are a) are defiantly right and useful, b) almost unrealizable from the point of view of common sense, and c) could be of benefit to me one day”

— So where do you see yourself in 10 years, which path do you see yourself following? Starting a new venture or entering into politics?

— “ I don’t know yet.  I know their will be a fork in the road, and I want to be ready for everything.”

I did not ask Max the classic question «whether the education at SKOLKOV has changed his life? “ as it is obvious it has had an effect.  I think the business community and SKOLKOVO is lucky to have Max at their side.




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