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HSE University Ranks As One of Russia’s Top Entrepreneurial Universities

HSE University Ranks As One of Russia’s Top Entrepreneurial Universities

© HSE University

This year, the Expert Analytical Centre’s ranking of Russian entrepreneurial universities evaluated 46 universities, 18 of which are participants of Russia’s 5-100 Project. In the ranking, HSE, together with Moscow State University and St. Petersburg State University, took 2nd-4th places, while MIPT ranked first. The ranking’s methodology places special emphasis on startups launched by university graduates, the number of founding graduates at these companies, and the amount of investments these projects have received.

In the overall ranking of 46 universities, the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology ranked first while HSE University, Moscow State University, St. Petersburg State University, and Bauman Moscow State Technical University shared 2nd-4th places. The top ten also includes ITMO, Novosibirsk State University, MGIMO, Peter the Great St. Petersburg Polytechnic University, and MEPhI. The final ranking included only those universities from which more than ten startups emerged. The ranking is based on seven indicators, conventionally combined into two groups: scale and success (65%) and demand (35%).

In order to ‘construct a complete and objective picture’, the rating experts identified startup founders who studied at universities with an emphasis on economics or business schools in a separate list. This list included only educational institutions from which at least eight startups originated (as opposed to at least four last year). In total, this final sub-rating included 22 universities and business schools, and HSE University ranked first among them with a total of 126 startups over the past ten years that have been created by graduates of its economics programmes and received investments totaling 304.5 million dollars.

A distinctive feature of the ranking of entrepreneurial universities is the use of external sources and international databases, which makes it possible to compare Russian universities with foreign universities and to identify areas for improvement. Databases used in the rating include Crunchbase, AngelList, Facebook, and LinkedIn. The final verified base of startups with Russian roots contains information on 2,419 founders and 2,237 startups (with investments totaling about $6.8 billion).

‘HSE University has been involved with entrepreneurship development for many years; we have almost completely formed the necessary innovation infrastructure. For example, the Business Incubator has been operating since 2006,’ said HSE Vice President Igor Agamirzyan during a discussion of the ranking. ‘We regularly hold project competitions, for which a special fund has been created. But it seems to us that this is no longer enough. A key factor that will help us develop this area further is interaction with real business, for which we can and should produce future entrepreneurial personnel, including those that will pursue intracorporate entrepreneurship.’

According to Igor Agamirzyan, the development of the entrepreneurial trajectory of universities should go beyond technological endeavors. ‘Now any educated, cultured person must have digital skills, just as it is necessary to have skills in project and entrepreneurial activities. I have always been convinced that it is impossible to teach entrepreneurship—that it is an innate skill—but it is possible and necessary to teach entrepreneurship technologies, to foster an entrepreneurial culture. And at a basic level, all university graduates should master this, regardless of their area of study.’

In turn, Artem Shadrin, Senior Director for Innovation Policy at HSE University, stressed that HSE is focused on project-based education. ‘In some of our faculties, up to a third of our students are already doing projects commissioned by external clients. For example, these include projects in information technology and electronics or design. The Project Fair is also an important resource, as it allows students from different faculties and areas of study to form teams together.’

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