A New Era for Russian Investors in Silicon Valley

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A Russian investor known as Pavel Cherkashin says that he had a perfect name for his start-up. He had committed to spending $11.5 million to transforming a Catholic church in San Francisco to a tech palace. To make things interesting, he had the name Hack Temple in mind as the name of the new venture. However, following the recent events where Twitter and Facebook have been linked to meddling with the US elections, the investor has had a change of heart, and he is considering new names. The 44-year-old investor said that some investors raised some concerns that the name was inappropriate and should be changed. He further says that he planned on opening the Hack Temple before the end of fall. He said that a group of Russians opening a hacker temple at the moment is not good. The fact that it’s happening in the middle of Silicon Valley even makes the situation worse and complicated. This is the strange position that thousands of Russians working in Silicon Valley have found themselves in. In fact, some venture capitalists with Russian roots say that start-ups are wary about taking their money. At the same time, Russian born engineers say that they are been treated differently since the news emerged that their counterparts were involved in hacking. At the same time, some new security mechanisms have been implemented by firms to restrict what coders from abroad can access.

Tensions have also risen from the fact that some of the most successful Silicon Valley behemoths have been created by Russians. This includes Facebook investor Yuri Milner and Google co-founder Sergey Brin. As for Mr. Cherkashin who has $120 million to invest, he says that he is becoming skeptical of late about the questions that will be posed to him in an interview when they learn about his accent. He compares the issue with being a politician and being caught in a sex scandal. He further says that the issue is that everyone knows your past and smiles every time you meet them. He says that every time he meets a client from the US, they smile while they realize that he has a Russian accent. One question from prospective start-ups and partners is whether the money is clean. He says that this is a question that he has to address two to three times a day. He further says that managers from other regions would not be asked this question.

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